SEO, Web Design & Marketing, High Wycombe
Getting your feet wet with Social Media

Making the business case for Social Media is an important discussion to be had, but we will leave the details of that to another post! Assuming you are on board with the Social Media business concept, how do you get your feet wet?

Well, a good starting point is to get your accounts set up across the main social networking and social media sites. You definitely need to think carefully about your social media strategy before launching into the Social Media world guns blazing! That said, it is definitely recommended to get your profiles registered across the main social media sites in order to secure your brand identity / business name.

This is particularly important if you have a well known brand. Cyber squatting doesn’t necessarily only apply to domain names, so it is wise to reserve your profiles before anyone else does! So here’s a short-list of the sites to get started on (in no particular order):

  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • YouTube
  • Flickr

Obviously there are a vast number of other social networking sites, not all of which will be relevant to your business or target market. http://namechk.com gives you an idea of how many there are out there, and you can check whether your username / profile name is available across them all. Handy tool!

If you are just getting started out in Social Media, hope this article proved useful as a very basic introduction to registering your profiles. That’s just the beginning though. As mentioned before, you will need to consider your social media strategy (i.e. what you want to get out of it). Within this strategy, you will need to optimise your social media profiles, connect with other users, create positive social engagement, manage relationships with existing and potential customers, and more…

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Social Media Strategy: Introduction to Measuring ROI

An important part of any marketing campaign is measuring the results, also known as “Return On Investment” (ROI). The same is true of Social Media. Depending on who you are or who you represent, Social Media can work for you in different ways.

However you use Social Media, it is wise to plan ahead so that you can gauge the ROI. Let’s take the example of using Social Media to increase exposure and traffic to your website. First off, you’ll need to have visitor tracking installed on your website or Blog. Google Analytics is a useful tool for this, and it’s free (bonus!).

The other necessary element to measuring the ROI of your social media strategy is to make your links “trackable”. This is so that your analytics software (e.g. Google Analytics) will pick up on where your traffic is coming from. But hang on, wouldn’t Google Analytics pick up on where the traffic is coming from in “Referring Sites”? Unfortunately not… When it comes to Twitter and Facebook etc… a large proportion of users are using desktop and mobile apps so if they visit a link from within an app, this visit will count as a “direct” visit, which isn’t very helpful!

That’s why we need to generate “trackable” URLs. To do so, you can use the URL Builder tool available from Google here: http://www.google.com/support/analytics/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=55578 Combine this will the Google URL shortener available here: http://goo.gl/ and you will have a nice and tidy, short URL that’s… trackable! Woohoo! These shortened URLs are ideal for use in tweets.

Hopefully this proved useful reading. If you wanted some more guidance on Social Media and how your business can benefit from it, get in touch today!Email us on info@acuras.co.uk or call on +44 (0)1494 259 141

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Facebook to launch new “Fmail” email service

Developed under the code-name Project Titan, the introduction of “Fmail” looks likely to intensify Facebook’s war with Google.

Facebook’s email service could become a major email player, because it has more than 500 million active users. Not a bad starting point!

More information available here: http://www.zdnet.co.uk/blogs/jacks-blog-10017212/facebook-about-to-launch-ema…

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Social Media: Different Applications in Business

 Here’s a brain dump of a few ways that Social Media can be applied in business (large and small):

  1. Managing customer relations, dealing with complaints and ensuring customer satisfaction - more applicable to the larger companies with a large customer base
  2. Strengthening brand loyalty, making special offers available to users who engage with the company through social media
  3. Increasing exposure and website traffic by posting useful links and tips to Twitter for example which people can click through to your website from
  4. Networking and connecting with people for new business opportunities - Twitter can be great for freelancers or directors of small companies looking to expand their network and connect with other businesses locally, nationally, and internationally

 

Would welcome your comments on other applications of Social Media in business or links to related articles…

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New Google Adsense Interface has arrived…

It’s come to our attention that Google Adsense have launched their new interface. Currently it’s still in beta. More information can be found here: https://www.google.com/adsense/www/en_US/adsense3/

Feel free to give us a shout if you’d like to learn more about Google Adsense… or anything else web related for that matter. We won’t bite!

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Radio Station Website Launch: Time 106.6 Radio

We are happy to announce the launch of the new radio station website for Time 106.6 Radio which Acuras built from the ground up using the same website design used by a sister radio station of Time 106.6.

Features of the website include:

  • Multi-level CMS for full content management for the site
  • Twitter integration (so that news items and updates can be posted to Twitter)
  • XML integration with external XML feeds for weather, news, sports etc..

Visit the new site here: www.time1066.com

Please get in touch if you represent a radio station and would like to learn more about how we can boost your online presence.

You can email us on:
info@acuras.co.uk

or call us on:
+44 (0)1494 259 141

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Social Media: Making Twitter URLs trackable in Google Analytics

Many Twitter users make use of desktop & mobile apps so if they visit a link from within an app, this will count as a “direct” visit in the analytics software being used, which isn’t very helpful!

That’s why we need to generate “trackable” URLs. To do so, you can use the URL Builder tool available from Google: http://www.google.com/support/analytics/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=55578

Combine this will the Google URL shortener available here: http://goo.gl/ and you will have a nice and short URL that’s… you guessed it, trackable! These shortened URLs are ideal for use in tweets and Facebook status updates etc…Hope this proves useful! Happy surfing…

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Close Encounters of the… Lackadaisical Kind

You’ll have to excuse me, I’ve become hooked on random Blog post titles! “Lackadaisical” is a marvellous work don’t ya think? Something deliciously whimsical about it. Anywho, I digress.
Looking at the definition of “Lackadaisical”, it means “Lacking enthusiasm and determination; carelessly lazy.” Sounds like me in the morning! But seriously, not a great quality to have in people who you rely on to deliver an important service. Ok we’re not talking about the emergency services here, but the Internet has become such an important part of many companies’ strategy that if something goes wrong, it can seem like an earth-shattering disaster of epic proportions. Herein lies the problem of finding reliable web developers.

If When things do go wrong, it’s important to keep calm and deal with it in a well-considered and professional manner (he says with a distinct air of hypocrisy). Hands up, I definitely am not the best at this, but I’ve definitely improved over the last few years :-). The important thing to realise is that things do occasionally go wrong, either because of human error, or sheer unavoidable circumstances.

That said, if you experience problems because of a habitually unreliable or lazy web developer who has a lackadaisical attitude, then that’s just not on, and can be incredibly frustrating. In the Internet industry, this can occur in various situations, some examples of which I have listed below:
  • You have an old-school “web guy” maintaining your site using out-dated techniques and it is hindering your business from moving forward.
  • You’re trying to get a quote from a web development company and they clearly aren’t interested in what you need, instead they quote based on what they want to do.
  • You’ve got a “junior web developer” working on your rather important e-commerce website that receives hundreds of pounds worth of business each day and they managed to break something big-style without realising or even caring. (In reality, this could be a genuine accident on the part of the junior web developer. The real lackadaisical attitude may reside with the genius who decided to let loose an inexperienced junior on a mission critical website!)
Any of these sound familiar? If not, hopefully you are now at least forewarned (and therefore forearmed) against falling into these pit-falls, which can normally be avoided. On the positive side, there are many reliable web developers out there so it’s not all doom and gloom.
    Just for the record… we’re happy to say that we are definitely not old-school “web guys”, we try to keep up with the latest industry standards as well as possible. We also care greatly when it comes to giving quotes to clients new and old. We won’t let loose juniors on your mission critical systems either! Yay! Full marks to us! :-)

    We’re not perfect though… but we do try! If you want us to prove it, give us a shout!

    Bye for now…

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    Recently Bookmarked Links: Social Media, Facebook News, Google Instant Search and more…
    Magento E-Commerce? All sounds a bit… Pink?

    Excuse the random title of this blog post. I asked the Mrs what came to her mind when hearing the word “Magento” and she said “Pink!”. Nothing like a bit of random word association!
    For us in the web dev industry though, most of us know Magento as being an open-source e-commerce platform (and a bit of a beast!). It has plenty of great features though, and allows us developers to build great e-commerce sites with all the e-commerce features you would ever need.
     
    Got a killer product and need to sell it online? That’s where Magento would come in, and not only can we develop great Magento E-commerce sites, we can make it perform as well! But that’s a topic of discussion for another time!

    If you want to learn more, we’d be happy to point you in the right direction so drop us a line. And in conclusion, when I mention “Magento”, the wife thinks of “Pink!”, but we think “Red Hot E-commerce!”

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