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How To Increase Your Facebook Post Reach

April 01, 2016 Read more

Here at Supermums, we often get asked this question and we really wish we had the answer. It is a subject that baffles many business owners and marketing experts. What we, as business owners have to do is take the challenge and find out what works and what doesn't. Our advice to our members is to experiment; only you know who your followers are, what their needs are and what is going to engage them so build upon that knowledge, experiment with posts and monitor your 'Insights' to see what gives the best results.

As Facebook has become more popular, now with over 1.5 billion monthly users and as we continue to like pages and find our friends; Facebook had to come up with a system to filter and restrict what we see. What we do see in our news feed is called 'reach'. 'Organic reach' refers to any posts that reach users naturally i.e. without being paid for.

Facebook filters organic posts according to their quality. How a post is ranked and filtered determines the number of people it reaches. You can have a few thousand followers and publish a post which disappointedly only reaches 10 of your followers.

As Kenneth Lewis* explains 'Facebook reach uses an algorithum to filter content and decide if it is worth your followers time. The original algorithum called Edgerank uses three factors: Affinity, Edge Weight and Time Decay'.

Affinity: Affinity is the level of relationship between two users; how frequently they interact over Facebook i.e. liking, sharing, tagging and commenting.

Edge Weight: Every action on Facebook such as liking, sharing, and commenting has a different edge weight hence suggests a closer relationship. Commenting has a higher weight than liking. If, for example, you comment on posts on a page, Facebook is more likely to show you posts from that page rather than pages you like but do not engage with.

Time Decay: Time Decay is all about keeping your newsfeed current. Facebook prioritises current newly released posts. It is also more likey to filter posts that less frequent users post rather than those who publish numerous posts a day.

Unfortunately for us, exactly how Facebook filters posts remains a secret and their algorithms are updated very frequently to deal with the increased traffic.

From our research and experience we know that there are a few factors that increase your post reach:

 - Posting at non-peak times such as evenings and weekends when there is less traffic for Facebook to filter.

 - Keep your posts short and to the point, long posts tend to turn people off.

 - Use high quality video and images. Facebook prefers you to use their own video player rather than Youtube.

 - Use calls-to-action such as like, share, comment etc

 - Use hashtags to link to popular trends.

 - Ensure your content is relevant to your followers, content that is engaging is more likely to have a higher reach.

 - Pay Facebook; Facebook makes it difficult for businesses to be seen in newsfeeds as there is so much competition and Facebook would rather you pay to increase your reach.

Do you know of any other ways to increase your reach?

*THe Ultimate Facebook Marketing Guide: How To Use Facebook To Master Internet Marketing And Acheive Social Media Success by Kenneth Lewis

 

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Are You A Social Listener?

April 01, 2016 Read more

I don't know about you, but to me, the term 'Social Listener' sounds very academic, like an important job role but really it isn't. It is a simple term and if like me, you are a fan of social media, it is highly likely that you are already doing it to some extent. Trackmaven.com defines 'Social Listening' as "the process of monitoring digital media channels to devise a strategy that will better influence consumers. Taking information from places that consumers participate in online can be invaluable".

Now you know what it is, do you do it? If you do, what do you do with the information?

Social Listening is invaluable for business, it allows you to gather insight into what people are saying (on digital platforms) about your business, what your customers are saying, what your potential customers are looking for and what your competitors are saying. It is the process of being digitally aware! Where as Google Analytics provides the quantitative data, Social Listening is monitoring consversations to provide the qualitative data.

Although the process of Social Listening is simple, it does take time. Many of the well known brands will employ staff or task agencies to listen for their brand on a daily/hourly basis. While we don't have that luxury, there are a few simple steps to follow:

1. List and monitor key words that relate to your product, brand, service and/or event. Refine the keywords to include the possibility of mis-spellings

2. Find your communities, follow trends, influencers and competitors, discover what channels they are using and when.

3. Follow, engage, monitor and use: what is being talked about? What are people saying about your business? What are your competitors doing? What are your potential customers looking for? Consider how you can use the information to benefit your business and use the insights to get a better understanding of what your customers want.

 

If this feels like a lot of work, don't panic! Here are a few tools to help:

Google Alerts: Create an email alert to track mentions and trends.

Quora: A free resource to track what people are saying about your product and other relevant trends/topics

Twitter and Facebook Search: Use the search capablities of Facebook and Twitter

Social Mention: Enter your keywords to get results from the different social media channels.

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Bin The Bread!

March 25, 2016 Read more

The Canal and River Trust are on a mission to improve the health of our wild birds and their habitats so they are asking everyone who feeds ducks to consider swapping the usual white bread for something a little healthier.

To make it easier for you they have put together a list of alternative duck snacks. Time to raid your cupboards!

Corn

It turns out that ducks are quite partial to a sweetcorn. Tinned, frozen or fresh!

Lettuce

As a nation we’re guilty of throwing away a vast amount of lettuce, especially the bagged variety. Instead of consigning it to the bin, rip it into pieces and treat your local ducks.

Frozen peas and sweetcorn

There’s no need to cook them but make sure you defrost them first!

Oats

Flapjacks, rolled oats and even instant porridge oats will be a huge hit with ducks.

Seeds

Whether you buy bird seed or seeds from the healthy aisle in the supermarket – the ducks will be very grateful for these nutritious nibbles.

Rice

Wild ducks will appreciate a handful of leftover rice from a takeaway. Just remember to keep the crispy duck all to yourself.

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Get Your Baby To Sleep In Eight Easy Steps

March 23, 2016 Read more

 

Speaking from experience, I know too well that having a baby that won't settle and sleep is exhausting and stressful. There are so many tried and tested methods you don't know where to start. Here, we take a look at the latest one from Christine Minogue.

In her latest book, baby whisperer, Christine Minogue, a mothercraft nurse for more than 30 years sets out eight easy steps to get your baby to sleep in just five days.

 

STEP ONE

Make the time. For this method to work you need to be consistent for at least three to five days, so your baby can get into a routine. 

'Some mothers will do it once or twice, then think it doesn't work,' she said. 'Consistency is key.' 

STEP TWO 

Prepare the baby's room so it is comfortable. Just as adults can't sleep if it's too hot or too cold, neither can babies. Make the environment as comfortable as possible for the child to drift off in.

 

STEP THREE

 

Get the baby ready for bed. Start a routine to calm them for around 10 minutes, wrapping them and cuddling them before you put them to sleep. 

 

STEP FOUR  

 

Put the baby into bed and tuck them in tight. If they have a toy or blanket they find comforting, give that to them, then leave the room. 

 

STEP FIVE

 

If the baby starts to fuss or cry, then go back to them and gently pat or rock them until they’re calm.

 

STEP SIX

 

For a younger child, if after two or three minutes they’re not calm, pick them up and give them a cuddle until they settle. Older children just pat and soothe them until they stop crying.

 

STEP SEVEN

 

Once calm, put them back down into bed and leave the room. Don't continue rocking or comforting them after they stop crying. 

 

STEP EIGHT

 

Be realistic about how long it takes children to fall asleep, and how much sleep they need. Don't give up after too short a time.  

 

'A child younger than 12 months takes five to 20 minutes to fall asleep,' whereas an older child can take 10 to 30 minutes to get to sleep.'

 

Following these steps, the baby whisperer says, will ensure you can get a consistent pattern for children to learn to self settle and fall asleep. 

 

'The principals to sleep are consistency, environment and age appropriate timing and pattern of sleep,' Ms Minogue explains.

 

'Make sure you are giving the child a consistent message in terms of where they are when asleep.

 

Read the full story at: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-3505375/Celebrity-baby-whisperer-Christine-Minogue-reveals-eight-step-method-teaching-baby-sleep-just-FIVE-nights.html#ixzz43jSywfx2

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Guide To Google Analytics

March 21, 2016 Read more

We have had lots of questions regarding Google Analytics. I started to put together a guide and I came across this!

 

'Do you know what's driving leads/sales to your website? Google Analytics can tell you.

The trouble is many small businesses struggle to get Google Analytics set up, let alone use it to pull out meaningful data. This easy to follow guide will take you through the set-up process and help you understand how your website's performing.'

 

The Small Business Guige to Google Analytics

 

I found it really easy to understand.

I hope this helps you to understand whats working for your business.

 

Louise x

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'Too many people keep their pictures on their phones now, and not enough put them on their wall' says Emma at Studio Bambino

March 21, 2016 Read more

Meet our member Emma Jones, proud mum of one and owner of Studio Bambino. Emma loves food, shopping, shoes, wine and of course taking amazing photos of newborn babies and families. Emma has recently moved in to her new custom built studio - that has been designed specifically for newborn and baby sessions. Here we found out more about the mum behind the lens...

 
How did you get the idea to run your own business? Being completely honest, I've always loved photography and was always trying to come back from holiday with cool pictures, not just your typical holiday snaps. So, I decided that I would do my photography diploma as a hobby to better my skills and learn to use a professional camera properly. It was only when Sienna was born and we had newborn pictures of her taken, that I realised what an amazing job that would be, and I could use my photography skills to work with gorgeous new babies and children.
 

What motivated you to set up Studio Bambino? I think I was always meant to be a mum, but unfortunately having a baby proved to be quite a challenge for me. So when I eventually did have a daughter I was very keen not to go back to work full time and miss out on her early days. We couldn't afford for me to be a stay at home mum, and I was desperate to not be sat at a desk all the time. Then I discovered newborn photography and it all clicked into place! I think I've found my calling!

 
Who inspires you? I have a lot of respect for people like Richard Branson, who has made his fortune, but still seems like a really nice guy, and family still seems important to him.
 
Do you have a business strategy? Yes, to build a business that doesn't just supply you with snaps. I want to give customers an experience, I want them to love coming to my studio, and to want to come back when their little one is older. To provide people with those precious memories to put on their wall and be proud of. Too many people keep their pictures on their phone now, and not enough put them on the wall. Our kids grow so quickly, I just want to help people remember. The number one thing that people will rescue if their house was on fire (other than the family) is photographs; doesn't that tell you how important they are!
 
What is the best thing about running your own business? Flexibility, spending more time with my family, and seeing people with their precious babies and children!
 
And the worst...? Nothing is guaranteed!
 
Are there any local businesses or mumpreneurs you find inspiring? No one, in particular, but any mum that can run a proper business and have children and run a house deserves a massive pat on the back, its hard work, but totally worth it!
 
What do you find most challenging? The business side of things, my husband is the business brain, so he has spent a lot of time teaching me about finances and taxes etc. I'm a marketing person, I want people to not just have pictures, but to love the experience and have a good time. I also like to make sure I respond to customers really quickly, which is not always easy when you have a toddler wanting your attention!
 
What advice would you give to other mums wanting to start their own business? Its hard not to want to do everything at once then get frustrated because you've got a family to take care of too. Never lose sight that family is the priority, you're a mum first, business woman second, but there is no reason why you can't be brilliant at both. Make sure its your passion! You have to be 100% behind it to make it work, and you also need support. It is hard to do with someone at home keeping you going when you have a tough day. Other than that, I'd say go for it!
 
 

When you aren't working, what can we find you doing? When I'm not working, I'm a mummy, so I frequent most of the places that most mummies do, play centres, parks, toddler groups etc. For the short times in-between, a glass of wine and the TV, and a good takeaway. US dramas are my shortfall, Grey's Anatomy, Suits and Scandal are my top three! I'm a typical girly girl; I love food, shopping, shoes, wine, David Beckham and James Bond! Hubby and I are big fans of date night so once a month you will find us trying out a local restaurant!

Emma lives in Benson with her husband, 20 month old daughter and two step-children two and is the owner of Studio Bambio. Studio Bambino, based in Benson, specialise in newborn photography. You can find out more information from the Studio Bambino Facebook page and website.
 
Studio Bambino is just one of the many mum-run businesses working with Supermum Oxfordshire. If you’re interested in local advertising, take a look at the Bronze, Silver and Gold packages - as well as one-off advertising slots on our website. Alternatively, drop an email to Michelle directly via oxfordshire@supermum.org or call her on 07969 677760 to have a no obligation chat about your small business needs.
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#Kids #Cookery Classes #Help!

March 18, 2016 Read more

 

I have to admit that children’s cookery classes fill me with fear! I don’t have children myself, and so therefore I am always wary of the unpredictable ones – especially if the equation involves knives!!! However, I am extremely lucky to have the wonderful and very experienced Lizzie Bayntun on board to help me out. Lizzie trained back in the day as a Home Economist and has a vast amount of experience in the private sector but more importantly she is a mum too and so now I can relax and enjoy what should be an extremely rewarding side of the cookery school.

Last year at the first meeting of the Oxford Slow Food Group it was made crystal to clear to those of us attending by the founder member, Carlo Petrini, that one of the main aims of our group is to educate children. Food should be enjoyable and we need to teach children how food is supposed to taste, and create a desire to start cooking again.

So the two things marry perfectly – finding Lizzie (and it has taken over a year to find the perfect teacher) with all her skills and wanting to promote the Slow Food Movement ethos – Good, Clean, Fair, to unlearn what we already know and start from scratch, the absolute basics!

So we are starting slowly to dip our toes in the water and see what kind of classes people would like us to hold.  Our first class is on Wednesday 6th April from 1pm – 3pm for 5 – 10 year olds and our second class is on Sunday 10th April from 1 -3pm for 11 – 16 years olds and both are entitled Children’s Italian for Beginners.  We will be adding more classes over the holidays and hope to build up a solid basic knowledge of all things food and cooking from pasta to seasonal veg or cupcakes to making a 3 course meal for the parents!

We are aiming to ignite a passion for cooking that will stay with them for years to come.  What better way to start but with pasta.  Everyone loves the fun of watching something so tasty be created from just 2 ingredients.  We will teach them how to use the pasta machine to create sheets and tagliatelle but also with a rolling pin and some simple cutters to make ravioli – the list is endless.   Not forgetting two classic Italian sauces - the classic tomato sauce and a fresh green pesto.  As all kids love something sweet we will be making and then decorating some delicious Sicilian lemon cupcakes to bring home with them.

I remember years ago teaching my nephews this very class and they still remember it to this day – now in their teens and still loving their pasta we hope that this class will be something that your children will also love and enjoy for years to come….

Bring on the mess – I am ready for it!

Please visit our website for more information www.jerichokitchen.co.uk/little-bites/ or please contact me, Emma Collen on 07753 316680

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Five Good Reasons For Making A Will

March 17, 2016 Read more

 

A Will is a legal declaration of your wishes which is only valid if it complies with certain requirements set by Law. There are countless reasons why you should make a Will and some of the main ones are outlined below.

If you haven’t made a Will then the Government Rules of Intestacy will be applied to give structure to the settlement of your Estate.  These rules will be unlikely to reflect your real wishes. A Will is the ONLY way you can help ensure your wishes are carried out after your death.

Here are some of the major benefits of making a Will:

1.    Helps ensure your Estate passes to those you want to inherit it via your chosen executors

2.    Can make use of Estate Protection strategies, often only available through a Will, which can help ringfence sections of your Estate or property from tax or local authorities

3.    Ensures guardians can be appointed for your dependent children

4.    Reduces the likelihood of unintended beneficiaries claiming from your Estate

5.    Can provide peace of mind knowing that you have done the best you can for those you will leave behind

How to make your Will

A professionally trained Instruction Taker can meet with you, by appointment, in your own home or office. You can fully discuss your wishes and plans, safe in the knowledge that your intentions are being correctly considered. Current Tax implications are always explored to enhance the usefulness of your Estate Protection plans.

Wills are drafted by highly qualified Will writers in accordance with current STEP (Society of Trustee and Estate Planners) guidelines.

For more information or to arrange an appointment go to www.yourmoneyfriend.co.uk website, email info@youmoneyfriend.co.uk or telephone Ted Yeates direct of 07539 645514.

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Do You Have The Right Customers?

March 15, 2016 Read more

Who Is Your Ideal Customer?
 
Your marketing is pointless unless it is targeted at the RIGHT people - your ideal customer! You may have no customers at all, not enough customers or the wrong customers. Whichever group you fall into it is never too late to spend time finding the right customers. Your ideal customer will want to engage with you, be interested in the products or services you offer and will recommend you to friends and family. 
 
According to Tom Hopkins (a well known and respected sales author), as a business owner who knows their market, you should be able to list at least 5 criteria for your ideal customer. These could include age, marital status, location, employment and financial status.
 
You first need to research your current customers, especially those you want more of and consider their characteristics. You can then start to put together a customer profile. Your customers may have some shared characteristics which will enable you to categorise them. As an example, here at Suprmums we categorie our members by the type of business they have. You could always consider asking them to complete a survey to find out more about them.
 
You can then start to understand your ideal customer, imagine them and develop a profile for them. For example think about who they are, what are their needs, what challenges/motivates them and why are they interested in what you have to offer?
  
A customer profile will help bring them to life and you can start to consider how you might find them and target your marketing appropriately.
 - Do they use social media channels? If so, which ones and when?
 - What shops do they go to?
 - Do they have children? If so, where do they go, what do they do with the children?
- What publications/newspapers do they read?
- Where do they live? For example you could leaflet drop in the areas where your ideal customers live.
 
Here at Supermums we have profiled our ideal customer and we categorise our members so we can tailor our marketing and know how best to help them promote what they do. Profiling your ideal customer is very insightful and it will enable you to determine the optimal method and time to target them! 
 
If you would like any help finding your ideal customer just ask us
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Don't You Just Hate It When...

March 14, 2016 Read more

Don't get me wrong, i absolutely adore my children and i love being a mum but there are a few occassions when it just really isn't fun and quite frankly i just want to scream!

1. I hate that time between dinner finishing and the bedtime routine starting when they are so tired they tap into a secret energy source which results in them bouncing off the walls (literally).


2. You pitch up at the local park so they can burn off some energy and it starts pissing down.


3. You are already late and they decide they need a poo!


4. They fall asleep late in the day so bedtime becomes partytime.


5. You accidently walk buggy through dog shit!


6. You spend ages tidying up only for hubby to come home from work and insist they get all the toys out again.


7. The kids are bored and you really can't be bothered entertaining them.


8. You just sit down for 5 mins of peace in the hope they haven't spotted you and after about 5 secs you just get jumped on.


9. They want to copy Peppa Pig and jump in every muddle puddle in sight (bloody Peppa Pig, she has a lot to answer for).


10. They insist on getting all the Playdoh out and loose interest after 10 minutes and you have to spend ages cleaning it all up.


11. You spend ages batch cooking only for them to say 'don't like it'.

12. BUT, don't you just love them!

 

Do you have any 'hate' moments?

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