— Sam Keenan (@SocialMediSam) September 25, 2013
This week I ran a one-day social media workshop with Foody Phil for the Cumbria Business Growth Hub. It was for beginners with very little or no experience using social media so we broke the content down into small, easy to digest chunks to make sure that everyone could keep up. We had lots of information to cram into one day but it meant that everyone went home with a comprehensive understanding of social media.
Once everyone was settled down with a cup of coffee and their laptops set-up we began by discussing the benefits of social media for businesses, using examples to highlight how it can be used. Then, we introduced the key features and meanings, such as ’retweet’ and ‘like’ which drew a few confused faces but a quick demo on the big screen showed just how simple it can be. The first main chunk of info focused on Twitter, covering all sorts, from building followers and creating lists to what and when to tweet.
When the whole group had got to grips with Twitter, we moved onto Facebook and their company pages in particular. As with Twitter, we went through the main features of a page before discussing the best type of content to post and the importance of varying it to keep your followers interested and engaged. We also mentioned the potential extras that Facebook offers, such as Ads and competitions but they were slightly too advanced to expand on at this stage. It was great that everyone picked up the basics so quickly though so we were able to move on to the next step which was establishing a posting schedule.
We gave everyone a printout of a posting schedule/content calendar with a couple of post suggestions in. For example, you could post a news article at lunchtime and a link to your website at 5pm. This is a really useful tool to have because it means that your social media has a basic structure which should prevent your posts being either inconsistent or repetitive. Once everyone had a few ideas flowing we had a break for lunch so that they had time to take in everything we’d gone through and they could also ask any other questions.
The afternoon session covered the main tools that we recommend to save time on social media. Firstly, we got everyone set-up on Hootsuite which we’ve discussed in a number of previous blogs - it’s a great management tool that allows you to schedule your posts at a time that suits you so they can go out throughout the day. We explained how to create posts and attach web links and images, as well as how to schedule them. Following this, we discussed where to source content from because sometimes it can be difficult to find interesting news about your industry. We recommended using Feedly, which is a tool that allows you to compile all of your favourite sites in a magazine style so you can easily browse through their content. It saves you clicking through each website trying to find something to post and can easily provide you with something interesting to share with your followers.
As you can see, we covered lots to say it was only a one-day course but everyone went away with plenty of information and plans to put into action. We were really pleased to receive great feedback and you can see some of the tweets from the day below.
— Lesley Fursey (@SPUpholstery) September 25, 2013
— Cumbria Growth Hub (@CumbriaHub) September 26, 2013
We’ve got more courses planned, I’ll be running them in the north-west and Ben will be running some in Bedford and Milton Keynes so if you’d like more information, please don’t hesitate to get in touch or tweet us @SocialMedAgency.
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