Following on from a very successful event in November on the topic of “Building Your Leadership Profile”, the Ulster Bank Business Women Can Dublin contingent held another event as part of the “Inspiring Your Success” series on Thursday 12 February. The purpose of the Business Women Can initiative and events is to support women in business across all sectors and professions.
The topic for this gathering was “Building Your Profile Online – Navigating Social Media”. Those in attendance were in for a real master class of helpful hints and tips when it comes to the sometimes intimidating world of social media.
The event was well organised by two of Ulster Bank’s Business Women Can Ambassadors, Lisa Raftery and Gillian O’Neill. After a bit of breakfast and a lot of networking, Lisa opened the event by welcoming all in attendance, and did admit when bringing the “Tweeter’s” attention to “#BusinessWomenCan” that she had only just found out what a “Twitter Handle” was. Gillian then introduced the very high calibre of speakers that were there to share their valuable insights into using social media.
Ron Immink of Ulster Bank Small Business Can fame, along with a long list of other accolades to his name, was the first speaker to address us. Ron shared lots of nuggets of information and insights with the group. He reminded us that social media makes companies very transparent, and that reputation is everything. Ron spoke about how difficult it is for hotels as an example to succeed in business after terrible ratings on Trip Advisor, and in Ron’s own words how social media can be “word of mouth on steroids”. The key “take aways“ from Ron for me was give social media a go, try one channel to start with, make sure you have some content to offer to people and you can only learn by doing it…..so get going!
Ron was followed by Eva Maguire who is Head of Design and Innovation at the IMI. Eva took on the task of trying to educate us on “How to write a blog”. For this first time “blogger” the topic made me quite nervous about my assigned task for the day of writing a blog on the event for Business Women Can!! And Eva certainly had my undivided attention. Eva spoke to us about why to blog, and how to do it and shared 4 key elements of a successful blog, some of which I hope you can spot in this piece, being.
- The Point of Interest – something specific you have seen.
- The Trend – something people are talking about in general.
- The Insight – your take on it.
- And very importantly for us all to remember, “The Call to Action….”
The third speaker of the morning was Jill Holtz who founded the online business “MyKidsTime” (http://www.mykidstime.com/). Jill shared her fascinating story of starting her own business, which started out as a directory for parents after she found herself chasing a group of girls dressed in ballet dresses down the road so she could find out where ballet classes were being held. The directory business then evolved into an EZINE and a Blog for parents, along with an online booking and payment service that has since been spun off into a separate business. Jill shared lots of dos and don’ts of social media with us, which she learned from first hand experience. She went on lots of social media platforms to begin with, but then realised that she needed to focus on one core method. Since implementing a social media strategy in 2012, that focussed on the use of Facebook MyKidsTime has attracted over 500,000 likes on Facebook and more importantly according to Jill, gets lots of user comments on Facebook. Jill left us with insight into her 5 key factors for success:
- Clear Business Objective
- Content Strategy
- Engagement Pieces
- Unique Brand Voice
- Constantly Measuring and Analysing
After our 3 speakers concluded a lively Q&A session commenced with questions and contributions from a wide range of people. Such was the interest and audience participation that Gillian O’Neill had to finally call proceedings to a close before all questions could be asked to allow us all get back to our day jobs.
If you would like to receive information on future Business Women Can events such as this one, please drop us an e-mail with your details to firstname.lastname@example.org, we would love to hear from you.