A Tuminds Perspective: Highland Spotlight Exhibition

Picture for Rene Looper Rene Looper

September 24th 2015

Highland Business Week: Inverness Spotlight Business to Business Exhibition

Over the years I’ve attended a few business to business events, trade shows, conferences and exhibitions, but this year’s Highland Spotlight Business Exhibition was something else – and it wasn’t just me that thought so.

One of the main things which keeps me in the Highlands are the people who live and work here. I was so pleasantly taken aback by how friendly, open and sociable people are in both their personal and business lives. It makes working with people that much more enjoyable up here. And this year’s Spotlight event really demonstrated that.

From the minute the exhibition was opened to visitors, to the final curtain call at the end of the day, there were a constant stream of interesting and interested people to talk to. In fact at one point in the afternoon, on a walk around, I couldn’t speak to any of the stall holders because they were all happily engaged in conversations with other people.

In some ways these types of events are very much like social media. We each have our stall, or our profile, we each are selling our wares and services, much as we do when we use social media marketing, and we get our best results from engaging with people and talking to them like real human beings – which is how we garner success online.

So in the spirit of the event, and obviously as a social media business, we offered free social media health checks to interested businesses in attendance on the day. Using a couple of analytics tools and my own analysis skills, honed after many a year, I gave each business an overview of their current performance, their results and a Health Status of – Very Healthy to Not Very Healthy, and some key recommendations about how to improve their social media presence.

It went down really well, particularly as I dressed up like a doctor for the morning and wandered around checking the pulses of people’s smart phones and computers. (I was also reminded by a Dr Siancouple of insurance-y types that it is illegal to impersonate a doctor – however I wasn’t interested in your health, but rather your businesses digital health).

A couple of interesting lessons were learnt from the dozen or so health checks we did yesterday.

Number 1 – don’t presume that a tech company will understand how to use social media effectively.

Number 2 – people who have been to workshops and asked for advice perform so much better than those who hide away and don’t look for help.

Number 3 – most of the time businesses suffer from the same issues, not enough time to post, not enough content to post about, and not enough commitment to the platforms.

However, that being said there was so much potential for healthy social media growth and I genuinely hope to see the businesses we spoke to grow and develop their social media so that they too can reap the benefits of a globally connected world.

The other interesting aspect of the day was the amount of social media activity that was going on around the #highlandbizwk hashtag. The Spotlight event was only part of a week of events for businesses organised by the Inverness Chamber of Commerce (https://www.facebook.com/Inverness-Chamber-of-Commerce-137789342944046/timeline/). Their hashtag has been a fantastic way for them, and us their supporters, to help promote the events and, more importantly, to monitor their social impact.

Using a pretty awesome tool called followthehashtag.com I ran my own little diagnostic on the #highlandbizwk hashtag. Over the last 218 hours 761 tweets have been generated by 172 different contributors, who have a collective audience of 226,201 people. Of those 761 tweets, 43% were comments with retweets, 35% were tweets with pictures and links, 20% were original comments and 2% replies to messages. Together these conversations generated 1,045,939 impressions on people’s twitter accounts around the world.

One business that really stood out to me on the day, for both their excellent, and very healthy, social media and their beautiful branding, was Muckrach Country House Hotel (http://www.muckrach.com/). Mindy Cowap, owner and social media doer, is such a natural at creating compelling content that people want to engage with, that it was an absolute delight to run a health check for her. When I spoke with Mindy she said that while the tone and content might come naturally, it was the workshops she attended presented by Tuminds that gave her the tools to put social media tactics into play for her business. If you’re looking for someone who is doing things well on social media, whether you’re in a similar industry or not, then do visit https://www.facebook.com/muckrachcountryhousehotel, or follow their tweets @Muckrachlodge or check out their Instagram @muckrach.

MuckrachCollage

If there was one principle social media take-away from the day it was that much like the real world, connecting, talking and being interested (and interesting) brings about much more success for your business than hiding away and not engaging with the community of businesses and people around you.

As always,

Sian

 

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