I very much enjoyed visiting the Social Media and Marketing Show on Wednesday, run by Exposure Events at Ingliston.
It was a fantastic day out with networking opportunities, exhibitors, excellent speakers and the chance to meet with old and new faces.
Here are my top 12 takeaways from the event:
1. You CAN start a business in 7 days
My morning began with a pre-event meetup organised by Chris Marr, organiser of the Content Marketing Academy conference and Facebook group.
Gavin Bell spoke about his experience starting up his new business. Gavin is only 21 but is no stranger to business, having attended the Peter Jones Academy and set up a fitness business.
Following the example of Dan Norris in his book The 7 Day Startup, Gavin explained how he’d been inspired by the book and its “Fail fast” mantra to kick off a startup in a week. Impressive stuff!
The 7 day startup involved:
- Day 1: Choosing the best idea
- Day 2: Defining the product offering
- Day 3: Picking a business name (which also had to have a domain name available)
- Day 4: Creating the website (I was very impressed that was done in a day!)
- Day 5: Making a marketing plan
- Day 6: Specifying business targets
- Day 7: Launching the business
The new company is called Blue Cliff Media and specialises in social media management. The focus now is on building up a customer base by providing great content.
You can read more about Gavin’s experience in his blog post: 7 Day Startup
2. Don’t sell in your content marketing – deliver valuable, entertaining and useful content to build trust
John Durrant of the Juggling Swords agency reminded us that the best content marketing campaigns don’t give us the hard sell. Instead, they educate, delight and help, getting us on board with the brand.
John told us that John Lewis’ Monty the Penguin ad didn’t feature a single product shot. Yet it generated 6.9 million views in 24 hours.
3. Websites with blogs have 434% more indexed pages
John offered up this conclusive stat on the power of blogging. Do you really need any more convincing about why you should blog?Websites with blogs have 434% more indexed pages - @jugglingswords Click To Tweet
4. Google is not your boss – your audience is
Ultimately it’s your readers that will decide if a piece of content is worthwhile. Write primarily for them rather than the search engines.
If your content is good, it will be read, linked to and shared, which will make Google take notice.
5. Your website is the best employee you could have – and it’s worth £27,000 a year
Steven Sefton of Zap Designs made this point in his presentation.
Think about it. Your website never sleeps, never gets sick, never takes holidays and won’t sure you.
Like a real employee it needs to be valued, kept up to date and continually developed to be at its best. The average employee earns £27k a year, hence the value.
6. A website is an investment, not an expense
I wholeheartedly agree with Steven here. Like so many things, you get out what you put in.
A website can be a supreme lead generation machine. If you commission a site, you need to think about how much a lead is worth to you. If it’s £1,000 a time, for example, don’t expect a website of sufficient quality for £250.A website is an investment, not an expense. You get what you pay for - @seftonmedia Click To Tweet
7. Create evergreen content
You don’t have to blog every day. If you write just one quality article tailored to your audience, it can reap dividends.
Steven cited an example of an article on a ceilidh band’s website. It was valuable, shared widely and generated lots of goodwill. The post continues to pull in 4,000 visitors a month and has kept the band consistently booked since it was published. They also repurposed it as a downloadable PDF.
8. Only 5% of public speakers are calm and confident talking about what they love
Public speaking expert Chris Edmondson of Be A Great Speaker is obviously one of the 5%, and delivered a polished presentation on how public speaking can build your credibility and your business.
More people are afraid of public speaking than death and business networking(!)
The fact that so few people love it opens up huge opportunities for anyone willing to put in a bit of work in improving their skills.Only 5% of public speakers are calm and confident talking about what they love - @beagreatspeaker Click To Tweet
It’s worth knowing that only your overall message is made up of:
- 7% Words
- 38% Vocal variety
- 55% Body language
Something I need to consider when I give a talk in a fortnight’s time!
9. 40% of Twitter users don’t tweet – they listen
Graham Innes of Creation Social Media spoke on the Secrets of the Little Blue Bird.
This statistic surprised me, that so many people have joined Twitter and don’t tweet. They retweet or share content, reply to others or use Twitter in other ways – making and joining lists, searching, and following trends.
At first I thought that this was a bit like being a lurker on a forum. It is a good thing in its way, as Twitter’s a noisy medium and silence can be golden. It’s also better than having bots, spammers and trolls tweeting nonsense or worse.
10. You can add up to 4 images per tweet (AND tag people in them too!)
Graham explained that Twitter has taken a leaf out of Facebook’s book. They have recently changed their user interface to allow you to add up to 4 photos in a tweet. Even if you add 4, it doesn’t use up more than 20 characters of your limit of 140.
Tip: landscape images work best.
You can also tag up to 10 people in a photo, and they’ll get notified in their feed when you do. This also doesn’t count towards your limit.
Read up on these groovy features here: Photos just got more social
11. Make a Twitter list of your competitors
Lists are awesome for organizing your favourite tweeps. There are two types:
- Public lists (which anyone can search and subscribe to, and users are notified when they are added to the list)
- Private lists (for your eyes only)
One tip Graham suggested was to make a private list of your competition. Just be careful not to make it public!Make a private Twitter list of your competitors to keep tabs on what they are saying - @CreationSocialM Click To Tweet
It’s also worth checking which other people’s lists you are a member of – you might be able to connect with the list creator.
12. Remember, it’s all about the follow up!
Networking supremo Colin McKeand reminded us at the speed networking event that it’s not just about meeting people, it’s about following up with them.
So I need to finish up now and get emailing, calling, tweeting, connecting and building business relationships.
Thanks to Exposure Events for putting on the Social Media & Marketing Show – I look forward to attending again. And thanks to all the exhibitors and visitors who made it such a worthwhile event. It was lovely to meet everyone.
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