Toolkit Websites Blog

Social Media Day #SMDay

Mashable are the creators of this national day. Mashable first launched Social Media Day in 2010 to commemorate and celebrate the ways social media has changed our world, both big and small.

We LOVE Social Media. And the main reason is because it arms all of our clients with a FREE marketing tool to promote, gain traction and sell their products and services. Having a brilliant Social Media presence can do the world of good to your website and business campaign, and really, every business should be online!

We're celebrating at Toolkit Headquarters with a Social Media picnic. You name it, we'll have it. Cupcakes, sweets and biscuits. We're drooling just thinking about it. But what we're also doing today is offering a Special Offer on all of our Social Media products. 

Whether you would like to have your social media accounts branded, or set-up, or if you simply want your Social Media accounts integrated onto your website for you, simply get in touch with us today and receive 20% off!*

Also, seeing as it's Social Media day, take a look at our tips and guides for using Business Accounts for your Social Media Platforms.

Social Media Etiquette
Dealing with bad online reviews
The effect Social Media has on the News industry
Feeling Social?
Is your Mother on Facebook?
All about Instagram
Don't make a hash of it
Why Facebook and Twitter are must have's
An intro to Pinterest, for your business
Making the most of FREE Social Media
What's a like worth?
Top 10 for your Social Media Marketing
A blog about Social Media
Toolkit's guide to Blogging Platforms
Creating your own hashtag on Twitter
How to set up a Google+ page
Customising your Twitter Page
Setting up a business Twitter Page
Customising your Facebook Page
Setting up a business Facebook Page
Toolkit's guide to Social Media Accounts
The rise of Youtube

*You must have a website account with us for any Social Media set-ups. Offer is valid on the 30th June 2016 only. 
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Website of the Week: La Cloche at The Carpenters

This week's website of the week goes to La Cloche at The Carpenters. The Carpenters is a country pub and restaurant in the heart of the village of Sunninghill.

Senior Project Manager Lanara, began firstly by creating a website with full size backdrop images, as the client provided beautiful high-resolution images of their premises, for us to use. The home page uses a light out of focus image, with the logo and extra navigation down the left hand side, in the style of specials boards you sometimes see in pubs and restaurants.

The home page has a panel along the bottom with links to the more important pages, each with a cool hover over effect on the images.

The Food and Drink page features a layout that is set to mimic the style of an actual menu, with easy to use links and navigation. Downloads are great because it means that it makes a page more concise, and people can download or print the menus for use later on.

The gallery page features a collection of their high resolution images for people to flick through, using a lightbox effect to enlarge them.

The font used is easy to read, and very clean looking. Google fonts like these make a change from the standard web safe fonts like Arial or Times New Roman. The font used here is called Roboto, giving it a modern but sharp look so that the text is easy to read.

The website also passes Google's mobile-friendly test with flying colours, meaning that the website is responsive to the device it's being viewed on. This is a must when it comes to people viewing the website on the go!

The client kindly awarded us 5 out of a possible 5 stars and said "What's great about Toolkit Websites? The speed of getting everything together and excellent communication."

Are you looking for a new design for your restaurant or pub? Why not get in touch today.
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Examples of GREAT Social Media Marketing

It's 2016, and nowadays you'd find it very difficult to find a company that isn't using Social Media. In fact, if you came across a company these days that had no Social Media presence, you'd wonder why not and may even forget about it and move onto a company that does.

Social Media is where people go to see what the company is like. Have they got a cool voice? An edgy brand? Are they offering promotions and discounts exclusively on Social Media which can't be found anywhere else? Social Media is also the place you can go to see how a company interacts with it's customers, do they respond in good time and give helpful advice? Do they have good reviews and if not how do they handle that? Do they post relevant and useful information?

As a business owner it can be difficult to tell what social media platforms suits your business and which accounts you should sign up for. The best thing to do is take a look at what other brands are doing and how they are utilising social media to boost their marketing. You don't have to have every social media platform going. For example, if you don't have video content to share, there is no point having a youtube or vimeo account.

We've listed some examples below of different companies using different platforms so you can see how it could be done.

Oreo - On Twitter

Oreo know exactly how to market their product. With a quirky, modern and fun Twitter account, you can see animations, information on products or ideas on how to use their products and more on their feed. Keeping up with current affairs, and using puns and jokes in interaction with their target audience, Oreo manage to maintain over 814,000 Twitter followers and fans. You could take tips from them by: Joining in with funny or light hearted trends or topics.

@TEDTalks - On Youtube

TED talks has a video for any subject and topic you can think of. Simply take a look at topics you're interested in and the suggestions are there! TED talks opens up discussion about a range of issues and topics, which is why their Twitter account has more than two million followers! They also have a Youtube channel with recommended and extra content. Putting topics out there and encouraging engagement is a brilliant way of making sure your Social Media accounts are being interacted with, which is great for SEO on your website too. You could take tips from them by: Talking about industry related topics and putting your spin on them.

NASA - On Twitter

NASA don't bore people with long winded or scientific posts, they know how to work their target audience by posting intriguing content including photos and video from it's Rover, brilliant jokes and puns that will tickle those budding scientists among us, and of course they keep us up to date with Tim Peake's movements and news.  With over 16.4 million people following their Twitter feed, it's no surprise that their posts get brilliant engagement. You could take tips from them by: Giving people a behind-the-scenes special. Give them access to areas of the business that aren't usually seen, and appeal to your target audience.

Starbucks - On Instagram

Starbucks has real success with Instagram marketing because of the variety of posts they add to the picture app. It's not all about pictures of coffee, they use clever features for seasonal products, they share pictures their users have posted which relate to their brand and they are always making great use of hashtags to remain on trend and relevant. You could take tips from them by: Taking artistic photos that are relevant to your business, and sharing them with your followers. Got a product that people love? Get them to Insta themselves with it, using a hashtag you have created to spread the word.

Airbnb - On Vine and Youtube

Airbnb made a short film made entirely of Vine videos for the Sundance festival. It is spliced together from multiple six-second videos, some created by its users from instructions given out on Twitter. You could take tips from them by: Getting your target audience to get involved and send material that you could use on social media. Think of an idea for a video that could potentially go viral!

Toolkit Websites - On Facebook

We have to take this opportunity to self promote, right? Well we think our Facebook page ties in really well with our other Social Media accounts. We have a topic a day, which is then discussed further on our Twitter, Google Plus and even here on our Blog. We like to engage clients in discussion with different topics that relate to our industry, give them behind the scenes sneak peeks, exclusive deals and of course an insight into our products and offerings. You could take tips from us by: Finding topics you like to write about and sharing them with your target audience. Creating guides to certain services you offer or advice and sharing interesting articles and content.

Other articles that might be of interest to you:

How to gain more followers on Social Media
Social Media etiquette
Toolkit's Guide to blogging platforms
Toolkit's Guide to Social Media Accounts
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It's the time of year where people are booking their Summer Holiday or have already been on it! The team at Toolkit Websites love travel, and are always keen to get at least one trip in a year where possible. Taking a break away from the computer is a must-do and the summer is the perfect time for it.

We have done plenty of travel sites, from villas to bespoke tours in different countries, you can see these in our portfolio here. 

Below the team talk about their holiday plans for this year! Get in touch with us on Twitter and tell us about yours with the hashtag #summerholidays

Lanara Mitchell - Senior Project Manager.

"This year I did three countries in 5 days! My partner and I headed for Prague in the Czech Republic. It's a brilliant place to go and offers an array of different architecture styles to look at. The astronomical clock draws a large crowd on the hour every hour, and Charles Bridge is a central attraction. We headed from there to Vienna in Austria before taking on Budapest in Hungary. Budapest was much more of an appeal than Vienna, and we enjoyed a boat cruise along the Danube, followed by a fresh sea food meal by the water later that evening. We packed in as much as we could in a week before heading back home. We left with very sore feet but very happy smiles!"

Michael Gibson - Account Manager

This year, me and my girlfriend will be visiting the sunny climates of Majorca. Both looking to get the best for our money, we went for a simple holiday. However we are looking forward to spending 7 nights in the sun, drinking cocktails and enjoying the laid back approach. Our adventure will consist of trying our absolute hardest not to adventure far from the pool.

José Nobréga - Senior Sales Exec

This June, I got the opportunity to go to France for the Euros all thanks to Coca Cola to watch Germany vs Poland. Myself and my wife decided to go for 2 days along with 2 of our closest friends, which meant we got to see the game, but also visit the major Landmarks i.e. Eiffel Tower, The Louvre, Arc De Triumph, and a few others. The View from our hotel room was of the Moulin Rouge Theatre which was fantastic. The food in France was good as always, although the locals though it was funny to tell me that I was eating Horse! The French people as well as all the other countries fans who had come over for the Euros made the atmosphere very pleasant and entertaining! Would definitely go back and visit Paris.

Paul Langton - Senior Sales Exec

Barbados, or known locally as 'little England'' is truly a remarkable island. The culture, the people, the history, the climate and the way in which they speak and express themselves by always wanting to do more for you are integral part of the Barbadian culture. Sugar is the prime export for Barbados along with Mount Gay Rum. The latter certainly played an important role whilst I was there featuring in many of my drinks and the locals handing it to you like it was water with the strap line ''Time Flies When You're Having RUM''. Cricket is the main national sport of Barbados where you will find many pitches and people of all ages enjoying. A highlight for me was going on a catamaran booze cruise with Barbadian food, swimming with turtles the size of an adult human!

Tom Watson - Junior Web Developer

So this year my adventure holiday wasn't too far from home. My short adventure holiday took me across Scotland, Wales and England climbing to the highest peak in each country. I put aside 4 days to travel across the United Kingdom to climb Ben Nevis, Scafell Pike and Snowdon. I had only previously climbed Snowdon and it turns out Snowdon is far easier then the other two. Each mountain was climbed the day after the last which meant at least a 4 hour drive after each days climb.

My more relaxing holiday this year is in Austin, Texas where I am attending a convention hosted by RoosterTeeth, RTX. Looking forward to some great Texas BBQ!

Megan Thompson - Passionate Support

I recently returned from my summer holiday in Gran Canaria with my partner. It was a super chilled holiday, we spent at least 3 hours a day by the pool sunbathing! We really enjoyed visiting the zoo and seeing lots of exotic animals, as well as shopping in the local markets. The only downside of any holiday is coming home, although there's nothing better than a good sleep in your own bed. 

Jamie Holmes - Developer Liaison

I will be going to Bristol for the Balloon Fiesta. As someone who enjoys ballooning, it is a relaxing break, but the early mornings can be a killer if the wind isn't behaving! The Bristol International Balloon Fiesta is held annually in England. Teams from the UK and other parts of the world bring their hot air balloons to the site and participate in mass ascents where as many as 100 balloons may launch at a time.
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Website of the Week: Smart Signs Group

This week's website of the week goes to Smart Signs Group. Smart Signs are a family run sign & graphics company with branches in Bracknell, Berkshire and Hedge End, Southampton.

Senior Project Manager Andy, began firstly by creating a full width, responsive website design with a full width panel slide show at the top of the website. The page has parallax image scrollers, that use a watermark of the logo for texture. The blue and pink filters work really well instead of using a solid colour, and the clients branding is strong throughout the pages.

The home page features a good use of graphic icons, instead of photos to lay out what services are available.

The gallery page features hi-res images with a pink filter hover over to read more information about the image in question.

The font used is easy to read, and very clean looking. Serif fonts can look quite corporate whereas Sans Serif keep a professional look with a more modern feel.

The website also passes Google's mobile-friendly test with flying colours, meaning that the website is responsive to the device it's being viewed on. This is a must when it comes to people viewing the website on the go!

The client kindly said that we are "Very thorough, very organised and friendly"

Are you looking for a new design to showcase your work? Why not get in touch today.

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Father's Day 2016 - Southampton

It's that time of year again! Father's day. The same old conundrum of what to do with your Dad or what to get him as a gift ... so look no further, we've done the research and leg work for you!

There are numerous things you could be doing this Sunday with your old man. Whether he's into action and adventure, or something a bit more mellow, Southampton has something to offer everyone! Of course, Father's day doesn't just have to be for Dad's. If you've got a well-deserving single Mum who you'd like to treat, or even a grandparent, the below can apply to them too!

#1 SeaCity Museum - Opposite Southampton's BBC headquarters this innovative, state-of-the-art museum focuses on Southampton and its connection with the sea, including the city’s Titanic heritage and the stories of the people who have travelled in and out of the city through the ages.

It's an interactive experience designed for visitors of all ages.

#2 The Tudor House and Garden -  Southampton’s most important historic building, Tudor House reveals over 800 years of history in one fascinating location at the heart of the Old Town. It appeals to visitors of all ages and interests, who find the family-friendly activities, interactive technology and fascinating displays a winning combination.

#3 Southampton Football Club - For those Saints fans among us, a trip to the football club would be a winner! A tour of the ground or tickets to a match could mean you're in your Dad's good books for the whole year!

#4 Alpine Snowsports Centre - Nestled in the trees at the 150-acre Outdoor Sports Centre, the Alpine Snowsports Centre caters for all your winter sport needs all year round. Beginner or advanced - the centre caters for all. For the more adventurous Dad, you could take to the slopes together!

#5 Ambush Paintball and Laser Tag - Set in hundreds of acres of natural woodland but with easy access from main roads, Ambush has been a successful paintball venue since the late 1980’s. If you're feeling competitive, or you have a group of family members that would love a day out like this, this is the place for you!

#5 Beaulieu - Okay, so this one is a bit more of a trek from Southampton centre, but at the heart of the New Forest, Beaulieu is an award-winning family day out with something for everyone.

#6 First Class Sailing - Ever wanted to cast off and sail into the sunset? Or perhaps just wanted to have a go in a boat and see what it is like? This could be a great course to sign up for if your Dad would like to learn how to sail a boat! It could be a great team bonding exercise too.

#7 Go Ape - Who doesn't like climbing? This could make even the old feel light hearted ;) Tucked away in 440 acres of beautiful woodland and meadows close to the River Itchen. Go Ape Southampton, Itchen Valley Country Park is perfect for a family days out in Hampshire.

#8 Marwell Wildlife Park - For the ultimate animal lover, Marwell is an excellent day out. Marwell is a relaxing and fascinating park at the heart of wildlife conservation. There are over 180 species of animals, from tiny ants to the tallest giraffe.

#9 New Forest Wildlife Centre - Wander through the woodland in this lovely wildlife park, in the beautiful New Forest. Make friends with the sika and fallow deer who follow you around or marvel at the watchful wolves or the cheeky otters.

#10 Royal Victoria Country Park  - Royal Victoria Country Park is just on the outskirts of Southampton and is a great place to watch the busy shipping coming in and out of Southampton.  You can also dip your toes in the sea as there is a stone beach to walk along as well.

There are plenty of other suggestions to. Whether it's heading to Leisure World to catch a film, Go Karting or Bowling, Southampton has plenty for you to do.

Why not let us know your Father's Days plans on Twitter, using the hashtag #fathersdayplans
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Website of the Week: Fresh Ink Studios

This week's website of the week goes to Fresh Ink Studio 1. Fresh Ink Studio provides a high quality service specialising in tattoos, laser removals and piercings.

Senior Project Manager Andy, began firstly by creating a full width, responsive website design with a full width panel slide show at the top of the website. The content was styled using the handwriting font to be in keeping with the feel of the logo branding. The logo has been used as a watermark on the pages to keep the brand theme running throughout.

The website features a neutral colour scheme so that the images are the main focus. The colours of the site are neutral using black, white and the watermark grey.

Each page uses a consistent layout and theme, with the relevant image and text per page. The website is a simplistic layout which means that on tablet and mobile view, it is just as enjoyable to view.

The website also passes Google's mobile-friendly test with flying colours, meaning that the website is responsive to the device it's being viewed on. This is a must when it comes to people viewing the website on the go!

The client kindly said "the service at Toolkit Websites is 100 percent!"

Are you a tattoo artist looking for a new design to showcase your work? Why not get in touch today.

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