A few months ago, my friend and respected social media marketing specialist Emma Jane Clark, founder of Gertrude & Ivy, pitched me an idea for a co-hosted workshop on social media. The suggestion was to provide training and guidance from both a marketing expert’s and a social media influencer’s perspective. The target audience was food, drink and hospitality brands looking to up their social media game.
As an ex-trainer I was immediately hooked on the idea and had a great time working with Emma to create our agenda for our Instagram Social Slam.
During three packed hours we covered everything from Optimising your profile, Building your audience, Real versus Fake, Engaging with your community, Harnessing the Power of Hashtags, Identifying influencers and understanding how to work with them, Different types of content for commercial brands, Using the Stories feature, Conquering the terror of Live video, Capturing great flat lays, Editing images beyond the filters and even a discussion on when to jump on the latest trend and when to ignore that bandwagon!
We held our workshop in the beautiful main kitchen at Venturi’s Table, an Italian cooking school and catering company in Wandsworth Town. They provided delicious ans suitably photogenic refreshments to keep everyone fed, watered and inspired to instagram!
Read on for feedback from some of our attendees and a question and answer between Emma and I!
What Our Attendees Had To Say
Nicola has a predominantly media and PR background but is currently training as a Nutritional Therapist and in the early stages of starting a blog to share her love of food and recipes, and to eventually support her business when she qualifies.
“I had a fabulous evening at Social Slam. The experience of Emma Jane and Kavita really shone through and I picked up a vast amount of knowledge about the importance of engagement on instagram, how to hone your brand and target your niche, clever tricks for blogging/social media and ideas for promoting my new business. It really was an invaluable evening spent – amazing how much you can learn in the space of just a few hours!”
The Conscientious Cook provides bespoke event catering and refined-sugar, gluten and dairy free treats. Their treats provide the body with natural boosts and are made to order and delivered to your door.
“Super informative and fun – a great social media workshop. Knowledge is the key to success and Social Slam nailed it!”
Donna is a lifestyle, fashion and business blogger and writes from a “Mummy point of view”.
“Thank you for hosting such a brilliant event. I couldn’t wait to put some of helpful tips and tricks into place and I have already seen a dramatic increase from my posts and followers! Amazing!”
Amelia Rope Chocolate creates chocolates that are all about taste, quality and purity with a smidgeon of creativity & a hint of luxury. All their chocolates are Single Origin and handmade in England. They are known for the bold splashes of colour in their packaging, and have also been recognised for Amelia’s award-winning bars by both Great Taste and the Academy of Chocolate Awards.
“My experience with you at social slam was fantastic. Great people, well presented and a lot of fun! I learnt a lot of really helpful tips for maximising the use of the platforms and would definitely recommend it to anyone wanting to grow their business through social media.”
Venturi’s Table is the UK’s first corporate cookery school, custom-built to provide fun cookery experiences for groups of business professionals.
“Social Slam was an utter eye-opener on how any Instagram account can be nurtured and managed. In such a short space of time I came away with lots of really useful tips and tricks that could be easily applied to our account – both Gertrude & Ivy and Kavey are serious #instagurus. Thank you for a wonderful evening.”
Emma Asks Kavey
EJC: You were my first choice food & drink blogger, for our first ever Social Slam. Thank you again Kavita – not only for agreeing to take part, but for being so brilliant throughout – I think the feedback says it all, but I wanted to say it again. I really enjoyed sitting next to you, sharing our Social Media marketing knowledge, while perched for on those high stools at Venturi’s Table Cookery School. We were training, without a break, for over 3 hours – yet the time flew!
EJC: Why did you agree to take part in Social Slam?
KF: Firstly because I it was you who asked! I’ve always enjoyed what you and your team at Gertrude and Ivy do, your approach, personality and ethics. Secondly, I was a professional IT Trainer for 15 years so it was a wonderful opportunity to call on those training skills now that’s no longer my day job, both in developing the training course itself and delivering it. And lastly, I’m a self-professed Social Media Whore so sharing my love of Instagram and my tips for using it more effectively was hugely appealing!
EJC: Did any of the multiple Social Media marketing tips and experiences we shared at the workshop, make you amend your current activities? (I DID!)
KF: You know, sometimes it’s far too easy to forget to take your own advice! You reminded everyone to make full use of the 30 hashtags available to them for each post and as I mentioned the need to keep your hashtags list fresh and updated, I realised I’d left it far too long since reassessing the ones I routinely use myself. I’ve been shaking mine up a little more since the workshop, though more research and change still needed!
EJC: Mermaid Toast. Discuss. (why was this part of our workshop, despite your misgivings – i.e. how did we make the point about trends?)
As you know, I pulled quite a face when you suggested using Mermaid Toast as a way to promote our workshop and as an practical session during it. But when I thought about it more, I decided it was a great segue into a discussion about when and how to harness trending topics and when jumping on that bandwagon is a step too far! I remain unconvinced by the appeal of multicoloured cream cheese as a food stuff but it still made a fun element to the workshop!
Kavey Asks Emma
KF: It was such a huge pleasure working with you on this workshop – I loved how in step we were on what to include in the workshop, the way we both like to deliver training, and indeed on every element and step! It felt like such a natural partnership, I can’t wait to run another. Just let me know when!
KF: 1. What was the idea behind social slam and why did you want to team up with a blogger to design and deliver the workshop?
EJC: I’ve been training fellow professionals on how to use Social Media since 2008 – it is one of my favourite elements of my work. Gertrude & Ivy regularly host group training events – such as Good Morning Twitter – our networking breakfast with advanced Twitter tips, and Insta-training – an intensive, 2 hour workshop for budding IGers. People tell us they like the Gertrude & Ivy approach: practical, workshop style learning, mixed with applicable marketing strategy instruction – delivered in plain speak, with plenty of examples.
As influencer marketing has become increasingly important, for brands to achieve online success, I decided to create a new workshop format and invite a sector specific blogger to take part. We called it Social Slam, in the spirit of “poetry slam” events – making reference to the fact that anyone can take part and it doesn’t take up too much time! Although our knowledge of Instagram functionality, trends and behaviour, are much the same – you shared your personal experience of working with food and drink brands, from the distinct perspective of an established, respected blogger. Working with you/ Kavey Eats on the first Social Slam, naturally made the workshop relevant for f&b brands – the attendees had the chance to meet you and potentially form a valuable connection. The added bonus of working with you was your track record as a professional trainer!
KF: You mentioned that you’ve changed some of your own Social Media activities following the workshop – what have you implemented from the tips covered?
EJC: We changed our “name” in the bio to something more descriptive – as we have @gertrudeandivy as our @username, and our logo as our profile image, it meant we previously had: Gertrude & Ivy / @gertrudeandivy / Gertrude & Ivy logo, all displayed alongside each other. Now it is changed, so we are taking advantage of extra space for keywords too. Although I am well acquainted with the functionality of Instagram, when in a workshop with other Social Media brains, I’m often inspired and see things from a fresh perspective – every day is a school day, even for the Social Media trainer!