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social media

  • 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.

  • 5 Reasons Why Web Marketing Differs From Traditional Marketing

    Bruce says…

    Having a well-built website that promotes your company professionally and effectively is one thing. Having a website that is properly marketed through well implemented digital strategies is another.

    It is essential that you market your website, brand and business in order to get people talking about you and noticing what it is you’re doing and why it is different.

    As web specialists, we very much believe in the power of web marketing as opposed to traditional marketing methods. I have whipped together 5 reasons why I think this is the case:


    1. Time

    In this day and age, we all want everything to have been done yesterday to constantly keep ahead of the times. Web marketing allows you to get your company’s message across to thousands in a matter of seconds. Take Twitter, for example. It takes no time at all to post a tweet that can then be viewed by a huge audience, thanks to the powers of hash-tagging and retweeting alike. This makes social media campaigns, quite frankly, a time saving no-brainer when compared to a traditional marketing campaign.


    1. Market Size

    Distributing marketing materials physically is limited by cost. You can only print out so many flyers and post them through so many doors, therefore limiting your potential market size. On the other hand, posting a blog on your website can be seen by absolutely anyone if the correct digital marketing strategies are applied.


    1. Search Engines

    Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) allows any online marketing material to be optimised in several relevant key search terms, something that traditional marketing simply cannot do. Once optimised, blogs, content, newsletters and brochures can appear in Google feeds through various relevant keyword link ups – now, can you do that with a your printed newspaper advert?


    1. Competition

    Web marketing also has the competitive advantage over traditional marketing as it allows you to publish a blog, for example, immediately with no time or geographical constraints. An idea can quite literally go from inside your head and onto the screens of millions all over the world within a matter of moments.


    1. Cost

    All of the processes involved with traditional marketing, such as print and distribution management, come at a price. And, although web marketing is by no means free, it is cheaper and provides a much greater return on investment. For example, investing in a PayPerClick advertising strategy will drive traffic to your website, resulting in an increase in sales and/or enquiries.


    So, which method of marketing would you rather use?

    For more information or to find out how we can help you market your business through the wonderful world of web, give us a call on 01325 311 909 or email us at sales@design365.co.uk.

  • The Power of Social Media

    Bruce Says...

    Social Media is a vital tool for any business, proving to be a powerful way to not only get your name out and about but to essentially engage and interact with current and potential customers.

    Social Media marketing is an excellent way of gaining website traffic and attention, and as long as your site is sharp, effective and scattered with calls to action, there is a great chance potential clients will pick up the phone and contact you.

    It is also an easy way of connecting and networking with other businesses, and we all know the benefits of establishing new referral partners whom may also fall into the customer category.

    Like all forms of web marketing, social media marketing differs from offline marketing as its progress can be easily measured. The success of social media channels can be measured by likes, followers, connections etc. Therefore, you’re getting a solid figure at the end of every month of how many people you have reached and interacted with.

    Social media can be easily accessed through numerous media including PCs, Apple devices, smartphones and tablets. This literally leaves the power of online marketing at your fingertips, taking just seconds to write and post a tweet which can then reach hundreds of viewers, driving them towards your website.

    Here is everything we can do for you and your business through the power of social media...


    Facebook is growingly popular and more and more businesses are setting up profiles and pages to gain likes and spread brand awareness. Facebook also offers an advertising scheme where you can advertise specifically to your target market using a pay per click system. We can engage your clients and potential customers through conversational posts, photos, polls and much more. Facebook is very much suited for B2C brands but can also work for B2B purposes too. Facebook can easily link up to Instagram and Twitter so you can continuously provoke interaction through multiple media.


    Twitter is currently very much the up and coming social media channel amongst companies. We can spread the word of your business through tweets, replying to tweets, retweeting and favouriting. A Twitter feed can be anything from personal to specifically business orientated, but once you have a good following from other businesses it is a great networking method. Hashtagging is a main feature of Twitter, as placing the # symbol in front of key words and phrases (e.g. #busydayattheoffice or #nefollowers) will get your tweets (and therefore your profile) into search results. This often triggers retweets. Twitter doesn’t just have to be limited to you or your business. It has proven effective having a company ‘mascot’, complete with their own quirky personality, to have their own Twitter feed, posting interesting facts and industry-related quotes and jokes. We can run numerous Twitter accounts for you, which can really increase the engagement with followers and if they are replying/retweeting tweets, it is directing more and more traffic to your website.


    Pinterest is ideal for businesses within the ecommerce industry. We can manage pin boards which can showcase your products, divide them into categories, emphasize sale items, tag your photos and much more. Re-pinning is an important aspect of Pinterest, because if users don’t see your pins through searches, they will see your profile when we have re-pinned their pins. We can link Pinterest with your other social media channels so that as soon as your profile pins a new picture, it will appear on your Facebook or Twitter page immediately. What was that phrase again… Hitting two birds with one stone?


    Instagram is an online photo sharing and social networking service which works well alongside numerous other social media channels. It’s an effective way of sharing pictures of your produce, your team or just general shenanigans taking place in your day-to-day business happenings. This application adds a digital filter to your photos, creating a unique and attractive image. It’s a great way to demonstrate the personality behind your company which is always well received because people like companies who come across as personable and friendly. This method can work particularly well for companies running ecommerce websites as when new stock comes in, taking a quick snap and uploading it to Instagram can instantly interest hundreds if not thousands of people, and drive them to your website to take a closer look. Instagram also uses hashtagging which will enter your picture into searches seen by millions of other people. Pictures can gain ‘likes’ and be instantly shared through other social media channels including Facebook and Twitter.


    This is a professional network where your company can have its own profile, as can all of your employees. It has been designed for B2B brands and so is better suited for networking and exhibiting purposes. Your company profile can gain likes as more and more people gain knowledge of it and employees can connect with clients, contacts, suppliers and other business acquaintances. Employees can also regularly write updates on their profile about your company and their connections can like and share these posts. These connections drive traffic towards your company profile and then onto your website.


    Google+ is a social networking and identity service which forms just one social layer, covering many of Google’s online properties. It integrates social services such as Google Profiles, Circles, Hangouts and Sparks. It is another social media channel that allows you to regularly post comments, photos and events to engage and interact with other businesses and potential clients.


    YouTube is an excellent video sharing network which suits both B2C and B2B brands. A recent way of grabbing attention and spreading brand awareness has been through viral videos and video channels. Creating your own advertisement is quick and easy to do and, if executed well, can be an extremely effective way of rapidly spreading brand awareness. YouTube is a great way for supporting campaigns for B2B purposes. After all, videos have proved far more attention-grabbing and engaging compared with just words.


    Flickr is another image sharing site great for both B2B and B2C markets as it is a great way to spread awareness of business campaigns. It is also ideal for companies in the ecommerce market as posting pictures of new stock will stir up interest and encourage customer engagement, driving traffic towards your online shop. We can also ensure photos are tagged to increase SEO and viewers can like, comment and share your images. Like Pinterest, we can share other users’ photos, nudging them to share yours.


    Social media doesn’t stop at the channels that are proving more and more beneficial to your business. Blogging is also a brilliant way to gain excellent SEO and swiftly boost your Google rank. As you can blog about virtually anything you fancy, it is a great method to broaden the amount of search results your website can pop up in.

    Too busy to blog? Don’t have the time to tweet?

    Well, this is a minor problem which we can easily resolve. We will do it for you! We will schedule weekly or monthly updates so that we can find out what you want your business to be talking about and we ensure everything is done and dusted. Wordpress will tell you how many people your blog has reached and how many people have responded to it. This is part and parcel of the beauty of online marketing. The numbers do the speaking, so you can see in black and white what works and what doesn’t.

    So, if you’re interested in:

    •       Enhancing relationships with your customers
    •       Continuing to build and improve your company brand
    •       Providing excellent customer service through a multitude of media

    Call Design365 on 01325 311 909 or email us at sales@design365.co.uk to embrace social media and give your online activity a real boost!

  • Pinterest - An online pinboard

    Pinterest is a new social media tool which acts as a virtual pinboard. Sharing things (pins) you find of interest on the web. This can be linked with your Facebook or Twitter accounts.

    You can browse other people’s pinboards or search via category such as weddings or kids, browse videos or search for gifts of a certain price. You can view other people’s pinboards, follow them or repin a certain image.

    Each pin links back to the original site it came from and also includes the username of the person who had pinned the image.

    Each user can make boards to collate collections of their favourite things or inspiration, to separate their pins into categories. The site has been used by many people as a decorating tool, wedding ideas and as a wish list. Others use the site as an online recipe book to share with followers.

  • How to create Killer Landing Pages

    As more and more companies come online and as the amount of time to grab someone’s attention decreases (around 5 – 7 seconds depending on whose blog you last read), the need to create landing pages that will stop potential customer in their tracks, get them to engage with your website and ultimately contact you becomes ever more important.

    Here are 5 principals that should help turn browsers into callers.


    1.         Tell them what you do

    As obvious as this sounds too many websites don’t state the obvious.  Some websites do state what they do but tie it into over complicated introduction paragraphs where they confuse visitors with endless lists of all the services they offer. If you do offer lots of services then create a page for each one and state that you offer the service on that page.  Creating clear links to these pages will also help with both navigation and SEO.

    Other websites prefer to bore you with their company history.  Remember, people visiting your website are interested in their future, not your past. Yes, there is a place on your website for this information but not in your opening gambit.  When people ask you in the real world what do you do, I bet you don’t start with ‘We were founded in 1964’.  Instead, you probably state your profession or, if you’re well versed in networking, you state the ultimate benefit of your business. So a good example of an opening line on your website would be ‘We have a track record in helping companies generate more business through proven web marketing strategies’. 

    2.         Be Positive

    Sadly a lot of businesses undersell themselves.  If you’re really good at what you do then let the visitor know. You will need to back this up with testimonials and case studies but using positive words then you create a positive vibe to the site. Other positive techniques include the word Yes, ‘Yes we can help’, ‘Yes we have proven results’, ‘Yes you can call anytime’. Also, use ‘Remember to Call’ instead of ‘Don’t Forget to Call’ (2 negative words don’t always create a positive).  Keep it positive. If your positive your potential customers will be.

     3.         Create Trust

    Most visitors to your website are seeing your business for the first time so making them feel they’re in the right place is one thing but you need to back this up by creating trust.  This can be attempted by talking the talk but people want proof they can trust your business before picking up the phone or dropping you an e-mail. There are 2 elements to this. Firstly, show them you’re serious about your business with a clearly designed website that’s easy to use and spelling mistake free.  Secondly, you can share knowledge and talk the talk but web visitors want to know you can walk the walk.  This is why testimonials are so important to your instant credibility. These need to be on the homepage, not hidden in the background and also need a credible signature. A testimonial signed ‘J Smith, Darlington’ probably won’t cut it. Instead, try for testimonials signed by Managing Directors or decision makers, don’t be afraid (with permission) to state their name and their company. And No your competitors wont approach them, they have just given you a testimonial. You probably don’t need the whole testimonial on the homepage but an easy to locate powerful statement with a link to the whole testimonial will do the job.

     4.        Limit the Offer

     Fear of loss is an amazing tool when used correctly. For example, if you are running a spa and putting on special offers then let the visitor know there are only limited places or that an offer ends at midnight. Remember when the offer does end to take it off the site, otherwise you run into credibility issues when posting your next offer.  This simple but effective technique stops people clicking off to another site or procrastinating on the offer.  Of course, if you’re feeling very proactive you can let people know the offer has expired and that if they sign up to your newsletter then they won’t miss out next time.

     5.         Clear Calls To Action

     There’s a great saying in the North East – Shy Bairns Get Nowt, which means if you don’t ask, you don’t get.  So, as obvious as it sounds (there’s that word again), you actually do need to show visitors what to do next. Whether it’s add to cart, please call, please email us, request a call back or subscribe to your newsletter, they need to do something.  The ideal scenario is they never leave empty handed.  Also, make sure your telephone number is clear and located on every page and also in Text so mobile users only need to press the link to trigger a call.

     Of course, if your website has told the visitor what you do, has shown them the end benefit, has created trust, has time limited offers, then they probably will contact you.

     Author Alan Foster

  • Design365 in the local press...

    Great editorial piece in The Northern Echo showing the power of Internet marketing, two great local businesses working together. The sucessful Stone Technical Services growing their business through their website and the correct use of SEO.

  • why is web marketing so effective???

    Web marketing is measurable;

    Google Analytics - allows you to find out how many people have viewed your site on a daily basis

    Web Counter - Add a web counter on to your site to see how many views the site has had

    Google Adwords - Pay as you go advertising for your website on a pay per click basis

    Downloadable vouchers - Use a specific code to measure how many times the vouchers have been used

    For more advice please contact us...

  • what is the importance of seo...

    •To Promote - your site online, so your target market can find it!
    •Highlight keywords - So your site is found on related searches
    •Titles and descriptions - Using the wrong titles and description can have a drastic effect on your sites visability
    •Add internal and external links - Link with your supplies, associated companies and to social media pages
    •Add products to Shopping Feeds - To increase the number of people viewing the products
    For help with your SEO please contact us....
  • improve your website visitors in 2012...

    To improve your website visibility and increase the traffic to your site you may want to consider the following;

    Corporate Media - Include an informative video and link to You-Tube, this will then link back to your website

    Add promotions onto your social media pages

    Get your friends / colleagues to 're-tweet' or 'share' your promotions

    Get relevant websites to link to your site and vice versa, this will improve both companies website traffic 

    Make sure your site includes the correct search engine optimisation keywords so you can be found when searched for online.

    If you need any help with your SEO, please contact us...

  • Design365 helps local charity

    Take a day out based in County Durham, offer support services and short break experiences for carers, parents and their families. The charity has recently re-launched their website which has been re-designed by Newton Aycliffe firm Design365.

    The re-designed website has been donated to the charity and has received very positive comments on the new look. Take a day out wanted an easy to use website which promotes a clear message.

    The website includes an events page to promote charity days out, charity balls and charity treks all organised by the charity and their fundraisers.

    The website also links to the charity’s social media pages where their friends can post photos and comments relating to the charity and their events.

    Take a day out’s new website includes much more detailed information about the company, including the services they offer, events, news and their friends who have helped them across the way.

    “Design365 is a growing company that we love working with because they take a real interest in the people whose projects they work on. Alan and his team really want to help us and we hope we can help them too, by promoting their company to others.”

    Peter Sheen, Take a day out.

    Find out more about Take a day outwww.takeadayout.co.uk and web design firm Design365www.design365.co.uk

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