Croydon Tech City, Just Croydon and our Tweetup

IMG_6825 IMG_6777

On Thursday, Wendy attended the Croydon Tech City season finale meeting at Matthews Yard, Croydon.  This is a movement founded by Jonny Rose, now joined by Sarah Luxford and Nigel Dias, promoting the growth of tech companies and start-ups to come and work in and/or from Croydon.

There are great, free, monthly meetings (though there’s not one in August, hence it being the season finale this month!) with presentations from players large and small involved in tech, tech start-ups or with views or influence over them.  Since the inception, 16 months ago, there’s been a Croydon Tech City Summit and social gatherings, the Code Club movement is expanding, giving the opportunity for kids from primary school-age learning to code and lots of networking and partnership discussions.

There’s always a really positive vibe, interesting people to meet from the large group of technically-minded people to other marketing companies, ideas people, to the odd financier.

We also discovered from one of the presentations on Thursday that the Just Croydon website had launched just 2 days before, a new social site for Croydon, and that their launch night is the same as our next Tweetup.   So, we would really encourage anyone and everyone interested in getting connected and improving Croydon in person, or online, to come down to Matthews Yard on 13th August.   The Just Croydon Launch is from 6.30pm for 7pm start in the studio with talks from Jonny Rose, Councillor Tony Newman and the Mayor of Croydon, Manju Shahul-Hameed.  

The Tweetup is just a social event, free and everyone is welcome to come along.   It starts from 7.30pm, or join up with us after the Just Croydon event, on 13 August.  See full details of the August Tweetup.  

Stephanie Darkes and Wendy Ager from Dot-Social will be there and we’re normally at the bar or outside.

 

 

 

Local social marketing tips

Because us Dot Social ladies come from Croydon, we know people who work or worked at Nestle and/or have a connection with Nestle because they used to have their UK Headquarters here and were the main private employer in Croydon.   They’re now down the road near Gatwick.  The Nestle building is part of the Croydon skyline, literally, and they lit up the Wellesley Road building at night with coloured lights.  They’re an American giant, but we have an indirect connection with them because they are local.

As online marketeers, we know the best way to gain positive attention is to provide great content and be a source of information relevant to our audience.  The problem is that nearly everybody (well, anyone with any sense!) is doing it.  This means even your best content may get lost in the crowd.

A very good way to stand out, especially if you have a local base, or connection with a particular area is by focusing your efforts locally.  Remember the saying, ‘Think globally, act locally‘.   Think about the big picture but if you’re starting out or a small business, you need to start small, and local.

Consider marketing yourself to smaller groups rather than targeting larger ones.  You can do this by joining discussions in local LinkedIn Groups, Facebook Groups, in smaller local Google Communities, or even at smaller business networking events.

People who know you are local are far more likely to read your posts and respond to them, connect with you and remember you if they feel that local connection.   We explained this at our recent Social Media workshop, that it can fall right down to the specific area in a town if you are a small, local business.  London is a big place, as-is Surrey, so although you might be intending to market to a global audience, if you are based in Guildford or Bermondsey, then say so.   Name the particular place and people will think of a connection with it, and it is that that makes it feel more personal and memorable.

With the corporate world and big businesses being seen sometimes in a negative light now and people turning to look out the bespoke, small, local business you’ll find, like us, a lot of people would rather do business with a local business than a big global corporate.  We see this all the time with requests on Social Media for recommendations for anything from a local plumber that needs to be local to a web designer, who doesn’t.

By the way, we can produce beautiful WordPress websites ourselves, but we don’t do plumbing – well, not yet!!

So don’t forget to talk about your specific location, your connection with places and also where you’re heading or where you’ve been.  Mention this on your social media channels as well as looking out suitable places to share your content with people online in smaller localised groups.   Think about your business according to both local and global considerations.

We organise Tweetups, which are a social gathering in Croydon. If you’d like to come to one and/or meet us, see the next dates and any of our other events on our Events Page.

Using LinkedIn for Business

Last night Ania presented and Wendy attended the Purley Business Association meeting.

We were invited to speak on how business users can benefit from being on and actively using LinkedIn to grow their network.  In short, Ania’s presentation explained the benefits of being on LinkedIn for credibility, a detailed showcase of your work and experience, a way to connect and interact, SEO and more.  She explained the process of adding/completing your profile, adding your Company, making up-dates and joining Groups.

One of the main benefits of LinkedIn is being able to see connections of your connections and ask for introductions.  You can also join, collaborate with and share experiences with like-minded people in Groups.  You will also get exposure to other LinkedIn members outside of your connections that you might want to make contact with.  You can easily find local, industry specific and even topic-specific groups and, if not, start your own and invite others to join your group for discussions.

You can either use the search box at the top of any page by selecting Groups from the drop down menu, or go to Interests at the top of your Home page and select Groups from there.

Don’t just be a stalker though!  Join in with the discussions or start your own within the groups. That gets you visibility and credibility if you are able to provide useful insights/information in your field.

There are some limits on Groups and you can see the details here on the LinkedIn Group Help Page.

There was a good vibe about the Purley Business Association group so if you’re local to Purley you’ll find a mix of local business people at these meetings that are FREE to attend on your first or second visit, with speakers on business topics and networking, then they encourage you to become a member of the Association.

 There was great interest in our FREE Social Media workshop for Purley Festival week, on 25th June.  That will be on Social Media Strategy and Improving Your Online Profiles, from 9.45am -11am at Christ Church, Purley meeting rooms.  Email Wendy@dot-social.co.uk asap to register for your place as there’s only a few places left.

 

Connect with us on LinkedIn at Dot Social, Ania Wilk-Lawton, Stephanie Darkes and Wendy Ager.

 

 

 

 

Social Media Marketing for Croydon’s Meanwhile Use

 On Wednesday, 26th we shared our Social Media knowledge at the Meanwhile Use Croydon Marketing Day at Matthews Yard.    We were asked to provide advice on setting up a social media strategy and social media profiles.   

We stepped-in and ran the whole morning session based on our two presentations, with networking and coffee between.   Stephanie talked on creating a successful social media strategy and Wendy talked about social media profiles and improving your online presence.  There were a real mix of people in the audience, from those with an interesting idea for the Meanwhile Use Croydon scheme and some others interested in Social Media marketing for their businesses.  

It was the last day of workshops and finished with Sally Williams talking from Retail Revival.   The final applications for the Meanwhile Use Croydon competition are due in by 30th March.   

We are happy to connect you with a very supportive local online community in Croydon for campaigns, ideas and companies, so if you are on/join any of the Social Media platforms do connect with us on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest and Google+.  

 

A Croydon Tweetup at Matthews Yard

It has been a very long time since Croydon had a Tweet up and being the sociable and organised people that we are, the Dot Social ladies took it upon ourselves to organise the first Croydon Tweet up of 2014 at Matthews Yard last week.

For us, Tweetups aren’t for business purposes they are strictly social, to meet the scene behind the screen!

While there are lots of business networking events, there are less purely social meet ups; around Croydon we have Croydon Eats Out and Purley Breakfast Club as regular social events, and we’ve been to Croydon Tweetups in the past that have been purely social and informal occasions.  

That being said, there are a lot of people on Twitter interacting because they’ve got a business interest, so those connections and, “Hello, I’m X, what do you do?” introductions obviously lead to it being inevitable that some business networking occurs.  That’s great, and why not?!  But, for us, the main purpose of the Croydon Tweetups is just to meet and socialise with locals.  There’s no agenda, no timetable, no speakers and no pressure.  Just come and mingle and turn up and leave when it suits you.

This Wednesday was the first Croydon Tweetup this year and about 40 people came along.  There were a few presenters from Croydon Radio, which is based there, and a wide range of others.  There was a real buzz at the bar with everyone chatting and introducing those they knew and didn’t to each other.   There were only a few I hadn’t met before, and one guy who had definitely not found out about it on Twitter and isn’t on Twitter at all!

Thanks to the fabulous Matthews Yard for having us.  We love it there.  It’s such a great hub for business to personal, arts, music and community events and groups.

We intend to have these Croydon Tweetups regularly now, so keep an eye out for future dates on, or join, the official Croydon Tweetup page, see elsewhere online and follow us on Twitter.

If you missed this one, diary the next one which will be from 7pm on Weds, 9th April

 

  

Support Croydon’s Meanwhile Use

Meanwhile Use turns empty spaces and places into opportunities for communities and businesses.  It is the temporary use of buildings or land for a socially beneficial purpose until they can be brought back into commercial use.  The Meanwhile Use Toolkit provides help for those with an idea for a space in the London Borough of Croydon. 

The Croydon Meanwhile Use competition gives winning entries in various categories £700, and runners-up £400 towards their set-up. Finalists also have the possibility of getting one of three bonus prizes of up to £500.  

For those with an idea for a Meanwhile Use in Croydon there’s a host of available resources to help you including workshops, and that’s where we come in.  We’ve been asked to share our expertise on creating a social media strategy and social media profile set-up at the Marketing Day at Matthews Yard on Weds 26th March.    

Lets get some empty spaces in Croydon back in use, creatively too.  The winners will be announced at an Awards Ceremony at Matthews Yard on the 30 April, 5.30pm. All are welcome!

 

Coming soon: Online lie detector to test social media rumours

From the royal wedding announcement on Twitter, to the rumour of Rwandan President, Paul Kagame’s death, these days lots of news stories break and rumours originate from Social Media.  So, is it any wonder that a lie detector is currently being developed to help organisations including emergency services effectively respond to Social Media by verifying online rumours.

The project, called Pheme after the Pheme of Greek mythology,  is being funded by the EU and worked on by five Universities and four businesses including  Sheffield, Warwick and King’s College London.

They claim that the system could have helped verify online rumours during the London riots

Dr Kalina Bontcheva, Lead researcher from the Department of Computer Science at Sheffield University says:

“There was a suggestion after the 2011 riots that social networks should have been shut down, to prevent the rioters using them to organise. But social networks also provide useful information – the problem is that it all happens so fast and we can’t quickly sort truth from lies. This makes it difficult to respond to rumours, for example, for the emergency services to quash a lie in order to keep a situation calm. Our system aims to help with that, by tracking and verifying information in real time.”

The system is set to analyse the text of posts on Twitter and Facebook to get to the truth and route out accounts set up to share false commentary.

The project is set to last for three years and the hope is that from it a specialist tool will be produced for journalists.

It will be very interesting to see what comes of it – watch this space..

 

Related stories

EU project to build lie detector for social media

9 Breaking News Tweets That Changed Twitter Forever

Croydonites Unite – Croydon, the next Tech City

Two of the Dot Social team took front row seats at the Croydon Tech City event and 2014 launch on Thurs 23rd January at Matthews Yard in Croydon.  
 
Croydon Tech City Jan 2014 Launch

Audience at Croydon Tech City Jan 2014

 
Croydon Tech City is a movement to encourage digital companies and start-ups to come into and/or work from Croydon.  The founder, Jonny Rose, outlines reasons why Croydon is well-positioned to become the ‘Second Tech City’ in his blog and on Croydon Tech City.
 
What it needed from when it was launched originally, I feel, was people, action and momentum, and boy have we got it.  Working together with Nigel Dias and Sarah Luxford, Jonny increased the numbers at their inaugural event of about 20 unsure but intrigued people to (I estimate) over 100 keen and enthused digitally-interested people, wanting and willing to work to make this become a reality.   There was a real buzz from the moment we arrived at Matthews Yard and still going when we left.  It was the sound of positivity and connections and relationships being built. 
 
We are avid supporters of this idea, of course, and want to help and build a stronger and connected Croydon that involves interesting and thriving businesses.  This will inevitably be followed by the inflow of money that supports all the other great developments coming along in and around Croydon.  
 
This was highlighted by Matt McMillan from Croydon Council with some great infographics of the talent in Croydon and the regeneration and plans to improve all kinds of spaces from leisure to business and infrastructure.  There’s more on the Westfield and Hammerson regeneration of the Whitgift Centre, transport improvements, homes, new leisure facilities and more here Croydon Partnership Masterplan too.
 
With the stories of others who have grown substantial Tech businesses from Croydon highlighted by Jonny, and talk by Simon Bird of Dot Mailer on their story, from bedroom idea to 150 employees and PLC status, it was easy to be enthused to want to support this idea of Croydon as the Second Tech City.   
 
Simon Bird, Dot Mailer talking at Croydon Tech City Jan 2014
 
Come on Croydonites, lets make it so.  Please go and follow the movement on Twitter, Facebook and visit the Croydon Tech City website.
 
Wendy Ager, for Dot Social

Anyone can ‘do’ social – but not everyone can do it well

I’ve heard it said time and time again that ‘anyone can do social’ and it’s true, pop onto your Facebook profile and you’ll find any number of relatives from 15 to 80 sharing and chatting. But would you let your errant Aunt run your business’ Facebook page? Or would you let your tearaway teenage niece get her hands on your business Twitter profile?

The answer of course is ‘no you wouldn’t’ (unless you had some kamikaze tendencies).

The point is that yes, anyone can do social but to ‘do’ social successfully for business, they will need the following basic skills:

1. Good written language skills
Everything you say online is representative of your business, it is very important that you come across online professionally.

2. Empathy
They need to understand other people, and know how to talk to people in a way that allows them to get the best from a situation.

3. Creative Imagination
A lot of work around Social Media focuses on content creation, they have to be able to come up with great, interesting ideas.

4. Most importantly they have to like socialising
Sociopaths don’t bode well on Social Media sites, they will have to like a good natter.

And that’s just the basics! After that they will need:
1. Training on the platform/s of choice
2. An understanding of the ethos of the company
3. A knowledge of the correct tone for the message.

Yes, anyone can ‘do social’ but when it comes to YOUR business you need to make sure you get it right!