There was a thing on Facebook a while back – ‘7 things you didn’t know about me’, I found out some really interesting things about my friends and enjoyed reading their posts. So here are mine to share with you. 1. My degree is in
As well as small businesses, we help voluntary and community organisations to use social media to support their work. Last year we helped Berkswell Cricket Club achieve the second highest number of sign-ups for All Stars in the whole of Warwickshire. As a mum of
A lovely story in this weekend’s Scotsman newspaper, Sir Chris Hoy and his wife Sarra celebrating their baby son coming home from hospital. It had all the right elements a nice photo, gratitude from both parents for the care received from hospital staff, and thanks to
As well as small businesses, we help voluntary and community organisations to use social media to support their work.
Last year we helped Berkswell Cricket Club achieve the second highest number of sign-ups for All Stars in the whole of Warwickshire. As a mum of three keen young cricketers, it was great to be able to support the club and the wider initiative to encourage children aged 5-8 into the game. Such was the success, the club extended the sessions beyond the eight official dates and created an enthusiastic cohort of boys and girls who are now making their way through the junior ranks at the club. It also helped recruit volunteer coaches and team managers – a vital element of running a successful junior cricket section.
As the registration process for this year’s All Stars programme opens – my youngest already has his name down – I’m thinking about what made it such a success last year, and what advice I can pass on to other clubs who are aiming for a similar level of involvement.
Why did it work?
It worked because of a range of activities including social media.
The ECB did a really good job of marketing the programme, using a variety of channels including national cinema ads as well as a widespread Facebook advertising campaign.
Warwickshire Cricket Board ran a taster session at our local primary school. Kids arrived home with wristbands and information, having tried a fun session of cricket. Mums and dads were told how fantastic it was and to sign them up straight away!
Facebook – public and private
We’d published a Facebook post on the Berkswell Cricket Club Juniors page with all the sign-up details to make it quick and easy for parents to find the information they needed and register for local sessions. This post was then shared into a private local Facebook group of school moms and also in WhatsApp groups. It was this combination of public information and private sharing that really helped to convert interest into sign ups.
My tips for local All Stars success
- Keep an eye out on national social media posts and share them to your club page and retweet them from your Twitter account. Your local cricket Board is likely to have a social media presence, so remember to tag them in to improve your reach.
- Make it easy for people to find your information, here’s our post for this year. Include all the details and a direct link to the sign-up page. Share it to as many relevant Facebook groups as you can, these are a key way that local people find out what’s going on.
- Use a ‘call to action’ – ask parents to share posts and tweets. Ask online, ask in person, ask by email if you have a list. If you don’t ask, you don’t get!
- Make it as exciting as possible and involve parents and kids. Ask parents to share pictures to your club page of children enjoying the All Stars Cricket experience – maybe when their personalised kit arrives.
- Speak to your local school – most primaries issue regular newsletters. Ask them to share your information via their online and paper communications. Schools are always keen to promote exercise and health, particularly if it is happening in their local community.
In the first week of activity to promote All Stars 2019, Berkswell have already filled 40 of their 80 places for this year! Here’s looking forward to the summer!
I was delighted to be the guest speaker for the Balsall Business Club last week in their new venue, the Jubilee Centre. I spoke about Small Business Saturday and how to make the most of it, for anyone who couldn’t make it, here’s what I covered:
What is Small Business Saturday?
The aim of Small Business Saturday is to highlight the success of small businesses and encourage consumers to shop local, supporting independent businesses in their community. It was started by American Express, covers any business with a turnover of under £10million and is now in its 5th year. This year Small Business Saturday is 2 December.
How can it help you?
- Publicity – Sign up for the free directory so if people are looking for a business like yours, they’ll find you.
- Logos – Download the marketing materials so you can show your support for the day.
- Advice – There’s tons of useful advice and information on the website about all aspects of running your business
How to use Small Business Saturday?
Essentially it is an opportunity to tell your story. Remember, people like to buy from people, so show them who you are. Tell the about why you started your business, how your business is different from your competitors or big names. Show your passion, what do you love about your business, why do you do what you do? This post about our first year as a limited company was really popular.
You can write up your story as a blog on your website just like this, if you haven’t got your own is there someone else who could host it for you? If you have a Facebook Page you can add it as a Note (it could look like this). On LinkedIn? Add it as an article. Share the links on your social media accounts.
Connect and engage with the Small Business Saturday social media accounts, they use Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Use the hashtag #SmallBizSatUK. Tag their accounts and those of partners, supporters and anyone else you want to notice your story in your social media posts. Help others too; if you share their story it might prompt them to share yours too.
If you write up your story for Small Business Saturday or have other plans let me know, I’d be happy to support you.
Visit the Small Business Saturday website for all the information and downloads you need to make it a success for your business.
To find out more about the Balsall Business Club visit their website.
I’ve been involved in the social media management of incidents many times, mostly flooding on behalf of the Environment Agency but also fires, and a major power cut too.
Yesterday was my first experience from the other side, as a resident and also as one of the admins for social media accounts in my local area.
I woke up to this tweet from Solihull Police
The A452 Kenilworth Road is currently closed between Alder Lane and Meer End Road due to an ongoing police incident. Avoid the area.
— Solihull Police (@SolihullPolice) June 27, 2016
The location is about half a mile away from my house and so I retweeted the information on my own and the @balsallcom Twitter accounts. I assumed it was a traffic accident and didn’t think too much more about it, until I saw some posts in a closed Facebook group of school mums indicating it was something very different. Shortly after that there were local news reports about the situation that I shared on both Twitter and Facebook.
The incident was resolved around lunch time, and later in the day I was able to share confirmation that the road was open and the mother and child were no longer on the roof.
Experiencing this as a resident, there were three key things that I think it highlighted:
1. Hyperlocal social media channels are really important to communicate in an incident
They are the best way to engage with those that need to know what is happening. The road in question is a busy one in and out of Balsall Common; the social media accounts for the village reach large numbers of local people who were then able to make alternative plans for their commute, school run, and other journeys. The Facebook post alerting people to the incident reached nearly 6000 people. From Facebook insights I can see that people reached and engaged this week live largely within a few miles of Balsall Common.
2. Don’t trust the wider media to pass on information correctly
The Daily Mirror got the geographical information horribly wrong. But even ITV Central had the wrong location on their map. Presumably they’d googled Kenilworth Road, Balsall Common and then uploaded the result to their website. Unfortunately they did this without realising the road is a few miles long and the pin was at least half a mile out of place. The true location was off the bottom of the screen shot they’d taken – not helpful for drivers and others needing to navigate around the incident. Also worrying for people living near the pin.
3. Organisations need to tell people when an incident is over
From a practical point of view drivers and others need to know whether the road is open or not for their journey home. There was also huge concern for the woman and her child locally. Fellow mums and other residents were anxiously waiting to find out whether the situation had been resolved. Informally some of us found out from nearby residents but it was a while before we had official confirmation from a trusted source. Thanks to West Midlands Fire Service for letting us know via Facebook. Solihull Police sent a great initial tweet alerting people to the situation with precise road closure information, but more than 24 hours later that is still the most recent tweet they’ve sent.
A dramatic day and one that I hope isn’t repeated any time soon. Another local resident, summed up the thoughts of us all perfectly.
— Norman McKeown (@normanmckeown) June 27, 2016
I attended a fascinating event today organised by Facebook to help businesses get more out of both Facebook and Instagram. The key messages were make sure your content and your business or organisation is mobile friendly and video is crucial to success – but soon you’ll need think about virtual reality and augmented reality too.
I’ll write up more of what I learned and share ideas you can try, but in the meantime here are 10 quick stats that were shared today.
1. 3 million advertisers use Facebook
2. Yet there is still huge potential, only 10% of all sales go through the internet
3. Smart watches are twice as fast as 1980s computers
4. There are more smart phones in the world than there are people on the planet
5. 63% of UK web browsing is done on a mobile
6. 45% of video views globally are on a mobile device
7. There are 30 million Facebook users in the UK; 93% of them only use it on a mobile
8. 6 of the top 10 apps downloaded worldwide are messaging apps
9. In 2015 more pictures were taken and shared than in the whole of the last 100 years; Instagram users alone share 80 million pictures a day
10. Facebook is very much about friends and family and two way relationships, on Instagram 54% of following is non-reciprocal.
Twitter hours are a fantastic way to network with other local organisations and businesses. They are an hour of the week where you can guarantee other people will be on Twitter, looking at your tweets, and tweeting interesting things for you to read and share. All you have to do is tweet at the allocated time and include the hashtag in every one of your tweets during the hour. Sounds simple but they are often very busy so can be a bit daunting if you haven’t joined in before so here are my top tips to get involved.
1 Watch and Listen
Before you dive in, search Twitter for #solihullhour, see what comes up, who gets involved, which tweets catch your eye and why?
What do you want to say? Can you explain who you are in one tweet? The limit is 140 characters but by the time you’ve added the hashtag, an image and a website link, you’re down to around 75. Can you condense your crucial information to one sentence?
3 Use a laptop or desktop
While you get to grips with Twitter networking it is much easier if you use a computer rather than phone or tablet. A bigger screen makes it easier to follow the action and keep track of who is saying what and how your tweets are being received.
4 Try Tweetdeck
Tweetdeck is a great Twitter tool that allows you to have separate columns for notifications, searches, and anything else you choose. It can be really useful to help you to manage your twitter activity particularly during networking hours. You don’t need anything other than a Twitter account to get started.
5 Be social
Social media is supposed to be social, so reply to other tweets, ask questions of your audience, and retweet other people’s messages. If you want other people to help to share your news and information it is polite to share theirs too. You wouldn’t go to an in-person networking event and only talk about yourself – would you?
And finally, always say thank you!
#SolihullHour takes place from 7-8pm every Tuesday evening
Other local Twitter hours to try are:
#Kenbizhour 11-noon on Tuesday mornings
#LeamingtonHour 4-5pm on Wednesday afternoons
#KenilworthHr (note the Hr not Hour at the end) 7-8pm on Thursday evenings
#CovHour 8-9pm on Thursday evenings
#BrumHour 8-9pm on Sunday evenings