Starjumper Social Media – a long overdue update

A lot of people have been asking me what I’m up to, what I’m working on and am I still doing the whole social media thing. Well the short answer is yes, I’m still working. I’m still working with businesses and organisations on their social media campaigns and I love it.

2013 was a busy year for me both personally and professionally. I decided to reassess my career and I decided that social media needed to play a big part in what I did going forward. I also decided that it was high time that I returned to my first love which was writing.

In the summer of 2013 I started writing a personal blog, to my surprise it was a big success and people seem to enjoy reading it and brands seem to enjoy working with me, so my future lies in my blog. This does not mean that I’m giving up on the world of social media! It just means that from now on I’ll be incorporating the two.

So if you want to find me and read what I’m up to, you can mostly find me over at HodgePodgeDays. If you want to talk about working with me either orchestrating a social media campaign for you, or doing some copywriting for you (yes I do that too), then you can find examples of my work and recommendations here and you can contact me here.

So don’t be shy, do say hello and I’d still love to work with you, if you’ll have me.

Very best wishes,

Jane

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Funky Kitsch – A potted history

We’re delighted that the talented and lovely Lisa Stell, owner of Funky Kitsch has written a fabulous guest blog for us about gnomeville-pinafore-funky-kitsch her experiences of starting her own business.

I love working for myself. I really do. Many years ago (7 actually), I left the office rat race and set up working at home running my own business. Back then I was selling high end perfume both on my own website and on my Ebay shop. I did very well in the first two years, (the hardest years of a business in my opinion) and only closed the perfume shop when I had my daughter who is now 5.

Once my little tiddler started nursery I knew the time was right to start working again, but there was no way I could consider going back to an office and by 2011, the world of perfume had moved on. Our wholesaler was selling on Ebay at prices we could obviously not compete with, so it was a no brainer that I wouldn’t be selling any more perfume.

Whilst I was still pondering what I could offer the big wide world, I was doing what I had done since my daughter had been born; looking at lovely clothes from Scandinavia. I always bought these clothes as they were a bit quirky, good quality, and organic. They also held their value and could be sold on once they had been outgrown. I loved them (and still do). I had my epiphany moment whilst browsing one of the scandi websites one day, admiring the lovely fabric and I thought ‘I could sell this stuff’. From that initial spark of an idea came a lot of researching; finding wholesalers, shipping costs, competitors etc. Once I had mastered all that comes with ordering from overseas, I cast my mind further afield to quirky gifts, readymade clothing, toys. In fact all of my stock is pretty much an extension of my tastes!

In October 2012 I decided to experiment with having a bricks and mortar shop. I rented a space with a retail outlet and gave myself 6 months to see how things went. It was much harder than I anticipated and although the customers that came and bought my products loved them, I found that ‘where it’s at’ is online. It’s a sad but true fact that the high street is losing out to online shopping. Whether there will be a renaissance in the near future and a return to independents on the high street I don’t know. After my 6 months I decided to return to online only. I’m a small business and watching the pennies is essential if you don’t want to go under.

Ok, I’ll admit, it has been a hard slog at times, especially when you have family life going on in the next room. At least in an office you can leave it all behind but working from home, it can often be hard to keep focused and distractions are everywhere. However, I work the hours to fit around my family. Sewing at midnight is something that does happen frequently. Looking through emails and making to-do lists before bed is routine. And I don’t come out in a cold sweat worrying how I’ll tell my manager that school has phoned to tell me to pick up my sick daughter.

What I’ve learnt over the past 18 months is this: If you’re thinking of chucking in your 9-5 job and forging ahead, building your own empire then I’d say go for it. Recession? What recession?

But before you do throw the resignation on your bosses desk and tell him all the things you’ve been wanting to say for years, stop. Wait. Think. You’ll need a clear vision of the type of products or services you want to sell. A business plan. Some capital to set your business up and/or buy stock. Do your homework and research the industry you will become part of. Know your competitors and more importantly, what your customers want. Your business can be a success or a failure and the bottom line is it’s down to how hard you want it to succeed. It’s not a secret or rocket science. Honest.

Love her concept? Visit the Funky Kitsch online store!

 

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Why Favourite Tweets?

The biggest compliment one of your tweets can get is a retweet. The second best is quitephoto (5) possibly a “favourite” (though personally as it’s SOCIAL media, I’d like an engaging chat about the content of the tweet, but a favourite is fine too).

I was asked a couple of weeks ago by a twitter friend and blogger to explain the reasons why people favourite tweets.

Twitter itself suggests that favourites “are most commonly used when users like a Tweet. Favouriting a Tweet can let the original poster know that you liked their Tweet, or you can save the Tweet for later”. But here’s my take on it, I’d love to hear why you favourite tweets too!

1. It’s the twitter equivalent of a Facebook “like” its just a great tweet. Funny, insightful, moving. I want to either “save” it so I can read the witticism or wisdom again in the future or just show my appreciation for it right now.

2. It’s a simple thank you without the need to tweet a real thank you. Often used at the end of a twitter-chat to signal appreciation for the conversation, which has now reached its natural but amicable end. Or just saving the chat to refer back to later.

3. To act as a reminder to do something or to reply later when you have all the information you need to respond properly. Something like a to do list.

4. It contains a link to some content that I want to refer to in the near future or a long read or a video that I don’t have time for just this minute. Twitter is so fast paced at times, it’s very useful to be able to bookmark tweets to read when you’ve got more time on your hands.

I asked my followers on Twitter why they favourited tweets, and a large number of responses suggested that they favourited tweets on their mobile when they were out so they could read them later on their home computer. Twitter with its 140 characters is ideally suited for reading on a smartphone but a 1000 word article can be a bit tiresome.

Within the last month or so, there has been a huge rise in the number of “strangers” favouriting tweets. This is a new way that spammers try to grab your attention and get you to follow them. If a stranger favourites a tweet and you look at their profile, it’s usually really easy to see who is genuine and has just stumbled across your brilliant tweet, and who is a spammer (relatively new account, oddly written bio, hardly any followers etc). You can’t stop people favouriting your tweets unless you have a private profile, but if it really bothers you then you can block them.

It’s also worth noting that Klout counts favourited tweets as an indicator of quality and influence. So if your tweets are attracting favourites it can help to bump your score up.

So what are your reasons for favouriting tweets?

 

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Be Interesting ~ Dale Carnegie

You can make more friends in two months by becoming interested in other people than you can in two years by trying to get other people interested in you.
Dale Carnegie

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Small Business Thinking Big: Adding Value

For many years I’ve thought John Lewis was the very last word in customer service. photoEverything was never knowingly undersold, their shop assistants really knew their product and they gave excellent advice. I loved them and I still love them now, though in recent years I’ve shopped there less.

But why? For me as a consumer I’ve made a conscious decision to support local small businesses, to shop local and where a product wasn’t available locally I’d try and source it from a small Internet based business preferably within the region. I feel that I am a small part of a groundswell of support for the Shop Local movement, more and more people are turning to their local high street and supporting the businesses on it. I think if you have a thriving high street then you have a happier and more cohesive community. But I digress.

Being Small But Thinking BIG!

As a small (or even teeny-tiny) business it can be hard to go up against the big guys like Tesco or John Lewis. It’s difficult to undercut them on price, but you can undercut them on service.

So what can you offer that Tesco can’t? 

If you’ve grafted to start your own business it’s pretty clear that you’re passionate about your product or service. You may have studied for years, worked hard to learn your craft or trade, or saved and made sacrifices to make your business dream a reality. Whatever path you’ve taken to entrepreneurship, you’ve got the knowledge and expertise in your chosen field which is unlikely to be matched by a supermarket checkout operator.

In a recent blog I talked about a number of small businesses who’d gone the extra mile to help me out, so how can your business go that extra mile? What can you do for the customer that adds value to them? It’s not about making your petty cash system more efficient, you customer doesn’t care about that, but what do they care about? What adds value to their experience?

Would added value be free delivery within a 10 mile radius? Free gift wrapping? Someone to talk them through how to install something technical without making them feel like an idiot? What passion, knowledge, expertise or support can you give your client or customer? Have a think, run a little trial and see what kind of feedback you get from your customers. You might be surprised at the results.

Let us know how you get on or what you already do that adds value.

See also: Perfecting The Personal Touch – how a small business can make customers feel special.

Posted in Customer Service, Didsbury, Didsbury social media, Small business, Social Media | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

More Top Twitter Tips

A few weeks ago we published a little blog showing the top five of our recent #TwitterTips. The blog was tremendously popular so we decided to do a follow up. Here are five more of our latest top tips for tweeters. What’s your top tip? imageimageimageimageimage For more Twitter Tips and social media advice and support why not find us and follow us on Twitter and Facebook. Come on over and say hello!

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Pining for Pinterest #StarPins

Here at Starjumper Social Media we’re big fans of Pinterest. Most businesses who use it do so to display their wares and to drive sales. We use it to curate really useful, free information for our followers and friends. It’ll probably never win us any business on its own, but it does provide an added extra for our followers, friends and clients as well as giving our Pinterest followers (over 1,000 of them so far) a little peak at our personality.

We know that a number of our Twitter and Facebook followers don’t as yet use Pinterest (you’re missing out – sign yourself up) and that some of you are just beginning to dip your toe in. It’s definitely something worth exploring, don’t be daunted, once you get it, you’ve got it. Fair warning, Pinterest is super-addictive!

Recently Pinterest introduced analytics which has at last allowed us at a glance to see what’s popular on our boards. Each day we check our pins and see what’s been the most pinned and liked. So to share the love, we tweet our most popular pin from the previous day using the hashtag #StarPins.

So keep an eye out on our Twitter feed or simply search for #StarPins to see the most popular pick of the crop.photo (3)

Do you use Pinterest? Let us know how you use it, or if you don’t, why you don’t.

To access a wealth of free social media and business information, visit our Pinterest page. Why not follow us?

A selection of our boards:

  • Social Media
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • Pinterest
  • LinkedIn
  • B2B
  • SEO
  • WordPress & Blogging
  • Customer Service
  • Lovely Words (Inspirational Quotes)
  • Business Strategy
  • Content Marketing
  • Photography Tipsphoto (3)
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