Creative Dundee

Boost by Design: Building communities online

A feature by Perrine Mercenier. 

During the last (but not the least!) Boost by Design session on Tuesday 14 March we focused on social enterprises’ digital presence and social media. Darcy Tayler, Creative Dundee’s Digital Producer gave the 13 social enterprises some social media advice and they were then invited to think about their use of social media and were given the task of engaging with new and existing audiences by creating short videos.

Boost by Design has been developed and led by Creative Dundee – for Dundee’s Social Enterprises who are keen to develop their understanding of design, innovation and digital skills. You can read more about all participating social enterprises below. You can find out most about the project hereYou can read more about what the participants learnt during the first, second, and third sessions here.

How can social enterprises easily improve their presence on social media?

With social media playing an important role in building audiences, it’s valuable for all businesses to have appealing and relevant social media platforms.

Darcy reminded us that social media is 24 hours, 7 days a week! However as a small social enterprise ourselves, we know that lack of time and resources are part of the main day-to-day challenges of social enterprises. Some advice given to the participants to create quick and powerful content fitting their organisations included:

Some examples from other social organisations were provided, such as Oxfam (use of theme content), Social Bite (people focused content) and Creative Dundee‘s own crowdsourced content.

The power of creating your own content – Making a video!

Darcy discussed the best way to create interesting content and increase engagement, through experimenting! Try to include your customer’s opinions, use events photos, interview your volunteers/donors, tell stories, make a live stream… or create a video like the participants did during this session. Videos are a great way to share the story of your social enterprise and encourage people to become part of it.

Driven by advice and questions from other participants, four Boost by Design social enterprises created their own pitch video. Following the iterative process of design thinking they learnt the weeks before, they came up with great videos in only one hour!

Top tips to keep in mind when making your own video:

Some inspirational examples of short and simple pitch videos here.

The Videos…

Although everyone was pretty reluctant to do the videos, the results were really great. Here’s Jordan Butler’s from Togs for Tots for Teens who since sharing it on Facebook, it’s been watched over 4,000 times at the time of writing this; which shows it can be a very useful tool for engaging with people. We hope that everyone carries on using their skills to develop different forms of social content. 

Insights of the day

Participants kept in mind that simple things (such as tagging, sharing, updating) can quickly increase their audience online. Through creating their own videos, they realised that there is no need to be an expert; spending 5 minutes a day updating webpages, using phones to make a quick video or showcasing people to create content can have a great impact on online presence and community engagement.

After these four sessions, the social enterprises have a bunch of new design thinking and digital tools to hand. They leave with insights and inspiration embed them in their own organisations. We already believe that it will have really interesting impacts!

The next steps for participants is that they will have personalised mentoring sessions with design and digital experts. A big thanks to everyone for making these workshops boosting and interactive!

You can read more about the social enterprises taking part in this programme below:   

ACK are supporting individuals, groups, charities and social enterprises with services such as fundraising, pr and marketing, training and networking.

Advocating Together is an independent advocacy service which is starting up a new social enterprise to raise awareness about autism, learning disabilities and communication needs. They provide a bespoke communication service and use design to improve communication accessibility across the city.

Discovery Credit Union is an ethical banking system owned by its members. The more money they save, the more they can borrow.

Dundee and Angus ADHD Support Group has been set up to help raise awareness of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder.

Nilupul Foundation are providing free mindfulness-based activities and courses in order to improve the health and wellbeing offering free courses to those in poverty.

Sarah-Ellis Martin Nutrition and Health is helping parents become able and confident to feed their children in a better way through simple and affordable advice shared via social medias and workshops.

SCRAPantics are recycling materials and make them affordable for design projects held by students, community and schools. They collect industry excess materials and recycle them through their store and workshops.

Selection Box is an emerging collective of 9 artists and designers. They’re encouraging participation in creative activities through collaborative, creative events in Dundee.

Shaper/Caper is a dance company which enhances cultural and social integration through dance shows, workshops and discussions with the audience.

Tayberry enterprise enable people with significant health barriers to employment through creative arts and catering services.

Tayside Healthcare Arts Trust (THAT) develops and delivers Creative Engagement Participatory Arts  Projects for people with Long Term Health Conditions across Tayside.

Togs for Tots to Teens are improving the wellbeing of parents and children in need through the collection and distribution of clothing and equipment.

Uppertunity CIC are helping vulnerable adults across Tayside to be socially included and independent. They develop empowerment and self reliance through their skills development service which includes using different therapeutic arts and crafts activities.


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