Review: Social Media Insight Day

Yesterday I was thrilled to be speaking at A Social Media Insight Day, a new event organised by Ant Hodges of HodgesNet. I’ve known Ant a while now and was really excited when he asked me to run a practical blogging workshop as part of the event. I’ve never run anything like that before – but I was really pleased with how it went, and enjoyed the rest of the day too.

The Social Media Insight Day took place at Lydiard House in Swindon, which was a great venue. Set in beautiful grounds, this stately home has been sympathetically converted into a conference centre, and we were in the Marlborough Room. The staff at the centre were really friendly and helpful throughout the day, and lunch and refreshments were fabulous. We did have some issues with the internet speed, which I undertand is being upgraded, but other than that I’d recommend Lydiard House if you’re looking for a conference venue.

The Social Media Insight Day was split into four distinct sections, and this worked really well. During the first part Ant spoke about what social media is and gave some interesting statistics that demonstrated how big a part of life it is and how important it is for businesses to be using it. I’m pretty savvy when it comes to social media but I picked up some useful info here, especially relating to Pinterest  – which is not 80% female as I thought, but 55% male here in the UK!

The second section was my bit. I spoke for about 45 minutes about what blogging is, how to do it and what the benefits are for business, and then I ran a practical workshop where attendees used various tools to come up with ideas for blog posts, and then built a blog schedule for the next three months. I was really pleased with how the workshop went, and I got some great feedback, with one person saying if they learnt nothing else the day would have been worth the money!

After a delicious lunch and quick walk round the grounds we moved onto web video. Jay Blake of Ichthus Video showed us some videos that have made a big impact online, and then we had a practical session where we learnt how to set up properly for a video testimonial. Personally, while I felt the videos shown were inspiring I’d rather have seen something more achievable for one woman and an iphone, but the practical session was useful.

The day ended with another section led by Ant where he went through various social media networks and gave some great tips on how to use them for business. I’m pretty au fait with Facebook and Twitter, but I picked up lots of useful tips for other networks such as LinkedIn and Google+. Unfortunately we ran out of time, which was a shame as I would have like more time on this section. Probably my fault for over running on the blogging workshop!

Anyway, it was a very enjoyable and educative event and the other attendees seemed to get a lot from it, judging from the feedback board at the end of the day. Ant is hoping to run more Social Media Insight Days and I will probably be involved, so watch this space or sign up to his newsletter to get the latest details.

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