24 October

connector360 – Clients & Projects Continue to Grow

connector360, creative agency and sister company to SocialMedia.ie, continue to grow their portfolio with the addition of clients such as Pair Mobile, Flogas, Ridge Consulting and Martino’s Trattoria as well as ongoing work with Eurocycles and Euro Baby, Griffith College and CIS Ireland.

connector360 Case Studies

Pair Mobile - Smartphone covers and accessories: View Study

Allianz GAA – Sponsorship of GAA: View Study

Griffith College Dublin: View Study

Eurotrek Group – Eurocycles & Euro Baby Stores: View Study

Flogas – Natural gas providers in Ireland & the UK: View Study

Visit us at connector360

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08 August

Building your own Mobile App – Where to Start?

Today we will look into a debate raging online that any business looking to develop a new mobile app would be interested to examine – should you use Native apps or HTML5 to create yours?   This came to our attention via a great presentation that Appcelerator.com have prepared around this topic which we have shared below too.  First of all we will give you some background on this hot topic.

Building your Mobile App – Going Native

Native apps, or apps built with the specific toolkit that each mobile platform provides (iOS, Android, Blackberry, Windows etc) are currently the runaway leader in terms of usage.  Businesses and brands to date tend to prefer “going native” for their mobile apps as they are

  • easier to monetise,
  • often offer a smoother, better user experience 
  • (For now) often give better data security

The apps you may have downloaded from the Apple Store or Google Play Store are native designed apps.  There are over 1 million apps available through these stores today.   Many businesses large and small have spotted the potential in mobile apps for improving their relationships with their customers.   By developing great apps to improve their customer’s experience and satisfaction, loyalty often follows, so its an investment many companies are making.   We expect to see more and more businesses developing useful apps in the near future.

HTML5 is the next stage of development for the internet as mobile becomes many users preferred method of browsing.  It promises to bridge the gap in experience between desktop, tablet and mobile, so lets have a look at its early reception so far…

HTML5 – Ready for showtime?

HTML5 can allow you to build an app that will work on any platform without having to develop and code a tailored version for each.  This freedom no doubt contains much potential for expanded usage in future but right now, some big hitter brands have deemed it “not ready” for the largest tasks.  Mark Zuckerburg declared it a strategic error for Facebook to attempt to build their mobile app through HTML5.  They have since reverted to using a native approach for this.  LinkedIn also reversed course and within a year, switched their own tablet and smartphone apps to native technology.  They say this isn’t a permanent divorce, but that there are not yet enough tools out there to support larger projects.

Appcelerator.com Presentation – “The Great App Debate”

[hana-code-insert name='Native V HTML5 app presentation' /]

Looking to the Future

It seems that native apps will remain dominant for the moment, with HTML5 still needing to fix its ongoing teething problems before becoming the widely used alternative it hopes to be.  It is surely some food for thought for your business if you have a great idea for a mobile app in the pipeline.   We can assist you with designing and building a great mobile app for your own business, get in touch at team@socialmedia.ie to discuss this with us!

 

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13 June

10 Killer Tips For A Sales Focused Website

Your company website is your virtual shopfront – the place online that anyone interested in your product is likely to arrive at.   Here you highlight the unique value your products can offer everyone in your target market.  As with anything that can be sold online, new markets may open up for your business worldwide.  Of course with opportunity comes competition.  Now you may not be competing only against your rival across town but with similar firms from Melbourne to Milan.

As some online shoppers will never set foot in your own physical store (if you have one), you must wow them and woo them through your website.  The question we ask today is – once they visit, do you make it easy for them to move from curious, to interested, to sold?  Here are 10 tips to help improve user experience and increase sales.

 

Tip 1: Get Your Landing/Home Page right! - Once visitors click onto your homepage or through an ad to a specific landing page, make sure they know (a) where they are and who you are (b) what they can do while on your site, and (c) why they should stay longer.

 

Tip 2: Write great copy - Ensure your copy and content is persuasive and highlights the value of your product.  Does it

  • read well and is understandable by everyone?
  • focus on benefits for the customer, not just features?
  • provide answers to any fears or uncertainties visitors may have against purchasing?
  • give clear instructions on how to buy?
  • provide information on what happens after buying (delivery, returns process)?

 

Tip 3: Use product images - This seems an obvious point, but a text heavy site with no product images or visual cues often has visitors nodding off if they haven’t already clicked away.

 

Tip 4: Offer less products per page, with better description - Rather than following a ‘something for everybody’ approach and offering dozens of product alternatives, maybe try to focus on fewer.  This way you can zero in on the benefits of each in more detail.  Some web design guru’s give advice that for online retailers, 4-6 items on any one page is the magic number.  Did you know that Amazon follow the rule of 6?  They limit their highly effective ‘customers who bought this also bought these’ list of related items to a max of 6 per screen.

 

SocialMedia.ie importance of testing

Tip 5: Test/Change which benefits you use to sell each product - You may be very proud of a certain product benefit.  Do customers feel it is equally as important to them though?  Test different benefits within your headline or sub header and see what visitors are responding to in biggest numbers.

 

Tip 6: Test layout of any call to action - anything from the headline, copy wording, placement on page or even colour scheme of any ‘call to action’ box or button can increase response rate.  Tweak, test, repeat!

 

Tip 7: Reduce clicks to get to sale - Ensure that visitors don’t have to jump through too many hoops to avail of a free trial or make a purchase.  The longer the ‘click trail’ they have to follow, the more likely they are to baulk.  Simplify when possible.

 

Tip 8: Offer time sensitive offers/stocks etc - This is a great way of keeping your website up to the minute, and keep customers coming back to your site.  A timely offer can make your product look scarce and exclusive to potential buyers.  Google loves websites that update content often too, so it won’t do your SEO any harm either!

 

Tip 9: Promote shareability - using sharing buttons on your site allowing visitors to share an offer or product with their social network can be great exposure.  An example would be a clothing or art & design site allowing Pinterest pinning to special interest community boards to gain you viral attention the easy way.

 

Tip 10: Be your customer! – The more input you have had in your website design, the more a labour of love it will be to you.  Try to take off your designer hat and wear a visitor’s hat instead.  Use your site like they would.  There may be holes in user experience that you are not seeing, looking from the inside out.

 

These tips will get you thinking about your website and any potential for improvement.  It may be purring like a kitten to your eyes, but tweaking, testing and always looking at every change from a user perspective can glean even those small improvements that can snowball into better sales.

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28 March

Social Media Academy is launched

Over the last few months we’ve been working with the Digital Skills Academy to produce some amazing content, and here are the results!

SocialMedia Academy

Yesterday the Digital Skills Academy team, BLab, unveiled and launched our new SocialMedia.ie Academy. This web app allows users to learn all about social media and digital marketing. This academy will be updated regularly by the SocialMedia.ie team. So if you want to become a digital marketing master and get kept up to date with the latest trends, then why not visit our academy.

If you’d like to be one of the first to “enroll” in our new system, then simply click this link, or the image below!

socialmedia.ie Academy

Digital Skills Academy Launch Day

The launch day was held in the NDRC and it was a huge success. With lots of guests from all over the digital business landscape, the WebElevate BLab team had the perfect opportunity to showcase their hard work.

Here’s a sneak peak of what the event was like.

[hana-code-insert name='Academy Qik Video' /]

 

Finally we’d like to thank the BLab team from WebElevate that put this together.

They did an amazing job and they were a pleasure to work with. Thanks for everything guys!

To check out the promotional video they made, click here.

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28 March

The top responsive blogs

Having a blog is more important now than ever. It’s the stage from which you broadcast your message, whatever it may be. With more and more users going mobile, your blog could be losing you business, even before they read it.

If your blog isn’t readable on a mobile device, then mobile visitors will leave straight way, losing you potential readers, readers that could become potential sales. Why alienate part of your audience before they even get inside the door?

The solution. Go responsive! It guarantees that your blog is usable, no matter what the device.

For inspiration, we’ve compiled a list of our favourite responsive blogs, have a read and see why we like them and how you can emulate them.

tatly

 Tatly

A site where you can buy professionally designed temporary tattoos. (visit site)

What we like

  • Images are the primary focus, draw attention to what’s important.
  • Easy to navigate and browse the blog
  • Simple, unobstrusive design without a lot of excess clutter.

What we’d change

  • Make the logo smaller, if it were smaller the reader could focus more on the content
  • Turn the menu into a dropdown, it’s not the focus for blog visitors

cognitionHappy Cog

Application and website builders, they have a strong focus on collaboration and digital experiences.  (visit site)

What we like

  • Elegant design that easy on the eye
  • Simple interface that’s intuitive and easy to navigate
  • Easy to search and traverse the blog

What we’d change

  • Make the logo, search box and taglin section smaller. While important, they aren’t the focus of the blog, the content is.
  • Keep pictures visible in the blog, regardless of device, they divide up the article, making it easier to read.

tnw

The Next Web

News site with all the latest news about Internet technology, business and culture. (visit site)

What we like

  • Header takes up minimal room
  • Incredibly easy to traverse thanks to the “next” button
  • Header image clearly shown
  • Content constains minimal clutter

What we’d change

  • Not a thing, as a mobile blog it’s amazing, as a responsive blog, it’s impeccable. 

spitgotSpigot design

A web design agency with a strong focus on user interface, development and content strategy. (visit site)

What we like

  • Clean, intuitive interface that’s easy to use
  • Preview of images and text make it very easy to browse
  • Posts are clean, uncluttered and easy to read
  • Blog images resize dynamically

What we’d change

  • Too little preview text, we’d show a little more and add an ellipsis to indicate there’s more content.
  • Make the search box smaller, or least not as prominent It only appears on the main page, so this is a miner gripe.

A responsive blog needs to be simple, elegant, uncluttered, with a strong focus on the content and the brand. All of the above get this right. Any of our suggested changes are minor and these blogs should be upheld as shining examples of how to do it right. If you intend to make your blog responsive, we suggest you pay close attention to these guys.

If you’d like to know more responsive blogs, or even just responsive design, why not contact us!

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26 March

Make your emails mobile friendly or lose business

Email marketing is considered one of the corner-stones of any digital marketing campaign, without it you’re ignoring one of the most effective marketing channels. The 2012 Marketing Channel and Engagement Benchmark Survey found 63% of respondents cited email as the channel offering the best ROI. So obviously we want to make sure we’re using this channel as effectively as possible. However, there’s one element of email marketing that a lot of companies have overlooked, causing lost leads and sales. The rise of the mobile device.

mobile_device_image3

 

The important of Mobile

According to Payvia 36% of emails are opened on a mobile device. 22% of purchases on mobile devices are in response to an ad or email. Think about that, over one third of emails are opened on mobile devices. You’ve spent a lot of time making sure your emails looks great, but ask yourself, have you spent the time to make them mobile ready?

 

 


Mobile mail. Hi-res digitally generated image.Mobile friendly emails

Users don’t want to pinch and zoom to see content anymore, they want it to be readable straight away. There are a number of ways around this, for instance, you can get a custom template made, but the easiest is to use mobile ready email templates. Thankfully, Mailchimp have a wide selection of mobile ready themes, click here to have a look at what they offer.


Get your site Mobile ready

Of course, there’s no point in putting all this effort into a mobile friendly email if your site isn’t mobile ready. The last thing we want is for users to open an email link, only to leave the site immediately because it’s not optimised for the device. To make your site mobile ready, we’d recommend going responsive, it’s the easiest way to ensure your site looks great on any device, mobile, tablet or PC.

By making sure that your content is tailored to mobile devices, you can ensure that you’re prepared for the coming mobile revolution. You’ll increase lead generation and improve sales, so remember, stay ahead, think mobile.

If you’d like to know more about email and/or mobile marketing, or how you can go mobile, why not contact us!

 

 

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20 March

Use responsive web site design and improve the customer experience

Responsive-Design-Multi-Device-Example-460x295Responsive Design, what is it?

A responsive site is a site that changes it’s shape and appearance based on the device that’s accessing it. Rather than having multiple versions of the same site, you have one version that optimises itself for the current device. For example, if you are using a tablet, the site will re-structure itself so it’s easier to use. If you open it up on your phone, there’s no need to zoom in, the site is perfectly usable straight away. This style of site development is called responsive design and it’s quickly becoming an industry standard.

Hindering-Responsive-Web-Designing

Why is this important?

More and more users are going mobile. That means that every day you have more users visiting your site on a mobile device, and if your site isn’t mobile ready, then you’re losing customers and sales. You could get a mobile specific version of your site made, but it’s expensive, it can hurt your SEO efforts and it stops your users having a consistent customer experience. Instead, if you go responsive, you actually make things easier. Now you have one version of your site that any user can browse, cutting down on maintenance costs and development time. Responsive is a quick and easy way to ensure that your content is visible on any device, maximising content visibility.

How to go responsive

Getting a responsive site is easier than ever. If you’re using WordPress you can install a theme that will give you a fully responsive site in minutes. We recommend Themeforest, they offer top quality responsive themes at a reasonable price. If you’re not using WordPress, you can get a designer to modify your existing site, making sure you’re not losing business.

If you’d like to know more about responsive, or how you can get a responsive site, why not contact us!

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20 October

Conor Lynch acts as a judge for The Appy Irish Application Awards

 

 

 

 

 

Conor Lynch from socialmedia.ie has recently been judging apps for the 2011 Appy Awards. Conor has been wading through the many applicants trying to decide who is a worthy winner.

This event is designed to honour the best and brightest in Ireland, in the development of applications for smartphones, tablets and social media platforms.  This year’s Appys were launched on September 12th and the award ceremony will take place in the Mansion House, Dublin 2 at 6.30pm on November the 3rd, 2011.

To find out more about this great awards ceremony click here.

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19 October

SocialMedia.ie at the DCEB

Hi too our latest bunch of trainees!

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22 August

SocialMedia.ie WordPress 1/1 Training

Check out this interview with our WordPress trainer Dave Dungan. Click here for more information on our WordPress training and click here for details on our web development services.

http://qik.com/video/43456579

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