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0191 406 5391

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01325 311 909

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  • How videos can help social media marketing

    No matter what social network you flick through now, you’re bound to see a number of videos pop up on your home feed. When compared to last year, it’s amazing how much statistics and trends can really change. Over the last 12 months almost every major social network, including Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram have increased the prominence and importance of visual content.

    Here are some stats we found from http://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/visual-content-marketing-strategy

    • Last year the amount of video from people and brands in Facebook's News feed increased 3.6X year-over-year.
    • Visual content is a key component in each of the top 5 most effective B2B marketing tactics.
    • B2C marketers are more likely to use original videos (63% B2C vs. 56% B2B) and original visual assets (63% B2C vs. 56% B2B).
    • Social Media Examiner recently asked marketers which forms of content they most want to learn about in 2015. Creating original visual assets took first place, followed by producing original videos.
    • In 2014 the use of video content for B2B marketing increased by 8% to 58%, while the use of infographics topped the adoption list increasing in usage by 9% to 52%.

    With Facebook and now Twitter introducing the auto-play feature, it makes it easier for brands to get their videos seen! As the social world is always growing fast and now the likes of popular networks - Instagram and Snapchat allow videos, the possibilities are endless and you’re really missing out if you’re not uploading videos to social media!

    If you’d like to talk to us about increasing your online audience through social media, please contact us.


    video - facebook stats
  • Facebook to remove inactive accounts from page like count

    Have you seen a small dip in the number of page likes on your Facebook business page? Please don’t worry! This doesn’t mean that you’re doing anything wrong, it is simply due to Facebook removing inactive accounts so that your page like count is more accurate and meaningful.

    There are two types of inactive accounts that will be removed from your page like count, these are voluntarily deactivated accounts and memorialized accounts.

    It might feel a big disheartening to see that your page like count has reduced with Facebook having the clear out but they’ve done it with good reason. The main benefit from this is to keep your business page consistent and true. By removing inactive Facebook accounts from your page audience date, it gives you more accurate figures when looking at the page insights. You’ll be able to see a lot easier who actively follows your page and find your followers through tools like lookalike audiences.

    So please don’t be alarmed if at first glance it looks like your business page has lost the interest of followers and more people are clicking the ‘dislike’ button. Remind yourself of this update and remember that meaningful data is more important!

  • 1NE Logistics fully responsive site!

    Another example of a fully responsive site we've recently launched.

    About 1NE Logistics:

    1NE Logistics limited operates primarily within the healthcare sector providing dedicated specialised transport services to Primary and Secondary healthcare providers within the NHS.

    At 1NE Logistics we provide our customers with unrivalled access to LIVE GPS vehicle tracking information and also LIVE journey temperature information. Investment in the latest systems allows customer’s unrestricted web based access to both live and historical temperature information for every dedicated vehicle journey.


    Check out the full site at http://www.1nelogistics.co.uk/


    1NE Logistics2 1NE Logistics


    1NE Logistics3
  • How to choose the right web company

    Last week we received a phone call from a lady looking to transfer her services to us.  Whilst we are delighted to take on new customers a phrase she used set off a few alarm bells and got us thinking.  She said “you will be the 4th web company I have worked with in 3 years”.  So the big question is, has she been really unlucky and chosen the wrong companies, perhaps by not doing the right research or are her expectations and what she is being promised unrealistic?  I will let you know the answer to that later in the blog.

    So, how do you go about choosing the right web company?  Creating a quality website or upgrading your current site, if done correctly, won’t be cheap and this is a good place to start when choosing your web company.

    Know your budget

    We would suggest that you set out a budget of how much you are looking to spend and choose a company that can support this.  If you are a new starter, with limited funds then there are some companies that will do you a website for under £200.  This will give you a presence and may be a good starting point.  After all, with 50% of businesses failing in the first 12 months it makes sense not to stretch yourself too far.  That said, when dealing with the companies that produce this type of site we strongly suggest you read the small print and ensure there are no separation charges.  Also ensure the domain name is registered in your name as again there have been incidences of excessive fees to transfer the domain.

    When considering your budget, remember to factor in some ongoing marketing costs.  Whether this is for Search Engine Optimisation, Google AdWords, E-Mail campaigns or social media. It’s great to have a really nice website but if no one is seeing it and making enquiries then you will end up with a very nice folly.

    Do your research

    There are many web companies offering the world but sadly, the days of the .com millionaire are long gone, unless of course you come up with the next big App or new social media platform.  We suggest when choosing the company you want to work with, do your research and ask for the following;

    • Do they have any success stories of companies they have transformed and created a significant return on investment?
    • Do they have any testimonials or case studies they can share?
    • Can we contact ‘ANY’ of your clients for feedback? This is a great question as many businesses will point you towards their favoured clients and maybe not those who have posed challenges.

    Get Technical

    There are a lot of companies such as Graphic Designers and IT companies who have bolted web on as a service. Whilst this is not a bad thing we have seen many incidences where open source software such as WordPress, Drupal or Joomla has been used to create quick and easy websites. These can look good but if they are not hosted properly or the security is not updated then this leaves the site open to malicious software that can damage your reputation and in some cases get your site taken offline.  Always ensure the person designing your site understands the technical elements so ask them what security measures are in place? And what back up procedures do you have?

    Ask lots of questions

    When I started the business I was always mindful of what would happen to my customers if I got hit by a bus.  But more seriously when working on my own I was the sales guy, marketing chap, project manager, accounts department and PR and it amazed me how I actually got work done.  It occurred to me as I was sat in a meeting that I really wanted it to end quickly because I had another deadline to meet. My point is, it’s always good to know the answers to the ‘what if’ questions, especially when dealing with people who are working on their own.

    Here are some good questions to ask;

    • How do I get in touch out of hours if I have a problem?
    • What support do I have if you get Ill?
    • Who owns the website once completed?
    • Do I get a copy of my website or access to backups?
    • Where are your websites hosted? UK or Abroad?

    Ask for Recommendations

    Of course the best way to get the right company is to ask for recommendations. Business contacts and friends will be able to give you the low down on the right companies to use. They will also tell you their shortfalls which might not be a show stopper but certainly gives you a good insight into the company and ideas for the right questions to ask.  We have built our company on word of mouth recommendations and our aim when creating a site is for you to be so impressed that you refer us on.  This is our best and most effective marketing tool as it provides a win-win situation.

    Now I said I would answer the question about the lady who said we would be the 4th company in 3 years.  Well it turns out we won’t.  She mentioned a few web companies she had previously worked with, they were good companies with strong reputations. Unfortunately, we decided there was only one common denominator and politely declined.

  • Welcome Aboard!

    We’d like to take a moment to introduce you to our two newest members of Team365!

    We have Kerry who is our new Media Marketing Manager and Gemma, our new Business Development Manager. They have both joined us in our Newton Aycliffe office.

    Kerry – Media Marketing Manager

    In her spare time she likes to go for long countryside walks and loves camping! She has taken a Hootsuite University course. She successfully became a Hootsuite Certified Professional so any questions you may have regarding Social Media, speak to Kerry!


    Gemma – Business Development Manager

    Gemma is a Marketing graduate from Northumbria Uni, Mum to Pippa (15 months) & Millie (Shihtzu). She is addicted to Instagram, obsessed with Pinterest and love taking photos of everything. Would love to open her own vintage tea room!

  • Instagram for business - How could it help you?

    Launched in 2010, Instagram has quickly become one of the most popular and talked about photo-sharing social network. Unfortunately, not many businesses have tapped into the world of Instagram yet so we’d like to share with you some facts about the social network and maybe you’ll re-consider?

    Instagram grew by 50% between March and December 2014 which allowed it to reach the 300 million user mark – that’s when you know you’ve made it • More than 75 million users per day • Since being created, there have been 30 billion photos shared • 70 million photos are uploaded daily • In 2011 Instagram introduced #hashtags • In June 2013 the video upload feature was launched • 51% of users are male and 49% of users are female

    Instagram created a simple network design that allows your image to take centre stage, having your image/video fill the full screen. With all of this exposure potential at your fingertips, surely it would be a shame not to take advantage of it?

    Here are some examples of brand campaigns ran on Instagram;

    #Fiestagram by Ford Ford used Instagram to promote the Fiesta’s high-tech features back in 2011, giving away a Ford Fiesta as the final prize. Every week for 6 weeks, they announced a new hashtag associated with one of the Fiesta’s high-tech features such as #entry #music #hidden. The idea being that people would upload a photo each week using #Fiestagram and that week’s particular hashtag. Each week the best photos were chosen, featured in real-life galleries and digital billboards and were also in the running for the final prize, a Ford Fiesta. During the 6 week campaign, over 16,000 photos were uploaded and Ford gained over 12,000 fans on Facebook.

    1 (Image source - http://mashable.com/2012/02/02/ford-fiesta-instagram/)

    #Fannerisms by Buffalo Wild Wings

    As Buffalo Wild Wings is seen as a place for sports fans to hang out after work, enjoying good company along with good food, they thought they’d tap into Instagram to create a campaign during last year’s World Cup to help kick-start their Instagram profile. They simply asked users to upload images of themselves enjoying watching the games at any Buffalo Wild Wings using the hashtag #Fannerisms. In return, BWW used the direct message feature to reward fans for uploading their image by instructing them how they could win a gift card. This cool campaign gained them 1,600 followers on Instagram in just 3 days!

    2 (Image source - http://www.adweek.com/news/technology/buffalo-wild-wings-tests-instagram-direct-launch-brand-account-158324)

    #WhiteCupContest by Starbucks

    Starbucks are very pro-active on their social accounts and wanted to take the opportunity to reward their creative and loyal customers. They created the #WhiteCupContest which simply asked fans to customise their iconic white cups with a design of their choice, upload their images to Instagram and submit by using the hashtag #WhiteCupContest. During this campaign, Starbucks received over 4,000 entries in only 3 short weeks! The winning cup was translated into a limited edition reusable cup available for sale in stores.

    3 (Image source - https://news.starbucks.com/news/starbucks-invites-you-to-decorate-its-iconic-white-cup)

    I bet you never imagined the endless amounts of opportunities Instagram has brought to businesses through simple campaigns. Brands all over the world are running campaigns daily to boost their following. I hope that you’ve now re-considered using Instagram for your business and when you’re all set up and running, remember to give us a follow on @_design365


  • The origins of Twitter’s 140 character limit

    Twitter was created back in March 2006 by Jack Dorsey, Evan Williams, Biz Stone and Noah Glass and then launched in July 2006. It was initially created to act as a text message replacement service. Remember those days when everybody had pay-as-you-go mobiles which used to often run out of credit leaving you feel sorry for yourself and frustrated? Well the guys over at Twitter wanted to give everybody an opportunity to talk to their friends at any time of the day for free! The idea being that you could connect with people either publicly through tweeting them or privately through a direct message (DM). Since launching, Twitter has grown into one of the largest social networking sites in the world with recent statistics showing it has over 302 million active monthly users and 500 million tweets sent per day! So… Why the 140 character limit on tweets? Well, since the worldwide standard length of a text message is 160 characters, the founders of Twitter thought it would be a good idea to stay within those boundaries as it was what everyone was already used to. Now you’re probably thinking, why is a tweet 20 characters less than a text message? Those 20 characters were set aside to allow room for the twitter username (handle) of the sender, leaving 140 characters for your message!

  • Boost SEO With Social Signals!

    Bruce says… Recently at 365 Towers, we have noticed a rise in demand for Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) services. As well as all the clever tricks that our in-house team apply to your website, we have observed that one of the biggest weightings on SEO is in fact the powerful tool of Social Media. Social Media boosts SEO in two different ways:

    • Social Signals
    • Backlinking

    So, if your website’s linked social media channels regularly do both of these SEO-boosting techniques, Google will reward you with a higher search engine rank. Backlinks are pretty self-explanatory – they are links that directly link back to your website from other websites. For example, if you write a tweet promoting one of the services or products and pop in a link to the relevant webpage, anyone who clicks on this link will be backlinked through to your website. This is effective because Google boosts your website’s creditability if it regularly sees a major website linking directly back to it. Social Signals, however, are a bit less talked about. In basic terms, if you want search engines to like your website, you need your social media channels (a.k.a your Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn profile) to give off good social signals. These are essentially the interaction and engagement that you provoke through your various social media networks. For example, on Facebook, if someone likes or shares your post, this is giving off excellent social signals from your page. It demonstrates that users are not only viewing your content but also sharing it with their network and essentially bookmarking it for future reference. In terms of Twitter, social signals can be given off from mentions, retweets and links within these distributed tweets. If your tweets are popular with a large number of high profile users, this bodes extremely well for your profile and the website it is linked to. Various other social media channels can give off various SEO-boosting Social Signals including LinkedIn, YouTube, Pinterest and Flickr. However, this is not something you can cheat your way through! Google will analyse the quality of any Social Signals and the channel they’ve derived from and if it appears you’ve simply bought your likes or spammed your way to a good following, they will as a result penalise your search engine ranking. So – what are you waiting for?! Get interacting, liking and sharing and before you know it you’ll be giving off excellent social signals that can effectively boost your search engine rank. If time is in short supply for you and your business, Design365 can offer Social Media Management to increase your social signals, backlinks and general engagement. If this is something you’d be interested in, please either call us on 01325 311 909 or email us at sales@design365.co.uk. We look forward to hearing from you :)

  • Setting Up Your Design365 Hosted Email Account (Microsoft Outlook)

    To Set Up Your E-mail Account in Microsoft Outlook 2003

    • Open Microsoft Outlook
    • In Microsoft Outlook, from the E-mail Accounts menu, select Tools
    • On the E-mail Accounts wizard window, select Add a new e-mail account, and then click Next
    • For your server type, select POP3 or IMAP, and then click Nextoutlook3
    • On the Internet E-mail Settings (POP3/IMAP) window, enter your information as follows:
      • Your Name  Your first and last name.
      • E-mail Address  Your email address.
      • User Name   Your email address, again.
      • Password  Your email account password.
      • Incoming mail server (POP3)  Your incoming server as provided by Design365
      • Outgoing mail server (SMTP)  Your outgoing server as provided by Design365outlook4
    • Click More Settings.
    • On the Internet E-mail Settings window, go to the Outgoing Server tab.
    • Select My outgoing server (SMTP) requires authentication. outlook5
    • Click OK. outlook4
    • Click Next. outlook7
    • Click Finish.
  • Is Social Media a Sales Tool or a Customer Service Tool?

    A friend of mine was telling me a very interesting story the other day. On Good Friday this year, he took his family to a well-known Pizza chain. He is a bit of a regular and quite a fan. Knowing this, he always arrives at opening time so there is no wait and he can grab the good seats. However, on arrival he noticed that there was only 2 staff on which he thought strange for Good Friday, especially as it was the school holidays and the eatery was at a big retail park. Not one to not know a reason, he questioned the manager who replied with “well, we looked at the books for Good Friday last year and it was really quiet”. My friend then pointed out that Good Friday 2012 was a heat wave and most families with young kids would have been enjoying the sun either on the beach, in the park or having a BBQ in the garden. He did not tell me the look on the manager’s face but it was not long before the place started filling up rapidly and sooner rather than later, people were being turned away. Some customers were waiting so long that they lost patience and walked away and some people just didn't go in. Here’s where it starts to get interesting. My friend likes to use Twitter and thought he would drop the pizza company’s Twitter account a tweet pointing out what was going on, which went like this: “Car crash at your restaurant, 20+ people turned away due to understaffing.” Followed up by: “Car crash customer service. People now leaving without food arriving.” Well, as this was a bank holiday there was no reply and whoever managed their account was off until the Tuesday, 4 days after the event. My friend was subsequently annoyed that they had not responded but even more annoyed when the reply came through saying: “Here is an e-mail address you can reply to.” In his opinion, and mine too, this this is not good customer service; this is a fob off. My friend understands branding and brand reputation and wasn't going to let it lie, so he tweeted: “Just like the staff in your restaurant, you don’t appear to be bothered, so no. Bye.” This did get a response and, following a few DM’s and a phone call from my friend, the pizza company are now looking at how they will improve their social media to improve customer service. Now, here is what could have happened had their social media been managed better. This tweet would have instantly been picked up by customer service and the opportunity could have been better handled with a tweet saying: “our restaurant is really busy at the moment so might be worth avoiding until it quietens down” followed by the hash tag “#pizzastaff are you free to put in a few hours extra work? #NEfollowers”. Even “apologies for the delays at our restaurant, have a drink on us” would have helped but, most of all, a response to my friend acknowledging and thanking him for making them aware. I’m sure some of this would not sit well with some corporates, but saying a restaurant is busy indicates that the food is good and it would also avoid disappointment from loyal customers. Remember; if people have a bad experience they will tell about 30 people so if everyone in that restaurant told 30 people, 600 people could potentially be put off going to this restaurant. Too often we focus on sharing our knowledge on offering special offers on social media without using it effectively to support our current client base. Ivan Misner (@Ivanmisner), Founder of Business Network International, the world’s leading referral organisation, says: “No one cares how much you know until they know how much you care” which is very true. In summary, use social media to show how much you care about your customers and the results will improve your brand and customer loyalty. Too many companies e-mail when they should call or call when they should meet. If somebody has an issue - engage with them. We all make mistakes but it is how we respond to these mistakes that defines how we are judged. My friend, by the way, was Russ Sawdon (@RussSawdon), Executive Director BNI Durham and Teesside. He genuinely cares about businesses succeeding. If you would like help managing your social media or digital reputation, please drop us a line at sales@design365.co.uk or call us on 01325 311 909.

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15 Parsons Court, Welbury Way, Aycliffe Business Park, Newton Aycliffe, Co-Durham, DL5 6ZE

Te: 01325 311 909

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Regus - Gateshead, The Axis Building, Maingate, Kingsway North, Team Valley, Gateshead NE11 0NQ

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