Tuesday, 11 July 2017

Birmingham Social Media Cafe #BRUMSMC May/June

 For May's Birmingham Social Media Cafe with CliveReevesPRBrum Hour aka David W Massey and Phil Choi aka The Blog Trainer took us to the quirky cool Tilt coffee bar in City Arcade.
Tilt Twitter
Craft beers, first class coffee and delicious treats such as BAKE's Snickers and lemon cheesecake bundt are all on offer at Tilt.
Tilt Twitter
By the Tilt window was the delegation of 4 from digital marketing agency Connecting Element led by Client Service Manager Matt Bowell. Matt talked about their clients from the restaurant industry and their work with bloggers and influencers to promote brands such as Miller & Carter and Harvester.
Near left in the photo is brilliant copywriter Anna Gunning who turns company jargon into beautiful content. To Anna's left was the Mac Birmingham team who are fighting back against huge funding cuts with exciting promotional content and events. To Anna's right is charismatic vlogger Sinead Latham who was a wiz at DigiCities week. Next to Sinead is the legend that goes by the name of Brummie Gourmand aka Ryan Parish. Ryan's blog is full of brilliant foodie finds.
To Dave's left is accounting maestro Practical Edd who gives Ryan a run for his money with kwl restaurant tips. It was an eclectic group at Tilt working on some exciting upcoming projects.

Brum Night Cafe in the Gunmakers Arms
Brum Hour twitter
Wood you believe how good the Gunmakers Arms looks since it's recent refurbishment? The Two Towers Brewery real ale pub had just been completed before our visit mid June and hosts everything from gigs to board games nights and soon the Brum Vegan Beer Fest
Gunmakers Brum twitter
Attendees included PR specialist Karen from Cup & String Communications, visual communications designer Rachel Khor and Kelly and Becca from the JC Social Media team
 Dave introduced first speaker of the night Marketing Manager Adam Snelleksz from CMA Video who work with clients such as the Sealife Centre, Sport Birmingham, Legoland and Coventry Gin Festival. I was really impressed with what Adam said about a video communicating so much more personality than just a few lines of text. You can show off your knowledge, skills, enthusiasm and expertise to impress a customer with why they should hire your services. Adam mentioned the power of filming customer testimonials and user-generated content.

 Adam's Top 4 Video Tips
 1) Plan what you are going to say in the video by only having one or two main takeaway messages for viewers rather than a rambling conversation about everything you do.
2) Choose a short video length of 30 to 90 seconds to get your message across as many people may be watching whilst travelling so have less time to browse
3) Have a call to action message in your video e.g. call us now, for more information, to sign up.
4) Tell customers what they want to hear rather than generic phrases such as we have the best staff, reputation etc. They want to hear that you will save them money, time, make them look more attractive etc.
 Next speaker expert copywriter Anna Gunning told us that for you to resonate with your audience you will need to imagine that you were talking to one individual person rather than a generic crowd. So you personalise your content as if you were speaking to a customer named Joe and you imagine Joe's background, job and personality.
 Next rather than describing your product you talk about what problem it solves for Joe. You start broad then empathise then specialise. Work out where they are in the decision-making process and give them the information they need to guide them towards a purchase. Great advice!

June: BrumSMC Alpha Works
Everyone who visits Alpha Works gets excited by the surroundings, vibrant offices, amazing views and creative energy there.
 It was a great turnout with some new visitors. You may notice that a certain multimedia journalist and podcasting enthusiast Adela Earlington likes to be centre of attention in group photos. 😃
 Community Manager,  Theresa White told us about the diverse community of freelancers, entrepreneurs and small businesses in the offices. The hot-desking options are brilliant as you can pop in for a day, a week or a whole month depending on your needs.
 "Meeting you with a view to a kill".
Love these views from the 21st floor!
 Don't daydream too much as you need to make your own business dreams come true.

 On the ground floor the Alpha Cafe is run by the team behind the highly regarded Faculty Coffee shop in Piccadilly Arcade.
Mouthwatering treats! I had the raspberry and white chocolate brownie and it's fantastic!

Theresa White and Phil Choi
The Blog Trainer Phil Choi is doing a free workshop as part of NatWest's Set For Success series.

If you need any help with the following this event is perfect for you.

Introduction to WordPress
Creating blogs for better SEO
How to craft a great blog post
Tools and apps to help you create better content
Driving social followers to your blog

Words by Paul Clarke.
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Saturday, 8 July 2017

Enterprise Nation Birmingham May and June Highlights

 There is no such thing as a routine Enterprise Nation meet up when Debbie Assinder is the organiser. For May's meet up Debbie arranged a visit to Enterprise Nation member and champion Rosie Ginday's wonderful boutique shop Miss Macaroon in the Great Western Arcade in Birmingham.
As you will note from the photo below what makes Miss Macaroon extra special is that it combines producing outstanding luxurious quality macaroons with its social enterprise values.

Ocia below left, is a star graduate of Miss Macaroon's training scheme helping those overcome difficult experiences and it was a joy to hear her talk about all her new skills, confidence and enjoyment from being part of Miss Macaroon.
On the business side Miss Macaroon is thriving on some big name corporate clients such as Karl Lagerfeld who is a regular customer of some super stylish personalised macaroons.
Can you spot founder Rosie Gindlay in amongst the portraits below?
Miss Macaroon are fantastic at marketing the brand and are always trying new activities for promotion. Francesca Chong headed to the Bullring in June to run an eye-catching boutique pop-up hosted by Appear Here 
Elyssa Horton talked about the collaboration with Blow Ltd the Uber of the beauty world delivering beauty services direct to your home or office.
 After a successful launch night in May the Blow team are back on Friday July 14th offering free makeovers and up-dos with every £5 spend. Add in a glass of prosecco and some exclusive ice creams and it's the perfect way to start your weekend off with some fun. 
Taste the rainbow.
Miss Macaroon is a wonderful example of the talented and inspiring members of Enterprise Nation who benefit from supporting each other's success through sharing skills and meeting up at networking events.

June Meetup

In June Debbie treated us to a trip to the Jewellery Quarter and the very sophisticated surroundings of Assay Studios "A creative place for curious minds".
Assay Studios Manager Ally Mitchell told us that the building founded in 1877 was home to the Assay Office for over 130 years and used to hallmark millions of precious items a year. One can picture the safe below full of glorious silver items.
The great Matthew Boulton played a big part in petitioning parliament to establish Birmingham's first Assay Office in the 1770s.
Nowadays it's where the top talent of Birmingham's tech and creative community hangout.

Glide up the beautiful Victorian staircase and you will find plush offices aplenty.
All that's missing is Sherlock Holmes smoking a pipe.
Assay Studios is home to John Lewis Tech and Deliveroo so there is a tremendous energy and momentum in the building.
The offices range from 300 to 10000sq foot
 We all loved the period details.

You can't find a 'safer' meeting place.

She Means Business in Birmingham

 Debbie had the female entrepreneurs of the West Midlands scrambling to write notes about places on Enterprise Nation's forthcoming trade missions to New York and Singapore potentially being partly sponsored by the local DTI.
Everyone's favourite social media guru David Glenwright gave expert tips and insight on making the most out of Facebook for your business.

Top Facebook Stats
1) In 2017 Facebook has 2bn users.
2) Daily active users open Facebook 14 times a day and spend 4 minutes on average browsing.
3) The optimum number of times a business should post a week is 3-5 times.
4) Videos get 2.5 times more engagement than text posts. Longer videos attract more people.
5) 60% of Facebook users are mobile only.

Top Facebook Tips
1) Choose a good profile photo as it will appear on every single post you make. Your logo or image should be clean, simple and text light.
2) You can now have a video cover photo at the top of your page.
3) Use apps such as Quik to group still photos together into a video with music and a text overlay.
Credit Debbie Assinder

Beating the Facebook Algorithm
1) The algorithm which determines what posts are shown to who and how often is influenced by 1000s of factors. These include who you are close to, your previous actions, location and how your friends are reacting to posts.
2) You are competing for attention so choose only your best content to post and the optimum time to post it.
3) If you post something at 9am and no one likes or comments on the post, Facebook may not show any more posts from you that day.
4) The more likes you get the more people Facebook will show the post to. If your post is a hit Facebook may show your next post to a bigger audience.
5) Shares are the most valuable reaction to a post as the viewer must be highly engaged to want to do this.
6) To get more comments ask questions at the end of your posts.
7) The optimum post length is around 250-300 characters and be sure to use a catchy opening line.
8) Facebook skewer the algorithm to promote new products. At the moment that would be live streaming.

Good examples of Facebook practice are:
1) Innocent Drinks for fun content.
2) Birmingham Hippodrome for promotional activity.
3) KLM for customer service.

A big thank you from all to Debbie for all the wonderful support she gives to local entrepreneurs.

Words by Paul Clarke

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