Yesterday I was invited to 10 Downing Street to present to a panel of digital experts from Facebook, Google, Yahoo! and LinkedIn. I was terrified, but this was too good an opportunity to miss so I put on my best underwear (it makes you feel more confident – try it), took some deep breaths and repressed my fear of public speaking.
I talked about the Great British High Street competition and our plans for the next stage – the public vote – and the panel gave me their feedback. I didn’t need to be scared, they were friendly, encouraging and helpful, and I left with some really good advice. Here are the top tips that might be useful to others running similar campaigns:
- When communicating with stakeholders and partner organisations keep it as short as possible. A three-line email is all they’ll read, e.g. We’re having a competition to find Britain’s best high street. It will help the economy by increasing footfall to high streets. It would be great if you could send one of the three tweets below. Please get in touch if you want more information.
- Instagram is the fastest growing social media channel and ‘quote porn’ is the hottest trend. People love inspirational quotes. I typed ‘inspirational quotes’ into Google Images afterwards and the inspiration was phenomenal. Whatever your campaign, you’re bound to find a quote you can use on social media to inspire people to get involved.
- Brainstorm all the companies and individuals who may have an interest in your campaign and get them onboard. The panel helped me to think of possible partners I hadn’t considered before, e.g. the Yellow Pages have an interest in keeping small businesses going so they might help encourage people to vote for their favourite high street. Get other people to help you brainstorm – they might give you new ideas.
- Network. Senior people in other organisations aren’t the ones who will help spread the word. I need to schmooze my counterparts – the social media community managers.
- The panel advised me to spend all of my small budget of on boosting Facebook posts (it wasn’t the person from Facebook who suggested this!). There are more people on Facebook than other social media channels so they recommended boosting a post for each of the finalist high streets, specifically targeted at people living in those areas.
- For a campaign like this everything needs to be mobile friendly. People are likely to get involved when they’re out and about so any digital channels and tools must work on a smart phone.
- The competition will attract more votes if we show voting figures. The high streets with less votes will work harder to get more, the high streets with the most votes will want to keep their lead, and the high streets going head to head will become rivals, returning to the website every day to vote and check numbers. This idea may not be popular with the press office, who might want to save the results for an announcement, but if it’s digital engagement we’re after that’s the way to do it.
I”m excited about the next stage of the competition, and acting on the pointers the panel gave me. Keep an eye on thegreatbritishhighstreet.org.uk. Voting opens in the next couple of weeks.