CK Businesses Learn What It Takes To Go Viral

Lauren Darby, local social media expert and owner of Master Key Social, at the Chatham-Kent Small Business Centre's Social Media Education Event for Local Businesses. July 25, 2018. (Photo by Sarah Cowan Blackburn News Chatham-Kent).

Chatham-Kent businesses got a taste of social media at a seminar on Wednesday that explored everything from popular memes to going viral.

The Chatham-Kent Small Business Centre hosted the Social Media: Going Viral lunch and learn event on Wednesday at the Ridgetown Municipal Office.

The seminar featured keynote speaker Lauren Darby, who is a local social media expert and owner of Master Key Social. Her business mostly involves social media management and creating strategic campaigns for people to promote their new product or event. She also creates simple, user-friendly websites.

Darby thanked the Chatham-Kent Small Business Centre for making her business possible through Summer Company, which is a provincial program designed to help young people start up and run their own summer business.

“They give you the opportunity to start your own business with a grant and they give you a lot of mentorship opportunities and opportunities to network within that group. It’s just been a really great time. We’ve had one big meeting so far and we got to meet everyone and they have such amazing businesses. There’s a lot of younger people as well,” she says.

Residents who are between the ages of 15 and 29, in school and returning to school in the fall, can apply to Summer Company. More information about the program can be found online.

Darby says it’s so important for local businesses to brush up on their social media skills.

“We’re kind of in a bubble here and I want people to be able to push outside of that and show people from outside how great small towns can be and how great these small businesses are and their original ideas,” says Darby. “Here in Ridgetown there are some really amazing businesses that I’ve been able to go into and talk to and I just want more people to know about them and to be aware and come in and check things out.”

Darby gave a few examples of social media strategies that can help a post or campaign go viral:

“One is creating what we call ‘evergreen content,’ so that’s content that is always relevant,” says Darby. “Ten years from now, people are still going to still be able to share that and talk about what is relevant about it and that’s still prevalent in our society.”

Darby says an example of evergreen content is the Dove Real Beauty Campaign, because self-esteem issues are always going to be a topic of discussion in society.

She says another strategy is using existing trends like memes and viral videos to push your business forward.

Local entrepreneur Sally Ellis, who owns the beard oil business Smellis, says she found Darby’s presentation very helpful.

“I like the fact that she brought forward video contents of already established business and how to handle memes and all sorts of things,” says Ellis. “I really did enjoy the presentation.”