Tuesday, 29 March 2011

Would you like a unique URL for your Facebook page

First of all you need to set up your facebook page, this can be personal or business. Then you will need to have at least 25 followers. BREAKING NEWS - you no longer require 25 likes to be able to set this up.

All you need to do is go to www.facebook.com/username
Here you have the option to choose one of the suggested names or type in the name that you would like, as long as the name in not already in use you will be able to change the setting. I have changed my business page to https://www.facebook.com/MoodDesignSolutions
We have further customised our page by adding an image with our logo, telephone number, email address, twitter address and a QR code which links to my LinkedIn profile. As long as your image is 180px wide, you can add depth to 540 pixels.

Friday, 11 March 2011

Need some guidance on twitter etiquette?

We have some great hints and tips on twitter etiquette to share with you. Twitter, for us, is all about sharing your knowledge. It may lead to people asking you to do work for them, it may not, it will depend on how you use it.

Complete your profile and your bio, people like to know who they are following, so add a picture and state what your interests are.
Talk to people, answer questions and share your knowledge – this is the best way to get followers.
Be polite and respectful, you don’t know who will read your tweets.
Target the people you follow – by industry, by location, by recommendation, whatever suits you and your business.
Retweeting – if you see a tweet that is interesting and you think your followers would like to see it then why not retweet it. But do make sure to credit the original tweeter and not claim it as your own.
It's polite to say thank you to those who retweet your messages. When people retweet your messages  they are recommending you as a source of quality information. Thank them as you would if someone recommended you in person.
Use hastags (#), this will highlight keywords in your tweet for indexing to help you to attract the right people.
It is OK to follow people you don’t know and it is also OK to unfollow people too – it does not mean that you don’t like them, they may be inactive or over active.
Do not list those who unfollow you, this is very rude and will not get you any additional followers, it may even make a few of your current ones leave.
Why not contact them and ask them why they unfollowed you.  Is there anything  you could do to encourage them to refollow you? This way you get some quality feedback about your tweets, you may find they are too general or too technical or too often or too few, whatever the feedback, it shows you are listening and want to improve.
If all you want to do is promote the services that your company offers, then this is not the right platform, people will not follow you. To us, tweeting in this way is like receiving cold call after cold call from a telesales person.
Automated tweets have their place, just make sure you don’t overdo them, generally people don’t like them.
Don’t expect everyone to follow you back.
You can follow our tweets @mooddesign and let us know if you would like to add anything to the list and we will update it as the suggestions come in.

Thursday, 3 March 2011

What does your brand say about you?

An effective brand can give you the edge in increasingly competitive markets. It is derived from who you are, who you want to be and who people perceive you to be.

Branding is so much more than applying a logo in a consistent manner and using the right Pantone colours. Every form of communication should be pulling in the same direction, whether visual or tangible. Your communications should look and feel very similar, a bit like a uniform. Without the similarity you run the risk of losing your prospects and customers trust and loyalty because they can’t recognise, and then pinpoint communications back to you.

How can you develop your branding? A starting point.

Your logo should appear in a similar way on all marketing material and you should utilise the same typeface in all written communications (even email). It's a good idea to choose a small selection of colour ranges for your marketing material and you should always try and apply design styles consistently. Reinforce key messages in the same voice – the tone of your copy, put more of an emphasis on your key terms and the benefits of your services / products through repetition, but make it appealing (what do your prospects want to hear? We can save you time / money, etc).

Essentially, your material should present itself like a family – supporting and looking similar to each other.

But don't forget about other key areas:

If your staff need uniforms, make sure they match your company colours and have your logo printed on them. Branded promotional items should also reflect upon your services / products and your customer base, for example, it would be more beneficial and suitable for a web designer to giveaway branded mouse mats rather than umbrellas! Is the quality of your print up to scratch and does it look as good as your products / reflect the standard of your services?

Think long-term

With branding you need to think about the bigger picture and see it as being a long-term necessity, but start as you mean to go on. The core message of all successful brands never really changes and the leading brands are usually leaders because they have years of consistency under their belts.

The key is to have in place a very clear idea of what your brand is and how you will consistently communicate it. Why not start by writing the core proposition of your brand on a piece of paper and then put it in a prominent place where you will see it daily, next to a tick list of your achievable branding goals?