- To provide students studying towards BSc Entrepreneurship with a greater understanding of the principles behind effective communication.
- To provide students studying towards BSc Entrepreneurship with a greater understanding of the importance of a personal brand, and how a personal brand is developed.
- To provide students studying towards BSc Entrepreneurship with a greater understanding of how communication strategies and brand apply to individuals and businesses in a social media context.
- To provide students studying towards BSc Entrepreneurship with practical opportunities to develop the social media presence of their own business endeavours.
The ability to communicate effectively through social media is an essential asset for any business.
The BSc (Hons) Entrepreneurship Degree Programme at Glyndwr University attracts students with a passion for business, and many who have already launched their own enterprises. However, many lack confidence with, and knowledge and understanding of, how to utilise social media to best effect to support their businesses.
Facilitated by programme tutor Sarah Elizabeth Evans, and delivered by Mike Corcoran and the University's enterprise service 'ZONE', the workshop 'Being Heard' was delivered to address these concerns for a small group of 4 students. The workshop followed the format as outlined in How To Guide 'Workshop: Being Heard' (see resources). The workshop was delivered from a computer lab, over a two hour session, and combined the presentation elements of the workshop, with group and one-to-one discussion, and opportunities to work in real-time on the students own social media platforms.
The AV presentation for use in the delivery of the workshop can be downloaded via the link to the 'ZONE Enterprise Hub' web pages listed in the resources and references at the end of this document.
(See Resources / References for materials to accompany the delivery of this activity).
Activity Part 1: Introduction
- The themes of the workshop were introduced to the group.
- Taking advantage of the small group size, a group discussion allowed students to share details of their own enterprises or enterprise ambitions, along with their current usage, knowledge and understanding of social media. This ensured the remainder of the workshop was delivered at an appropriate level and contextualised appropriately for the learners.
Activity Part 2: Communication
- The group explored the principles behind effective communication (in any arena) namely; presentation structure, the use of tools, and powerful delivery.
- This section followed the format of the workshop 'How to Speak in Public', a guide and resources for which, can be found in the 'Resources / References' section of this document.
Activity Part 2: Personal Brand
- Students were presented with the logos of various companies, and discussed the words and feelings which a brought to mind when they saw each.
- They discussed what the reasons for these are, and the actions companies have taken to bring them about.
- The students then reflected on the brand identity of their own businesses or business ideas.
Activity Part 3: Social Media
- In accordance with the needs as identified by the students and their tutor, this section of the workshop was the main focus of the session.
- The students discussed how each of the points discussed in communication and branding applied within a social media context.
- The students looked at various case studies, a mixture of graduate start-ups, national and international organisations, and discussed how each utilised social media to engage with their audience. The students identified how the skills of branding and communication were being applied within the social media context.
- At this stage, the students also looked at examples of negative feedback on social media. The problems encountered by businesses on social media were discussed, and the students suggested solutions to the identified problems.
- The students own business endeavours were discussed in turn, and the group discussed how each could utilise social media to greatest effect.
- The students then used the computers in the lab to log into their own social media platforms. For those without platforms, the students were directed through the creation of these step-by-step.
- They then used developed their platforms, with one-to-one support offered by Mike and Sarah.
Activity Part 4: Conclusion
- The main themes of the workshop were re-capped.
- Students were recommended additional resources and support available to support them, and further upcoming events, looking at social media for business in more detail, were advertised to students.
- The results of the workshop made an immediate impact on participants, as the social media presence of their real business endeavours was worked upon and improved during the workshop, directly impacting on their enterprises.
- The activities were well received by the programme tutor, and the workshop fostered further collaborative working between programme and ZONE at Glyndwr University.
- Positive feedback was received from learners, who reported that the activity helped them to improve their confidence in using social media, and their understanding of how to make it work for their businesses.
- Several learners reported reservations and concerns regarding social media at the beginning of the session, and having time to discuss and debate these concerns allowed them to consider how they could be managed and alleviated, as well as encouraging peer-to-peer learning and support amongst the group as ideas were shared.
- Lesson plans and PowerPoint presentations to accompany this activity can be downloaded via > https://moodle.glyndwr.ac.uk/course/view.php?id=37§ion=11.
- See How-To Guide 'Workshop: Being Heard' for a detailed outline of this workshop, and 'Workshop: How to Speak in Public' for a more in depth exploration of public speaking skills.
With thanks to Sarah Elizabeth Evans, PhD student, Business School, Glyndwr University