I attended a conference today which was in parts both inspirational and somewhat surprising. Whilst the speakers were undoubtedly accomplished and their stories inspirational, a common narrative ran throughout the first part of the day.
Whilst I myself recognise the power of positivity and have seen the benefits to be had from giving positive energy out, I found concepts such as ‘energy spirals’ and the notion that all women have an inner goddess, particularly hard to swallow within the context of business practice.
This feeling was exacerbated I think as a direct result of the softer, feminine approach to business that the first two speakers discussed. Focusing on emotion and spirituality at an event for women seemed a little cliche, enhancing in my mind, the steriotype that women in business are softer, emotional and should not be goal or money oriented.
Despite being a spiritual person and an active practitioner of meditation, I felt slightly uncomfortable with it all. I felt some of the advice was more suited to a holistic retreat environment. The feeling of discomfort, may be as a result of having previously held views challenged, so the jury is still out.
My conversations with a range of different business owners and fellow social media professionals however, did lead to a number of insights gained, summarised below.
- Principles surrounding cosmic ordering permeated through the narrative of most of the key speakers
- Sad to say but a fair few women are more than a little bit clueless around tech
- Most businesses understand the importance of social media, but don’t understand the why’s or the how’s
- Many businesses doing social media do not carry out strategically driven activities
- A marketing lecturer stated that she taught, and that all major texts teach, that messaging should be duplicated in exactly the same way across all social media channels; the fact that messaging should be tailored to each audience is not widely held.
- There is very low awareness of the fact that social networks have distinctly different demographics and should be chosen on their ability to target specific groups of customers
- Women are great at multi-tasking but we’d probably get more done and find it beneficial to focus on one thing at a time
- There is strong demand for social media management and a sizeable difference in pricing structures
- For those of us involved in social media management, we are largely preaching the same messages and are both teaching and using effective techniques and best practice
In summary, a very well organised event (well done Black Mango) and most of the speakers were well chosen, insightful and interesting.
Shell Robshaw-Bryan is a marketing consultant at Surefire Media, the Cheshire based web design, eCommerce and marketing company. Shell specialises in organic search, content strategy and social media engagement for both B2C and B2B companies.