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A fascinating day at Social Media Week - Bristol

The photo may have little relevance to Social Media week, except I took it a few weeks ago in Stokes Croft. It kind of sums things up about being social and being in Bristol.

The photo may have little relevance to Social Media week, except I took it a few weeks ago in Stokes Croft. It kind of sums things up about being social and being in Bristol.


This is the second year I have attended events at Social Media Week in Bristol.

Both times have been informative and inspirational. If you have an interest in the latest developments and trends in social media, I heartily recommend you finding time to visit next year.

I attended the Small Business Social Media Summit at the Everyman Cinema on Whiteladies Road (it was our regular fleapit in my student days. It’s always nice to revisit… especially now that they have very comfortable sofas).

There were many interesting points made and rather than keep the notes to myself, I thought I’d share them.

The first very well made point (made by the folks who set up Grillstock and now run Quay Street Diner): You know your business better than anyone else can. Just post when you see things. If you’re interested in it, your customers probably will be.

The next talk in which I made copious notes and promised that I would put it into practice (e.g. with this post) was by @bex_band:

Blogging for business

Her first point was that social media posts are more temporary and they need continuous, regular work. On the other hand, blogs last longer. Although they may take more time to write, they stay around longer. They are always on your website and can be linked to in the future with social media posts or emails to clients/customers answering their questions.

Key things to think about:

  • Have a clear concept for your blog.

  • Answer questions that are commonly asked about your services.

  • What are you an expert in? What would you do a TED talk in?

I liked this following tip and I have already organised my folders of blog drafts into these three different categories:

  • Advice: provide answers. This is likely to drive the most traffic to your website.

  • Personal: your stories. Although this is likely to drive less traffic, it maintains a connection with your readers.

  • Opinion: about your business sector. This is what you stand for. It’s ok to controversial or different.

Ultimately you blog to improve your website visibility. SEO is a game you have to play. It’s important to think of the keyword you wish to target for each blog post and to have a backlink strategy.

Another interesting point … most engagement is when you’re vulnerable.

An aside on FACEBOOK: Algorithms prioritise groups over pages now. If you post a lot and some posts have low engagement, you will probably lose rankings. It’s better to post less often and get more engagement.

The next talk was from Katherine George from Oh So Social on:

How your business can become insta-awesome

Latest market data: 800M active users… 500M daily users… 25M businesses…. 80% users follow a business…. 60% learn about products…..

Instagram used to be high on engagement and low on action. Things seem to be changing here.

And the biggest surprise from yesterday? Katherine suggested that Instagram will overtake Facebook in users by end of the year. Why? Because everyone understands a photo. On average people may view your post for only 1.3s. The human brain processes visuals 60,000 times faster than words.

Instagram is for your daily inspiration, Facebook is for your daily connection…. mix things up…. be social… people buy from people.

Instagram stories are seeing massive growth. They are great for being personal.

Some useful apps to help you with your Stories are Boomerang (create mini videos that loop back and forth) and Hyperlapse (create timelapse videos).

Why invest time in Stories? Because 1 in 3 of the most viewed Stories are from business accounts and 1 in 5 of these stories receive direct messages.

Stories content ideas? Use them for sales, promotions, product launches, exclusives, tutorials and behind the scenes.

Leave people wanting more, don’t finish your story and tempt them to come back to find out more.

Shopping on Instagram: 88.5% digital shoppers are mobile shoppers


  • Use Instagram Stories: tours of your shop, invite your customers in, encourage discovery and spark interest.

  • Instagram is more likely to be used for discovery and purchase inspiration.

  • Instagram are currently testing, in the USA, direct purchasing within Instagram. This could be BIG.

This Instagram for Business page is worth reading for more information.

All in all, it was a very useful day. I’m glad I went. As an added bonus I enjoyed lunch in the Bakesmiths on Whiteladies Road (where Henry Africa’s Hothouse once was). Perfect for freshly made baked goods and some time to absorb all that I had learned.

Thank you to all of the organisers and speakers. To find out more about what you missed, here is their website.