Quirky Web

Web and social media for small businesses


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I’m now a Hootsuite Platform Certified Professional

Hootduite Certification logo

Anyone who is managing multiple social media accounts across platforms will find it hard to stay on track unless they are using some sort of tool. There’s quite a few out there and they range from free versions to professional and enterprise paid for versions.

I’ve played around with a few now and found the Hootsuite free version is pretty good. You can manage three social media profiles with it and you get some analytics too. Obviously three platforms might be less than you need, but c’mon this one is free!

Obviously you can upgrade your account and upgrade the number of social profiles and users. I’ve noticed they sometimes offer 30 and 60 free trials of the upgrades too. It’s worth keeping an eye open and trying the Professional version for free for 60 days if you can.

Another cool thing that Hootsuite do is they have some free online courses. The courses range from using their platform through to social marketing, strategy and advertising. The courses are in nice and simple bite size videos which makes it easy to dip in and out of the training. After completing the course you then have the option of paying to take the exam. If you pass then you get a certification and you can have a listing in their Certified Professionals Directory.

Well whilst I was getting up to speed with using Hootsuite I decided to do the online training.

Anyway, today I decided to take the exam. At the time of writing, the course is just $99. I passed today with the rather pleasing score of 90% – you need 80% to pass. I’m now also listed in their Certified Professionals Directory:

https://directory.hootsuite.com/julieplumb

Pretty cool eh?

Google Digital Garage LogoI love how much online training there is out there and how much of it is free. Just before Christmas I went through Google Digital Garage and took their exam – both the training and the exam are free for this. I found it was a really good refresher for Google and brilliant at updating my knowledge with the newer aspects of Google. It is suitable for both beginners and professionals.

Have you found any useful free training that has helped you to update your online skills?

 

 

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Getting back into the swing of social media

social-mediaOK, I’ve been working in the online world for way longer than I’d like to remember…

I’ve been taking a career break after having my little girl. She is now 4 (where did that time go) so will be starting Reception in September.

During this time I have been running Quirky Purple  and it’s been a blast! It has allowed me to use my creative side and made lots of lovely handmade goodies but also to keep my online skills up to date by running a WordPress site, Etsy, Folksy, eBay, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and Twitter sites. Because it’s a micro-business and there’s just me, I can flex the work up and down and even close my shop when I need to. OK, it doesn’t make a lot of money, but its fun and keeps my skills ticking over.

Now, ticking over – there’s a problem.

I decided last year that I needed to get cracking on updating my skills if I wanted to be properly ‘work ready’ by September. I spent a lot of time going to open days and looking up courses. I was accepted on another MSc (I’ve already got one in Networked Information Engineering) but unfortunately the university couldn’t seem to get to grips with my need to know in advance when I would need to be physically in the university so I could arrange childcare.

Anyway, I finally came across Digital Mums. They run a 6 month course on Strategic Social Media Management. Not only do they understand that we sometimes have to work around our children but they actively promote #workthatworks and flexible working. The really cool bit is that you work with a real life client though the course and run a real social media campaign for them.

So far it’s been brilliant starting to getting back up to speed in the fast changing online world. It’s also very cool working with like-minded people again!


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Focus on Facebook

If you’ve been reading these regular blog posts, you’ll have noticed that Facebook features quite a bit. Well, there’s a reason for that – it can be a lot of things to a lot of people.

Simple web presence

Setting up a Facebook page can often be the quickest and easiest way of getting a web presence. For many small businesses, it is their only web presence – and Facebook can work well!

It’s so easy to set up a page and do a simple bit of customising. Very often this can be done with a profile and a header picture. You can then easily add in some photos of your products and you have your starting point.

Simple Sales

Countless small businesses will also use Facebook as their main selling platform. There are a number of ways to do this. The simplest ways is to add photos of your stock and then add information to each picture, including the price. Put a note to ask people to message you if they want to buy and then you can send them a PayPal invoice. This method is used effectively by many small crafters.

Driving sales

If you use eBay, Etsy or Folksy as your main selling platform you can use Facebook to drive sales across. All of these selling platforms will let you share your products on Facebook which includes a direct link to your product sales page. Statistics on those sites will also let you check how many people clicked through from Facebook.

There’s also a second stage where you can use a Facebook app to create a tab on your Facebook page which list all of your products with clickthroughs to the product sales pages. Many are free such as EasySocialShop and easy to set up.

Don’t forget Facebook ads too. They can be used to increase the likes on your page or drive traffic through to your sales platform.

Keeping people interested

Although ultimately you would like people to buy your products or services, you have to make sure that you are not just doing the hard sell all the time.

Try to get a good balance between selling and  non-selling. Like pages and updates that you think will interest your followers. Post up interesting articles or pictures. Try and relate your posts to special dates, news or celebrations – Valentine’s Day, Royal baby news, for example.

You could even start your own funny Friday photo!