#GetStarted2016 was definitely a successful event, I would expect that the next conference organised by the DCU would something over the top, which I could say that they did, it was beyond my expectation. The #GetSocial2017 happened last February 14, 2017, at The Helix, DCU. I know, I know, everyone reading this would be like “What an event to spending her Valentines Day!”,”So she has no date?” or “What about her date?”. Honestly, Valentines Day is just an ordinary day like the others, but this year, it was something different not because I went to a fancy five-star restaurant with the man of life but I learned something that would change my perspective and vision in life.
Before the conference even started it has been a long hectic day for me, in at college for my first class 9:00 am all the way to 1:00 pm, so that gives me an hour to prepare and grab some lunch. A few minutes before the clock strike 2:00 pm I had a quick glance of the few speakers through their twitter pages, no doubt I said to myself “This would be interesting”. Quick note, I am not that avid user of social media, yes I have a Twitter account, Snapchat, Instagram and Facebook. I only use my personal Facebook page to contact my friends, relatives and especially just to kill time. I know being active in all social media is a way to promote a business, so maybe I should develop this area.
As a business student, I am someone who would like to start-up their own business someday. To tell you about myself, I am a shy girl, but I have such creative mind. So I took this opportunity to be able to hear advice from successful entrepreneurs. I want to be able to come up with a company that will change the world and be a trend in the industry.
The event started off with a speech from Paul Hayes, MD, Beachhut PR. Paul is known as one of the strong connectors in the world of the Irish Tech ecosystem, handled more than 100 startups from Launchpad, LuceyFund and DCU Ryan Academy. Beachhut is a company that handle with creative and in
novative future entrepreneurs. Their vision is to be able to convey the outstanding marketing strategy to their clients that have a potential to compete worldwide. He began the talk with a quo
“Resist the temptation to talk about yourself, talk about your impact on the world.”
This quote makes you realise that if you would want to start a business, the business vision and mission must be prioritised not on what it is known for. He stressed the importance of not to talk about yourself when pitching your business but the impact of it on the world. Paul advised the future to invent something that NEW, CREATIVE and INNOVATIVE which comes into my mind that the world is big there is something that no one has ever invented. The industry has an infinite opportunity to creative minds like us. Honestly, the social media has brought everyone to a different side of the world. Yes, we may not be able to visit other place but with the use of social media, a click, it feels like you have been around the world. Same goes to the business, you can instantly purchase items that are being produced from the other side of the world. All you need is a good social media, website that would attract customers to purchased your item. It has to be customer friendly and simple.
“DO SOMETHING INTERESTING!”
Furthermore, Mathew Weil, Head of Product, Voicesage, talked about how fast the technology change. A quick background of Voicesage, it was founded in 2003 and has two headquarters in London and Dublin. It was also recognised as a developing leading technology and delivering information that enables real-time customer conversations.
It was also awarded the Network Computing awards in 2013, 2014, 2015 and Significant Sale Achievement from the ISA Software Industry Awards in 2012.
Mathew Weil shared that the purpose of the social media is to form a connection between businesses and potential customers. He emphasises how influential and mind changing the use of social medias such as Facebook, Twitter and Weibo. Sina Weibo is the top most popular social media platform of China. Currently, it has 500Million users. He also introduced me to Chatbots. Chatbots is a one on one conversation between the business and consumers. It makes the connection between two parties stronger and efficient. Mathew strongly says that Chatbots will soon produce QR codes. This idea of Chatbots mesmerised me and made me realise that I need to update and be more active with my social media, in that way I would be able to cope up with the new technologies. If you’re like me that have not heard about Chatbots, watch this clip below.
Honestly, the concept of Chatbots makes me excited to what this kind of businesses would offer to me, us the potential customers in the future. Truly social media never stops surprising the world.
Next, the beautiful Anne-Marie Boyhan, Head of Social, Bank of Ireland. I found her talk interesting because way back then, it has been my childhood dream to get a job in a bank. Anne’s job was to promote Bank of Ireland to reached the targeted potential clients. BOI do take advantage of the use of their social media pages in order to interact with their customers. This strategy to advertise BOI is very effective, it is surely worth the effort put on by the marketing department. They set up their Facebook page, Snapchat account. Here in Ireland, over 60% of Snapchat users are 16-24 years of age, which is the right audience to be targeting. For the record, Ireland has the highest percentage of Snapchat users. Basically, Irish people loves to snap everything they do 24/7! Take note I am one of them hahaha I don’t even log out of my Snapchat account 😀
BOI follows to this method, to remain TOP bank. First, they create a brand that attracts customers and can be effective. Second, curate to potential targeted customers. Last, collaborate with celebrities or clubs to form a good brand image and credibility to the audience. Isn’t it amazing how Bank of Ireland is using the social media to have a strong connection to the market? This makes me think, should I switch to this bank since I know that they have this kind of approach to the market?
From the representative of Bank of Ireland to the Brand Manager of the famous alcohol drink Jameson, Aisling Tobin. Both emphasise the power of social media as a form of marketing strategy. Besides that, they also use a slogan to promote their brand, “ sine metu” meaning “without fear”. A quick research, this motto was inspired by the move of John to Dublin the founder of Jameson to make his mark and his whisky, obviously.
They use the #sinemetu to let their customers share their experience with Jameson. It is not just Aisling’s role to increase the market sales but also to engage with the loyal Jameson buyers and construct a brand image using the social media.
I cannot emphasise more how strong the power of social media
to connect with their customers, so I guess to the other including me, one main tip when starting up a business, be aware and active to your social media accounts.
We are not done yet, the best has yet to come, Hugh Curran, Digital Transformation Consultant. He was different from others, why? Because his main objective was to share that it is not about becoming your company BIG, but priorities are the KEY!.
“Crap content is crap, crap for reach, engagement, reputation, budgets and for people to look at.”
He discussed that 80% of users wants a form of online content and 60% of that produces a crap content. No doubt, I could agree with her, some just don’t have a high quality of content, to make it short, does not attract customers. She came up with 14 steps to make sure to avoid having a bad social marketing:
- PLAN YOUR CONTENT
Figure out what you want to say.
- CREATE YOUR CONTENT
Do not steal it from google or fibre. com
- VIDEO IS A BIG DRIVER
6/10 use their smartphone to watch videos
- MANAGE YOUR CONTENT
Schedule staff/content posting
- MANAGE YOUR COMMUNITY
Response to complain/queries
- FIND YOUR INFLUENCER
Encourage your clients
- SPEND SOME MONEY
If you want to reach your audience, you’re going to have to spend not just effort but money.
- BE REALISTIC
If you can’t afford it, don’t try and do it cheaper. It will just look CRAP.
- LEAVE THE KIDS ALONE
Manage it properly
- BE SECURE
Change your passwords regularly, take advantage of the verification steps.
- BE WHERE YOUR AUDIENCE IS
- REVIEW PERFORMANCE
- ONE SIZE
Think about how people will view it
- DON’T BE CRAP
Create it, design it.
I can ensure you, you will avoid having a concept that is poor and irrelevant. Take time to follow this procedure.
Second to the last, Paul Berney, MD, mCordis. He spoke particularly about the CHANGE brought by the social media to businesses. In this era, every individual somehow has a connection to each other. Which is true, we rely too much on our technology, every move is being done with social media. There is a large increase of mobile phone users and businesses needs to take advantage of this in order to connect to a potential audience. Businesses can combine the physical, digital and sensorial by:
- Connect their targeted audience
- Enable the connection between
- Provide the service they deserve
The technology has grown unexplainable, to ensure that there is a connection with the industry, make sure that your content is appealing to the right person.
Just for example POKEMON GO, AHA! The popular and addicting game of 2016.
Honestly, I was not one of them,
sorry-not-sorry. I was not interested in this game because it is just not my thing, I was too focus on my studies, for real, though. This game is a good example of the mix. Even though I was not part of the millions of users it was a game that captured plenty of players. Everyone can relate to this, as they said, it was addicting!
Last but not the least, the amazing speaker, Eric Weaver, VP Communication and Marketing Solutions, Xerox. He began the talk by making us stood up from our seats to do some stretching because I think he noticed that everyone was kind-off falling asleep, including me. So moving on, he started the talk by disruption, and yes, no one likes it, he knows. Like what happened to HMV disrupted by Netflix, and others. I could remember 10 years ago I had no phone, I was more into outdoor games but look at those 8 years old children, having gadgets as a form of entertainment. Isn’t it questionable, how technology influences EVERYONE? He also mentioned the different risks of wonder into the social media marketing, considering that over 47% of business have not constructed any digital content to the market. In the end, it is all onto you how your business run.
“It’s all on you manager, you!”
And that is it for my #GetSocial2017, I can, therefore, conclude, that YES I need to be more active with social media especially that I am thinking to start my own business, someday. It is scary how technology can change and affect someone’s life. To all my co-future entrepreneurs, come up with something that is NEW, FRESH AND INNOVATIVE. At the start it could be rough, failure is no joke. Success entails sacrifices. You need to persevere and persistent about your business. Always remember why you started the business and how could your business change the world. Take advantage of what is available to you, we don’t know that the future technology can offer us in the coming years.