Digital Week Skibbereen

Digital Week Skibbereen
(wordkern.wordpress.com)

As I set off for Skibbereen early last Wednesday morning I was unsure of what to expect.  I had followed the growing lineup of speakers for National Digital Week with interest and was very much looking forward to attending some of the events.  As bad luck would have it the only day I was free to attend was Wednesday, Digital Week’s opening day.  That left me with a choice of two events – Future of Digital Education and STEM, or Farming 2030.  Having no connection or real interest (sorry!) in farming, except for being married to a farmer’s son – the non-farming one –  I quickly opted to attend the educational conference.

While I certainly have an interest in digital education and STEM, in truth there were other talks that held more appeal – Empowering a Billion Women 2020 & Social Entrepreneurship, and IOT Reimagining a Connected World, being but two.  But so it was on Wednesday morning, after a long two hour drive through commuter tail backs and twisty rural roads, I eventually arrived at the West Cork Hotel for my taste of Digital Week.

With no time for a much needed caffeine hit, I was ushered straight through to the function room where Dr Laurence O’Rourke of the European Space Agency was just about to take the stage.  As I settled into my seat my focus was drawn to those surrounding me. They were young, very young.   They sat, packed into the room like sardines, with every bit of free space – seats, floor, stage – all occupied.  I felt a bit of panic gurgle up from my coffee craving stomach.  Was I in the wrong event?  Had I misread the program?  I quickly started looking towards the exit doors. Maybe if I moved quickly I could get out before the speaker began and take my chances with the farming after all.  Alas, right at that point my panic was interrupted by the host inviting us to put our hands together for Dr Laurence O’Rourke.  I was trapped.

After a few minutes something very strange started to occur.  The natural hustle and bustle, to be expected when a couple of hundred school children are in a room, started to subside and before long the room fell silent.  That spell of silence remained cast for Susanne Thompson from Discovery, and later in the evening for Stephen Howell from Microsoft Ireland.  The young attendees, including myself (not so young), were entranced by the great speakers, interesting props and eye-catching visuals.  These energetic and enthusiastic speakers did what so many other speakers fail to do, they connected.  They were professionals who judged their audience and adjusted their content and delivery accordingly.  To do this with with adults is one thing, but to hold the attention of a room full of young students for over an hour, is nothing short of impressive.

After the event I set off on my long journey back home.  I left not only enlightened as to how important STEM and digital education is in this country, but truly in awe of my fellow conference goers.  They were respectful, confident young people, with a real interest in their futures.  They listened, they partook in live surveys and they asked intelligent questions.  What a great indication of the future of this small island and the exciting opportunities available to our graduates.  What a credit to their schools, teachers and to their parents.  And what a great event to be part of #DigitalWeekSkibb

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Five tips for advertising on Instagram

With over 300 million users worldwide, Instagram is one of the fastest growing and most relevant social media platforms today. So why do businesses still not use it as a means of marketing and connecting with their clients? 

Communications Hub
(thestudentblogger.co.uk)

The simple answer is they are unsure how best to use Instagram. Once businesses do start strategically using the picture based social media platform, the vast majority see an instant increase in interaction and referrals to their websites.

So here are some simple tips to help you on your #Instajourney.

  • Use images/videos that not only sell a product, but sell your brand – who you want to be and the vibe you want to create.
  • Post content at least once a week (of the Interbrand Top 100 Brands 86 are Instagram users and 73% of these post at least once a week).
  • Keep it short and sweet.  Under 140 characters is a good guide and has the added bonus of being Twitter compatible.
  • Hashtag clever.  Check out what hashtags competitors are using. Think about the audience you want to reach and the action you want them to take.  There are no limits to the number of hashtags you can use, but seven or less would be a good guide.
  • Connect.  Research has shown that posts which tag other users experience 56% more engagement.  While posts that tag a location earn 79% more engagement.

And finally,  don’t be afraid to experiment.  Instagram is the home of creative content with posts showing everything from holiday destinations to homemade baking.  Work out a formula that works for your brand and your followers and, if you’re not already including Instagram in your marketing strategy, get doing it now.  #Instagram #Instamarketing #Instafun

Contact Communications Hub for more information on how to effectively market your brand on social media.

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