NSDesign https://www.nsdesign.co.uk Making Digital Work Mon, 25 Jul 2016 14:28:41 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Your online presence – avoid fatal faux pas! https://www.nsdesign.co.uk/online-presence-avoid-fatal-faux-pas/ Thu, 14 Jul 2016 11:35:45 +0000 https://www.nsdesign.co.uk/?p=4909 Not so long ago, first impressions would be made when you encountered someone face-to-face or on the phone. But since then, everything has gone digital. For businesses, this means customers... Read more »

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online impressionNot so long ago, first impressions would be made when you encountered someone face-to-face or on the phone. But since then, everything has gone digital. For businesses, this means customers are checking them out online before they make direct contact.

At least in the good old days of networking events, if you turned up un-showered, wore an ill-fitting outfit or got a bit too merry at the after-event drinks, you knew exactly why your phone wasn’t ringing the next day. Now you don’t even get the opportunity to make a fool of yourself in person because your first impression is made in cyberspace.

To cultivate the perfect online image takes hard work and dedication, but seeing as it’s the shop window for you, your company and your products and services, it’s definitely worth putting the time in.

Here are the main areas on which to focus:

Email

As most communication is now done online, you’ll need a professional email address, preferably one that matches your website’s domain name.

You should also pay attention to your email signature. It can be tempting to try and include any and all relevant information in your signature, but it’s best to keep it clean and straightforward. Your name, job title and contact information sitting alongside your company logo will be just fine.

Website

You can almost guarantee that anyone who wants to do business with you, or is even just contemplating using your service, will check your website before they call or email you. Make sure that your site is a good reflection of you and your business. If you haven’t updated your site recently it’s worth doing so, both from a design and content perspective.

Online reputation

A prospective client won’t just look at your website; they’ll look at what other people think of you too. This is so they can get a feel of how trustworthy your business is likely to be. Google is both a blessing and a curse in this respect; all the good reviews you’ve acquired over the years will be easy to find, but sadly so will any negative ones.

We suggest Googling yourself, seeing what you find and cleanse the results by using services like BrandYourself.com to make sure your positive results are at the top.

Check your reviews on other sites too, and make sure you address any criticisms so you can demonstrate your ability to act on negative feedback.

Social media

As we’ve said before, social media is a powerful tool if it’s used correctly. When people look for you or your business, they will stumble across one or more of your social media platforms. LinkedIn is the social media network of choice for business types. Make sure your profile is up to date and you’ve added all your business contacts as connections. Keep your brand pages on Facebook and Twitter up to date too.

These changes will help improve your online presence and make you and your company more appealing to your audience.

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It’s official – I’m a qualified trainer (finally) https://www.nsdesign.co.uk/qualified-trainer/ Mon, 11 Jul 2016 12:16:11 +0000 https://www.nsdesign.co.uk/?p=4882 Most of you will know that I do a lot of training.  It’s pretty much all I do these days! As an example – over the last month, I’ve probably... Read more »

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Most of you will know that I do a lot of training.  It’s pretty much all I do these days!

As an example – over the last month, I’ve probably only been in the office just 2 or 3 days, catching up on admin.  Instead I’m usually out doing workshops, seminars, 1-2-1 consultancy, group training, speaking at (and hosting) conferences, mentoring and more.  I hope it doesn’t sound like I’m moaning about this – it’s what I love doing!

Social Media Training by a Qualified Trainer

 

Strangely though, given the volume of training I’ve been doing over the last few years, I’ve not been in any way qualified to do it.

Until today.

Today, after nearly 9 months of ‘study’, I now have a professional qualification to add to my CV:

SVQ 4 in Learning and Development at SCQF level 9

Recognised globally in the Learning & Development (L&D) sector, SCQF level 9 is supposedly the professional equivalent level to a Degree, so it’s a big achievement, and one I’m proud to have accomplished.

 

A few people in recent months have asked me why I’m bothering?  ‘You’re already a trainer’.  ‘You don’t need it’.  And they were right.  I probably do more training than most qualified L&D Practitioners, and actually – in recent months, the last thing I actually needed was adding to my already manic workload with the hassles that go with study.

So why did I bother?

The truth is – I wanted the title on my CV for vanity purposes.  I wanted to have the qualification so I could list it on tender responses where it asks for “relevant qualifications” (listing my Architecture Degree is hardly relevant!).  I wanted an accolade recognised within aspects of the training and L&D world so I had an educational achievement to go alongside my years of ‘on the job’ practical experience.  I wanted it because I figured that with my experience of actually running training sessions on an almost daily basis – that getting it would be a walk in the park.  I wanted it because I could then call myself an Associate member of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development, and have more cool letters after my name (Assoc CIPD).  I wanted it for all the wrong reasons.

But a funny thing happened.

I realised very quickly after starting the course, that I was enjoying it.  Not just enjoying it – but learning from it.  I began to look forward to my time with Margo my tutor (from Training Matters).  I quickly saw the benefit of her challenging me at every opportunity, questioning why I did things, and encouraging me to look at things differently.

I started taking what I was learning, and using it in live training scenarios.  I began to improve the way I planned for training workshops, developing better processes for working out client’s training needs analysis (TNA), and planning suitable learning and development resources based on different learning styles.

I forced myself to block out slots in my diary for my own Professional Development, and began keeping a record of all the events and learning activities I was attending myself to improve my own skillset, while allowing me to benchmark my methods of training against others.

I introduced new systems of evaluation, new ideas for groupwork, new resources, and a whole new innovation framework which will help ensure I keep taking the business as a whole down the right path.  All this and a whole lot more.

diploma-1390785_640

In the end, I wasn’t just doing it for the certificate (no matter how pretty it looks!) – I was doing it because it was making me, and my training better.

 

So as I said earlier…  I’m very proud of myself today.

Because I’m a qualified trainer.

 

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Which is better – Instagram or Pinterest? https://www.nsdesign.co.uk/instagram-or-pinterest/ Wed, 06 Jul 2016 09:25:28 +0000 https://www.nsdesign.co.uk/?p=4900   Instagram and Pinterest are two of the most popular social media platforms right now – and are often lumped into the same category of “visual social networks” because they... Read more »

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Instagram and Pinterest are two of the most popular social media platforms right now – and are often lumped into the same category of “visual social networks” because they focus on the promotion of images more than others.

While there is some similarity between Instagram and Pinterest (you need to post a picture, or a video to use either of them – text on its own isn’t enough) they are actually quite different in terms of how people and businesses use them, and their short and longer term benefits.

 

Instagram Benefits

Instagram is great for “real time” awareness (although some recent changes to the algorithm means your Instagram Home feed isn’t quite as chronological as it used to be) – allowing you to post images that your followers see in their feed, or find them through a search (usually a #hashtag search).

You can also caption your images, and add a location which again allows people to find your content by ‘place’, and of course you can apply some cool filters and effects to your image or video before posting it.

On Instagram, images have a fairly short shelf life.  If your followers don’t see it within a short timeframe, it’s unlikely they’ll ever see them (this isn’t 100% true, but it’s usually the case).  For that reason, Instagram is often used like you might use Twitter – for things that are important now!

 

Pinterest Benefits

Pinterest is a little different.  Firstly unlike Instagram you can post images from anywhere – not just your own (typically from your mobile phone).  This means you can curate whole ‘boards’ (albums) of images made up of a variety of images from across the internet – consider them “mood boards” or “albums with a central theme” .  Unlike Instagram, you can update Pinterest from a web browser – not just a mobile app, so it’s often a little easier to do from the office, or for multiple members of staff to contribute to one account.  It’s also much easier for a Pinterest user to re-pin (save to their own board) one of your images, compared to how difficult it is for Instagram users to share something they like.

The main difference in my opinion is the potential shelf life on Pinterest.  Unlike Instagram, images you Pin, are likely to work harder for you for longer.  People are likely to discover them ‘later’ compared to Instagram, and one of the simple reasons  for this is that Google still appears to have a good positive relationship with Pinterest.  Images you post there (so long as you give them good SEO ‘keyword optimised’ descriptions) tend to get returned well in Google search engine results, meaning one good image pinned on Pinterest, could drive considerable traffic to your website – assuming of course you’ve made sure to include a “Website link” which the image will link back to when clicked.

 

If we consider Instagram to be like “twitter” (short, real time updates about “now”), then you could maybe compare Pinterest to “Google+” (often no real obvious immediate benefit, but content which will hang around forever, and help drive Google traffic to your website).

So to answer the question – “which is best – Instagram or Pinterest” – it’s impossible to answer.  Both are great tools for slightly different reasons, and if you’re looking to make a decision about which one to use, consider the various benefits each one will give, but more importantly, consider which one is used by your target audience.

 

Looking to do more on Social Media?  Sign up to our next “Embrace the Space” Social Media Masterclass!

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What does engaging content actually mean? https://www.nsdesign.co.uk/engaging-content-actually-mean/ Fri, 01 Jul 2016 11:58:09 +0000 https://www.nsdesign.co.uk/?p=4906 The phrase engaging content is thrown around a lot, especially by those in the marketing industry, but how are you meant to know what’s ‘engaging’ and what isn’t? Don’t worry.... Read more »

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like engaging contentThe phrase engaging content is thrown around a lot, especially by those in the marketing industry, but how are you meant to know what’s ‘engaging’ and what isn’t?

Don’t worry. We’re on hand to help you identify what sort of content your customers will love and what will send them running for the hills. All you need to do is create a variety of high quality content across your blog, email channels and social networks that grabs people’s attention and makes them want to come back for more. Easy right?

Well … not quite … but if you follow our six-step plan you’ll be off to a great start.

Six tips for engaging content

1.      Identify your audience

Knowing what your audience want will help you during the content planning stage. Read Facebook comments, Twitter feeds and other social media platforms to get a quick idea of what your target demographic is talking about. Set up Google alerts and hashtag/keyword monitoring in Hootsuite to really hone in on subjects and get inspiration from other sources.

2.      Develop a tone

Talk like a real person. That’s really important. A generic news-reporting style won’t help you make a relationship with your audience, but talking in a friendly and approachable manner will. Use every online interaction as a chance to change their perception of your business. There are a couple of little tricks you can use to remind them that you’re a human being too:

  • If you’re emailing them, use their name
  • Sign off ‘brand’ tweets with your initials
  • Lose the formal language and plump for plain English instead

3.      If you don’t ask, you don’t get

Ask questions to start conversations with your audience. Make sure they’re meaningful and thought provoking conversations, and that the answers will help your business in the future. There’s no point asking for their favourite flavour of crisps, ask about the important issues surrounding your industry and create content that provides genuinely helpful solutions to their problems.

4.      Answer your audience

If they answer questions, reply to them. If they ask questions, reply to them too. In fact, if your audience talks to you in any form, reply to them!

Be ready for a bit of criticism; not everyone is going to like your product/company, and often people will go to social media to complain. Address these complaints quickly and professionally as it shows the person you’re talking to (and those who can see the post) that you have resolved the issue because your company is just that good!

5.      Promote other people’s engaging content

Share posts from other people in your industry (steer clear from your competitors though!). Whether it’s a tweet, blog post or a news article, it will make you seem less insular and more approachable. Commenting on these posts as you share them will turn you into a thought leader in a new community that you created. That’s never a bad position to be in.

6.      Make up a challenge or contest

Don’t underestimate the desire to compete! People love a good competition and a good prize, so use an app like Challenged or the contest generator on Facebook to add a social component to your competition.

Once you know how to create engaging content it’s pretty easy to keep making it. Get into good habits by following our tips and you’ll do no wrong. If you think about your audience, think about current topics and trends and how they’ll affect your industry and use a variety of different content types, the engagement will follow.

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How often should I post on Social Media? https://www.nsdesign.co.uk/often-post-social-media/ Tue, 28 Jun 2016 09:02:15 +0000 https://www.nsdesign.co.uk/?p=4872   It’s a question we always get asked at the various social media workshops we run – “how often should I post on Facebook/Twitter/LinkedIn etc?  Alternatively – we get asked... Read more »

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It’s a question we always get asked at the various social media workshops we run – “how often should I post on Facebook/Twitter/LinkedIn etc?  Alternatively – we get asked a slightly different question –  “can you post too much on social media?”

The answer to the second question is easier:  YES – you can post too much.  Especially if you are simply repeating the same posts at different times across the same channel, but even the same posts on different channels isn’t the best strategy (at the very least – tailor the message for the different audiences).

Don’t post for the sake of it – if you have a reason (an objective) behind every post, you won’t go far wrong.  Remember that the social media tools (Facebook especially) don’t want quantity – they want quality – posts that people want to engage with, to like, to comment on, and to share.  Too many posts of low quality and the engagement (and reach) dries up.

The answer to the first question – “How often should I post on social media?” – is “as often as you like, so long as your audience wants it”.

This might sound obvious, but remember that it’s all about them, not you.  If you genuinely believe your audience will welcome 10 posts a day, and if you believe they all represent real value (and quality) for that audience, then post 10 times a day.  If not, don’t do it.

There’s no magic number (despite what some ‘experts’ will tell you) for the right volume of posts, it’s all about you, your business, your audience, and your engagement levels.  Take a look at your analytics and insights – learn from the numbers, and learn from your customers.

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Sell to the Chinese market using Tmall from Alibaba https://www.nsdesign.co.uk/sell-chinese-market-using-tmall-alibaba/ Wed, 22 Jun 2016 10:05:52 +0000 https://www.nsdesign.co.uk/?p=4612 The Ecommerce market in China is the largest in the world but you might not realise the level of untapped potential it represents for UK manufacturers or retailers.  We asked Shanghai based... Read more »

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The Ecommerce market in China is the largest in the world but you might not realise the level of untapped potential it represents for UK manufacturers or retailers.  We asked Shanghai based blogger Benji Lamb to provide some advice on how to sell to the Chinese market using their most significant e-commerce platform; ‘Tmall Global’ from Alibaba.

 

Online sales currently contribute 11% of total retail sales in China (U.S. at 8%), but it’s growing at a rate of 53% year-on-year.  There are 380 million shoppers online and it’s predicted that within a decade over 50% of China’s consumption will be conducted online. The e-retail market is estimated to grow to over $1 trillion by 2018, to put this into perspective, that’s larger than the e-commerce markets of the U.S, Britain, Japan, Germany, and France all combined.

This phenomenal growth is due to a high internet penetration rate (just under 50%) and an growing Chinese middle class who look to purchase international products online. It is important to understand Chinese e-commerce practices in order to capitalize on this lucrative market.


Tmall Global is the most important site for international brands

Tmall has become a popular e-commerce platform where Chinese shoppers are able to purchase both international and local brands.It is a popular and well designed marketplace with many international brands opening stores.

Tmall-International-for-global-merchants
Tmall is owned by Chinese internet giant ‘Alibaba’, the e-commerce corporation consolidated its success with a record breaking IPO on the New York Stock Exchange, Alibaba is now recognized globally as the bonafide e-retail giant in Asia. Tmall was launched in 2008 as an e-commerce website which hosts official brand ‘shops’. With so many fake and counterfeit products circulating this guarantee of authenticity has set Tmall apart.

Tmall Global was later launched in 2014 with the purpose of promoting foreign brands and facilitating their access to the Chinese market. Nowadays, Tmall has more than 70,000 brands in 50,000 stores.


Chinese consumers desire authentic, quality products

The launch of Tmall Global reflects the high demand in China for authentic, western brands.

These ‘official’ accounts give western brands the opportunity to promote their products in China and reach the largest number of potential consumers. The key is authenticity, in a market flooded with counterfeit goods consumers want to ensure they are buying genuine brand products.

Bayern Munich have revolutionized the selling of official merchandise to Chinese fans, they were the first team to set up a store on Tmall Global.  Dedicated football fans can ensure that the merchandise is official, they want to support their team and will avoid purchasing fake, lower quality copies at all costs. “Making our fan merchandise accessible is crucial to connect with our fans in China,” said Bayern Munich Chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge.

FC-Bayern-Munich-on-Tmall
This is the key to Tmall’s success. Chinese consumers love to support and engage with brands, overtime western brands have become percieved as a byword for quality. Brands should emphasize the quality and heritage of their products. Each store front can be edited and developed to include video’s and a range of visuals to help communicate this.


What opportunities does Tmall present for companies?

Firstly, a Tmall store account  validates a business the eyes of the Chinese consumer. It is the perfect tool to reach Chinese high-end online shoppers. It is also an effective way to maintain an important presence in the Chinese market.without having to open physical stores in every large city. Alibaba have created an e-commerce hub that connects western brands to the right audience and allows them to utilize their extensive Chinese delivery network.

Sales in mainland China are still largely concentrated in the cosmopolitan and affluent cities of Shanghai, Shenzen, Beijing and Guangzhou but with many second and third tier cities now accessible a significant opportunity for growth has arisen. Alibaba are now based in Hangzhou, a smaller city outside of Shanghai, this reflects this general trend towards a more expansive delivery and sales network.

Tmall uses Alipay as a payment system, this is a very popular and reputable payment method in China. Recently an English language version of Alipay has been developed, this signifies the opening up of China to western products.

Tmall includes analytic tools such as “Daily Update” which provides daily sales reports and online traffic analysis. These tools are  incredibly useful for marketers who seek  to make strategic decisions based on this data.


Different Store Formats

Tmall has three different store formats.

Flagship Store: this kind of e-shop is an exclusive shop for trademarked goods (either ® or ™). To open a flagship store, the owner has to be a formal representative of the brand or have exclusive authorisation documents provided by a formal representative of the brand.

Specialty Store: For e-shop owners who have the required authorization from a brand to distribute on their behalf in China. In this case Chinese companies may distribute on a foreign brands behalf, there are benefits in terms of the local expertise they provide.

Monopolized Store: For marketers who want sell two or more brands within one of Tmall’s product categories.


How to open a Tmall Store

In order to set up a Tmall store certain requirements need to be met. Firstly, the brands have to be registered outside China and have a good credit rating. The company also has to have been running for 2 years or over.

Tmall require a deposit of between US$8,000 to US$25,000, depending on the store format. The e-commerce platform also charges an annual service fee, these vary according to the product category and could be between US$5,000 or US$10,000.

Marketers have the opportunity to avoid paying either half or the full service fee if they reach certain predefined sales targets for the product sold. In addition, Tmall keep 5% of the sales value as commission.


Chinese Regulations

Foreign products must be vetted by Tmall Global security and go through Chinese international customs.

Products must also have descriptions in Mandarin language and international units of measurement. For translation services I would recommend using the online platform Lendalocal, they can connect you to Chinese local translators with expertise in specific industries.

Creating an online store on marketplaces such as Tmall Global is an effective way to kick-start your business in China. Alibaba’s creation has been intelligently designed with western firms in mind and therein lies its success.

 

Tmall stores are currently geared more towards medium and large brands. For SME organisations, with smaller branded products, you should seek to contact umbrella stores that sell a variety of different brands and request a trial presence on their shop-front.

 

Benji is a digital marketing specialist based in Shanghai, China. For more information on expanding your business into China see his website and blog here.

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Social media dictionary https://www.nsdesign.co.uk/social-media-dictionary/ Fri, 17 Jun 2016 13:35:26 +0000 https://www.nsdesign.co.uk/?p=4608 The world of social media has its own vocabulary. Not ‘lol’, ‘bff’ or the horrible term ‘bae’, though that does sometimes come into it. We’re talking about phrases like ‘tweets’,... Read more »

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social_media_phoneThe world of social media has its own vocabulary. Not ‘lol’, ‘bff’ or the horrible term ‘bae’, though that does sometimes come into it. We’re talking about phrases like ‘tweets’, ‘posts’, ‘likes’, ‘hits’ and ‘follows’. To the untrained eye, this can look like a jumble of gibberish, but don’t worry we’re here to help you out.

Avatar – Something that represents you online. It can be an image or a username and is most often used within forums on social networks.

Bio – Pretty straightforward – it’s short for biography. It’s a short bit of explainer text to show you who the user is. This is used mostly on Twitter, but also on other social media platforms too.

Blog – The internet smashed together ‘web blog’ to create the word ‘blog’, and they’re really taking off! They are usually long-form pieces that are released regularly by individuals and brands to share their views with the world.

Chat – The internet is the new home of chatting. It generally refers to one-to-one communication through a text-based chat application such as Facebook Messenger, direct messages and WhatsApp.

Circles – Your circle is a cluster of your friends, colleagues, family or connections on Google+. You have complete control of your circles, allowing you to share content with each segment so your boss doesn’t see those embarrassing pictures from the family barbecue!

Clickbait – We’ve all seen it at the side of our screen, it’s a piece of marketing or advertising material that uses a sensational headline to attract clicks. It creates just enough curiosity to provoke engagement.

Click-Through-Rate (CTR) – Used in social media metrics, your CTR represents the number of times a link to your site has been visible to users (impressions), divided by the number of times users have actively clicked that link. E.g. If a link is clicked 5 out of every 100 times it is viewed, then your CTR is 5%.

Comment – A response that is often provided as an answer or reaction to something on the internet. It’s also sometimes known as a ‘reply’ or ‘message’.

Connections – This is one for you LinkedIn users – it’s the business equivalent of a Facebook friend. You connect with professionals you’ve either met or have interest in their work. They are categorised by 1st degree, 2nd degree and 3rd degree based on the commonality of your network.

Direct Message – As we mentioned earlier in the ‘chat’ definition, this is a means of one-to-one communication on Twitter and is a great asset for converting tweets into sales.

Endorsement – LinkedIn allows its users to recognise other people’s skills and endorse them for it. This will give your profile a boost and let other people know what you’re good at.

Engagement Rate – This describes the amount of interaction (likes, shares, comments, retweets etc.) your content receives. The higher it is, the better the content.

Fans – Fans are different to friends on Facebook. Fans are the people who like your page, whilst friends are connected to you personally and can see everything you post/interact with on Facebook, so be careful with who you add.

Follower – it’s not as creepy as it sounds. It simply means someone who has subscribed to your account to receive updates that you choose to make public.

Geotag – A geotag is a tag earmarking the directional coordinates that can be attached to a piece of content online. Instagram users often use this to highlight the location in which their photo was taken.

GIF – An acronym for Graphics Interange Format (just call it a GIF, people will know what you mean!), GIFS are small-scale animations and film clips that often go viral quickly!

Handle – This describes someone’s username on Twitter. Whatever comes after the @ is a handle.

Hashtag – This is used on a variety of social networks to categorize information and make it easily searchable.

Like – A quick way to show your approval on Instagram, Facebook or Twitter.

Meme – Typically an image, a meme describes a thought, idea, joke, quote or concept that’s widely shared online.

Mention – A Twitter term that refers to when a user includes someone else’s @username in their tweet to start a discussion or attribute a piece of work to them.

News Feed – Literally, a feed full of news. All your friends’/followers’ posts will end up on your Facebook news feed. The Twitter equivalent is a Timeline.

Retweet – On Twitter, when someone sees your message and decides to share it with their followers, that is a retweet. They can now quote your tweet through a retweet and add their own input too.

Trending – Trending topics are the most talked about topics on a social media network. Both Twitter and Facebook have a box on your homepage dedicated to the top trends so that you can find out more and interact with the internet on the topic.

Vlogging – Just like a blog, two words were bashed together – ‘Video’ and ‘logging’. This type of content uses video to tell a story. These are most commonly used on video sharing networks like YouTube and Vimeo.

The world of social media isn’t so hard to understand once you’ve got the terminology down. Use this online dictionary to help you move on to the next levels of social media success. If you want to know any more about these terms, check out our Embrace the Space social media training courses.

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Job Opening – Web Designer/Front-end Developer https://www.nsdesign.co.uk/job-opening-web-designer-front-end-developer/ Wed, 15 Jun 2016 12:59:38 +0000 https://www.nsdesign.co.uk/?p=4606 Role Overview We have a vacancy for a talented Web Designer / Front-End Developer to join our expanding team here at NSDesign. You will work alongside our team on a... Read more »

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Role Overview

We have a vacancy for a talented Web Designer / Front-End Developer to join our expanding team here at NSDesign.

You will work alongside our team on a diverse range of client requirements. As well as having good technical and design skills you should also be comfortable dealing with clients directly, have a can-do attitude and like working as part of a team. A good sense of humour is also fairly helpful.

You’ll have a passion for keeping up-to-date on the latest web trends and techniques with strong experience in both design and front-end development.

Skills Required

  • User Interface Design (Photoshop/Sketch)
  • Knowledge of information architecture and wireframing
  • Mobile-first approach to responsive design
  • HTML, CSS, JavaScript (or jQuery/similar)
  • WordPress development experience
  • The ability to commercially interpret a written & verbal creative brief
  • Strong interpersonal skills
  • Organisational skills with the ability to prioritise, multi-task and demonstrate flexibility at all times

  • Desirable Skills

    • Branding and logo design (Illustrator)
    • Sass / Gulp / Grunt
    • Comfortable working on command line
    • Version control e.g. Git
    • Bootstrap or other front-end framework

    If you have other relevant skills not listed above, we’d also be delighted to hear about those.

    About Us

    You would join an award-winning Digital Agency based in Hillington Park, Glasgow. You’ll be given full support to reach your potential in all aspects of design and development practice and client management.

    Apply

    Send us your CV and short cover note to info@nsdesign.net along with any other supporting materials.

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    Social Media Case Study : B2B – Worksmart Contracts https://www.nsdesign.co.uk/social-media-case-study-b2b-worksmart/ Mon, 06 Jun 2016 20:42:12 +0000 https://www.nsdesign.co.uk/?p=4602 Worksmart is a B2B solutions based Office Interiors and Office Refurbishment company working all over Scotland and the UK.  We first came across them over three years ago, when myself... Read more »

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    Worksmart is a B2B solutions based Office Interiors and Office Refurbishment company working all over Scotland and the UK.  We first came across them over three years ago, when myself and Colin presented a Digital Awareness event hosted by East Ayrshire Council.   Something we said that day was a ‘lightbulb moment’ for owners Steve and Lisa Neilson who have since embraced all the benefits of digital marketing for growing an SME sized business.  We caught up with new Marketing Assistant Robyn Dale who gave us an overview of their social media usage.

    Worksmart Contracts Ltd - B2B Social Media Case Study

     

    As marketing budgets are tight, digital outlets have allowed Worksmart to compete with larger businesses within the interior fit-out and refurbishment industry.   We have adopted those early teachings of NSDesign and kept up to date with all things Digital through refresher support from East Ayrshire Council.

    We take a different approach to each platform we use to maximise its potential.

    LinkedIn and Twitter have proven so far to be the best platforms for the company, allowing us to reach professionals in our community in a whole new way. They also present the opportunity to engage with end-user clients and the wider supply chain long after the project has been completed.

    We have a different approach to the Worksmart Facebook page, aiming to target different audiences local to our three offices in Kilmarnock, Edinburgh, and Manchester. The platform works best when sharing our community benefits and social responsibility stories. Professional photos of various interior refurbishments from all market sectors perform well on Facebook too – these are often taken by local photographer Guy Hinks whom we often partner with, giving us both excellent visual content to take advantage of across social media.

    Online marketing is constantly developing and as a result we are looking to bolster our other social media channels such as Instagram, G+ and Youtube that are sure to progress as we continue to improve their content and find out what works best for them.

    Our latest online launch has been the company blog where we aim to post every Friday with a range of content from latest interior projects to good news stories to issues within the interiors and construction industry. These posts are more in-depth and informative than quick social media statuses but can be easily shared across all platforms to create traffic to the company website. All these platforms help towards our SEO rating and Worksmart have jumped numerous places on Google since discovering the benefits of digital three years ago, which of course leads to more website traffic and an increase in the volume of enquiries we get.

    We use #makeitworksmart across all channels to make ourselves easily identifiable via a hashtag search while at the same time creating a catchy company strapline.   This is also used offline – printed on other company marketing material including our high-visibility vests that the teams wear on the job!

    Worksmart truly believe in the benefits of digital marketing and have seen first hand the very tangible B2B benefits when social media, the web, and an openness to digital are embraced and exploited.

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    6 amazing social media tools for your business https://www.nsdesign.co.uk/6-amazing-social-media-tools-business/ Thu, 02 Jun 2016 12:19:48 +0000 https://www.nsdesign.co.uk/?p=4596 Social media is a staple of modern day society. In this digital age, it’s really important that your business is present on social platforms, but it is also important that... Read more »

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    Social media is a staple of modern day society. In this digital age, it’s really important that your business is present on social platforms, but it is also important that you don’t let the content creation consume all of your time. As the use of social media for business has grown, many social media tools have been developed to help make your life easier.

    From scheduling, to content creation, to analytics, these tools do it all! These systems can be a life saver if you’re pushed for time and need to get content out asap. Remember, regular and consistent content is the best kind of content – it’s boosts engagement with your company and can even be beneficial for your click-through-rates.

    Here are our top 6 social media tools that we think you should take advantage of to help your social media output run like clockwork.

    Scheduling

    Some clever people realised that business owners don’t want to be logging on to all the social media sites at certain points of the day – it’s time consuming and easy to forget about if you’re in a rush. Here are the best scheduling social media tools we’ve found:

    Hootsuite – This is a social media management tool; great for scheduling and sharing your posts across multiple social media platforms. From here you can access Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Google+ as well as some of the smaller players (Instagram, Pinterest, Reddit). You can also analyse your social media statistics through this social media tool and can delegate tasks to your team from the tool itself.

    Buffer – Buffer is very similar to Hootsuite, but it’s focus is on posting and scheduling rather than full social media management. It can schedule posts across most of the big platforms (Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook and Google +) and analyses the response to each individual post so you know what’s working and why.

    Content Creation

    Content comes in all different shapes and sizes, so sometimes you may need a presentation, a photo or some sort of graphic. Small businesses generally can’t afford an in-house designer or agency rates so you might want to learn how to do this yourself. Here are some tools that have helped us along the way:

    Canva – We’ve nicknamed this social media tool ‘Illustrator lite’ as it does almost everything Adobe Illustrator does, but quicker, simpler and (even better) for free! You can create graphics, posters, social media images and more in just a few clicks, and there’s normally a free template or two to give you some inspiration.

    Slideshare – Upload your presentations or create completely new ones online. It’s a great way to build your audience, and is much more informative for your customers than a normal Tweet or a Facebook post. Use your other social media platforms to advertise your presentations and watch your click-through-rate soar!

    Google Alerts – Set alerts for your name, your company and any topics that interest you. Any positive mention or new news story can become a feather in your social media cap, so these alerts should be your first port of call during content creation sessions.

    MailChimp – This is an email marketing tool. It has ready-made templates for you to use, so all you have to do is drag and drop your images and text then press that big red button and send it out to your emailing lists. It’s simple, easy and effective and can analyse each campaign as well as schedule campaigns for the future.

    You see? Social media doesn’t need to be the scary, time consuming monster that we assume it to be. With the right social media tools at your side, you’ll become an unstoppable social media machine!

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