Making the most of Social Media at Trade Exhibitions

This month see’s two major events take place for the business community in Scotland.

On the 13th April Hampden Park in Glasgow hosted Expo Scotland a daylong event geared towards people looking to develop their businesses, grow a business they work in, or for those looking to keep up to date with industry and business skills.

Then, from the 20th to 21st April the Visit Scotland Expo 2016 will take place at the Royal Highland Centre in Edinburgh, this is Visit Scotland’s flagship event for the travel trade and the only fair of this kind in the UK which exclusively promotes Scotland.

Between the two, there will be well over 400 exhibitors, hundreds of international buyers, and thousands of delegates and visitors. These events are two of the biggest networking events on the Scottish calendar.

This type of real-life networking is crucial to the success of our businesses – regardless of our industry or sector, so how could social media possibly enhance that?
Using social media at a trade expo fair show (Before) (2)

1. Find out what the Expo Hashtag is

Start following it a couple of weeks beforehand and use it in every message related to the expo before, during and after to be part of the wider conversation with all the key players. The hashtag for VisitScotland Expo for example is #visitscotexpo.

 

2. Consider your own company or campaign Hashtag

Create your own conversation around your business, industry, topic or incentive to engage people at the expo with your social media.

 

3. Build awareness in advance of the Expo

Generate an interest before you attend to drive people to your stand or to find you on the day. Offer an incentive to entice people to visit your stand first, signal this to them beforehand and create a buzz around you and your business.

 

4. Ask the event organisers for digital promotional material in advance

Content is key on social media and if you have materials prepared in advance from the organisers, such as their logo, the branding, some graphics or photographs, or their video content will certainly make your posts stand out from the crowd.

 

5. Introducing a new product or service: try a promo video

Often we’ll promote something new that we are offering our customers or clients, why not produce a short (less than 60 seconds) video that you can share prior to, during and after the expo.

 

6. Schedule in advance

Expo’s are busy places but don’t forget you can schedule Tweets and Facebook posts. This could be particularly helpful if you are presenting or leading a seminar – schedule tweets of key talking points during your presentation.

 

Using social media at a trade expo fair show (During)

 

7. Share lots of photos from the day

Take photos of you setting up, all set up, welcoming your first visitor to your stand, attending your first keynote talk or breakout session, over lunch, when your networking, when you visit other stands, when the day is winding down, when you’re packing up and on your way home again.

 

8. Connect on LinkedIn

You’re at a professional event, so it makes sense to connect with the people you meet on a professional network. Let your LinkedIn followers know you’ll be at the expo, ask to connect with people on LinkedIn that you meet on the day, and make sure you follow up with them afterwards.

 

9. Create a mobile friendly expo landing page on your website

Direct people, you meet or connect with via social media to information that pertains to them and the event you are attending; you’ll then have measurable web stats afterwards too.

 

10. Connect with industry specific media contacts

Whether it’s on Twitter or LinkedIn ask them to stop by your booth to see new products, learn about new services, attend a seminar you are speaking at, or consider writing about your business story idea.

 

11. Use enthusiasm to your advantage

If you meet a delegate or visitor who is ecstatic about your product or service or has a great story, ask if you can take their photo (or video) then share it to your social media alongside a testimonial.

 

12. “Bring the show to the masses”

One of the reasons for participating on social media while you are at the expo is to bring the event to the people who couldn’t physically be there. Posting timely photos and expo updates will help attendees who are hundreds of miles away feel like they are there with you.

 

Social Media at trade expo exhibition show fair (2)

 

13. Follow Up

Once the expo is over and your back to work, go through the business contacts you’ve made and see if they are on LinkedIn, follow them on Twitter or Like their business page on Facebook. Make yourself more memorable by including a personal note or comment along with the connection.

 

14. Review your experience

After the expo why not spend an hour and write something up about your experiences for your blog. Talking about who you met, what you learnt, or what impact attending had on your business.

 

15. Share your insights

If you presented a seminar, breakout session or were one of the speakers at the expo why not share your presentation, talk and content with the rest of the world. You could share clips of the seminar, slides on Slideshare or link to a PDF handout, all via social media.

Twitter: Back to Basics

Last month saw Twitter enter into its second decade, and for the 320 million people around the world who use it actively, Twitter is probably one of the better social networks.

However, it can be a bit of a minefield to navigate, understand and use, and the stats back this up.  Of the 1.3 billion Twitter accounts registered worldwide, only 120 million people use it monthly, nearly half of all accounts have never sent a tweet, and about 40% of active accounts haven’t tweeted in the last year.

Here in the UK, there are 13.1 million active users that businesses have the potential to connect with if they know what Titter is, how to use it and why it could be beneficial to them.

To help demystify Twitter, here are 10 Back to Basics tips for using Twitter for your business.

1. What is a Tweet

When looking at the Twitter feed, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed by the number of posts streaming in.  You may be wondering what the highlighted words preceded by a # are, or why someone’s name starts with the @ symbol. Perhaps you’re unsure of what the arrows mean below the post. Getting to grips with the way a post looks is paramount to getting started with your own tweets, so here’s our guide to the anatomy of a tweet:

Twitter Basics: Anatomy of a Tweet

 

2. What does the @ symbol mean?

The @ symbol always precedes an account name.  It’s like our own web address; it’s how people can find us on Twitter and the only way to reference (or mention) another user in your tweet (eg @tuminds). Users are notified when they are @mentioned. It’s how we can speak to one another on Twitter.

 

3. What is a hashtag?

We explored in-depth what a hashtag is in our blog post: Hashtags: What Are They?  Basically, a hashtag is a word or phrase that help us identify and pull together specific messages and topics of conversation. You can create your own hashtags, use established hashtags and you can monitor hashtags for conversation and information.

 

4. What are Trends?

Each day you’ll see that Twitter Trends change as a trend refers to a hashtag-driven topic that is most popular at that particular time. In other words, trends are the topics that a lot of people on Twitter are talking about that day.

 

5. Reply, Retweet, Like, Analytics and More

To comment on a tweet, answer a question or take part in a conversation, you use the first arrow below the tweet – the reply button. When you click on this arrow, Twitter will automatically open up a new post box with the @accountname you want to reply to.

To share a tweet with your own followers, you click on the second set of arrows – this is known as re-tweeting. This lets you share other people’s content that might be of interest to the people who follow you.

If you want to show another Twitter user that you have read and liked their tweet, you click on the ‘heart’ button. This was formerly known as the ‘favourite’ button (once a yellow star), but Twitter changed this to the heart earlier this year.

Reply, RT, Like, Analytics, More Features

 

Once you build up a certain number of followers, you can view data for each of your tweets to see how far your post has reached across Twitter (impressions), and how many people took an action on your tweet (engagement).

The ‘More’ button is where you can:

  1. Send the person who tweeted a DM (direct message) this is a private 1-2-1 message which appears in Messages.
  2. Copy the web link for the tweet, so you can share this across the web.
  3. Embed the tweet using a code that you can place on your website or in your blog.
  4. Mute, Block and Report Twitter accounts. These features allow you to control any unwanted or abusive tweeters or trolls by muting or blocking them. You won’t see their content and they won’t see yours. Reporting these Twitter account sends a report to Twitter to signal that the post or the account user is breaching community rules.

 

6. Following People

The best way to make Twitter useful and relevant to you is to find and follow useful and relevant people. When you find someone you like on Twitter, you can follow them easily with just a click of a button.

If you see someone in your newsfeed, for instance, you can hover your mouse over the @accountname and their profile will appear with a little icon of a person in the top right-hand corner with a + sign.  Click on that and you’ll start following that account.

You can also follow people by visiting their profile page and clicking ‘Follow’.

How to follow someone on twitter

7. Moments – The Lightning Bolt

Next to the tab for your home feed, you see the ‘Moments’ tab.  This feature lets you see what Twitter describes as ‘the best of what’s happening on Twitter in an instant.’ Moments is a bit like Trends, but focuses more on the content and conversations that are being shared across the network, and lets you see stories as they unfold. You can find Moments on your Twitter App by clicking on the Lightning Bolt.

Finding Moments

 

7. Twitter Lists

To help organise your Twitter feed so that it remains useful and relevant to you, you should use Twitter Lists.

When you click on your profile picture in the top right-hand corner of your screen, you’ll see a link to ‘Lists’. Click on this link and you can now start creating and organising lists to add people to.  For example, you could create a list called ‘Local Businesses’ to which you would add the Twitter accounts of businesses in your area, and when you click on this list, your feed will contain only the posts from people on this list.

You can also follow other people’s lists. Do this by finding a relevant Twitter user, visit their profile and click on ‘Lists’ next to where you can see the number of tweets they’ve sent, the number of people they follow and the number of followers they have, then the posts they have liked.  Find a useful list and click on ‘Subscribe’. You can now access this list from your own account.

Twitter Lists

8. Linking Facebook and Twitter?

It’s tempting to link your two accounts together and simply send all your Facebook messages to Twitter. But try to resist the urge.  There are two reasons for this. Firstly, people want to see Twitter messages on Twitter. If they wanted to see a Facebook post, they would be on Facebook. Don’t push them towards another social media platform every time you post.

Secondly, while you have no character limit on Facebook, you do on Twitter, so not only is it obvious that you’ve linked your accounts when the sentence is broken in half and ends with a www.fb.me link, but you aren’t actually communicating your whole message to this audience. It would be like placing an advert in a newspaper or magazine and only giving the publisher half the advert. Pointless.

Linking Facebook and Twitter

9. Are you using the app?

One of the biggest advantages to Twitter is how easy it is to use on the go. You can craft quick, real-time messages to give your followers an insight into your day or work. The App has all the same functionality as the desktop version but is less cluttered.

 

10. Can I schedule Tweets?

Yes, you can. You can’t actually do it direct from Twitter, but there are online tools to help you schedule your messages. I use Hootsuite, but there are a number of publishing and scheduling tools you can also use including TweetDeckTwittimer, and Twuffer. Have a search for the scheduling tool you find easiest to use.

Twitter Basics

Using Visuals in your Social Media

Over the last few years, it has become increasingly apparent that using visuals in your social media marketing is far more effective than using text alone. If you want your message to be seen, if you want to encourage interaction and you want to make the most out of your content, using an effective visual is essential.

 

In my work , I’ve found that using a visual, be it a photograph, a graphic, illustration or video, is much more attention grabbing in people’s newsfeeds.

It’s a form of content that is more likely to be shared; they evoke emotional reactions that text alone cannot, and visuals portray a lot of information quickly and conveniently.

There has been more emphasis on visual marketing in digital than ever before, and if you’re interested in boosting your social media efforts, then considering the types of visuals you use will be key to that.

 

So how can we use visuals in our social media and what types of visuals should we be creating?

 

The Product or Lifestyle Shot

People like to shop in real life so they can see items up close and personal, touch them, feel them, weigh them up in our hands. Of course, we can’t replicate that tactile experience on digital (yet), but we can offer tangible visuals of the items we sell. People want to see what they are buying, so show it to them, don’t talk about it.

Lifestyle shots help people to understand how your product or service might fit into their live; it helps them to visualise how what you offer can be of benefit to their lives. When someone can understand better what your item does for them, it tends to increase conversion sooner.

The Team Picture

 The Team Picture

People like to do business with people, and if we can see who is behind the business we are much more likely to trust them, particularly online. Showing off who you are and what your team is like helps to humanise your business in a way that no other form of marketing can achieve.

Behind-the-Scenes Spontaneous Shot

Most of us are interested in how you do what you do. Have you ever watched the show ‘How Stuff Works?’ or wondered why ‘Handmade’ has become more popular recently? They’re successful because people are genuinely interested in how the things they buy and use are actually made, who makes them and what materials are used to make them.

The behind-the-scenes visual also provides exclusivity by enabling you to give your social media audience an experience that they won’t get anywhere else, this builds rapport and community.

The Action Shot

Have you ever thought about showing people how you do what you do when you’re doing it? Because we gravitate more to human faces in visuals, capturing your team in the moment of doing their job provides realism and trust at the same time.

We should try to connect with our social media followers in real time, with real life, as often as we can. An impromptu, candid shot of you or your team while they are working, is far more credible than a posed or staged image.

Social media strategy

The Graphic

A bold, clean and crisp graphic is so much more effective at communicating a message. Graphics are fantastic for your Calls-to-Action and adds variety to your feed. Using colourful graphics increases people’s interest in your content, it draws the eye in, and makes us more likely to share that piece of content.

The How to Image

The rise of the ‘How To’ video, infographic and visuals across platforms like Instagram and Pinterest has been prolific over the last few years. As Jay Baer of Youtility explains, people who think they can do things themselves, usually tend to be a business’s best customer. Don’t think of the ‘How To’ as giving away what you do for free, but giving away inspiration to cultivate customers who will spend money on your professionalism and expertise.

The Collage

The way we upload visuals to our posts has changed across Facebook and Twitter recently to include collages of multiple pictures and videos. These have proven to have a good impact across social media, as they offer variety and tell a more rounded story than a single picture alone can do.

The Selfie

 The Selfie

While the ‘selfie’ is looked upon with disdain from some sections of society, it might be a surprise to learn that the concept of the ‘selfie’ has been around since the late 1800s. As soon as self-portraiture became accessible, affordable and a sign of your social standing in society, people have been recording images of themselves. In the digital age, this is made all the more convenient through smartphones and social media.

But what is important to remember is that people notice human faces first – our eyes are drawn to other people before anything else. A face looking out from a visual makes a direct connection with the person viewing it. It also helps us to guide our gaze, ‘human beings have a natural tendency to follow the gaze of others, and we have been coached since birth to follow arrows directing us to where we should be looking or going’. (Kiss Metrics)

 

Using Social Media to Attract Tourists

These days, people are more likely to turn to review websites and social media to search for travel inspiration for their next holiday.

As our search behaviour changes, it also highlights how our consumer behaviour has changed. Another advantage of digital technology is that we can see and interpret how people use the web and the types of content they access to build a picture of who they are and how best to attract them to our businesses.

This blog post talks about the lessons we’ve learned; looks at the recent Trends report from the Insight Department at Visit Scotland, and uses data collected by Google on tourism trends and behaviour.

The Online Traveller according to Google

At the end of last year, Google provided us with an insight into how travellers use digital technology to plan, make arrangements and engage while on holiday. These were summarised into the ‘5 Stages of Travel’ that every tourism business should tap into to be successful in the digital world.

https://www.instagram.com/p/BA-cK8xjisM/embed/captioned/?cr=1&v=7

Dreaming

Every holiday starts with a dream. Whether it’s a location they’ve wanted to visit for years or they’ve been inspired by other people’s travel adventures (documented on their social media), the digital traveller first resides in the dreaming stage.

It’s at this stage that people collect information, make bucket lists and seek out possible adventures. They’re inspired by friends who share photos and videos of their own holidays on their Facebook and Instagram throughout the year, and the digital tourist starts to aspire to have their own experiences.

It’s here that people start to collect articles, visuals, photography, the story of their possible travelling experience and put these into boards on Pinterest, follow new accounts on Twitter and Instagram, and watch videos on YouTube or Vimeo for travel inspiration.

Planning

This is when they turn to Google and search for travel blogs, online travel guides, transport, accommodation and activities they can do in these dream locations.

According to Google, people visit an average of 40 websites before they make any bookings, and turn to social media for recommendations from friends and family. Pin Trips is also on the rise, helping to coordinate and organise planning of the holiday.

It’s at this stage when the digital tourist has the most discussion with their social communities.

https://www.facebook.com/plugins/post.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2FHolidayScotland%2Fposts%2F903889366385392&width=500

Booking

The third stage is when the credit cards start to come out. People will look to TripAdvisor and other review sites to help make up their minds. The digital traveller is much more likely to make a booking (be it for accommodation, travel or activities) if a tourism business has responded to reviews, questions, and feedback on their social media; including Trip Advisor.

The digital traveller expects to be able to book online or by mobile, they don’t expect to have to pick up the phone. Again this relates to the patterns of our digital and online use, people are much more likely to be looking at making a booking in the late evenings when work is over, dinner has been had and perhaps the children have been put to bed. So it’s not always convenient to pick up the phone at 11pm to make a booking or reservation.

TA Walking Tours Inverness

Experiencing

While on holiday, the digital traveller will continue to stay connected (location and Wi-Fi permitting of course). They’ll be using their smartphones while on the move, to search for the next thing to do, to find a place to stop for a bite to eat, and to make future bookings while they are on their adventure.

It’s this behaviour that makes it crucial that your business is optimised for search engines. You might like to consider what your potential digital tourist might be searching for, while on the go so that you can be there in that moment with your website, your social media or a good piece of helpful content.

Sharing

It’s at this final stage that the digital tourist creates their Virtual Trail, documenting their adventure to share with (and inspire) their friends and family.

Here’s where all that lovely user-generated content starts happening, with picture and video shares to Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, live streaming of experiences on Periscope or Facebook Live, reviews being written on Trip Advisor, Facebook and Yelp and blog posts published to WordPress and Tumblr.

And so, the journey comes full circle, as the story of your digital tourist’s holiday is shared to inspire the dream in the next digital tourist.

https://www.instagram.com/p/BF4NqYgyKIE/embed/captioned/?cr=1&v=7

 

Visit Scotland Trends Insights

Throughout the year Visit Scotland’s Insight Department publishes their Trends Report, as the tourism and hospitality sectors are sensitive to consumer trends and economic conditions, it’s important to be aware of how the environment is changing, what trends are remaining in place and which ones are emerging so we can all continue to develop the tourism sector in Scotland.

  1. Be Honest, Be Authentic

We all have different ideas of what authenticity is, and so will our tourists. Therefore, it’s important to have an understanding of who you are wanting to attract and what type of perspective they have of Scotland.

For some, Scotland is tartan, shortbread, and Highland vistas. But for others, it’s the contemporary shopping in Glasgow or arts festivals in the Borders or Islands. Tourists are looking for ‘authentic’ experiences and we need to meet their expectations.

  1. Millennials do travel

Aside from the over 65-year-olds, the 16 to 24-year-old Millennial will travel during the off-season. They not only stay the longest on average in the winter months, but they also have money to spend.

This group is looking for unique experiences, local or ‘glocal’ products, they are environmentally driven and seek quality for good value. It’s not about the cheapest, it’s about the best experience.

  1. Keeping the mystery alive

Tourists, consumers, people searching for travel inspiration still want to be in control of their purchasing decisions and want to seek out those unique experiences for themselves too. Offering your potential tourist other services and products they might like from business outside of your portfolio or even similar businesses, brings back an element of that control.

  1. Micro-Experiences

As tourists seek greater flexibility in their experiences, the adoption of the micro-product has driven more interest in a variety of sectors from accommodation, food and drink to textiles.

Examples of micro products include the micro-breweries (small batch local craft beer/ale), micro-hotels (short stay accommodation), micro-adventures (activities based in escapism that doesn’t require a lot of planning i.e. a walk in the local park) and micro-retail (pop-up shops and unique independent brands).

All of these products are fostering a sense of exclusivity and personalisation.

  1. Visuals, Visuals, Visuals

A picture speaks a thousand words and a video a million. The rise of visual content, created and shared by users, has been phenomenal in the last few years. A picture or video captures the ‘feeling’ and the ‘experience’ of a location, event, activity or experience, more effectively than any other medium.

Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest have all become places where people share their images, creating emotional connections with views that can become the motivation for travel to that place pictured, or foster the desire to take a similar photograph in that place for their own social media presence.

Businesses need to consider how they are using visuals to communicate to their market; are they taking advantage of the photogenic hotspots in their area, are they considering wildlife, the built environment, and rural locations as a way to signal to potential tourists the fantastic photographic potential of visiting your area.

https://www.instagram.com/p/BFOWptnlU6h/embed/captioned/?cr=1&v=7

 

Sian’s Insight

Over the years of advising and training tourism and hospitality businesses in using social media to attract and retain tourists to their business, I’ve found the following 5 tips very useful:

  1. Keep it simple and commit to it

    If you’re going to use social media then pick a platform you like to use, keep it easy by planning your social media posts in advance and be consistent.

  2. Use visuals and helpful information

    If you can’t create your own, then share other people’s helpful content or inspiring pictures. It’s there to be shared.

  3. Know who you want to attract 

    A family and their dog will be looking for a very different experience than the lone traveller, for instance, so don’t be tempted to think you can use the same marketing message for both for a quick win.

  4. Experiment with social advertising 

    If you want to increase your reach or exposure, then consider spending a small amount on a well-placed and targeted social advert.

  5. Tell your story 

    If people are interested in the ‘real’ Scotland and authentic experiences, then why not start with yourself.  

#hellodigital: Making Movies with Mobile

We’ve talked a lot on this blog about the merits of using video for your social media marketing. Video consumption via social media and other online platforms has exploded over the last few years, and industry experts are predicting that as our connectivity improves we will spend more time watching movies and video online than we will any other form of content.

Hello Digital InvernessSo, with that in mind, #hellodigital, the digital demonstrator centre here in Inverness, brought in media expert Reshma Biring from the Media Trust in London, to teach us how, businesses of all sizes, can make professional videos to promote their services, products and offers to the world wide web.

The event took place at the new An Lochran building on the Inverness University of the Highlands and Islands campus; a brand new sparkly building with all the top of the range digital kit, which made for a welcoming and inspiring visit. What better way to learn about digital technologies than in a top spec facility?

Reshma taught the 15 businesses in attendance both the theory and practical skills required to make effective video content to attract and retain audiences. From advice on framing, sound, lighting, storytelling and editing, each participant on the day had the opportunity not only to hear about making videos but to actually do it themselves with the support of the years of knowledge Reshma has acquired working in the media and for Media Trust.

For those of you who could not attend, I would highly recommend signing up for the next round of these workshops when they are on offer. But in the meantime, here are my top 20 tips on making movies on mobile.

Top 20 Tips on Making Movies on Mobile

  1. Always film in landscape mode.
  2. Turn your phone onto airplane mode.
  3. Turn the brightness and sound all the way up on your phone.
  4. Clean your camera lens before you start filming.
  5. Make sure you have freed up enough memory on your phone (at least 1GB).
  6. Ensure your phone is fully charged, bring your charger, or if possible an external battery charger.
  7. Test the sound quality of your recording before you start filming.
  8. Check the lighting levels in the area you’re filming in, add more light if needed.
  9. Sort out the framing of your scene before you start filming.
  10. When conducting an interview, listen actively to what is being said.
  11. Respond or interact with your interviewee without using words.
  12. Stay at the same eye level as the person you are interviewing.
  13. Consider the Rule of Thirds when filming.
  14. Get up close and personal to the person or object you’re filming.
  15. Use a combination of different shots.

  1. Have a pre-production meeting before you start filming to discuss what you are going to do.
  2. Use the 5 shot rule.
  3. Shoot a minimum of 7-10 seconds of footage for editing sequences.
  4. Do take still images to incorporate into your video.
  5. Don’t forget to add a call-to-action at the end of your movie.

#hellodigital is a digital demonstrator centre, the first of its kind in Scotland, to help people make the most of broadband and digital technology. Developed by HIE and the Digital Scotland Business Excellence Partnership, #hellodigital connects business and technology across the North of Scotland. It offers a diverse range of showcases, master classes, and events bringing together industry experts, academic leaders and the business community, including Digital Boost. The centre is now open at An Lochran, on the Inverness Campus.

Top 10 Viral Videos

Viral video marketing basically puts the hard work of promotion into the hands of your audience, web visitors and social networking friends and followers. It’s revolutionising the way large businesses are able to market themselves, engage their customers in a fun and exciting way, and communicate important messages.

The beauty of viral is that it could reach anyone, anywhere, at anytime. You just don’t know you might end up watching your viral video just because it made their friend laugh.

Goviral, a video content distributor published their list of top 10 viral videos for June 2010. Watch them below and let me know what you think.

Adidas – ‘Star Wars’ Cantina 2010

Volkswagen – ‘The Slide (Driven by Fun)

Head – ‘Andy Murray Street Magic in London’

Iceland – ‘Visit Iceland’

Coca-Cola Zero & Mentos – ‘The Coke Zero & Mentos Rocket Car

Orbit Gum – ‘The Prom Date’

McDonald’s & Coca-Cola – ‘T-Shirt Wars 2’

GMC – ‘Dude Perfect: The Cliff Jump Shot’

Sapporo – ‘Legendary Biru’

Lynx Rise – ‘Jessica Jane Clement – Her Best Bits’

A World of Opportunity

 
There are a wide range of support mechanisms out there in the funding world, including grants, loans, investments, award schemes and many more to suit your organisation, group or project. While governmental bodies sort out how and where their public funding cuts will take place, we are actively sourcing and investigating alternative funding streams such as the Big Lottery Fund and trusts and foundations providing grants for cultural projects.

Below is a snapshot of some of the funding opportunities that are available for the cultural sector that may benefit your project or give you some inspiration for a future project.

The Big Lottery Fund – Investing in Communities

Area: Scotland

Application open/close dates: 30 June 2010 – 30 June 2015

Min/Max – £10,000 – £1 million

Investing in Communities focus on three investment areas:

  • Growing Community Assets – aims to help communities take more control and have more influence over their own future through ownership of assets.
  • Life Transitions – aims to support projects that help people at key times of change, helping them to make their lives better for the future.
  • Supporting 21st Century Life – aims to support projects that build stronger families and stronger communities.

The fund seeks to fund projects which will bring about lasting change, with equalities, environment and empowerment at the heart of the projects they will support.

Please click on this link to view the full guidance notes for the fund.

Awards for All Scotland

Area: Scotland

Min/Max – £500 – £10,000

Awards for All Scotland aims to help people become more actively involved in projects that make a positive difference to their local communities. They aim to fund projects that meet one or more of the following outcomes:

  • People have better chances in life – i.e. trying out new activities, volunteering, learning new skills or playing a more active role in their community.
  • Communities are safer, stronger and more able to work together to tackle inequalities – i.e. by enabling different communities or younger and older people to tackle common issues together.
  • People have better and more sustainable services and environments – i.e. by improving community spaces or increasing recycling.
  • People and communities are healthier – i.e. by enabling more people to take part in activities that improve their health and well being.

For more information and guidance please click on this link for the full Awards for All Scotland Guide.

Trusts and Foundations

Below are just a snapshot of the trusts and foundations that fund arts and culture.

Esmee Fairbairn Foundation– The foundation aims to improve the quality of life throughout the UK. Their primary interests are in the cultural life of the UK, education and learning, the natural environment and enabling disadvantaged people to participate more fully in society.

Clore Duffield Foundation– A grant-making organisation that concentrates its support on education, the arts, museum and gallery education, cultural leadership training, health and social care.

Foyle Foundation– Is an independent grantmaking trust that distributes grants to UK charities. The Main Grants Scheme for the Arts supports applications with a strong artistic case for support in either the performing or visual arts. The Arts Programme aims to help sustain the arts and to support projects that particularly help to deliver artistic vision.

The Macrobert Trust– The trust was established by Lady MacRobert during World War II. The Trust’s categories of interest include: science and technology, youth, services and sea, education, disabled and handicapped, community welfare, and their minor categories include agriculture and horticulture, arts and music, and medical care. The MacRobert Trust gives preference to organisations based in Scotland. 

The Robertson Trust– An independent Scottish grant-making Trust, this exists to provide financial support to charities in Scotland. Their four main priority areas are care, health, education and training, community art and sport.

Other Support

Scottish Community Foundation Grants 

The Scottish Community Foundation aims to improve the quality of life and chances for the people of Scotland. Their work covers a wide range of social welfare and community development activities through a number of different grant programmes.

The two grant programmes open to groups throughout Scotland are:

  • Community Grants – grants of up to £5,000
  • Woman’s Fund for Scotland – grants of up to £5,000.

Community Grants are one off grants directed at locally based work carried out, and often initiated by, members of that local community.

Please click on the following link for more information about the Scottish Community Foundation and the grant making programming.

In-Kind Advertsing for non-profit organisastions from Google

Google Grants offers an in-kind donation programme awarding free AdWords advertsing to select charitable organisations. Google supports organisations sharing their philosophy of community service to help the world in areas such as science and technology, education, global public health, the environment, youth advocacy and the arts.

How to Use Twitter

To follow on from ‘How to Use Facebook’ check out these excellent videos for using Twitter.

Twitter in Plain English

Getting Started with Twitter

Twitter Lists in a Nutshell

Twitter Tools Explained

How to Create an Attractive Profile

Finding Followers

How to Tweet from your Phone

How to use Twitter for your Business

How to Use Facebook

I think that most of us now recognise the value of being on a social network like facebook. The interaction with audiences or customers, the instant feedback, the ability to promote events or activities to your core supporters, and having a more ‘social’ side to your organisation has opened up a whole new dimension of being able to promote what you do, while engaging your audiences on a whole new level.

But that doesn’t mean that we all instantly know how to use facebook. So I’ve scoured the medium of You Tube to find some good examples of facebook tutorials. If you find these useful, or not at all, do let me know. I’d like to produce our own set of online video tutorials, but if these do the job already then do let me know!

How to Register and Join Facebook

Singing Up and Explore the Home Page

Facebook Basics: How to Use Facebook

How to Find, Invite and Add Friends on Facebook

Create a Page on Facebook

How to use Facebook Events to Promote Your Business (Part 1 of 2)

How to use Facebook Events to Promote Your Business (Part 2 of 2)

Facebook Privacy

Click Through to Facebook to See there Video on Using Facebook Privacy Settings.