Digital Communities: Week 5 Overview

by O2 Business

We’ve passed the five week mark of O2’s Digital Communities project in St Helens.  But the action shows no sign of slowing as we continue to provide training and support, all focused around digital technology, to the St Helens community.

On Monday 9th Nov, O2’s Think Big team joined enthusiastic young people in the Hub for a talk on social media and the make or break impact it can have when starting your career. LinkedIn is a favoured social media platform for recruiters and, as it’s open to people in the UK aged 13 or over, it’s best to join sooner rather than later. In addition, Think Big explained that you should view your social media accounts as your secondary CV. Put yourself in an employer’s shoes and think, would I be impressed by this? If the answer is no, delete it or close down the privacy settings on your account. Anything public should be positive. Young people can use this to their advantage by posting content, such as blogs, to shout about their success and achievements.

But what if you want to be your own boss? Well if you or someone you know (between the ages of 13 – 25) has a great idea that just needs some support to get off the ground, O2 and Think Big can help. We’ve teamed up with St Helens Council and St Helens Chamber to give 60 grants of £300 to people in St Helens aged 13-25 to lead projects using digital for social good. Visit the website to find out more.

The spotlight was then turned to businesses in St Helens. On Tuesday, Ben Hawley from Enterprise Nation led a session on The Art of Successful Email Marketing. Ben introduced and demonstrated marketing software that can send email to multiple contacts without it being marked as spam. Better still, you can then see who has opened it, and clicked on links within the email, to assess your customer database – who is engaged and who isn’t.

Ben also outlined his view on the purpose of business marketing:

  • Know: are they aware of your brand, your business and your products?
  • Like: are they fans of you and your product or service?
  • Trust: do they have faith you will always deliver on your promises?
  • Buy: are they spending money with you?
  • Advocate: would they recommend you?

Email marketing can help with this when you use subject lines that are useful, specific and unique connected to emails that contain concise, personalised and relevant information. But Ben stressed that even in the digital world, spending time with customers and picking up the phone is still important.

On Thursday, Paul Stevenson, Head of Enterprise Marketing Services for O2 Business, ran a session for local businesses on digital marketing and marketing automation. In the modern world, people are increasingly glued to their phones and tablets. So, to connect and engage with customers, businesses have to contact them through their preferred device. Paul discussed how technology underpins multi-channel campaigning, the storage of customer data, event management and also shared his learnings from a career in marketing. When asked about the event, Paul said: “I usually work with large organisations but I think it’s very important to support local and small businesses too. And I really hope that they found the insight and experiences that I, and the wider team, shared helpful so they can embrace digital, in however small a way, in their marketing strategy.”

Next week we’ll be running workshops on Social Media, App Design and the Future of Digital – look out for our week six blog next Monday. In the meantime, to find out more about Digital Communities and how to get involved visit the website or search for #HelloStHelens on Twitter.