Day 1 Summary at Working Digital

This guest blog is provided by Carol Maguire – an HND student at Ayrshire College studying Web Development and Interactive Media.  Carol is one of a number of student volunteers, helping us with Working Digital as part of their personal development and to gain valuable work experience.  

Working Digital – brought to you by East Ayrshire Council Economic Development
Day 1 – Tuesday 23rd September 2014
Image by Guy Hinks.
View more photos from the day over on Facebook

Today we were discussing Digital Disruption and how change in the digital world is inevitable. We were introduced to Gary Ennis and Colin Kelly from NSDesign who explained various facts and figures of internet usage. There were some funny comments made throughout the night. Great one from Gary Ennis, “Sad but true fact is that the average person has a 0.7 second attention span and a goldfish has a 0.8 second attention span. The average person has a 0.7 second attention span and a goldfish has a 0.8 second attention span.” If you don’t get the above sentence, read it again, this time out loud!

I must admit this is the first ever conference I have attended whereby I have been encouraged to leave my phone on, and where the candidates have been urged to participate in the conference by way of social media platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, etc.

We were then shown a video from Chris Brogan, CEO of Owner Media Group. He confirmed that all businesses have their own problems and that even a huge company such as Disney were struggling to retain their customers as long as they would have liked, within their business. An app was created whereby customers could take their own photos, which could then be projected onto the castle, thus keeping customers inside the business longer, spending more money on prints, and sharing this information on social media and thereby reaching more potential customers.

“It’s not what the software does, it’s what the user does.”

He summarised by stating that we should all embrace technology properly as it embraces our businesses.

“Show Me – Small Business Showcase”

Emu Bands

Emu Bands was started in 2005 and is based principally in Glasgow. Ally Gray is the Managing Director and co-founder and there are six additional staff, (3 of whom work remotely, while 3 are office based).
Ally explained that when an artist/band signs with themselves for a fee, Emu Bands will then be able to offer their music to the bigger companies such as Amazon, Spotify and MP3, as these big companies are unlikely to deal with individuals. Emu Bands can then distribute their music throughout the world, pay taxes as necessary, and deal with royalties, etc.

He discussed the main digital tools used for the company and their uses:
Skype, Webposition, Wetransfer, Google Analytics, Provide Support, Facebook, Mention, Twitter, Your Mailing List Provider and Amazon Web Services.

Transcribe UK

Ada Galloway is Transcribe UK’s Managing Director. Ada had previously worked as an Admin Manager for an Occ Health department within a corporate organisation. She spoke about her past where she transcribed tapes that were sent to her in Glasgow, from around the UK, and she would then post the typed paperwork back to the author. She realised this was time consuming and so, 8 years ago, when she had the opportunity to start her own business transcribing, she invested in a software package, from Germany, that would allow the author to upload their files in order for her to transcribe in a much more efficient way.

Ada explained that she is aware that many companies are still using tapes, however it is slowly changing to digital as people become aware that digital is less time consuming, higher quality, available 24/7 and costs are transparent. Much like a typing pool, thanks to the software used, Ada can easily determine if a specific secretary has a backlog of work, work overdue, etc. Likewise, when a job has been completed, the typist will notify the client that the work had been uploaded and ready via the software.

Unusual connection of the night was when Ada explained that due to Pinterest and her board of male business clothing, she had acquired new business.

Scotland’s Hour

As a seasoned traveller and an experienced blogger, Douglas Baird explained that his Twitter chats started when he used to spend Saturday mornings uploading his holiday photos to Twitter with his holiday opinions.

It brought back some memories for myself when he told us of a story of him and his wife planning their backpacking trip around America. They had to book hotels by post and wait for a letter in return confirming their room had been booked at that particular hotel for their stay, months in advance, when postcards would arrive months after your had returned home and when you had to rely on taxi drivers and bus drivers knowing the whereabouts of every hotel in a city.

What a difference to nowadays! Go online, book a hotel at a minutes notice, check out the map online, get directions sent to your phone, upload your holiday snaps in seconds!
Douglas currently has 13,000 followers on Twitter and explained that by making only 1 minute videos, ensures that it contains all the sightseeing information that people want to see. He was very happy to add that he is just a part-time travel blogger as he is still in employment. 🙂

His top tip for today was to text flight details, hotel name, etc. to your own phone.

Reminder – Twitter, Scotland’s Hour, 9pm, Wednesday 24th September 2014 and the topic this month is ‘Year of Sport’.
Gary Ennis also added in some valuable information for any business (especially in the tourism and travel industry) – A Map should be included in all websites and that ratings and reviews are checked by prospective customers.

“Inspire Me”

Amber Atherton from My Flash Trash

The “Inspire me” session began with Amber Atherton from My Flash Trash – who started selling jewellery while she was still at school with the help of WordPress. This young entrepreneur used to buy jewellery while on holiday and sell it on to her friends when she returned. It was later, when she appeared in Made In Chelsea, advertising her jewellery, My Flash Trash, that the sales really took off.

Amber admitted that she had not been ready for the surge in sales and that planning is an integral part of any business. Branching out, Amber launched Flash Trash Mall 2 weeks ago, whereby clients can download databases of contacts, branding, marketing, etc, for a fee, and the designers can then sell their own designs.

A lot of time is spent on social media, mainly Snapchat and Instagram and Amber agreed that they have been known to change 8 times a day, and that the homepage of her website could change a couple of times a month.

Example given as to how social media is imperative to sales, Amber explained that the Duchess of Cambridge had been photographed wearing a pair of My Flash Trash earrings, however even Kate Middleton wearing the earrings had not generated half the amount of traffic to the website, than when an item had been seen on YouTube.

Tip – Important to understand your audience.
Snapchat can be used to offer flash sales, gives real time and immediate sales.
Competition can help gain followers.
Can convert audiences from other brands by the hijacking of the #.
Important to keep up with media changes and that of your audience.
Next step is to launch a ‘signature bracelet’, direct competition with Pandora.
“Hang out in the favourite spaces your customers are in.”

Frances Milligan – Senior Digital Officer at Glasgow 2014

Frances Milligan explained that the social media team were responsible for ensuring everything was not only pre-planned for each day, but that the website was responsive to enable it to be viewed on all types of devices (50% of access to website was from a tablet/mobile phone). Information included news for that day, ads, previews of each day, winners, results, transport information, etc.

Mobile apps included ‘Personalise My Games’ and ‘Results’ applications.
Some facts:
£5 million was raised for Unicef at the Opening Ceremony.
18 million emails were sent.
500,000 apps were downloaded.
Equivalent to 49 years watching the games on YouTube.
Over 1 million visitors a day to website.
84 million visitors.
1.6 billion total requests.
Over 25 million sessions.
12 million unique users.
500,000 followers on Twitter and Facebook.

Unbelievable or not, but there were 7 people within this social media team, working around the clock, using Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest.
Instead of people having to go to the games, we tried to make it ‘people are the games’ by updating information regularly and giving interesting stories that people could relate to, to help them feel part of the games!
“Never be too hasty to respond to negative comment.”

“Teach Me”

Mark Evans from the Kommando Group

Established in 2000, Mark Evans is the CEO and explained how he could see a change in the way brands were behaving and that the main thrust was anti-marketing.

Last year, traditional advertising on TV declined by 50% while word of mouth advertising increased by 70%, however it is recognised that in this current year, TV advertising has dropped even further By using social media platforms such as Facebook and sharing information amongst ourselves, reinforces personal decision making principles.

Guerrilla Marketing was initiated in 1984 and its objective is to reach conventional goals on non-conventional budget, using available marketing tools. The whole point of using Guerrilla Marketing is that businesses do not require massive resources, and is more reliant on social media (campaign, engagement, tactile, etc.). Social media also allows for honesty.

Mark gave an example of Guerrilla Marketing that had recently taken place in a rough area of Glasgow that was plagued with gang related incidents, whereby projected images were viewed on a wall to show the reality of knife violence. Bluetooth was used to connect devices and gang members were known to have left the gang culture due to this digital technology.

Another example given was based in Edinburgh whereby wild animals were being caught inhumanely by traps. People were placed inside pretend traps, photos taken, videos taken, wild animal sound in the background, streamed on YouTube and there was an increase of 3000% of names and addresses towards the petition to stop the killing of animals.

Mark showed a short video advertising a TV channel called TNT. I did not take notes on this video, but I remember everything about it, as it was hilarious. It has been shared 52 million times over 24 month period.
“92% of consumers say that they trust earned media.” “People want to share happiness.”
Mark went into some sort of science information. Won’t go into detail as I didn’t understand it but it did have to do with different changes in the human brain depending on what they watch, ie. Adverts.

“People read news rather than read adverts.”

The End of Day 1

Well that’s it from me folks, for today anyway. Hope you enjoyed reading my Blog. Picked up some really useful and interesting tips from today’s speakers, and if you were unfortunate enough to miss today’s conference, it’s still on Wednesday and Thursday (and there’s always the Video online!). –  PS Where were you? What was more important?

Oh, final reminder to oneself – Twitter 9pm for Scotland’s Hour.

My Contact Details:
Carol Maguire – HND Web Development and Interactive Media student at Ayrshire College
Twitter: @carolamaguire

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