Monthly archive - March 2012

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Localmind – the interesting new social media with huge potential

Localmind – the interesting new social media with huge potential

Whilst browsing through some interesting facts about up-and-coming social media lately we came across what we believe to be a little undiscovered gem, which we definitely think would be worth mentioning. Its name is Localmind – a form of social media and online service allow individuals and businesses the chance to tell people what’s happening where and when.

Localmind works to enhance the location features of many existing social media to not only tell people where you are, but also let them know what is currently happening in that spot. For example, how often do you think about visiting a bar, a restaurant, maybe even a tourist attraction or an event, yet you’re possibly curious to know such factors as how busy that place is or what specials are on the menu?

With Localmind, providing there is someone who has checked into that location and is willing to provide a response to your query, you can ask these questions and find out what you need to know without risking disappointment. Personally I’d say that’s very handy, especially after yesterday when I turned up, unaware, to our popular restaurant and got warned about their 45 minute waiting time!

But let’s look at this from the other side of the coin. This online service can become a big solution to customers and that means a great new opportunity to enhance your customer service!

Rather than relying on just your customers to lend a helping hand, why not employ an employee to keep track of these questions and provide a helpful response, all at the push of a few buttons. Using the restaurant example again, customers pass by looking to see how busy you are and what offers there are. You could utilise Localmind to advertise this information for you, and I guarantee great satisfaction from a personal level of customer service, not to mention driving in the custom by responding first.

Of course, Localmind seems quite unearthed right now, yet despite that the potential should certainly bring it to focus soon enough. Just keep an eye on this one…http://www.localmind.com/… as it might very well offer up new exciting marketing communication strategies for your business, in the way that our blogs aim to at every opportunity! I know our next one will do just that, again…


Top tips on how to increase those invaluable ‘Likes’

Top tips on how to increase those invaluable ‘Likes’

Are you reading this Blog following on from our previous where we talked about the advantages of Facebook and the driver that is the ‘Like’ button? Or maybe you’re just new to our Blogs?

Either way we must be doing something right, because you’ve found our Blog and you’re reading it right now! (But if you haven’t already read our previous Blogs it would be great if you could check them out!)

I like to think that the guidelines we implement in achieving readers are paying off, and as a thank you we would like to share these with you, so maybe you too can improve numbers, awareness, and even business.

As I talked about last time, Facebook can be utilised to share with others your information, your activities, and your content. You can do this in various ways, but we feel the best tips to follow would be these:

  1. Always spread the word – How will people know what you are up to if you don’t tell them? Get onto Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn – any method that lets you keeps others in the know
  2. Encourage people to pass on the news – Don’t just be content with one person listening; encourage them to pass on the news to their friends and even fan base
  3. Target the right audience – Make sure the people you are telling are the ones, or a high percentage at least, who you know will be interested. These are the people that will hopefully engage in your activities and spread the news to their friends
  4. Keep the readers updated – Nobody becomes a fan after just one thing. You need to keep the updates flowing and maintain interest, signing off at the end with the something for the reader to look forward to
  5. Join other related groups and benefit – Just as you would networking, subscribe to related individuals, business and organisations, and appeal to their fans as well as your own. This of course works a lot better as a two way deal, or as some avid social network users like to call it, Share for Share (S4S). Quite simply, if you talk about them they’ll hopefully talk about you

…And if you want to go that one step further by adding value, aim to keep readers and listeners engaged by offering discussions and various active participation to enhance interest.

With that being said, why not leave a comment about this Blog and let us know what you think?

I’ll sign off with a link to a very informative professional’s advice which offers a more in depth look into the tactics to enhance upon these tips: http://www.jeffbullas.com/2011/06/16/25-facebook-marketing-tips-to-increase-sales/

…and as always keep looking out for news about our latest blogs!


You can influence the exposure of your business’ page on Facebook? I ‘like’ that idea…

You can influence the exposure of your business’ page on Facebook? I ‘like’ that idea…

So by now many of us may have realised the potential of utilising social media as a way to increase and improve our reach to customers new and old. And if not, I would recommend having a look to see what all the buzz is about. After all, how many websites boast to have over 650 million active users?

Without going into all the details, I think that figure speaks for itself! Giving you an idea of how many people even local businesses can reach.

In a nutshell, Facebook allows users to communicate publicly and privately with friends and contacts through various methods of instant messaging, content sharing and organisation.

Additionally, the ability to transform your profile page into an information centre for your business opens up new gateways to exposure and greater market interaction, through providing information and updates on business activity, and giving individuals the chance to communicate with you in a straight-forward way.

Of course, this all sounds brilliant, but don’t get complacent!

Just because you might have a business page setup on Facebook, it doesn’t mean you’re reaching the masses. Unbeknownst to many is the ‘Like’ capability; possibly the catalyst to the next level of attention.

Users can ‘Like’ the pages of businesses and organisations, thus opening up a slot on their newsfeed for your status updates. Even better is the fact that Facebook will also recommend ‘Liked’ pages by your friends to yourself.

It is effective and we all notice these recommendations. Considering the potential for your business name to soar out into the masses while away from your desk, I would say that the fact it is free and probably twice as effective as word-of-mouth is a major selling point!

Who knows; maybe you came across our Blog because one of your Facebook friends ‘Liked’ the link we posted to it?

Either way, keep an eye out for the next update, which will provide some top tips on how to increase you Facebook ‘Likes’.


You can influence the exposure of your business’ page on Facebook? I ‘like’ that idea

You can influence the exposure of your business’ page on Facebook? I ‘like’ that idea

So by now many of us may have realised the potential of utilising social media as a way to increase and improve our reach to customers new and old. And if not, I would recommend having a look to see what all the buzz is about. After all, how many websites boast to have over 650 million active users?

Without going into all the details, I think that figure speaks for itself! Giving you an idea of how many people even local businesses can reach.

In a nutshell, Facebook allows users to communicate publicly and privately with friends and contacts through various methods of instant messaging, content sharing and organisation.

Additionally, the ability to transform your profile page into an information centre for your business opens up new gateways to exposure and greater market interaction, through providing information and updates on business activity, and giving individuals the chance to communicate with you in a straight-forward way.

Of course, this all sounds brilliant, but don’t get complacent!

Just because you might have a business page setup on Facebook, it doesn’t mean you’re reaching the masses. Unbeknownst to many is the ‘Like’ capability; possibly the catalyst to the next level of attention.

Users can ‘Like’ the pages of businesses and organisations, thus opening up a slot on their newsfeed for your status updates. Even better is the fact that Facebook will also recommend ‘Liked’ pages by your friends to yourself.

It is effective and we all notice these recommendations. Considering the potential for your business name to soar out into the masses while away from your desk, I would say that the fact it is free and probably twice as effective as word-of-mouth is a major selling point!

Who knows; maybe you came across our Blog because one of your Facebook friends ‘Liked’ the link we posted to it?

Either way, keep an eye out for the next update, which will provide some top tips on how to increase you Facebook ‘Likes’.


Infographics – Visual interpretation at its best!

Infographics – Visual interpretation at its best!

Have you ever found yourself with an abundance of data, analysis results or information that you have to then find some way to present to a reader?

It can be a laborious task understanding and collaborating all that information, not to mention the concentration it takes for the audience to then interpret everything. If you have ever been in that audience during a presentation or a meeting you may very well know that feeling, witnessing time appearing to move backwards. You just don’t want to be in that situation!

At the end of the (modern) day, there is a lot of information out there to process and it is even more important, now more than ever, that the messages we communicate are clear and concise. Your message should be as straight to the point as possible, but if that seems like a stretch why not try making the analysis fun for the audience?

Well, Infographics will combine the two and do just that!

You could always just show them pictures, but while they are more interesting they may not contain enough information, so the idea of combining both information and pictures will provide a more enjoyable and interactive display for the audience.

Infographics gets the message across at a more interesting and sometimes emotional level. Add user interaction in there and the reader will certainly be more engaged, even looking forward to the next presentation!

So why not include Infographics to your website? You never know – you might start something viral!

If you have information or data to present always remember that a reader likes to be invited to interact instead of just being told what they need to know. The more interesting things are the more potential your brand may have to grow.

Think of a viral you might have seen floating around on social networks, one which you may have been told about linked to a large company, and think about how the interest spread throughout the online community. You might even replicate that success yourself!

For inspiration why not check out these examples http://www.fastcodesign.com/1669245/9-of-the-worlds-most-inspiring-infographics and http://www.1stwebdesigner.com/design/simple-tips-market-infographics/, and keep checking back here next week for our ever updating blog!


“Do I really need a website?”

“Do I really need a website?”

Firstly, before I give an answer to the question in the title, I would just like to thank you for reading our blog. We appreciate the time you’re taking out of your more than likely busy schedule and, whether you’ve been reading them up until now, or you have just started to check it out, we must be doing something right!

Back to the question, as web designers we find this question gets asked quite a bit, and to give an unbiased view there is no straightforward answer. However, we can pinpoint some major advantages to having a website that might very well increase your interest, or help you value your existing website that little bit extra.

Many would say that a website is the modern information tool. It is a one stop place for businesses to advertise themselves and provide information relating to who they are and what they do. Nowadays we pass a shop, a sign, or even hear the name of a business mentioned, and we feel the need to find out more.

I know when this happens to me my first instinct is to check the internet and see if they have a website, because it is just that quick and simple. A website can be accessed in seconds and you don’t even need to know the address to find what or who you’re looking for. Search engines are a beautiful thing!

In addition, your website is YOUR website. You decide what you want to be displayed and how, whether that’s through specific colours, layouts, pictures, and even video, with the limitations only set by you.Thinking of the viewer, or shall we say ‘potential customer/client’, it is your first impression to them as well. Just like walking into a shop, first time or not, the way it is laid out and presented, along with the services or features, may very well determine where your custom goes.

A website can set you aside from the competition, especially in a day and age where the internet is the information centre of the world. However I did say we were unbiased and we understand that not everyone needs a website, but they shouldn’t be underestimated by any means.

Nevertheless, if this blog has interested you to know more about a possible website for you, why not enquire about a free consultation? …and don’t forget to check back next week for our next blog, looking at an effective strategy for social media utilisation!


Things to look out for with Facebook Timeline

Things to look out for with Facebook Timeline

So Facebook’s new ‘Timeline’ feature has a bit of publicity going around, some good and some bad, but what businesses want to know is “how can we make the most of it, and what exactly is new?”

You might have heard opinions about ‘Timeline’ and maybe formed an opinion of your own. However, we have a few pointers on what to look out for which might give some insight into its potential.

Firstly, the main focus is the chance to display your history, and from a business point of view why not use this to your advantage and give the viewers of your page a tour of how you have progressed over the years?

More often than not we all find interesting facts about a company or an organisation, with the more you read, the more you become involved. Plus, the time you spend reading about one is time you didn’t spend reading about another, so make it as fun and interesting as possible!

The next best noticeable change is the layout. You now have two columns to display information, as well as a big cover image at the top. That cover image can be your company logo which, on a top heading banner, gives a great first impression.

Speaking of first impressions, the initial page view of a ‘Timeline’ also shows the tabs and the first posts. This information has to be the best for doing what you want to achieve, because if it’s not interesting to the viewer they might not read on. You can control what appears at the top by flagging posts, such as news, a competition, or a discussion, and you can improvise the tabs to make the ‘Timeline’ work best for your aims.

And let’s not forget that people can comment on your ‘Timeline’. Interaction with customers and individuals is all well and good, but you don’t want a cluttered space where people can’t see what is really important.

To avoid this you can take those comments and private message the person. They will appreciate a more one-on-one discussion and keep your space clean for others to view your announcements.

Hopefully this Blog has provides a better understanding of Timeline and maybe inspired some ideas, and we hope you keep looking for our next update!


A day with Google

A day with Google

At Who Needs Design, we’ve recently had the pleasure of spending the day with the guys at Google at their swanky new offices in London, talking about the future of Search, Mobile, Plus and more.

From the first moment you arrive, the white and orange brushed metal contrasting with the gigantic glass walls, tells you you’re in for an experience. The fantastic views across London from the top floor of Google HQ is stunning in itself, but the tvs built into the floor and the roof-top Chill-Out areas confirm all of those myths you’ve heard about the modern-day Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory.

Having spent a day desparately trying to absorb all of the information provided by people like Peter Fitzgerald (Google’s Country Sales Director) , David Singleton (their Engineering Director) and whole host of other experts,  it is safe to say our perception of Online Marketing will be changed forever.

The key points:

Mobile is going to be massive. Make sure your website works well for mobile users. If it doesn’t, you could be losing a much bigger proportion of your website visitors than you could ever imagine. The guys at Google have even adopted a new mantra –  Mobile First   – aka everything they do, they develop for mobile first.  Still don’t think it’s that important?
We know our site doesn’t work as well as it should for Mobile users – so watch this space;  we’re changing it!

Social is the way forward.  Like it or not, Social Meda is not going away. More than that, it is becoming more important than ever since G+ is having an impact on Search. Terrified by Twitter? Afraid of Facebook?  Now is the time to get Savvy, because Social is BIG.

New Analytics.  Google Analytics is a free tool that has been available for a number of years, but now it’s changing. And WOW it’s got better. The engineers were telling us how they have re-developed the product from scratch and explaining some of it’s new functionality. Everything we do in business needs to be measured and Analytics is a great way to do it for your website and it’s FREE!  Tip:  Have a look at the Live feature, see exactly who is on your site right now, what they are doing, where they are from and so much more.

At Who Needs Design, we believe strongly in boosting local business and helping grow our economy. If you would like to talk about any of the above with us in more detail then please give us a call – our advice is and always will be free.


Just an Invoice doesn’t really say thank you

Just an Invoice doesn’t really say thank you

Have you ever ordered a product before, be it from a catalogue, TV channel or online, and found a little extra surprise accompanying your order?

A product ordered recently gave one of these surprises. When opened the packaging didn’t just contain the usual invoice and catalogue, but also a small bag of sweets, as if to say ‘thank you’ for providing your custom.

Of course there is every chance the customer isn’t a fan of them, but personally I found this to be a very appealing form of customer service. It wasn’t expected, and I will admit the delivery time was a slight annoyance. However, that little gift was enough to put aside any negativity, and personally I find this to be an effective method for customer retention and brand enhancement.

In a recession many have found that it takes more than low prices to sway the consumer. Something as small as this bag of sweets can do the trick. Even if the customer doesn’t want them, it is a nice gesture. Many will probably agree that five or ten pence is great value for securing future custom, which may in turn lead to sizable sales, ideal for smaller companies looking for a personal touch. I know I’ll think of them next time the need for a similar product arises!