#InternationalWomensDay: Inspiring Women in Marketing in the UK & Ireland
There are so many knowledgeable and inspiring women in business within the UK and Ireland. With it being International Women’s Day, I thought why not celebrate these women?
In this blog, I’ve summarised some of my favourite female marketing influencers / experts. I reached out to each one, to find out a bit more about their background and got their advice on a number of marketing issues.
so onto our first inspiring woman in marketing!
Founder of Women’s Inspire Network & Social Media Strategist
Self-taught Twitter expert, Samantha Kelly’s journey began in 2011 when she decided to promote her first business on Twitter. Sam soon realised that the interactions she was having were significantly increasing her following and helping her to form genuine relationships with her community. Sam has now cultivated a 43,000 strong following on the social network (we’ll get to how in just a second).
Fast forward to 2018, Samantha Kelly is now a successful speaker, writer and social media strategist. In 2016 she founded community ‘Women’s Inspire Network’, a network set up to bring women in business together. They host weekly webinars, bi-annual events and regular online coffee meets. As well as the Women’s Inspire Network, Sam also has her own business set up to help brands up their social media game!
What made you set up Women’s Inspire?
“I noticed that when I spoke at events, most of the people in the audience, and asking questions at the end were women. In addition, I realised most of my followers were women. I was raising two daughters and working from home which was often isolating. I discovered that many of the challenges I was facing – isolation, not getting paid, not asking for the right pay rate etc. were the struggles of many in my community. So why not help each other?”
What’s the most common question you get asked?
“How do I get more followers? How do I get more sales from social media? How often do I tweet?”
And how do you answer these questions?
Sam explained that it’s not just about followers, it’s having the right followers. Go on social media when your audience is there; this is often outside of the working day (9pm-11pm). “To make sales and boost your following, show you’re the expert, put out great content, engage with your followers and make them feel good! Treat your audience like your friends. Look after your audience, and they’ll look after you. Tweet around 10 times a day. 2/10 can be product focused, the rest engaging, relevant articles to other sites.”
Follow Samantha, she’s heading in an exciting direction!
Marie Ennis O’Connor
Digital Engagement Strategist and Healthcare Social Media Influencer
Meltwater fans will know by now how much we look up to Marie as an inspiring women in marketing! Marie is a brand strategist, speaker and writer specialising in healthcare. She’s one of Health IT’s top 100 influencers and is on the board for Mayo Clinic Center for Social Media. Marie is particularly knowledgeable on topic areas around community management and building, and social media for patient advocacy and awareness.
How did you get into social media marketing?
“Ten years ago I was diagnosed with a serious illness which necessitated a long period of time off work. During that time I started a blog and connected with other patients through social media for information and support. I quickly became hooked on the power of social media to create connections and make a difference in people’s lives. When I recovered from my illness I joined a non-profit and applied the lessons I had learned about using social media to grow the organisation’s online presence. Over the past decade, I have worked with many other organisations to create digital marketing strategies to amplify their brand and expand their online reach,”
What’s the most common question you get asked?
“What kind of content should we create for social media?”
How do you answer it?
“The short answer is to create content that people are looking for. Do research to find out which topics your target audience is most interested in. Keep an eye on trending topics on Twitter and Google Trends. Become the go-to resource for your audience on these topics. When it comes to creating engaging content, the type of content you create matters. Visual content leads the way. Visual content can be an incredibly powerful marketing tool, one that increases message association, brand awareness, and encourages more engagement and sharing.”
Who inspires you?
“I’m inspired by anyone who uses social media to make things better for others. When I think back to my first introduction to social media, it was those online connections who helped me cope with my illness that made the biggest difference in my life. We hear a lot about the negative side of social media such as cyber-bullying, but social media can still be a positive force in our world. When I see an individual or an organisation using social media in a positive and uplifting way it inspires me and reaffirms my belief in the power of social media to change lives.”
Digital Communications Strategist
Krishna De is a marketing strategist and live video marketing expert. Krishna founded ‘live stream insiders’ a weekly show covering the latest live video news, technology and examples. Krishna is involved in so many different projects, from speaking at conferences to judging on digital marketing awards, to working as a Google expert contributor and IBM futurists.
If you want any advice about video marketing and live streaming (which by the way is one of the best ways to boost reach on your Facebook page), make sure you check out her website.
How did you get into live streaming?
“I first explored public live streaming as a content creator from my mobile device about 10 years ago using a platform called Qik. I had already been recording live video for a weekly podcast using Skype to connect with my co-hosts. Over the next few years, I saw a number of organisations using live video platforms…but it was not until Google Hangouts on Air launched that I started to regularly live stream using my desktop. Later I expanded into sharing tutorials on how to use live streaming platforms.
Why did you set up live stream insiders?
“Live streaming is a fast-changing area with lots of new platforms and tools launching and others ceasing to operate as the industry matures. As an example Qik, Meerkat and Google Hangouts on Air that I have mentioned as early platforms I used no longer operate. Hosting the weekly show helps me keep up to date with the latest trends and best practice which, I can then share in the digital and social workshops I deliver.”
What’s the most common question you get asked?
“There are so many questions people still have about using live streaming even though it is easy for anyone to host a live stream with just a mobile device or from your desktop or laptop with a web camera if you have a limited budget.
When it comes to brands and larger organisations their questions are usually about the technology and the platforms to use. When it comes to small businesses they usually have questions about how to be confident on camera.”
How do you respond?
“In all situations, I encourage people to consider how their live content will support their business strategy and communication objectives. As for becoming more confident on camera, remember you don’t always have to be on camera – for many years my own live streams and webinars were from behind the camera sharing tutorials and tips. Facebook even allows you to live stream audio from your mobile device.
There are so many opportunities for organisations to use live video and live audio, from marketing to employee engagement, from customer service to crisis management. If it is not a method of communication you use at the moment, I would definitely recommend investing some time learning about the opportunities it provides for your marketing and communications plans in the year ahead.”
Social Media Consultant, Founder of SocialDayUK and Director at Avviso Media
Lucy Hall is another extremely successful woman in marketing, who has founded a number of companies. Lucy runs SocialDay, an event Lucy created when she struggled to find more advanced events for those who already had a good understanding of social media marketing. These days the event is one of the most successful social media events in the UK!
Lucy is passionate about helping women in business and has been working with the Federation of Small Business and Facebook as part of the #shemeansbusiness campaign. The campaign encourages women to pursue their business aspirations by hosting a series of Kickstart Social Media events, giving those women the skills they need to help get their business off the ground.
How did you get into social media marketing/strategy?
“I started my first business when I was 18 and had to learn how to market the company and create more sales. From there I decided I wanted to work in Media. I worked at Newsquest Specialist Media and then Jazz FM in a Sales / Marketing role. I became really interested in online marketing, but specifically social media. I found that the magazines and events media I worked in translated well into social media. I started another online retail business and found that I had huge success using social media to get more sales and customers. From there people started asking me to do the same for them! Since then, my husband has joined the business and we run the UK’s #1 social media event, SocialDay and as well as running social media and content marketing campaigns for some of the worlds biggest companies as well as SMEs.”
You’ve just written a new book ‘Social Media Tips, Ideas and Inspiration’, what’s one of your top tips from the book?
“In short; social media is where people go to be social! So, instead of always selling, be sociable…..I think with all the fantastic tools out there people get so focused on generating as much content as possible and automating their feeds, they can they forget that simply talking to people and building relationships has far more impact!”
CEO, Digital Training Institute
We’ve featured Joanne on our blog before as one of Ireland’s top bloggers to be aware of! Joanne is a podcast host (a must listen), writer, lecturer and entrepreneur. You may also recognise her from the Irish Apprentice.
Joanne is extremely knowledgeable in all things social media, and like many of the women in marketing on this list has founded a number of businesses including the Digital Training Institute. Joanne is particularly knowledgeable on law enforcement and social media, as well as digital citizenship, internet safety and the empowerment of generation Z and young people.
How did you get into social media strategy?
“I’ve worked my entire career in communications, first as a broadcast journalist and then in PR and corporate communications. 10 years ago I watched the waves of social media lap at my ankles and I decided that I needed to up-skill and move towards digital. So I completed a Masters Degree in Digital Marketing to complement my Journalism Masters Degree and my PR Post Graduate qualification. I’ve been working in digital marketing for eight years with a broad range of companies in Ireland and abroad with a specific focus on strategy,”
What’s the most common question you get in your role?
Does social media really matter? and is Facebook dead?
How do you answer it?
“I just smile and say, trust me, if you ignore social media and the evolution of digital you may as well close the door of your business or organisation. To remain relevant you must be where your customers are”
You’ve written a lot of great content about crisis comms – what’s your top tip for dealing with a crisis?
“Yes! This is one of my favourite topics. My top tip is: Nobody is immune from a crisis. So put together a crisis management team and document the possible crises that might impact our organisation, and map out a response plan. If I could add a second tip, it would be: Don’t bury your head in the social media sand! to do this would escalate the problem”
Writer, Photographer and Blogger
Our next inspiring woman in marketing is Sara Tasker! She is a writer, photographer, creative coach and particularly skilful in the world of Instagram. In 2013, whilst on maternity leave, Sara started a photo a day project on Instagram. By the end of the project, Sara had over 35,000 followers!
With Instagram becoming the preferred platform for many people, Saras Instagram page and blog is an inspiration for those looking to take their Insta game to the next level.
You can access her 7 day Instagram course for free here
We didn’t get a chance to speak to Sara personally, but here are a few tips from a previous interview she’s done! with Mollie Makes.
What inspires you?
“Nature, the weather, my daughter and great photography. I get a lot of my best ideas while listening to music or reading books. Whenever I feel like I’ve run out of inspiration, I know it’s a sign that I need to work less and do those more of both of those things.”
What’s the secret to taking the perfect Instagram photo?
“Natural light, straight angles and an eye for a story. The best photos on Instagram aren’t of things but of moments.”
Check her profiles out!