Head of Origin Workspace, Rob Hingston shares his thoughts from Social Media Week Bristol

We sat down to have a chat with Rob Hingston, Head of Origin Workspace opening up this year in Berkeley Square, Clifton.

Origin Workspace were proud sponsors of Social Media Week Bristol this year and with over 30 events, we asked Rob to give us a rundown of his favourites.

Rob, what events did you go to and what were your key takeouts?

I attended most of the events, making some great connections with new people, hearing inspiring stories and ideas and learning from influencers as well as giving my own advice to start-ups as part of our Origin Events programme.

Here are my top takeaways from the week:

1) THINK DIFFERENTLY

Rob Law MBE, from Trunki, had big ideas about learning how to think differently as a small business during Business West Wednesday. He showed us a great example of how he created a standout marketing campaign with almost zero cost that has now been shared over 200,000 times. His top tip; “Consumers love promotions. Create and deliver engaging campaigns by collaborating with other brands that share your values.”

2) USER GENERATED CONTENT

Almost every session I attended across the week, highlighted the value of user generated content. From posting images of customers using products to sharing blogs from influencers, it is all about putting the audience at the heart of what you are creating. Allow your customers to create a sense of belonging and community with your brand.

3) REVIEW YOUR POSITIONING  

During the Business West Wednesday sessions, Bristol was often referred to as a great city for start-ups and scale up businesses. As part of the Enterprise Nation sessions on Thursday, this theme continued when we heard from some of those great businesses. Pat Powell, from Swoon Gelato, advised us to “Be brave, try new things and engage people”. Every quarter, Swoon has a review of where they are at and what they can change so they are constantly improving.

4) LINKEDIN IS A TOOL FOR SUCCESS 

Lis Anderson from Ambitious PR joined us for our workout and networking event. It was just before the snow hit us so we enjoyed a sunny run around Bristol harbour before breakfast and some great advice from Lis.

5) VIDEO IS KEY 

Internet users watch 8 billion videos per day. Mark Wright, from Climb Online, opened the packed event “Is Organic Reach Dead?” and said; “Video will account for 80% of all internet traffic by 2019. Even if you are a boring company, you should have video and picture content on Instagram right now.” Every business, no matter the size, should have a YouTube channel and regularly post videos that support their mission statement.

6) KNOW YOUR INDUSTRY

“Understand your audience and create innovative and relevant assets to appeal to them.” Sean Clarke, from Aardman, gave fascinating insight to the hugely successful brand and reminded us of the importance to keep on top of current trends and news. Mark Wright also mentioned the importance of this earlier in the day and suggested setting Google Alerts for keywords for your business to help stay on top of industry insight and use this to create topical content.

7) NO IDEA IS TOO SMALL

I heard from some real motivating and inspiring speakers throughout the week and one that really stands out was Mel Bound from This Mum Runs.  “As an entrepreneur, you can have moments when you don’t think you can do it. It never seems the right time but you absolutely can.”

Mel started her business using nothing but Facebook. From just one post about her plan to get mums together one evening, she had 75 participants and now has an international brand. Although This Mum Runs is now a successful running group attended by mums all over the World, Mel learnt to understand her customers quickly and listened to what they needed. Mel took the decision to pivot the business into a now much-loved (and shared!) merchandise range which is now selling out across the UK and is about to go international.

8) YOU DON’T NEED BIG BUDGETS

There was a real message to put in the hard work and network, collaborate and encourage success with other Bristol businesses throughout Social Media Week. It isn’t all about having a huge budget, it’s about finding the best use of the budget you have. Team up with influencers, use social media and measure the success of each tactic you try.

9) POST A VARIETY OF CONTENT

“Your website and social media isn’t about you – it’s all about your customer.” Patrick Cutliffe, from Google Digital Garage, shared with us the key things to include in a content strategy: Announcements such as new products, Non-promotional/Behind the scenes, Products, Responses (engaging with your customers), Operational/New jobs and seasonal sales.

10)  BE FEARLESS

Rob Law MBE, from Trunki, ended with this quote and I think we can all follow his advice: “Dream big, put a huge goal out there and hopefully you’ll make it”.

I met some great startups and small businesses who have big ideas during our pitching sessions. There is so much talent here in Bristol and a network of fascinating, passionate and determined entrepreneurs.

If you feel you could benefit from meeting other Bristol businesses, or would like to meet Rob for a chat about Origin Workspace, get in touch using the contact form on the Origin Workspace website.