Friday, 29 July 2011

How Getting Social Can Win You Business

A Twitter stream, Facebook Page, company Blog, an offer on Groupon… there is so much choice for businesses when devising their online strategy. Over 50% of businesses now have a website. But there is still lots of confusion and reluctance when it comes to Social Media.

The top reason given? “It doesn’t generate any direct sales”.

It’s true; you won’t get hundreds of sales overnight. Creating and updating a blog or Facebook page does take an initial investment and on-going work.

But a Social Media strategy can, and will win you business.

Here’s how:

Search Results
Social Media (be it a YouTube channel, or even a Wikipedia page…) can help you as a company improve your Google results. Your presence on other sites, especially those considered “high quality” by Google, generates important links back to your main company website. These inbound links will improve your position in search engine rankings. Don’t forget, that your pages on some Social Networks (such as Facebook) will be indexed by Google and even appear in search results. A great way to maximise your appearance in results – the more page 1 rankings you can get, the better.

Brand Management
90% of consumers trust peer recommendations, only 14% trust advertisements.  As consumer review sites like Yelp gain in popularity, brand “e-reputation” becomes important. Social media can be used as a tool to find and build relationships with customers. It’s an opportunity to turn a bad experience into a good one. Also, having positive content (whether it is reviews, comments, conversations…) about your company online is important. It means that when someone searches for you, they’re less likely to find negative comments.

Social Media offers an opportunity to network – important for small businesses, where a significant amount of leads come from referrals. We like Innocents viewpoint on this: “We like conversations, because they’re two way and if they’re good, you learn stuff. Basically, if there’s a new way in which our drinkers want to communicate with us, then we’ll get involved.”

Brand Awareness
By getting involved in conversations, creating & sharing content and engaging with potential customers, you’re letting your visitors (and/or fans) know, time and time again, that you exist! Not only that you exist, but that you’re listening. Not only can you build awareness, but also credibility.

Feedback & Innovation
Getting feedback on your products (and in real-time) alone is valuable. Social Media gives you a place to discuss – with potentially some of your most loyal customers – what they think about your brand or products. If you have a presence, they’ll have the conversation with you. If you’re not there, they’ll have it without you.

For your Social Media strategy, it’s important to define your objectives right from the beginning, and the platform that suits you. Objectives could be: building awareness, marketing a new product or creating a space for conversations. Deciding on the platform that suits you? This will be based on your company’s specific needs. Just remember, it’s better to be in one place and do it well – than try to be everywhere!

Wednesday, 20 July 2011

Digital for Real Life

The world of marketing is changing. Companies are no longer bombarding us with messages, but offering much more - a service, great content, quality advice....

Here are some examples of how digital utility is merging with our day-to-day lives. And it goes a lot further than a flashy new App, or Facebook giveaway. This is how digital can almost seamlessly integrate with tasks we already do, implanting itself in our lifes as if it was always there.

Virtual Supermarket in the Underground
This is a great example of how digital can almost seamlessly integrate with our day-to-day lives. In South Korea, Tesco noticed that the population had minimal time and motivation to go shopping - and that they spent a lot of time in the metro. The idea then came to transform the underground platforms into real supermarket isles - but wait, not REAL supermarket isles. The products are laid out just like in a regular supermarket - but with QR codes to order the products. Once ordered (via Smartphone), orders are delivered in just a few hours to the customers home.
An invention that not only worked for the business - but ultimately, provided a service for the consumer.

Bus Stop USB Charging Ports
To highlight the "energy boosting" properties of Vitaminwater, the company installed USB ports on bus stops in 4 US cities. While waiting for the bus, passengers could charge their iPod, Smartphone or iPad. 
So while it might not be the latest technology - it's digital, and certainly providing consumers with added value.

"Real Life" Farmville
Invest in "MyFarm", and you can (almost!) become a real farmer.The concept is based on social games such as Farmville on Facebook, where you can create a virtual farm, grow crops and help fellow farmers.
The aim of "MyFarm" is, by "bringing this concept to life", to create a community of 10 000 "farmers", who have each donated £30, who will vote on major decisions every month on the farm.
This initiative highlights the growing need from gamers to "give meaning" to the virtual world - it's no longer new and exciting - but needs something "more".

The future? 
Take a look at Flowing Datas "Data Life of the Future" with some mind-boggling but almost believable predictions - of data that "will intertwine with your day-to-day like threads in a fabric". Or watch "A Day Made of Glass" - with over 14 milllion views,  this life where "touch" makes everything possible somehow doesn't seem too far away !

Thursday, 14 July 2011

Art Division & Hugh Grant

A brand new website launched by allows the creation of Infographics and data visualizations in seconds.
They help communicate complex ideas in a clear, compact and creative way, taking deep data and presenting it in visual shorthand.

Here is how Art Division scores against Hugh Grant:

Wednesday, 6 July 2011

SEO … as easy as ABC

… well, almost !

The world of SEO often seems very confusing – with constant updates and new details – that are easy to get bogged down with.

But it’s important to remember – SEO is based on some general, simple principles to help users find the exact content they’re looking for.

We love this great table from Search Engine Land which summarizes perfectly all the major SEO ranking factors.

(click on the image to see the large PDF version)

On the Page  factors are those that you can control directly. For example, the content (e.g. the text on the pages), the html (Title tags, Page Descriptions and Headers) and the architecture (e.g. how easily can the search engines crawl your site?)…

Off the Page are factors that you may influence, but can’t control entirely. These include inbound links (here quality is more important than quantity), social (your reputation on social networks), trust (the authority of the page) and personal (based on the individuals browsing history or search terms).

Violations are “spam” or “black hat” techniques that need to be avoided at all costs – as they are very likely to be penalised by Search Engines. For example, link stuffing or cloaking certain content from Search Engines.

Blocking can also be harmful for rankings – if users block your site from their results.

Monday, 4 July 2011

Art Division is 10 years old this month!

Happy Birthday Art Division!
We are very proud to be celebrating 10 years in business.

The business was incorporated on the 11 July 2001 and started from a small shed in Carshalton, Surrey.
For 10 years we have designed and developed over 10,000 web pages, developed over 250 CMS websites, we have promoted and ranked over 10,000 key phrases on page 1 of Google, designed and developed over 1000 e-newsletters and written over 1,700 articles and web pages across the web.

10 years anniversary
Of course we would not have done it without our clients. So a BIG thank you to everyone who has and especially those who still are using our services.

To celebrate 10 years in business we have put together several anniversary offers available throughout July 2011:

1. Test how Web Savvy you are by taking our quiz: If you answer 10 questions correctly you can win a great prize!
2. We recently launched a New Mini Facebook Website App. Check it out. Every 10th new client who registers in July will get the start up pack set up absolutely free!
3. Register with our email marketing tool Write About Now and get 10% off the monthly fee for 10 months.
4. Most of our business comes through referrals, that's how we have managed to make it to 10 years. So if you know anyone who needs a new website, please pass us their name and if this results into business for every £1000 they spend with us we will send you a bottle of wine. The more they spend, the more you drink!

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