Software Tester Apprenticeship

Software Tester Apprenticeship

One of our digital opportunities for you is a Software Tester apprenticeship, which has many benefits to a range of industries and involves a varied and interesting learning experience. Not only this, but Software Testers are growing in demand due to our dependence on digital and this qualification can open up many opportunities in the digital sector.

Learner’s Responsibilities:

The role of a Software Tester is to ensure that software operates as intended; they will typically design and prepare test plans and conduct software testing as appropriate to ensure that software is fit for purpose. This also involves documenting and reporting the results of testing activities.

Skills / Behaviours Required:

  • Logical attitude
  • Creative thinking skills
  • Analytical and problem solving skills
  • The ability to work independently and to take responsibility
  • Thorough and organised approach
  • The ability to work with a range of internal and external people
  • The ability to communicate effectively in a variety of situations
  • Able to maintain a productive, professional and secure working environment

How this benefits a business:

  1. Ensures software and applications are flawless, from a marketing perspective this would also provide value to your target customers which attracts them to your brand
  2. Focuses on digital security, helping to prevent any disruptions or threats such as malware attacks
  3. Eliminating any performance issues guarantees a better user experience which in turn improves customer acquisition and loyalty
  4. By having a specific person involved in testing, security and digital improvements, the rest of the business can run efficiently, being supported by the Software Tester
  5. As their role is to ensure software is fit for purpose, by identifying any errors early, maintenance costs are reduced in the long run

Industries Involved:

Whilst you may think software testers are primarily found in digital companies, with the expansion of digital in our work lives, these are actually useful for a range of businesses, including:

Manufacturing

Finance

Transport

Healthcare

Retail

Telecommunications

Media

 

If this apprenticeship sounds interesting to you, contact us today for more information on how this can benefit you and your business. Also, visit our Apprenticeships page for more information on the qualification!

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Update on Digital Trends

Update on Digital Business Trends

Written as of 15:00 Wednesday, 18th May – by Daniel H.

 If you have a business that has digital elements, from social media to email campaigns, it’s probably best that you keep up to date with current changes and trends. Here, we’ll talk about three of the big trends in recent weeks.

Elon Musk Buys Twitter

You’ve all probably heard by now that Elon Musk has entered a deal to purchase Twitter, what it means for the future of twitter on the other hand, is still up in the air. Elon Musk has stated some of his objectives for his twitter, he wanted to; crackdown on spam bots, relax content moderation and ending permanent bans to name a few.

However, as Elon Musk has recently requested more details on the number of fake accounts, he has announced that the Twitter deal ‘cannot move forward’ if the CEO cannot prove the ‘spam stats’.

Britain Removing Cookie Pop-ups

With leaving the EU, the UK has moved away from many EU laws, with mixed effects. One of these is GDPR, and the UK introducing its own version through the newly announced Data Reform Bill. Part of the Bill, being the removal of Cookie Pop-ups.

Whilst this may sound like some good news at first, it’s the opposite actually. Unless there is an announcement to how it will be done, for example setting what cookies to agree to in the browsers settings. At this moment, it means that websites would be able to take any data they want, without even notifying you or giving you the option to opt out (which is an option on most pop-ups). Furthermore, the idea of setting what cookies will be allowed and not could be a bit tricky, with different websites using cookies in different ways, there’s also a slight chance that companies could get around this method, not like there isn’t a chance already to be fair. 

For Businesses, there are claims that adding the Cookie Policy Pop-up to their website is ‘difficult’ and a ‘waste of time’, however with these new changes, businesses that have websites that still operate in the EU would still have to abide by EU regulations, including the Cookie Pop-up. Meaning that there are two options now, the first and the easiest, is that the business keeps the Pop-ups for all users, including British – or the second option where the business has two instances of the website, one for EU users and one for UK, which would be more difficult and tricky to do. Meaning even for businesses, there will be either no change or more work to be done, this is not that great of news for them either.

AirBnB and Working from Home

With Lockdowns due to COVID last couple of years, many companies that could began working remotely, some benefited from being able to have more freedom and flexibility that came with working from their homes, and some people did not see much benefit. With working from home in everyone’s minds still, some companies and ministers have been demanding the return to work, however many companies have become more relaxed and embraced the flexibility that working from home brings.

Last month, AirBnB CEO, Brian Chesky, has recently stated his views on working in an office, that it is “an anachronistic form from a pre-digital age”, and has made changes to the company to allow the staff to work from home without any pay repercussions, a stark contrast to many other businesses who have decided to punish their staff for working from home by reducing their pay, or demanding that they return to the office.

Apart from a small number of those whose presence is necessary to work, employees at AirBnB can work wherever suits their needs, for example if an employee wanted to move, as long as they do not leave the country, their pay is completely unaffected. It’s predicted now that many other companies, especially digital ones, will embrace and move towards a working from home model like AirBnB has done.

Key Aspects of Digital Marketing

Key Aspects of Digital Marketing

Digital marketing is one of the fastest growing industries in the world and yet some businesses still don’t use it. Here are some of the key aspects to help drive sales and boost your audience.

1. Social Media Marketing

Over 2.3 billion people use social media worldwide which means it is a huge platform for businesses to use to grow their audience. Social media allows you to connect with your existing and potential customers. Social media is also a great way for you to keep an eye on your competitors, see what is working and what isn’t performing well for them. All social media platforms allow paid ads for you to target and reach your ideal customers, which can massively increase your social media presence.

2. Email Marketing

Email marketing is a digital marketing strategy that businesses can use to promote their product / service to potential customers. This allows you to create relationships with your target customers with personalised emails. There are great tools to use for email marketing such as Mailchimp which allows you to send emails and gather analytics.

3. Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)

Search engine optimisation is the practice of getting targeted traffic to a website from a search engine’s organic rankings. Common responsibilities associated with SEO include creating high-quality content, optimising content around specific keywords, and building backlinks. SEO is all about improving a site’s ranking in the organic search results. More than 75% of people on google don’t look past the first page, so ranking high is very important for businesses and should be part of everyone’s digital marketing strategy.

4. Website

People may find you on social media or hear of you by word of mouth but ultimately you need a good website to give customers a good impression of your brand. If your website is poorly designed or not secure, people will just click straight off it and not waste their time. You need to keep people interested and engaged on your website with a custom design that is a representation of your brand. You need to make it simple and clear to make the user experience as easy as it can be.

5. Content Marketing

In order to boost your search rankings and help potential customers learn more about your business, you need to incorporate content into your digital marketing strategy. If you’re looking to earn more leads and revenue, content marketing is a great strategy, considering it generates 3x more leads than traditional marketing. Quality content is a key component of content marketing.

6. Analytics 

Keeping track of all your analytics on all of the social media platforms you are on and your google analytics is crucial for all businesses. You need to track what is working well and what needs improving. By doing this you will have a clear plan of what you need to improve and what is working well for your business.        

If you are interested in a digital marketing apprenticeship, read more about what we can offer you! http://www.oracletrainingsolutions.co.uk/apprenticeships/     

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Higher Level Apprenticeships

Higher Level Apprenticeships

At Oracle, we can offer you government funded apprenticeships in a range of sectors, tailored to your business needs or career goals, with many options for progression. But many people have the understanding that apprenticeships are only for school leavers, looking for their first job. In fact, apprenticeships can be offered to anyone over 16, and with higher level apprenticeships you can expand your skills in an area you already work in and develop a new qualification!

Business

  • Business Analyst

18 months, Level 4

Role details: Business Analysts provide a critical layer of challenge and scrutiny for organisations; focussing on early and regular investigation and analysis to meet the required business need.

Option to progress from: Level 3 Business Administrator, Level 3 Digital Marketer

  • Learning & Development Consultant Business Partner

18-24 months, Level 5

Role details: A L&D Consultant Business Partner is accountable for ensuring L&D contributes to, and influences, improved performance in the workplace at an individual, team and organisation level.

Option to progress from: Level 4 Business Analyst

Customer Service

  • Property Maintenance Operative

12 months, Level 5

Role details: Property Maintenance Operatives optimise property condition and quality, ensuring the building is kept in a safe working condition; maintaining a high level of quality, providing maximum satisfaction to customers, clients, guests and team.

Option to progress from: Level 3 Customer Service Specialist, Level 3 Team Leader

Digital

  • Software Tester

24 months, Level 4

Role details: Software Testers ensure that software operates as intended, typically by designing and preparing test plans and conducting software testing as appropriate.

Option to progress from: Level 3 Broadcast Production Assistant, Level 3 Digital Marketer

Management

  • Operations Department Manager

30 months, Level 5

Role details: An Operations Department Manager will manage teams and/or projects, achieving operational or departmental goals and objectives, as part of the delivery of the organisation’s strategy.

Option to progress from: Level 3 Team Leader, Level 3 Event Assistant

Teaching and Learning

  • Assessor Coach

15 months, Level 4

Role details: Assessor Coaches use their up-to-date professional knowledge and skills to support vocational and professional development across the formal ETS as well as in any employer setting, and at any level.

Option to progress from: Level 3 Learning and Development Practitioner

  • Learning and Skills Teacher

24 months, Level 5

Role details: Learning and Skills Teachers operate at all times to ethical and legal standards and within professional boundaries, promoting a passion for learning and high expectations of all learners; being a role model for the effective use of current, digital and mobile technologies in support of teaching and learning.

Option to progress from: Level 3 Teaching Assistant, Level 4 Assessor Coach

For more information on the apprenticeships we can offer you, at all levels, visit our Apprenticeship page today!

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Benefits of Assessor / Verifier Qualifications

Benefits of Assessor / Verifier Qualifications

At A major part of anybody’s education is exams, and those grading exams have a huge responsibility on their shoulders. More importantly, examiners should and must have the relevant skills and qualifications to do so, and this is where Assessor and Verifier qualifications come in.

We at Oracle can provide four different Assessor / Verifier qualifications, like:

  • Level 3 Award in Assessing Occupational Competence in the Work Environment
  • Level 3 Award in Assessing Vocationally Related Achievements
  • Level 4 Award in Internal Quality Assurance of Assessment Processes and Practices
  • Level 4 Certificate in Leading the Internal Quality Assurance of Assessment Processes and Practice 

These vary in price from £300 – £600 for the course, completely VAT exempt as well.

Verifier courses are very suitable in the education industry, Assessor courses can also fit in the private industry as well, suitable for those who:

  • Work in HR
  • Are Quality Assurance Personnel
  • Are Managers

And of course, these training courses are completely flexible around your working requirements, and can be delivered via your workplace or through one-to-one sessions or workshops. All of this delivered through our blended learning through our online platform or a mix of the former mentioned, whatever would suit you best.

The benefits for the learner who would take on an Assessor / Verifier course would be:

  • Flexible Learning
  • Learn different types of assessment methods
  • Learn the legal and good practice requirements
  • Learn to make assessment decisions 

And the Learner isn’t the only one who benefits, the benefits for the business would be:

  • Improve the quality of assessments
  • Staff can learn whilst they work
  • Improve the Skill of the assessors 
  • Ensure accurate exam results from the assessors 

Have a look at the Assessor / Verifier Qualifications Oracle provides here:

http://www.oracletrainingsolutions.co.uk/training-courses/ 

Benefits of Customer Service Qualifications

Benefits of Customer Service Qualifications

At Oracle we can offer you 3 different customer service qualifications, which can be a great starting point in your career or a qualification to add to your existing skills. We can offer you:

  • Level 2 Diploma in Customer Service
  • Level 3 NVQ Diploma in Customer Service
  • Level 4 NVQ Diploma in Customer Service

Customer Service has a huge market and so many industries require it, such as:

  • Hospitality
  • Finance
  • Insurance
  • Banking
  • Transportation and Logistics
  • Manufacturing
  • Estate Agents
  • Retail

Our flexible courses can be delivered completely around your job role and commitments. ​​The course can be delivered in your workplace on a one to one basis or in group / one to one workshops, through blended learning using our online platform or a combination of the above, whichever is best for you.

Benefits for the learner:

  • The course is flexible and built around your commitments
  • Customer service is a growing market and lots of companies require it
  • Learn in depth knowledge which is transferable to all industries
  • There are many options to progress in the customer service industry
  • Achieve a nationally recognised qualification

Benefits for the organisation:

  • Creating loyal customers through good customer service can provide you with lucrative long term relationships with customers
  • Could increase profits
  • Improve your public image
  • Providing good customer service can create satisfied customers, who are then likely to recommend you to other individuals
  • Good customer service can help turn leads into sales

If you would like more information about the customer service qualifications we can offer you, click the link to read more! http://www.oracletrainingsolutions.co.uk/training-courses/

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Guest Blog: The 5 Whys

How to solve problems, not symptoms, using the 5 whys.

Are you tired of tackling the same problem? Are your team unmotivated and disconnected from your vision and mission? – If so, here’s a valuable tool, made famous by the founder of Toyota, that you can use to solve problems, motivate people and drive understanding deep within your team. Together we are going to discover what the 5 whys are, how to use the technique and apply it to scenarios.

What are the 5 whys?

The 5 whys was created by Sakichi Toyoda, the founder of Toyota in the 1930s and due to its effective simplicity, it is still widely utilised today, over 90 years later. The idea behind the 5 whys is to get inquisitive about your problem. Sometimes, we get caught up in tackling the symptom instead of tackling the real problem and root cause. Think about negative customer reviews, if you tackle them at face value you may only be fire-fighting a symptom instead of tackling the root cause of the issue. Further investigation of the bad review may lead you to develop an outstanding product and service. It doesn’t stop there however, consider poor behaviour at work, you can manage it within conduct policies but until you resolve the deeper problem (the poor conduct is just a symptom), you will keep having the same conversations until the person is let go. How would it feel instead to resolve the problem at its root? How much time and money would you save? Whilst the 5 whys was initially created to problem solve, we will discover that we can also use it to build an understanding and thus motivate people towards the mission.

Be mindful that whilst this is an amazing tool to use, it may not be suitable for more complex issues as one of the shortfalls of this approach is that it can lead to us having a single train of thought and focus on 1 possible cause. So if we are facing a complex issue or we want to consider multiple possibilities, a fish-bone diagram or alternative problem solving tool may be better utilised here.

How to use the 5 whys?

We can break the process down into 3 easy steps: identify, include and inquiry.

Identify

The first step we need to take is identification. What is the problem or symptom that is facing us? Here are a few examples:

1. In a call centre, customers keep hanging up whilst waiting to be spoken to. This is leading to a high abandoned call rate.

2. Online reviews for our product have gone down from 5 stars to 3 stars.

3. One of our team has stopped performing well.

4. Across the operation we have seen a drop in productivity.

Your Scenario: Write down a problem that you are having.

Now we have identified some ‘problems’ or more likely, the symptoms – we need to take the next step – Include.

Include

How many times in business have you seen a senior Leadership team or Learning and Development team try to solve a problem without spending time with the people closest to the issue? What were the results? …probably not as good as they could have been if the right people were involved!

This step is all about including the people who are closest to the issue. They are more likely to answer the 5 whys more effectively than someone who is removed from the process making assumptions. So let’s take our above 4 examples and identify who we need to include:

1. In a call centre, customers keep hanging up whilst waiting to be spoken to. This is leading to a high abandoned call rate.

In this scenario, we have a few options – we can go to our customers and send out a survey for their recent experiences and ask why they hung up whilst in the queue.

Alternatively, we can speak to our front line call centre staff who answer the calls.

Maybe we could go to our Production team who monitor the inbound and outbound calls to identify any trends.

Sometimes, it can be beneficial to include a person from every department. Whilst we have identified the most obvious people to help us understand the issue, other parts of the operation may have valuable insight. For example – if we involved a representative from marketing, they may be able to say if a newly released promotion may have driven higher levels of inbound traffic.

2. Online reviews for our product have gone down from 5 stars to 3 stars.

Again, the first option could be to identify who recently purchased the product and release a questionnaire or create an outbound campaign to get the data.

Alternatively, could the factory that produced the product be spoken to? What has changed with the product or market?

Have the complaints team identified any trends?

3. One of our team has stopped performing well.

This one’s more forward – we need to speak directly to our team member.

4. Across all parts of the operation we have seen a drop in productivity.

Another straightforward one – issues are across the floor so a representative from each department would be a good start.

Your Scenario: Write down anyone you will need to speak to about the issue (it could just be yourself).

By identifying the people we need to include, its time for us to move onto the final step – Inquiry.

Inquiry

At this stage, we simply speak to our key people about the problem using the 5 Why’s technique. This is a fairly straightforward approach that we can liken to an annoying child, repeatedly asking “why?” when they are given an answer. The purpose though, is to sift through the symptoms to get a solid understanding of the actual problem.

As discussed earlier, this will help us to uncover the cause of a situation, can help build empathy, understanding and motivation at the same time. Let’s take a look at the 5 Why’s in action:

1. In a call centre, customers keep hanging up whilst waiting to be spoken to. This is leading to a high abandoned call rate.

Let’s say we went directly to our front line teams who are speaking to our customers. We explain that we are experiencing a high abandonment rate and ask why?

– “Customers we do speak to are saying the wait times are too long.”

Why is that?

– “The calls are one after the other, we aren’t getting a break.”

Why is that happening?

– “We don’t have enough people available to deal with the demand.”

Why don’t we have the resources?

– “Half the team is busy, either on an outbound dialler or in training for a new contract.”

Why are we not adapting to this?

– “Planning and prioritisation.”

In this example, we saw the simple use of the 5 whys to speak to a front line member of staff about their experiences and assumptions. Had planning, training and other departments been available for a group session, we may have understood more about the issue. On this occasion, we have identified that we may have a lack of adaptability from the planning team or an ineffective agreement between training and planning. As a business we can now make assessments based on:

– Do we need to stop the outbound dialler until we have enough resources? Is there a different time of day we can use the dialler?

– Do we need an immediate reaction or can we ride this out?

– Where in the planning/risk assessment process did this fall down? What can we do about it in the future?

– Is there a way to spread out the training over a wider time frame so we don’t lose as much resource all at once?

– Could we increase and promote our self-service options for our customers?

2. One of your team has stopped performing well.

Your performance isn’t where it used to be, why is that?

– “I am unmotivated.”

Why?

– “I don’t see the point in our performance indicators.”

Why?

– “They don’t highlight the value we add. They’re just statistics.”

Why?

– “They don’t acknowledge the hard work it takes to get there. I think we could have better targets.”

Why?

– “The right targets will drive the right behaviours and help us see the value we add.”

From this conversation, we can understand that our team members want recognition (phrases: highlight the value, acknowledge the hard work and see the value we add). They also believe that the targets are not aligned with the work they do. If as a Leadership team, we feel that the targets are aligned with the values and behaviours, we can use the 5 whys again to help our team member see the value in their targets – eg:

We need to have 90% customer satisfaction – Why? Why? Why? Why? Why?

We need to be over 85% productivity for the week – Why? Why? Why? Why? Why?

Drive these down using the 5 whys to help connect people to the goal and vision. When a person gets a solid understanding on why a goal or metric is in place, they can connect with it on a deeper level. The other consideration we can make is asking ourselves how we currently recognise the value our team add? Further, ask your team how they would like to be recognised. The 5 whys can effectively drill down to a problem, it doesn’t however find solutions for us. For that, we may need to engage in a different process.

Your Scenario: Ask yourself or others the 5 Whys to get to the core of the problem and find a solution.

Other scenarios to consider:

1. Online reviews for your product have gone down from 5 stars to 3 stars.

2. Across the operation you have seen a drop in productivity

3. One of your customers is irate.

4. Your competition has started out performing you.

5. One of the components in your product keeps failing.

6. Despite your best efforts to plan your day, when a new task lands on your desk you lose sight of your plan and schedule and you react to the moment.

Summary

The 5 whys is a useful technique that helps you identify the root cause of a problem, instead of fixating on the symptoms. Remember – most things we think of as problems are merely a symptom. Find the cause of the symptom (the actual problem) to see more effective outcomes.

There are 3 stages:

– Identify the Issue or symptom

– Include the Individuals closest to the problem

– Inquiry (use the 5 whys)

Once you have found the root cause, you can then begin to find solutions. Sometimes its great to work 1 on 1 with people and other times, it makes sense to use a mixture of people from different departments.

Closing questions:

How has the 5 whys added value to you?

What other problem identification tools do you use?

Once you’ve identified a problem, how do you find a solution? 

 

 
This Blog was written by Simon Tickner from Develop the Edge

The Digital Apprenticeship Route

The Digital Apprenticeship Route

As we become more dependent on digital, both in our personal lives and our work lives, digital roles are also becoming more important for a range of businesses. At Oracle, we can offer you the following digital roles, either as a starting point towards your career goals or to expand your skill set in your current role. 

Broadcast Production Assistant (12 months, Level 3)

A Broadcast Production Assistant apprentice provides support and assistance to editorial or technical colleagues to ensure the smooth delivery of content for TV or Radio productions.

Benefits for the employer:

  • Develop programme ideas
  • Bring new ideas and a new perspective
  • Provide support on administrative, technical and production levels
  • Have a creative input on development
  • Creating content to be used across a variety of media eg social media or broadcast

Benefits for the learner:

  • Build your understanding of the TV and Radio industry
  • Be involved in a range of different genres
  • Varied day-to-day activities
  • Receive training on the technical aspects of broadcasting
  • Starting point for a range of roles in the industry eg journalist or presenter

Digital Marketing (18 months, Level 3)

A Digital Marketing apprentice defines, designs, builds and implements digital campaigns across a variety of online and social media platforms to drive customer acquisition, customer engagement and customer retention.

Benefits for the employer:

  • Help create brand identity and awareness
  • Be involved in data gathering, market analytics and ROI
  • Encourage customer engagement
  • Set up and manage social media platforms
  • Develop an understanding of your products / services and promote them

Benefits for the learner:

  • Create a range of content for a variety of platforms
  • Provide creative input to business decisions
  • Cover various aspects including creativity, technical and data analysis
  • Develop a solid understanding of digital and its contribution to marketing
  • Opportunities for progression into different digital roles

Junior Content Producer (12-18 months, Level 3)

A Junior Content Producer apprentice develops and creates content that can be used across a variety of media including digital, social media, broadcast or in print.

Benefits for the employer:

  • Develop an understanding of the best platforms / channels to use for your business
  • Provide you with data and campaign analysis to support business decisions
  • Develop an understanding of user experience to encourage maximum engagement
  • Understand the importance of brand awareness and target audience
  • Have an understanding of the workflow process in your business

Benefits for the learner:

  • Create content for a wide range of media
  • Be involved in campaign analysis as well as content creation
  • Learn a range of new skills eg SEO, copy writing and editing
  • Influence new ideas, pitches and proposals to benefit the business
  • Develop skills for working within a budget allocation

Software Tester (24 months, Level 4)

A Software Tester apprentice ensures that software operates as intended; typically by designing and preparing test plans and conducting software testing as appropriate.

Benefits for the employer:

  • Work in a team and contribute to projects
  • Ensure your software operates as intended
  • Receive documents / reports on the results of testing activities
  • Encourage digital expansion within your business
  • Provide new and creative input to projects

Benefits for the learner:

  • Understand how to build and test high-quality code across various platforms
  • Multiple opportunities for career progression due to growing demand
  • Receive training on the software lifecycle and development practices
  • Develop ability to design test strategies for projects
  • Understand a range of different software testing types

For more information on the digital opportunities available to you, visit our Apprenticeships page here! Not only can these deliver all these benefits to you as a learner or as a business, but also these are government funded and provide support through face to face and online training.

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Time Saving Tips

Time Saving Tips

Some of you reading may be having trouble with time management and concentration, well I’m here today to discuss some methods you can try yourself that’ll help with time saving.

Set Goals

Setting Goals for yourself on what tasks to do for the day can help you stay focused and can help you stay on top of what needs doing and what has been done. This can help save time because having everything set out in front of you set as goals, you can see what has been done, what’s currently being done and what has been done, saying the need for constant checking and double checking on progress.

Dividing up your Work

When taking on a project or task that can take up a day, it can seem demoralising, meaning you won’t put 100% of your effort in and slowing down your progress. Dividing up this big task into smaller tasks can make it seem like there’s less work to be done, and will help you keep track of everything – saving time in the process and won’t have a demoralising effect. 

Prioritise your Tasks

Whether you’ve split up your big project to smaller tasks or you already have many tasks to complete, you should prioritise which tasks should be completed first. Whether it’s the longest ones or the shortest ones first, or however order you would like, having an order of priority to your tasks helps everything run smoother and faster.

Deadlines on Tasks

Just like how prioritising your tasks can help out quite a bit, setting yourself deadlines on tasks can help you focus on completing said task – and completing it faster. However, for some it may add unneeded pressure onto themselves, for others that pressure might help them complete a task faster.

Multitasking 

Whilst multitasking can be seen as a bad thing by a few, in some cases it can be beneficial. Say for example, one of the longer tasks you are doing has a part that a quicker task also needs. Once that part is done on the longer task, quickly doing the same part on the smaller task can complete both tasks faster and free up some time for the other tasks to complete.

Don’t Forget Breaks

Whilst in your mind, time saving might first stop at working, but don’t forget to add breaks to your schedule, and actually take them too. Doing so will stop you from tiring yourself out, keep you focused, and allow you to finish tasks faster from being refreshed.

Digitalise 

With new apps and gadgets, there’s so many options to keep track of your time, from simple timers and alarms to calendars and timetables, using digital options can massively help with your time management. 

Removing Distractions

Whilst your phone may be great for keeping track of the time, you have to make sure you don’t get distracted and keep focused. Removing anything distracting from your work area can help you concentrate more, and allows you to finish tasks faster.

Prepare your Day

Preparing your day ahead of time can save you time, for example, whilst simple, preparing your clothes and items for the day on the previous night, will speed up your time on getting ready. The same logic can be applied to many different tasks.

Find your own Way

Whilst these are a few tips on how to help with time management and concentration, you will have to find out for yourself what works for you and what doesn’t, but I hope this helps you find that out.

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How to Create a Social Media Strategy

How to Create a Social Media Strategy

Social media is a huge tool that businesses use to grow these days and it is becoming the most popular tool for advertising. Before creating a social media account for a business there are 7 components that need to be thought about:

1. Identify Business Goals

This is definitely the first thing a business should do before they create a social media account on any platform. You need to know what you want to achieve as you can’t move forward if you don’t know what you’re working towards. The main business goals that should be thought about when creating a social media account are; increasing brand awareness, reducing marketing costs and retaining customers. 

2. Identify Your Target Audience

If you have already established yourself on any social media platform and your engagement is low then you really need to consider whether you are targeting the correct audience on the correct platform. For example at Oracle we were using Facebook to sell our digital services and it really wasnt working and we were getting very little engagement so we decided to create an instagram account to see if that works better and so far our engagement on Instagram has been much better. Finding your target audience on the correct platform is the most important factor to think about if your engagement is very low.

3. Set Marketing Objectives

Following on from identifying business goals, you should set clear marketing objectives that you want to achieve. This could include you want to increase business leads by 30% or you want to gain 500 more followers. Having clear but achievable goals can increase motivation.

4. Research Competition

When it comes to social media marketing, researching your competition not only keeps you up to date of their activity, it gives you an idea of what’s working so you can integrate those successful tactics into your own efforts. Start by compiling a list of at least 3-5 main competitors. Search which social networks they’re using and analyse their content strategy. Look at their number of followers, posting frequency and time of day. Also pay attention to the type of content they’re posting and its context and how they’re responding to their customers.

5. Choose the Correct Platform

Many businesses create accounts on the most popular social media platforms including Instagram, Twitter, Tiktok and Snapchat without researching which platform is best for their business. You don’t want to waste your time by creating an account and putting effort into a platform that essentially won’t bring anything in for you. If your engagement is still low but you’re on the correct platform for your business you could think about investing in the ad services the platform could offer you e.g. Facebook Ads.

6. Create a Content Strategy

Once you have considered all of the above you really need to think about the type of content you are going to post. To grab people’s attention you will need to have something colourful and unique as, if people see a blank poster they’re not even going to give it a read as it wont even grab their eye. You will also need to post frequently enough so people get your brand in their head, you need that constant branding so people remember you.

7. Create a Reporting Plan

To track all your data, creating a data report would be a great way for you to keep track of all your data. By doing this you will be able to see what aspects are working and which aren’t. You will be able to see which posts of yours are performing the best so you can change the ones that are not performing as well. 

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