Highlights From Digital Growth 2020: Day 1

What a fantastic first day full of insightful sessions and actionable advice on a range of digital skills and technologies. From an introduction into Artificial Intelligence and how to embrace it, Hootsuite’s top social media trends for 2021, a closer look into platforms like Pinterest and LinkedIn, and exploring upcoming marketing trends like growth hacking and social listening, the quality and depth of the sessions today have truly blown us all away.

Here’s some of the most exciting session highlights (by no means all of them, trust us!) from the first day of Digital Growth. Remember, you can watch back all of these sessions in more detail along with all of the other incredible sessions from Digital Women’s 2-day upskilling event on-demand via HeySummit.

Lucy Hall – Intro into AI and How to Embrace it

Lucy’s session provided a thorough introduction into what Artificial Intelligence (AI) is, why understanding the use of AI is important to all of us, and how we can embrace the skills of the future.

AI is the simulation of human intelligence and can be defined as technology that is able to learn, reason, plan, perceive or process natural language. It is a rapidly advancing technology and is already having a significant effect on our everyday lives and the world of business, impacting the future of virtually every industry and becoming the main driver of emerging technologies like big data, robotics, and more. Large tech companies are also giving priority to AI and are already heavily investing in research and development, demonstrating the importance of AI for businesses in general. 

Despite people’s presuppositions about Artificial Intelligence only taking over jobs, AI is actually creating new work opportunities; there is a huge demand for technical professionals in AI and data analysis right now. Plus, technological advances are changing the landscape of the job market constantly and by 2030, 85% of the jobs that will exist don’t currently exist today. Being ahead of the game by understanding AI and using it within our own businesses to improve efficiency and educate others is therefore crucial to our future success.

The very nature of AI means that someone has to be behind this technology and so ethics do come into this field in a very big way. It’s not all about science, technology, and programming; ethicists will be integral to the success of emerging technologies like AI. 

AI already exists in our everyday lives. Some examples include Face ID, which utilises machine learning algorithms, social media, where AI is working behind the scenes to personalise what we see on your feeds and filter out fake news, and emails, where spam-blocking and natural language tools like Grammarly are playing an evermore important role.

Emerging technology will actually free up more time in our businesses to allow us to be more creative, as AI will take care of processing menial, data-heavy tasks in an error-free way. This data will also provide us greater insights into our customers and our business itself, helping us to improve performance and understand our customers better. So naturally, empathy and the human touch are going to become evermore important, and organisations that ignore AI will rapidly become redundant. The time to upskill is now!

And one final note from Lucy: Be brave, be curious, and never stop learning!

All of this and more will be available on-demand via HeySummit after the event.

Polly Barnfield – How Social Listening Has Delivered Extraordinary Business Results

Polly’s session delivered a fantastic overview on social listening and the importance of organic engagement, comparing our business’ data to other businesses, and how this can help us turn communications into transactions and vice versa. Just 28% of businesses are active on social media, and Polly is passionate about encouraging the remaining 72% of businesses to get online and spread their digital wings

Looking at two very different examples, Primark and Gymshark, it’s clear how social media can help brands to grow enormous revenue online and in-store. However, smaller independent businesses can also achieve this growth in revenue through social media too. Polly focused on one case study in particular, independent shoe company Keith Scarrott, who used social listening to help understand what their audience was demanding, engage with that loyal audience, and optimise content and advertising off the back of that. The brand completely bucked the trend of shoes selling poorly during lockdown, with an increase in sales of over 11,000%, and this was all down to social listening and smart business decisions, ensuring that every pound spent delivered them a ROI.

Polly outlined Maybe*’s ten steps to incorporating social listening into our social media strategies, something she says is critical to helping as many businesses stay open and thrive over Christmas as possible, especially after such an unpredictable year.

Polly’s ten steps to social listening/social media success are:

  1. Know your business goal

  2. Telling your story 

  3. Get the audience to take action

  4. Engaging your customers

  5. Knowing who to engage with

  6. Knowing where to engage

  7. Know your customers’ interests

  8. Mastering advertising

  9. Measuring success

  10. Achieving your goals

From a social media manager and business perspective, social listening is absolutely critical to understanding our audience and making informed, data-driven decisions that will drive our businesses forward.

All of this and more will be available on-demand via HeySummit after the event.

Georgina White – The Power of Pinterest

In this session, Georgina gave a brilliant overview of how to use Pinterest, how it differs from other social media platforms, and why it should be an essential part of our marketing strategies. Pinterest is a visual search and discovery engine which is used intentionally by users to find inspiration and solutions to their problems. Each image on the site is a pin that links back to somewhere on the internet and these pins can be saved into boards, of which there are around four billion on the platform.

Businesses both big and small can succeed on the platform; 97% of searches are unbranded and there are around 400 million regular users. Pinterest is also different from other platforms in that it does not rely on social engagement and it can drive huge amounts of traffic to our entry points. Additionally, Pinterest is great for publishing evergreen content, as content can often stay relevant and keep being engaged with for four months to…well, forever! This self-generated engagement lets us manage our posting and step away from the overwhelming world of social media to get on with running our businesses.

Georgina gave her list of top tips to help us prepare and optimise our websites for Pinterest:

  1. Convert to or set up a business account from scratch

  2. Claim your website

  3. Update text in website image gallery

  4. Look at widgets to encourage follower growth

  5. Install a ‘pin it’ share button

  6. Apply for rich pins (later down the line)

  7. Add Pinterest to your list of social media icons

And one of her final top tips? Pinterest is a marathon, not a sprint; consistency is key and consistent actions will create great results!

All of this and more will be available on-demand via HeySummit after the event.

Ella Orr – Get Yourself Seen on LinkedIn

Ella kicked off her session with a quote from former LinkedIn CEO Jeff Weiner: “LinkedIn is not just a place to find your dream job, but a way to be better at the job you already have.” Taking this approach, Ella delivered an excellent beginners’ guide to getting yourself seen on LinkedIn, including why the platform is not only a fantastic opportunity to connect with people in your own profession, but also branch out and explore new industries and expand your network.

So how can we make LinkedIn work for us? Well, Ella first talked us through how to build your online CV, which can include much more than a traditional CV, and how to optimise our profiles. Communication and networking were at the heart of her session, as she encouraged us to reach out to the right people in the right industries, engage in conversations, and utilise keyword searches and hashtags.

Another key to succeeding on LinkedIn is to build a strong online brand, remembering that, even if you are working for a company, you are still your own personal brand too. The best way to do this is of course nailing your LinkedIn front page, which includes optimising your profile picture with a professional, welcoming picture, adding a banner image, and personalising your URL. It also includes optimising your LinkedIn headline by including the most important information in the first ten words, stating your job role, and outlining what makes you unique in terms of brand, expertise, and abilities. Next comes completing the other elements of your profile, including an “about” summary, experience, education, professional qualifications, volunteer experience, skills and endorsements, and recommendations.

Ella also introduced us to LinkedIn’s Social Selling Index (SSI) feature, which is the platform’s helpful way of finding out how to make our profiles more discoverable and whether we are being seen on other people’s feeds. Finding the right connections for your network, engaging in conversations and networking, and showcasing your expertise and opinions are all key ways of getting yourself visible to others outside of and within your network. You can also post your own content, for example talking about your career journey, sharing day to day observations, writing reviews of books, tools, and apps, asking a question, or sharing a problem and explaining how you solved it.

In summary, Ella ensured us that LinkedIn isn’t this stuffy platform that we may have thought of previously; it’s actually there to spark conversations and be sociable (it is a social media platform after all!). So, make your profile stand out, engage and connect with the right people, be consistent and, most importantly, be authentic, be yourself, because that’s all we can be.

All of this and more will be available on-demand via HeySummit after the event.

Mitchell Platt – Growth Marketing Power Session

Mitchell delivered a fascinating session about growth hacking, the growth mindset, and what growth hacking actually is (and it’s not what you may have previously thought). The session started off by talking us through a great example of how growth hacking can be used effectively: Emmanuel Macron’s use of growth hacking to win the French presidential election. The website utilised features such as calls to action, directions to different channels, up to date content, and a consistent and highly effective semi-automated chat bot which gave millions of users perceived direct conversations with Macron.

We also got introduced to the story of Takeru Kobayashi, the man who doubled the world record in competitive hot dog eating through his growth hacking mindset, which led to Growth Tribe’s saying: “if you’re growing a company today, you better learn to eat hotdogs fast”. Mitchell then gave us his agile methodology for marketeers to use called the GROWS process: Gather ideas, Rank the ideas, Outline experiments, Work, Work, Work, and Study data. Embracing failure is an expected and important part of growing as a brand, doubling down on what works, and ultimately winning.

Mitchell also introduced us to T-shaping, a process which allows every member of a team to have depth in one or two specialist areas, but also to have a breadth of knowledge in a range of processes and systems across the board. We learnt some top tactics on how to optimise our marketing, including investing in testing ideas and features such as new products, new packaging, social ads, landing pages, etc. to provide quality insights and allow for optimisation and ultimately growth. 

All of this and more will be available on-demand via HeySummit after the event.

Come back to digitalwomen.live/learn tomorrow for session highlights from day 2 of Digital Growth. Plus, don’t forget to let us know your favourite sessions on social media!

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