I was very lucky last week to attend a Social Media Conference in the Scottish Borders at Dryburgh Abbey Hotel. I signed up for two main reasons. Firstly it would count towards my continued professional development which I have to do each year as a Chartered Marketer for the Chartered Institute of Marketing and secondly I am rather fascinated and addicted to the world of Social Media. And I have always had a strong belief that you can never know enough about any topic. There is always something more to learn.
And this certainly proved the case at this conference. I was greatly impressed by the main speaker Luke Brynley- Jones who runs a company in London called Our Social Times. You will find him on Twitter @lbrynleyjones. He gave me confidence that my personal theories about social media were correct. Particularly about the use of blogs and social media to draw traffic to your website. He also confirmed for me that social media is massive and is growing and changing all the time. I agreed with Luke that like any marketing communication you need to be clear about what you want out of Social Media and again like most marketing it’s not a quick fix. You need to have a clear objective, be consistent about it and allow time to make sure it’s working.
So there was lots I agreed with Luke Brynley-Jones about and it affirmed my own social media skills. I did learn though lots about measurement of Social Media which was the key learning that I got out of the day. And I’m now armed with lots of new ideas on how to measure social media for Bright Light Marketing and my clients.
There was lots to agree with Luke on, much to learn but one thing I was not so sure about was the view from Luke that lawyers and accountants don’t tweet. I declare a bias as my husband is a lawyer and living with me he very quickly got to know about the benefits of Twitter world. You can find him on @renewableexpert. But he’s not the only one in his firm, Davidson Chalmers, to become a convert to twitter and he is not the only Scottish legal firm to tweet. I know of many who are effectively using it to raise awareness about their company on Twitter. Likewise accountants for example local accountancy firm Stark Main use both Facebook and Twitter. But it is good if you have something you disagree with at a conference it allows you to challenge your brain.
As well as the main speaker there were a couple of workshops. I attended one of Luke’s and though I would have loved to attend his afternoon one. I tore myself away and attended Kevin Dorrian’s one on making headlines in Social Media. His twitter account is @Kevin_Dorrian. It was really informative too and showed the way that Social Media has transformed the media and Press and PR. And he was so right the very next day I was the first in our office to learn about the death of Colonel Gaddafi not on the BBC news website but twenty minutes before on Twitter. Twitter is where the action is.
A good conference needs good speakers but also interesting delegates. The networking was great too and I met Twitter new friends and old at the conference. It’s always a great experience to meet up with people you tweet with. It was great to meet with Mags Fenner and her insights into Foursquare gave me lots of food for thought. So thanks for that Mags. (You can find Mags on @magsfenner. ) I believe that you are right and that Foursquare is taking off in the UK. It’s maybe just not reached the Scottish Borders quite yet. Ah well means my mayorship of St Boswells and Mainstreet Trading may continue for a little while longer.
So the main speaker was excellent and informative. As were the workshops and networking. There was much to affirm my own thoughts on Social Media, lots to challenge and key learnings that I have taken away with me. The networking was good and it was great to catch up with people in the Twitter and non Twitter world.
But best of all for someone running your own business the event was free and only a few miles from home. So a huge big thanks to Hugh Williams from the Business Gateway/Scottish Borders Council and Borders Creative for putting this event on. It’s inspired and affirmed me. Just now need to put it all into practice. As you can see I am starting with this blog!