I pushed myself out of my Uggs and into the rain last night, against my instinct, against my will, and into the city in the throws of peak hour. Through the traffic, up a lift, wet-haired, into a room, wondering why ..... and then instantly, I was warmed and it was worth it.
Because Business Chicks sure do know how to turn it on.
Last night's Melbourne #SheMeansBusiness Facebook workshop led by Mia Garlick, Facebook Director of Policy Australia/NZ, had way too many data deep dives and content takeaways to detail here.
But the main gist was to trust your gut, back yourself, take risks, be a nerd, and when it comes to social strategy, make sure you know who you're talking to and how to track them. Cos if you don't know your audience and what floats their boat, you're almost certainly doomed.
We all know this, of course, but in the context of startups with to-do lists that are never done, stopping to construct a data-informed, customer-centric approach to your social strategy can often be triaged out.
Content takes time. Being interesting takes effort. Trawling data and analytics, engaging in online conversations and wading through comments can chew up the little space you have to build your business day to day.
But the businesses on the panel including Show and Tell’s Monty Dimond, Thankyou’s Sarah Prescott and B Free Intimate Apparel’s Yael Carmeli were great examples and inspirations of businesses that prioritised social, and have built loyal and large tribes via cultivating active online conversations, authentic storytelling, and by using the power of their social channels to leverage their customer base.
All these startups recognise social is the lifeblood of their business custom. And all admit they just cracked on at first and tried stuff, took a breath, put it out there, and measured what stuck. Through trial and error, analytics and consistent brand pillars, they gradually grew their follower base from one to stacks. With Clever. Crafty. Consistent. Compelling. Content.
Currently, according to Mia Garlick, 14 million Australians connect on Facebook each month, and of those 13 million access Facebook on a mobile device. Instagram, part of the Facebook portfolio, also boasts a massive 7 million active Australian users each month. So we've certainly got a healthy social ecosystem ripe for the tapping. But the key message is you have to prioritise and you have to work hard to always know where your customers are, when they're active online, and how you can best talk to them.
We've clearly come a very long way from the splash marketing of the past. Last night was a powerful reminder of just how mobile we've gone. The world and the way we communicate our stories and ourselves has undergone a seismic shift. Consumers are now the newsmakers, the storytellers, the self branders, so for businesses to remain relevant, accessible and authentic in the seas of a savvy, easily bored consumer-scape curating their own online lives, we need to create content that is ultra-engaging, on purpose, on target and worth sharing. All the time.
If you'd like to catch a live-stream of the event, a full video is available on the Business Chicks Facebook page. Worth the time.
Thanks to Business Chicks and Facebook for having us.
Look forward to the next one!
PS: See upcoming #girledworld post for a transcript of last night's amazing speech from Kristen Hilton, Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commissioner, who is standing up and challenging status quo one bold stride at a time.