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Posted on: 8 August, 2019

Orchard owners put their farm on the map with the help of Digital Workshops


The Orchard Yeppoon has been a hidden treasure on the Capricorn Coast for over a century, but new owner Bernadette Melrose and husband Mark Thomas are putting it on the map with the help of several digital and marketing workshops hosted by Council.

In conjunction with the Australian Small Business Advisory Services, Livingstone Shire Council is hosting Rockhampton-based marketing and advertising company LAD Social to deliver another suite of upcoming workshops in 2019, specialising in social media.

New to the life of owning a fruit orchard which Bernadette and Mark have transformed into a popular wedding and functions venue; the couple say they have seen a big improvement in their online interactions with customers since taking part in the workshops.

“Essentially I had no idea how social media worked, or could work, in a business sense. So these workshops helped us increase our market exposure by 300 percent easily and at next to no cost,” Bernadette said.

“As we procure more items for our venue, or look at improvements, it has given me a good framework for ongoing assessment of impact and a good foundation for how to reach the right people.

“It’s hard to tell exactly how much it has increased our 'conversion to sales' rate, but I believe it has had a significant effect. There’s definitely a whole lot more traffic and enquiries.”

Deputy Mayor and Council’s Digital Economy and Innovation Champion Councillor Nigel Hutton said these workshops are a fantastic way for smaller-scale local businesses to build their online presence and compete in a digital world.

“Did you know that 75percent of people will never look on page two of a Google search? These workshops offer advice on how to develop your own marketing plan, grow and engage your target audiences effectively and understand best practices and different strategies,” Cr Hutton said.

“Council continues to strive towards providing services and opportunities of this kind to further enhance and support our region’s vital business community, which assists in strengthening our growing economy.”

LAD Social owner Liam Fahey said participants will be introduced to social media platforms like Facebook, Snapchat and Instagram to access younger audiences and potential customers on the platforms.

“Your customers are online, so as a business you have to be seen where your customers are looking. Other tools and tips will include fine tuning your website to get the right customers to your webpage, designing effective advertising on Facebook, and getting better reach with your content,” Mr Fahey said.

The series of workshops will be held in Yeppoon at The Hub – Top Floor, 7-9 James Street, Yeppoon on 19 August and 4 September, 2 & 19 October, and 14 November.

Tickets are $18.41, to book please visit

Yeppoon Workshops
• Monday 19 August 10am – 12pm: Influence and Instagram Workshop
• Wednesday 4 September 4pm – 6pm: Talking Social for Tradies Workshop
• Wednesday 2 October 10am – 12pm: Get noticed serving
• Saturday 19 October 10am – 12pm: Facebook for your business
• Thursday 14 November 7.30am – 9.30am: Getting found: Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)

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