Tell us more about yourself
Mum of two, I am on a mission to inspire Westie families to discover all the gems in our fab corner of the world.
Why did you start your business?
After having my first daughter, I noticed a huge difference in my day when I got out and about and met other families/mums in the park or local library – I also was uncovering some amazing shops, activities and places to go and found myself recommending / sharing these discoveries. I also love photography and am a bit of a techie too! So, I combined all these skills to make a website to put all of this information in one handy spot for people to browse. I also wanted to save other people time searching for the same thing – now we can all just use this time to have fun and get into the community to make those important connections with others.
What advice would you give to a brand new start up?
Take your time getting your long term goals and branding sorted before anything else. A strong brand and mission is really important to keep you on track with what you are trying to do. Run your own race and stay true to your brand – good planning shows (albeit tedious and hard work) it will pay off and makes a big difference to your audience.
What’s been your proudest moment?
We recently had the opportunity to work with local book publisher and author Aly Walsh from Aly’s books and put on a free community book fest showcasing local authors. This was a dream come true, books + local business + local library = 1 happy Mamma and lots of happy kids. Mamma Knows West is giving me all kinds of opportunities to engage in the community and I love it.
What’s been your most challenging moment?
ooooohhh, I’d say working towards launching in 2014. I really needed around 150 articles ready on the website so people could browse around and that you could click on a library and that would link to a nearby cafe, and that would link to a nearby playground … and so getting that much material was very time consuming [1 year of writing and taking photos]. In November 2014 Mandy Couzens joined the Mamma Team and this has been an amazing experience; sharing the load and the experiences – now we have over 400 places to go; cafes, libraries, activities, … all tried and tested by us.
Why did you decide to come to one of The Digital Picnic workshops?
I wasn’t on any kind of social media at all before launching in April 2014. ZERO! So, it really was a massive learning curve trying to get a handle on the ins and outs of all there is to know. The Digital Picnic are Westie Mamma’s and I really wanted to support them and it just so happens that Social Media was the kind of thing I really needed to get some advice on.
What did get out of attending our workshop/s?
HEAPS! I love the connections, getting a chance to ‘talk shop’ with other Social Media Managers, … not to mention learning that I was indeed, an SM Manager! Also, the confirmation of what I was doing well, plus the opportunity to also fill some gaps in my knowledge and understanding. I implemented an Instagram social media strategy immediately off the back of that workshop and I am so glad I did, as I am now seeing that there is a big shift to Instagram and I feel I just got on to that in time. Lastly, the encouragement and personal support has been great and the closed Facebook group has been AMAZING to continue building my knowledge – I am not alone in this ever changing world of Social Media.
Tell us about a recent social media success story you’ve had?
We partnered with a local shop that has a great following and did a competition on Instagram. It was a game of tag and we got over 1500 comments and around 150 new followers. Collaborations can be really useful to get your name out there! Also, we received some media (front page on the local paper!) on the back of our community bookfest with Aly’s Books and and managed to gain another 300 Facebook followers in a couple of days [kicking us over to 11K!]
What’s your current favourite social media channel, & why?
I love Facebook although I must admit with all the success we have had I still am a little perplexed with why some post’s are fab and others fall flat! It will always be a mystery to me [and others, … it seems] but I love it nonetheless. It just keeps me guessing and trying different things. I don’t want to be a ‘fair weather’ friend to Facebook, sometimes it has a bad day – [I mean, … don’t we all!]
Oh, OK! I also LOVE insta! I just do. I can’t help it. There is something so rewarding about building an audience on Instagram and Mamma Mandy is a beautiful photographer, and so her images make our feed very pretty.
And then Twitter is becoming a bit of a fave too.
Sheesh, it’s like asking to choose a favourite kiddo! Don’t make me choose! They all have their purpose.
Images by Mamma Mandy Couzens