Bullying on social media sites is all too common nowadays. The most recent tragic case in Donegal at the weekend leading to the tragic suicide of a 13 year old girl shows the insidious and harmful nature of such bullying.

social-media-bullying

Listening to Morning Ireland this morning on RTE Radio 1 I heard the advice being given that “doing a screen grab” was necessary to gather the evidence necessary to confront the bullies.  And it struck me that many parents and children may not actually know how to do this.

It is very simple. The video below shows you how to gather the necessary evidence by capturing screenshots of your computer screen so that you can give them to parents, teachers or Gardai.

You need 2 things only (and they are both free)

1. This button on your keyboard-the Print Screen button. It will look something like this..

PrtScn

SysRq

It is normally beside the f12 button.

2. Paint programme (preinstalled on the vast majority of computers)

Simply follow the instructions in the video and give me a shout if you have any difficulty.

Filed under Social Media Marketing #

If you want to learn how to use WordPress our individualized WordPress training might be just what you need. We provide WordPress training on an individual, one on one basis which ensures that it is geared specifically towards your needs.

wordpress-training

We have provided WordPress training to many groups of students but there is always a common problem: the needs, skills, and experience of many of the students have varied widely. This meant that the “one size fits all” approach was not ideal as it failed to take account of the different knowledge levels of participants.

We found that the basics of WordPress were very well received by beginners but those with some knowledge and experience of WordPress were, quite frankly, bored. And when we moved onto more advance material the advanced users were pleased but much of it went over the heads of the “newbies”.

This is the reason why we now concentrate on our one on one WordPress training. The advantages of this personalized training are

  1. It can be catered to your specific needs taking into account your current level of knowledge
  2. It can be delivered at a pace that suits you
  3. It can be arranged for a time that suits you in your own home or office including the evenings and weekends.

Why Learn How to Use WordPress?

There are many reasons why you might want to learn how to use WordPress including

  • To promote your business
  • To start an online business
  • To showcase your writing or photography or art
  • For community purposes-if you are running a local show or event a basic, Worpress site will allow you to get the word out about is and allow you to communicate easily with all participants
  • For sports clubs-GAA clubs, soccer clubs, rugby clubs. You can use your website to keep all members updated with latest news, results, upcoming fixtures, and more.
  • For personal reasons-you can create a personal or family blog and upload and keep safe all your photos and major events in the life of your family
  • For school
  • For communication in a work or community or school project.

The reasons are endless.

WordPress for Beginners

It doesn’t matter whether you are a complete, clueless beginner or someone with more experience-our Worpress training can address your specific needs at a pace that you are comfortable with.

We can cover everything from

  • installing WordPress on your hosting account,
  • setting up your hosting account,
  • choosing a domain name and the key considerations in this important step
  • choosing a theme which will dictate the look and feel of your site
  • how to set up contact forms
  • how to install video, images, and audio on your site
  • how to promote your site and get the word out
  • how to search engine optimize your site for the search engines
  • and so on.

What we will cover will depend on YOUR needs.

What to do now

Simply contact us through the contact form below.

Alternatively you can access our online video training course.
[contact-form-7 404 "Not Found"]

Those readers of a certain vintage will be saddened to hear that the Dandy will be printed in December 2012 for the last time. The Dandy is going online and “exciting developments” are in the pipeline according to it’s publishers, DC Thomson.

dandy-comic-online

The stunning fact that stuck in my mind when I heard this news was the drop in circulation from a high of 2 million weekly sales in it’s heyday to a low of 8,000 per week.

Yes, 2,000,000 per week to 8,000.

So if you are worried that Desperate Dan has eaten his last cow pie-fear not but future consumption will be online.

The adventures of Korky the Cat, Bananaman, Beryl the Peril will continue in a digital environment as young readers departed in droves to play computer games on the internet.

If you have ever doubted the importance of the internet and it’s role in changing the way business must be carried on nowadays surely the story of the Dandy is sufficient evidence that all is changed and a “terrible beauty is being born”.

If you are a small business owner the lesson of the demise of the physical version of the Dandy can only be ignored at your peril.

Filed under Digital Marketing #

Social media experts tell us that we need to “engage” in social media. Deciding on a good Twitter marketing strategy for example is a necessity we are told. As pointed out recently in the big lie in social media marketing there is no one size fits all when it comes to social media.

twitter-marketing

And for many businesses it is a costly and time consuming distraction which may be of little or no use to your business.

In fact one of the few genius internet marketers on the planet has the following stunning statistics on his Twitter account:

Followers-191,000+

Following-0

 

And his Twitter stream consists of an auto generated feed from his blog pushed out through the Twitterfeed service (which is free).

His name is Seth Godin and here is a look at his Twitter profile.

 

Twitter Clickthrough rate (CTR)

 

The Seomoz.org site reported a click through rate of 1.34% in 2010 and all industry data since then has indicated a reducing ctr on your tweets in the succeeding years with the growth in traffic and noise.

 

This means that if you are lucky approximately 1% of your Tweets are clicked on.

I don’t know about you but this seems to me like an incredibly inefficient way to build a following for me or my business.

Filed under Social Media Marketing #

When I was a little boy I used to cycle from Kilbeggan in Westmeath to Tullamore in Offaly, a 14 mile round trip, to go to the “pictures”.

digital-marketing-2012

I was 10 or 11 and I felt like Buzz Aldrin launching for the moon. That’s Aldrin, not Lightyear.

 

It was always a Sunday matinee and invariably involved cowboys like John Wayne sorting out the baddies (Lee Van Cleef featured in this role regularly).

 

If the movie was in colour it was a real bonus and I only discovered this important fact when the curtains were pulled and the credits started to roll.

 

Nowadays my kids can download movies from the web (don’t ask) before they even reach the multiplex.

 

The pace of change wrought by the growth of the internet has been truly incredible. It is inevitable that this growth and change will continue at an unknown pace.

 

What is known though is that if you are a small business owner and you are not tapping into this power you are in real danger of missing out and getting left behind in growing your business.

 

Many significant things haven’t changed, things like the fundamentals of persuading strangers to do business with you.

 

But the venues and methods by which you as a business owner can persuade more strangers has changed dramatically.

 

Some of these methods are free, some are cheap, some are cost effective and some are a complete waste of time and effort.

 

In the same way that movies nowadays-despite the special effects and three d/wide screen/etc. options-return to recurring themes of redemption, love lost and regained and so forth so should your small business marketing return to recurring themes of trust, usefulness and problem solving for your target market.

Filed under Digital Marketing #

Many small business owners are experiencing severe difficulty in accessing working capital in Ireland today. This is no excuse though for failing to market your business effectively on the internet.

digital-marketing-shoestring-budget

Because there are some fantastic free resources available to help you with your digital marketing activity to promote your business.

 

Here are 5 resources which should be exploited to the full and won’t cost you a penny:

1. YouTube

A YouTube account is completely free. You can have your own branded YouTube channel within minutes. The only requirement is that you have a Google account, for example a gmail address.

 

And yes, Google accounts are free also.

YouTube gives you a great opportunity to
1) Entertain/inform your potential target market
2) Rank well in the search engines
3) Obtain good back links to your website
4) Generate traffic to your website.
(Learn more about YouTube marketing)

 

2. A Website/Blog

Don’t have a website/blog? You can get a free one at any number of sites including WordPress.com, Blogger.com, Posterous.com, Tumblr.com (You can learn more about these resources here)

 

3. A LinkedIn account

LinkedIn is a fantastic (and free) resource to network and generate new business (depending on your business). There is a premium version as well but you don’t need it. (Learn more about LinkedIn marketing )

 

4. Trello

This is a resource that you may not be familiar with. It is an online project management platform which is
a) Brilliant
b) Free.
You can check it out here.

 

5. Google Keyword tool

Millward Brown Lansdowne, Red C Research, Amarach are all professional market research companies in Ireland with great reputations. Presumably their professional fees reflect their expertise in providing their clients with accurate, relevant market research data.

 

The Google keyword tool provides you with relevant, professional data which is spectacularly helpful to your small business-the exact keywords and phrases that your target market is using to search for stuff.

Not too long ago, if you wanted a website for your business you needed to hire a web designer or computer programmer. Nowadays there is a plethora of free and paid platforms to easily communicate with your potential market.

wordpress

And communicating with your potential market should be the goal of your digital marketing efforts.

NOTE: even though some of the sites in the list that follows can be described as “blogging” platforms most of them, with a little thought, can be used to build a website that does not look like a blog.

1. Wordpress.com

This is the most popular platform and is free. Your WordPress site will be hosted, for free, on WordPress.com and will have a url like http://webdesignirelandhq.wordpress.com/

 

2. Wordpress.org

Using the free WordPress software to publish your own site on your own hosting account is one of the most popular ways to go. You choose your own domain name and simply publish what you want when you want. Web Design Dublin is an example of using WordPress.org.

 

3. Blogger

Blogger is a publishing platform owned by Google. Similarly to WordPress.com you will end up with a site with a url like this: http://businessonlineireland.blogspot.ie/

blogger

4. Posterous

Posterous also allows you to create your own website. Here is an example of what your url will look like: http://web-design-dublin.posterous.com/

 

5. Tumblr

 www.Tumblr.com

6. Blog.com

 

7. Typepad

One of the most famous users of Typepad is Seth Godin, a true internet marketing genius.

His blog/site is well worth signing up for and you can find it here: http://sethgodin.typepad.com/

(This blog/website is a page rank 7-to put this in context the Irish Independent and RTE websites are also page rank 7)

 

8. Weebly

 

9. LiveJournal

All of the above sites allow you to quickly and easily, with little or no tech skills, communicate your message to a potentially gargantuan audience.

 

This should be the goal of your internet/digital marketing investment-come to think of it shouldn’t this be the goal of all your marketing efforts?

3

The biggest lie in online marketing for small business owners in Ireland is the notion that you must have a social media marketing strategy.

social-media-marketing-strategy

The idea that you are missing a golden opportunity if you don’t have an active (and time consuming) presence on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest and whatever is the flavour of the month in social media is a dangerous one.

And potentially costly in terms of time expended and money spent.

Many business owners, completely confident with how to conduct their business in the “real” world, are bamboozled when it comes to the internet and it’s potential.

They are assailed with buzz words like “social media marketing strategy” and are led to believe that they are completely behind the curve if they don’t “get it”.

There are a huge number of small business owners who would be far better served spending their time developing their website into a useful hub of information for their target market rather than sending out tweets on Twitter or seeking “likes” on Facebook.

Informing their market about the benefits of their product, how it will improve their lives, reduce costs heating their home, how it will add value to their property or business, answering common and frequently asked questions, teaching them-these are all activities that will show a real return for their business.

And these activities can best be pursued on your own website. Your own virtual real estate.

The internet generally and social media portals in particular are means of communication-nothing more.

They offer great and cost effective methods of communicating with your target market but there are two significant differences between using your website versus social media sites to meet your market-on your website you are in control and your traffic should be targeted.

social-media-marketing-strategy

On social media sites your traffic is not targeted and you have no control over the interaction with the massive risk of changing terms and conditions on somebody else’s site.

Post and telephone are also means of communication.

Do you have a post strategy?

Do you have a phone strategy?

 

Don’t sweat the “social media strategy”.

 

If you are a small business owner you know better than anyone who your target market is, how to communicate with them and how to close the deal.

Don’t lose sight of the big picture worrying about the latest fad in social media; the fundamental principles of persuasion and doing business-converting strangers into customers- haven’t changed for a long time.

Much has been made of social media marketing.

It is a buzz phrase, sexy and can leave you feeling that you are really missing out badly if you don’t have a social media marketing strategy for your business.

social-media-marketing-strategy

Social media marketing can play a role in your marketing of your business.

But there is no one size fits all solution and no, you are not a neanderthal if you don’t have one.

This video takes a look at social media strategy for small business in Ireland or elsewhere and suggests a qualitative differentiation between social media sites before deciding on the right social media strategy for your business.

 

Filed under Social Media Marketing #

E-commerce and setting up your own store online is a huge area of potential growth for small business owners.

e-commerce

You may be an existing small business owner who wishes to derive the benefits of having an online shop as an add on to your existing bricks and mortar store and want to exploit the massive growth of the internet.

 

Or you may be someone who has an idea for a line or range of products that you are confident will sell well online and want to set up your own online shop.

 

How to set up an online shop

 

There are a number of options open to you ranging from dedicated shopping cart software such as Magento, Zen Cart, OS Commerce, Volusion, and others. (You can learn more about Magento e-commerce software here)

 

And there is the simpler, easier to maintain option of using WordPress to set up your online store.

This involves using the WordPress publishing software to build your website and choosing a shopping cart plug in and e-commerce theme.

 

Which option you should go for will depend on a number of factors including

  • Your budget (the WordPress option should be cheaper)
  • The number of products you have or expect to have in your shop
  • How you intend maintaining the site on an ongoing basis-the WordPress option is easier to maintain and grow, especially for people who are not overly technical and who want to maintain a degree of control over their website.

online-shopping

Some examples of nice WordPress themes for e-commerce can be found at Elegant Themes, Theme Forest, WooThemes, and the Clip Cart e-commerce theme from StudioPress.

 

Important considerations

 

Some key factors in the success of your online store will include

  • A professional looking site that inspires confidence
  • A secure payment system which may involve an SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) or Secure HTTP (s-http) to secure credit card transactions
  • Allowing your customer to check out in the least number of clicks possible
  • Good prices and range
  • A clear statement of your shipping and returns policy.

 

Conclusion

 

Failing to tap into the potential of the internet to sell your products is a massive mistake. For a relatively small investment you can set up an online branch/store for your existing business or you can start from scratch provided you are satisfied that the goods/products you will be selling offer good value to the shopper and you can build trust with your visitors.

 

Filed under E-Commerce #