A week after attending CMA Live 2017 I attended Social Day UK to cap off a fine week of conferencing hopping. This isn’t a normal week for me, honest. These were two conferences I’d heard about last year and I wanted to find both the funds and the time to visit them because I knew they’d be useful for both knowledge & networking.

So, what’s Social Day UK?


Social Day UK is a one-day event and this year it was hosted at the Congress Centre on Great Russell Street, London – a nice venue indeed.

The conference has been going for a few years and is the brainchild of Lucy & Stuart Hall of Avisso Media. Their mission statement for the conference is as follows:

“Our mission at SocialDay is create the best event experience for all those who work in and around Social Media Marketing!”

The venue was good. It was well located in London (near Tottenham Court Road tube!) with full mugs of coffee on arrival and not those naff little cups you usually get at conference venues! The main room used for the presentations was spacious and well lit with 3 screens to make sure that everyone had a good view of the slides.

Anyway, let’s get down and talk about the content!

Chris Ducker – Launching Products and monetizing live video

Chris Ducker

(I stole this picture from Twitter, sorry!)

Hilariously, until very recently I actually thought Chris Ducker was an American who lived States-side. Imagine my embarrassment when I realised he’s British and lives in the Philippines – nice one Simon!

I’ve seen Chris talk twice now and I like his style. Confident and well-practiced in this art (as you’d expect from a successful entrepreneur) he gets the audience thinking in the opening keynote.

Chris has numerous businesses and explains the importance of building your brand.

“Your brand is what people say about you when you’re not around”

He spoke about the need for people to LOVE you if they’re going to do business with you. To be a successful entrepreneur you need to be individual, to do things right (not copy, not take shortcuts) and be original.

He has some great statements in a presentation which looks very professional & very polished. “My Vibe is my tribe”, he says. Which means – not everyone is going to like you but being you will attract people who like what you do and what you say and they’ll become your fans, advocates and customers.

Understanding your perfect customer is critical. Define who they are: What career do they have? Where are they? How old are they? What are their interests? Position your content at them & solve their problems.

Chris demonstrates the visibility and thought process we need to be an entrepreneur. He explained how he read a comment in a Facebook post on his page where someone stated they were struggling to find a VA (Virtual Assistant) they could trust, so Chris built his Virtual Staff Finder business.

He states that FOCUS is key to being successful and spoke about the pitfalls of losing focus. Something which is especially relevant to those of us who get distracted by shiny new things.


  • Follow
  • One
  • Course
  • Until
  • Successful

Finally, Chris spoke about the importance of profit and using our own specialisms to make money.

On pricing, he said everyone who starts out is charging way less than they should be. He often tells new entrepreneurs to take their current fees and double them.

He said coaching is low-hanging fruit when it comes to income. What skills do you have? How can you turn that into a form of income through coaching? One idea from Chris: Create membership communities, “serve them and then sell”. (Ed – I’m seeing a whole host of people doing this very thing of late – think Facebook groups!).

Chris’ final message was to take action quickly. See an opportunity? Act fast.

Janet Murray – How to get high profile press coverage for your biz without hiring a PR firm

Janet Murray

Janet is a PR guru and her two talks this past week have really opened my eyes to the world of PR and the opportunities it provides for a business.

Her talk gives great examples of clients who have used traditional PR (papers, radio, tv, magazines) to make a step-change to their business.

She told everyone to the use of the hashtag: #journorequest

If you search this hashtag you’ll see a constant feed of journalists who’re looking for people to help them with articles. See something which intersects with your business? Get in touch and use it as an opportunity for you to promote your business through exposure.

Social Day Uk

One tip I took was to set aside some time each week to review #journorequest and see if anything comes up. A top tip from Jonathan Pollinger is to add your industry sector plus #journorequest in Tweetdeck & monitor the feed.


Janet also spoke about other PR platforms (e.g. Sourcebottle) but what’s really noticeable from Janet, as with other speakers, is their ability to recognise opportunities for new business or self-promotion.

She had great examples of where she’d floated the ideas of articles to newspapers based on situations which had occurred in her business life and gained a LOT of website traffic and potential new business from those articles.

Finally, what Janet explained really well is that when it comes to content you can look for inspiration in places where your business intersects with your life. She has a story whereby she, unfortunately, had to sack her Dad (who worked for her) and other staff because of a financial situation. She thought “that’s the hardest thing I’ve had to do as a leader” and she then wrote an article for The Guardian about it! The important point here was to consider WHY a journalist would want to publish your story which ultimately comes down to “Why would people want to read this?”.

Janet’s had great success with writing “How to” articles for national publications and has also advised a number of her clients on how to do this effectively.

Bruce Daisley – Inside Twitter

Bruce Daisley

Bruce is head of Twitter EMEA and gave a fascinating insight into the current position of Twitter, it’s users and future direction.

Those of you who have an ear to the ground on these things will know that Twitter has re-positioned itself as a News platform rather than a social media channel. Indeed, Twitter is the #1 news application in over 120 countries in the world and this is primarily because they (Twitter) found that when people visit the platform they’re primarily on a mission down to track down some information.

Bruce explained how the platform continues to grow and explained how their study of Twitter users found they had 3 primary objectives when they went to the platform:

  1. to track down some information
  2. to look for inspiration or ideas
  3. serendipity – to discover new stuff

He then explained that users on Twitter are typically more influential than on other platforms and that users on Twitter are generally more attentive, responsive and trusting than on other platforms.

Twitter is clearly extending its capabilities as a news platform and is now including live streaming of events and occasions to give users additional reasons to join the platform.

I’m an avid fan of Twitter, having used it from the very start. It is ABSOLUTELY the first place I go to when something has happened in the world (sporting, political, tragedy) because no other platform gives you the ability to find out what’s happening as quickly or in as much detail.

Bruce said that there’s a lot of opportunity for brands who want to be creative on the platform and gave us an example of a campaign the British Heart Foundation ran recently to raise awareness of cardiac care. The BHF used Twitter’s API to auto respond to people who’d liked tweets and make them aware of survival rates for people who had cardiac arrest and the importance of understanding CPR.

Finally, he demonstrated how corporate CEOs (AirBNB and Amazon) are using the platform to engage with followers and find out what their followers think they should do next with their platforms.

Sarah Jones – Virtual Reality and the Future of Social Media

Sarah Jones

Sarah demonstrated the use of 360-degree photo and video as a way to provide followers with an experience which is immersive, impactful, memorable and novel.

I know that a number of businesses across a range of industries are using 360 to produce a higher quality of content and Sarah advocated it’s used as a way to enhance storytelling.

There were some breakout conversations on Twitter around the significance of VR to Social Media and if you’re reading this I’d be interested to know your thoughts.

It’s clear to me that VR has gone from something which was a gaming industry to something which is now being used by industries such as car sales through to, and more importantly, training for junior surgeons.

Facebook are going all in on VR and it’s exciting to see where it goes.

Victoria Taylor – Customer Experience and the Joy of Understanding

Victoria Taylor

A really enjoyable talk which explained that Customer Experience needs to be at the forefront of your focus as a business owner.

Victoria explained how customer experience is a series of moments and that it’s one of the measures that will really define how successful you are in business.

She said, fully expecting some frowns from the strategists in the crowd, that Customer Experience should come ahead of any form of business, product or marketing strategy.

For Victoria it was about understanding your customer, getting to know them as people as well as a business and letting them see who you are.

Challenge yourself to wake up every day and say “Today I’m going to create a great experience for my clients”.

She explained that to provide good customer experience you need to be present, ask questions and be helpful. Do you truly know your clients? Can you build empathy and understanding with them?

Finally, Victoria explained that it’s important that as a business owner you show your own vulnerabilities, show your human and that you can use platforms like Snapchat and Instagram Stories to help achieve this.

Dean Johnson – Social Media and Fake News

Dean Johnson

Unfortunately, I didn’t fully understand Dean’s message from this talk. He spoke about a mixture of topics but I couldn’t really gather a message or point from it.

Andrew & Pete – Avoiding Content Crickets: How to create share-worthy content that people love

Andrew and Pete

This talk is really great. It’s the second time I’ve seen it in a week and it was still as enjoyable and useful the second time around.

Andrew & Pete are content marketers who recognise that in today’s world, where the volume of content is enormous, you need to work really hard to create vibrant and valuable content to stand out.

They have a format for creating what they call “your content stamp”. It’s the formula which helps you make sure your content stands out and works for you. As Andrew states, there is no value in content which results in zero engagement, irrespective of how hard you worked on it.

Their strategy is to look at the following areas:

  • Your brand
  • Your aspirational message
  • Your delivery
  • Your content’s share-ability

The sum of these give you your content stamp.

They are also big advocates of understanding exactly who your customer is and give you this great template to help decide who you’re doing all this for, it goes like this…

I’m going to create content for …. so that they can … because…

Who are you creating content for? Why does that help them? Why are you doing that?

They also have a 5 point list of attributes that make your content shareable by some person.

So, some person might share your content because:

  1. Brand Advocacy (they love your brand, they want to be associated with it)
  2. Emotion (it makes them feel something)
  3. Appearance (they want to be associated with how it looks/feels)
  4. Causes and Beliefs (it’s aligned to their values)
  5. High Value (it’s content rich)

Finally, Andrew & Pete also tell you to consider how your audience want to consume their content so that you can deliver it that way and not perhaps the way you want to deliver content.

Amrit Singh – Livestream Success

I’ve heard of Amrit Singh before but never seen him speak, I was impressed. Really impressed.

Amrit started using Periscope to livestream in August 2015 and at the time was a creative designer. He was going on Periscope and chatting about any topic from current affairs to whatever popped into his head.

Amrit was working in a typical job and would head out each lunch and do a 40-45 minute live stream where he’d talk about any form of topic. Amrit explained that he’s a huge fan of art and has his own works. Over time he realised his Periscope followers (which were growing in number) were constantly asking to see his artwork.

After a year of live-streaming and some resistant to what his viewers wanted to see, he started to show his own artwork along with doing live streaming of humanitarian trips (I’m sure trips isn’t the right word but I’m struggling with how to explain it) and this saw his following and audience really amplify.

Amrit explained how he was always honest and raw with his story and would often cover up the viewer numbers so not to be distracted by the number of people watching his live streams.

5 months ago, Amrit quit his normal job to go completely full time with his live streaming and artwork and rebranded himself as @MrASingh.

Amrit spoke about the different platforms and explained how the discoverability of Periscope had allowed him to grow his audience. Especially when for the first period of streaming he was getting more views on replay than when actually live.

Amrit’s advice was to stay true to yourself on live, be honest and authentic, use other social media channels to promote when you’re going live and if you feel the need – hide those viewer numbers!

Sumaiya Omar – The Biggest Revolution in Video since the Television: Stories

A talk about the use of Snapchat and Instagram Stories. I must admit I probably didn’t take too much in here as it was kinda like selling ice to eskimos – I’m sold on Snap and Insta!

Sumaiya did show (interestingly…) how people are using video to tell stories and how it’s becoming more of a norm in today’s society.

Vin Clancy – Growth Hacking Live – Boost your Marketing in Real Time

This was probably one of the most interesting and fast-paced talks I’ve ever seen.

Vin Clancy, dressed vibrantly, took us through an absolutely enormous amount of tips, tools and hacks for growing a social media following.

He went through tens (if not hundreds) of tools and also gave us insight into how the algorithms work behind each social media channel.

Vin explained how the distribution of content is critical. What’s the point in having great content that nobody sees?

Did you know if you like your own post on LinkedIn, it’ll be seen by a LOT more people than it otherwise would?

If you want a post to do well on  Social Media you need to realise that likes, shares and comments in the first ten minutes are absolutely critical. People use groups in WhatsApp, FB and Instagram to get quick momentum on posts by announcing to their group when a piece of content is going live – then those people jump on and like, comment and share to make sure it gets seen by a far higher number of people.

Also, Reddit is a good way to find out what people are talking about in your industry. Find out what they’re writing about and blog about that.

This talk was rapid, approx 150 slides covered in about 40 minutes and no longer than a matter of seconds on each. If you’re not big on swearing you’ll not enjoy this talk but it’s hard to argue with the number of tips & tricks we all received!

Craig Fox, Harry Hugo, Dan Knowlton – Influencer Marketing Panel

The conference ended with Craig, Harry & Dan talking about Influencer Marketing, with questions coming from the floor.

I admit I don’t know a great deal about influencer marketing. I understand the concept – I think, but I haven’t seen any examples of influencer marketing.

In reality, it’s not dissimilar to brands paying Lewis Hamilton or Cristiano Ronaldo to wear their watch, cap, tracksuit – right?

Craig, Harry & Dan gave us insight to how influencer marketing is being used, especially with less global superstars and specifically with influencers within industries (YouTubers, Vloggers).

Harry Hugo, who’s a 22-year-old entrepreneur, seems incredibly clued up on the influencer marketing industry and apparently has a podcast which I need to find and listen to!

Post Conference Drinks!

Social Day UK

A nice gesture by Lucy & Stuart as they hosted drinks & nibbles after the conference – thank you, both! The networking and socialising opportunities at such events are hugely important and it was great to enjoy a couple of beers whilst talking to a mixture of attendees and keynote speakers.

Social Day UK: Conclusion

Social Day UK

A really enjoyable day. My experience would have been different to others because I’d already seen the talks by Chris, Janet & Andrew and Pete at CMA Live the week before but there were other useful talks and I met new people as well as meeting people I’d spoken to on social for the first time IRL.

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