Web Design Blog : Toolkit Websites

Web Design Blog

How’s your brand?

At Toolkit we deal with a lot of small and one person businesses. The web has given everyone the opportunity to become a personal brand – to share portfolios, to blog, upload CVs and network, network, network. 

Here are some useful tools for managing how you’re represented on the web. They’re perfect for freelancers, but anyone who runs a small business can benefit too – people like to deal with people, it’s why the big brands spend millions trying to personalise their mega corporations and why you have a priceless head start on them

Profiles and portfolios         
Your Facebook or Twitter profile is one online presence. Many online marketers recommend drawing a very strong line between the personal and the professional though, and these tools are aimed squarely at your professional life. 

Behance. This is a portfolio sharing tool, great for designers and other creative professionals. It ties in well with LinkedIn, the business networking site and could help you find work there. Enthuse.me offers a similar service.

About.me lets you manage a very nicely designed profile page, it’s an online CV really, but also lets you know quite detailed information about who’s looking at your profile and why, which could be priceless. 

Customer Relationship Management
CRM can be a headache for small businesses, particularly if you’re struggling to integrate a lot of separate contact books. 

Nimble brings all your contacts, diary management, communication and social media into one platform.
Insightly if for Google users. If you use Gmail, Google Drive and Calendar then this app will bring the whole experience together. 

Zoho is free if there are fewer than three of you using it, which is a great start. It’s got a word processor and database, the facility to collaborate online, and can help you run a whole marketing campaign from inside this single platform. 

On the go
If you have a smartphone you can wreak further havoc on your work life balance with some apps that will keep you in touch with work when you’re away from your desk. 

Skype is now an established part of online business life, and the app will bring its unparalleled networking and communication facilities to your phone

Resume App allows you to tailor your CV to different opportunities very quickly away from the office.

Bump is very clever – you meet a potentially useful contact and with Bump, all you need to do is knock your phones together and, in seconds, you’ve got each other’s full contact details. 

Social Media
LinkedIn is probably the most successful business network – last year they passed 10 million UK users – and if you’re at all interested in successful networking you should be on in. 

HootSuite is a social media management tool which will put all your profiles in one place and let you time your posts and keep a track on who’s talking about you. Most social media marketing companies use HootSuite and there’s no reason why you shouldn’t if you have multiple online presences. Sprout Social does a very similar job, so take a look at both before deciding which is for you. 

Mention monitors social media for the keywords of your choice. This is very powerful – if you’re a designer and track people talking about ‘decorating’ you could be onto new contacts quicker than the competition.
Buffer allows you to share and time posts across your social networks without the centralised dashboard approach of HootSuite or Sprout. You can also use it on your phone and you get plenty of feedback on your posts too. 

Social media is a powerful force today, no business can afford to ignore it any more. Toolkit understand how these powerful platforms work and can help you get started with great looking presences on all the biggest sites that integrate with your main website and will soon have new customers getting in touch. Just call our friendly local team on 02380 633 644 or visit our website to start the conversation.

Find out more about Toolkit Websites, Web Design in Southampton, Hampshire, UK and how they can help your business grow.
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SEO is nothing to fear, but it will take time

If you run any sort of business website, you’ve almost certainly been offered SEO services of some kind. Search Engine Optimisation is here to stay and if you’re serious about getting visitors – and among them customers – to your website, you need to have an SEO plan. It’s nothing to be scared of and there is no magic answer (beware anyone who promises you the top result on Google in three weeks), it’s just a matter of good practice and patience

SEO is designing a site and producing content that works well with search engines. It’s about the way your site is designed – at Toolkit, we’ll ensure your site is search engine friendly – and about the content you produce.

Social media has made massive inroads into how the web works, but if you think about your behaviour online, when you want to find something specific, you’ll probably still go a Googling. And the people who arrive at your builder’s site after typing in ‘good builders in Southampton’, are very likely to become customers. 

Search engines index the web by ‘crawling’ the whole thing. The way they make their assessment of the value of your site to their customers is automatic, so it needs to be designed in a way they understand. Sadly, you could have the most beautiful site on the whole web and be the absolute best in your business, but if Google can’t see you, no-one will come. 

The big engines are constantly updating the way they work with one thing in mind – providing the best answers to the actual questions that their users ask. This is the game you need to be in for good SEO – the days of tricking the engines with low quality, high quantity content are over, you need to provide good, fresh, authoritative, well-written content that answers those questions. 

So, the basics are pretty simple, and you can certainly find a lifetime’s worth of free reading on the subject around the web. 

You can of course get Toolkit to design you a site that Google can work with and take it from there yourself – writing content around the right keywords, keeping on top of the latest Google algorithms, managing a lively social media presence, finding relevant and high quality sites who might be interested in linking to your page, and researching your industry’s hot topics. 

However, you probably won’t have much time left to actually run your business. Seeing results from SEO takes time and effort, you need to be consistent, up-to-date and constantly reactive to the fast-changing world of the web. 

For this reason, Toolkit works with one of the UK’s top SEO companies, who have produced real results for hundreds of our clients and we recommend that you do the same.  

One way you can get started is with our Google analysis of your site, which for less than £50 will provide you with a report on how the biggest engine of them all reads your site and what you need to change to improve that vital relationship

Search engines are massively technical operations and understanding them and then producing the strategies that work best with them takes specialist knowledge – imagine spending all that time working your way to the top of the charts for ‘good builders in Southampton’ only to find that the vast majority of actual buyers of builder’s services use ‘best builder in Southampton’ as their search term. 

SEO is nothing to be scared of, and Toolkit can give you plenty of examples of our customers who are on that all-important page 1 of Google thanks to our design, our knowledge and our relationship with the best copywriters and the best SEO experts. 

Just call our friendly local team on 02380 633 644 or visit our website to start the conversation.

Get in touch with Toolkit Websites, Web Designers in Southampton, Hampshire, UK and see how we can help your business grow.
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Going viral is the key to content marketing

Content marketing is now the only way to go. Customers want to engage with businesses that are interesting, useful and entertaining. Google loves it too. But for lots of small businesses content marketing can seem a big, expensive and frightening thing to take on.

It needn’t be. Promotions specialist Kelsey Lilbert’s recently blogged on getting started in content marketing and the secrets of going viral.

1 – Know your competition.
In content marketing, your competition is everyone. Anyone who creates content, from newspapers to ordinary Facebook members, is fighting with you for public attention.

2 – Viral is magical
If you provide good, useful content you will find fans. However, it’s slow, for fast results you need to go viral. 

3 – What is going viral? 
The most important factor in going viral, says Lilbert, is getting one viewer to create a large number of new viewers. 

4 – What goes viral?
The real trick is knowing what will go viral. Unfortunately, even an expert like Lilbert says there is no simple answer, but she did look at content that has gone viral to see what has worked in the past. 

A – Emotion works
Emotion is the most important driver of our behaviour. If we feel something we are more likely to do something. You’re also in a race against time then. Viral content gets a strong emotional impact very quickly. That’s why visual material is usually the most viral. 

B – Which emotion?
Now, we are into the realms of psychology, and there’s a lot of heavyweight research behind Lilbert’s theories. Positive emotions are more powerful drivers of sharing than negative ones. High-arousal feelings like anger better than low-arousal emotions like sadness. Lilbert then tested 25 hugely popular images from reddit and tested their emotional impact. 

These images overwhelmingly inspired positive emotions - amusement, interest and surprise were top. Least represented was shame – the ultimate negative, low arousal feeling. 

5 – How to use emotion in your content
The important lessons of Lilbert’s work is that you can enhance the emotional impact of your content by:
Going visual. In the click-and-move-on world of the web, the picture trumps words every time.
Making your content interactive. Anything that demands the viewer take part increases the impact.
Make your content personalized. Lilbert cites the Take This Lollipop site as a perfect example. Their page on Facebook has 12million likes.

Use lists. Technically called emotional stacking, you increase emotional impact with groups of good content. 

6 – Beyond emotions 
Non-emotional factors also help boost the viral chances of your content.
Making the viewer feel they are part of an exclusive group or in on a private joke makes for more shares.
Making the sharer feel like they are doing good, will make them more likely to share.
If content makes people look good to their friends is more likely to be shared. 

7 – Make it fast
The shorter the cycle time the more likely your content is to fly around the world. Here, images win again. Make it easy to share with all the right buttons. 

8 – The catch
You need to be viral, but viral to the right audience. So look at what your audience is sharing already. Find out what they care about, who they admire, what stories they tell and the emotions they are most likely to express. 

9 – Another stage
Finally, Lilbert introduces another new concept – Fractal viral.
This is user-generated or personalised content that goes viral. She uses the example of the It Gets Better campaign, a massively successful anti-bullying site in America which invited users to upload their own stories as videos. 

To get into the fractal area you need to have content that can be adapted by users without losing your original message along the way. You must also be sure that there’s no way your content could become a bad news story for your business. You also need to keep in mind all the rules of viral content creation and enable your audience to follow them. 

Toolkit can help you get started on managing your own content marketing and Search Engine Optimisation as well as providing you with a great looking, usable social media presence. 

We also work with the UK’s top copywriting and SEO companies, with special rates for our clients. Just call Toolkit on 02380 633 644 to find out how we can help your business.

Get in touch with Toolkit Websites, Website Designers in Southampton, Hampshire, UK and see how we can help your business grow.
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Website of the Week!

Shelley Motors LTD specialises in used passenger cars and commercial vehicles. They were looking for a website that was classic, yet modern that enabled them to showcase the stock available to their potential customers.

Alongside the nice monochrome design which was used to embody the sleek - and - shininess of the cars Shelly Motors have to offer, It has a good example of our Page dressing service which was used on the home page.

The site is fitted with a nice styled form to match the overall look and feel of the website and has good use of stock images in the slider to showcase what the clients business does.

Get in touch with Toolkit Websites, Web Design company in Southampton, Hampshire, UK and see how we can help your business grow.
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Mid Month Blog - Mail Clients

Better Outlook for Thunderbird

We’re all guilty at times of taking the easy option. When it comes to computers that often means accepting default settings and programmes that could be easily updated or replaced to give us a much better user experience.

Default usually means Microsoft. The company’s products are the subject of some very harsh criticism, hatred even from some zealots, but because they ship as standard on such a majority of machines, Microsoft’s software is still the dominant force in the market.

It doesn’t have to be this way. Changing the programmes you rely on might seem scary, but it’s as easy as a few clicks these days.

Toolkit recommends you send Microsoft Outlook a dear John mail and consider installing Thunderbird as your new email manager.

Thunderbird is a Mozilla product. Mozilla is a community rather than a company, but has won a fantastic reputation for its work – Firefox, its free web browser is now reckoned to be on a quarter of all machines and trounces Internet Explorer in almost every independent test.

Thunderbird is their mail client, and shares Firefox’s excellent reviews, friendly animal branding and, best of all, its zero price tag.

Thuderbird is easy to set up and, once it’s running, very easy to use too.

At Toolkit, we’ve run our own comparison, which you can see here. You don’t need any technical knowledge to understand it, just look at the forest of ticks Thunderbird scores.


Don’t just take our word for it either, you can find full head-to-head battles from Find the Best and Centennial Arts here, and here.


Both provide resounding wins for Thunderbird. Here’s just some of what Centennial has to say, “It can manage multiple email accounts and supports multiple identities within accounts. Features like quick search, saved search folders (“virtual folders”), advanced message filtering, message grouping, and labels help manage and find messages.”

Surprisingly for an open source product, (see our recent post on WordPress) it even beats Outlook on security with firewalls, spam filters and anti-virus scanning. Moreover, you get a better customer experience too, with updates every three months or so and nine out of nine support features trumping Outlook’s five in the Find the Best test.

Ask Toolkit if you need any help installing or running Thunderbird and open your mind to open source.

Get in touch with Toolkit Websites, Web Design company in Southampton, Hampshire, UK and see how we can help your business grow.  
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The Call To Action

A good website needs a good call to action. That’s the piece of text, picture or button that encourages visitors not just to look at your site but to start spending with you.

Web hosting company SingleHop has just released some research on what works as a call to action.
Their findings are interesting. Above-the-fold (a term from printing that still lives on in design, meaning in the top half of the screen) calls to action (CTAs) were found to attract much higher (72%) click rates than below-the-fold CTAs (47%).

Buttons provide a 200% better click through rates than text according to SingleHop. Colour is also important, warm colours in the red spectrum create a sense of urgency, while cool, blue colours suggest thought and reflection rather than action.

The size of your call to action is also important. A good clean design means it will stand out, but if your action button is too large it will dominate and distract, if it’s too small it will just get lost. 

An eye-catching shape will also help give your CTA visual appeal that will lead to customers taking action.
You’ll need some text too, of course. SingleHop’s three rules of thumb are “convey value”, “create urgency” and “be direct”. 

Website magazines took SingleHop’s research and went looking for some good examples online. These companies are doing the right thing and may provide inspiration for you and your designers. 

H.Bloom, an online florists, created a Mother’s Day CTA, which worked well. High contrast design made the page stand out and a “shop now” button was both urgent and direct. 

Skype’s CTA made clever use of shapes to make their “join” button an integral part of the overall message and the logical thing for the browser to click on. 

Netflix made the value of their free trial very apparent in their CTA and weren’t shy of shouting about it. The “start your free month” button in red sits right in the centre waiting to be clicked. 

Volusion, who build online shops, offered a free trial, and they did it twice with two friendly orange buttons.
PagePart specialise in mobile websites (something Toolkit does too), and used the word “instantly” with a “go” button to create urgency with some hard-hitting research from Google – “50% of people will leave a website if It’s not mobile-friendly” – to further reinforce the message. 

Toolkit know that the way your page looks is vital to how successful it will be. That’s why we offer a bespoke page dressing service which will include effective calls to actions with great graphics and buttons that demand to be clicked. We’re happy to make as many changes as you want – with no limits – until you get the site that works for your business. You get the template to use for any new pages you add to your site too.

Just call Toolkit today on 02380 633 644 to start revamping your site.

Get in touch with Toolkit Websites, Web Designers based in Southampton, Hampshire, UK and see how we can help your business grow.
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Google draws level with God!

Google is as trusted as God makes a very good headline, and it’s been the outstanding result from the recently released findings of the Future of Britain Survey, a piece of research from London marketing agency OMD.

The detail is a little more revealing. Respondents to the questionnaire which organisations had their best interests at heart and were asked to choose their favourites. 

Top of the pile on that basis was the NHS. Bottom were politicians, with just 3% of the vote. Google sits level with religious institutions, with 17% of people saying the church and the search had their best interests at heart. 

Down the age range, Google did even better. Twenty-eight percent of 16 to 24-year-olds found the search engine the most trustworthy thing in their lives. This is the future, and your future customers. 

Yet another piece of evidence that knowing how Google works is vital to every business that operates online.
The company’s share of the UK market in searches is extraordinary. In April 2013 it handled 90.55% of UK searches. That figure represented a small rise on March’s figures after some shock horror stories were triggered in January when the search giant’s market share fell below 90% briefly.  

It’s also starting to make big moves in the social media world. Google+ is now the second biggest social network in the world with 343 million active users in January this year. And, of course it owns YouTube, the third most visited website on the planet, which it is cleverly integrating into an all-encompassing Google experience. 

The only other internet name to feature in the Future of Britain chart was Facebook – way down with 9%, the same level of trust as private healthcare companies and just a point better off than lawyers.
Your company’s position in those search results could be a matter of survival. The top result in searches gets more than 40% of all traffic. The first page gets just shy of 90%. If you’re on page two you’re fighting for a share of just 4.37% of traffic. 

Toolkit can help you work with Google. We’ll look at your site in the way Google does; the company has strict rules about how it ranks pages and we’re on top of them all. 

Search Engine Optimisation is still an important facet of the web world, but it’s not about ‘tricking’ Google to rate your site highly, it’s all about following their rules. You need good quality content, regularly updated, on a site that’s designed to make it easy to find. Increasingly, you need a good social media presence too. Toolkit can help you get started onsocial media, put you in touch with the best writers and, of course, design a site that’s user and Google friendly
Give us a call on 02380 633 644 or email info@toolkitwebsites.co.uk, to find out how we can help you. 

Talk to Toolkit and we’ll help you talk to Google.

Get in touch with Toolkit Websites, bespoke Web Designers in Southampton, Hampshire, UK and see how we can help your business grow.
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What’s a 'like' worth?

We’re all rushing around trying to get social media fans, but how much does it cost to get a Facebook like and how much are these fans worth to your business?

Likes can be costed if they are bought through Facebook advertising. Most Facebook advertising works on a ‘cost per thousand impressions’ or ‘cost per click’ basis, paying either when 1,000 people have seen an ad or when the little box is clicked.

Facebook has recognised the limitations of these measures with a new ‘cost per action’ charge. This paid for action can include liking your page or clicking on a link.

So, fans can have a price, but what is there value? It’s a difficult – maybe impossible – calculation to make, but social media agency Syncapse have teamed up with researchers Hotspex to try to find the elusive figure.
And, the answer is $174 on average.

That average comes from a large range of values. At the top of the tree is fashion store Zara, whose fans are said to be worth an impressive $405.54 each, Levis come second. At the bottom are Coca Cola, whose $70.16 value per fan is still pretty impressive, Xbox are next up.

It’s easy to see that Zara and Levis are relatively highly priced brands in a business where influence is everything. Coca Cola is cheap and many Xbox fans are probably too young to be spending their own money – it might be an interesting exercise to see where your business fits. Syncapse says the main determining factor is purchase price, but still finds MacDonald’s’ fans are more valuable than both Nike and Adidas.

Max Kalehoff, vice president of product marketing at Syncapse, says businesses need to measure what their fans do. Do fans spend more, or more often than non-fans? Do they promote your business?
Only when you know what a fan is worth can you know what it’s worth spending trying to get new ones, says Kalehoff.

Facebook ad buyer, Marc Grabowski, says you need to go even further because some fans are worth more than others. How many people will like Manchester United’s Facebook page without ever handing any money over to the Old Trafford club?

And it also costs to keep fans. They need to be entertained, which means producing content.

Of course, there is a value to every Facebook fan – if they’ve given their click any thought they’ve shown at the very least an interest in your business.

The research required to measure all this may be too expensive, too technical or too time-consuming for a small business to consider.

However, there is a lesson you can learn here however small your business:
Blindly chasing fans without any idea how you are going to interact with them is probably going to be wasted effort.

Do take a look at who are your most valuable fans and design your marketing around them.

The research also found that, three-quarters of fans share good experiences and promotions and discounts with Facebook friends. And, be warned, two-thirds will tell their friends when they’re unhappy.

Toolkit can help you find your feet in social media by setting up your presence on all the most important sites – from YouTube to Twitter – with some great discounts on bundles of services. Check out our websites Social Media page via:


For more information call our team on 02380 633 644 or email info@toolkitwebsites.co.uk.

Get in touch with Toolkit Websites, expert Web Designers in Southampton, Hampshire, UK and see how we can help your business grow.  
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Website of the Week - Greenbrook Healthcare


Greenbrook Healthcare is an NHS approved website for health clinics in the outer London area. There was an existing website, and the client wanted the design to be kept similar, and he provided the previous logo for use on this website.

The client purchased a Web 50 package, which would give them plenty of room for expansion in the future. With the amount of pages, it was important that the navigation was clear and easy to follow. To achieve this, drop down menus were implemented.

Another distinct aspect of this website is the bespoke 20 field form. This is used on the website for registration with a practice, which makes it far easier for both their clients to fill out and for the practices themselves to process.

To comply with new regulations, the website also makes use of our Cookie Policy Toolbar. Finally, there is a favicon included on their website. This ties the whole identity of the website together with a consistent branding.

View the website here:

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What do your customers see when they walk in the door

Social marketing, email marketing in fact marketing of all sorts can only ever be as good as the shop window they send people to – on the web that means your website. That’s why at Toolkit we recommend our customers give their site a complete revamp every two to three years and offer a special redesign package to make it cost effective.

Your marketing needs to be good, of course, but the centre of all your on line trading, where the browser becomes the customer, is your website

Fashions in design move very quickly – at the moment a very graphical and image heavy look is in – and it’s easy to look out of date. Customers don’t want to spend money with someone who isn’t keeping up with the world. The web has made shopping around so easy that if you don’t grab attention with a good looking site your buyers will have clicked away.

It’s always good practice to look at what your competitors are up to. Take a look at their sites and see if there’s anything you can pick up on. Always be open minded.

And behind a good looking site, there must be a site that works well. Is it easy to find the way to your shop? Are your contact details easy to find on every page? Do all the links work? Encourage friends and family to have a click around your site and give you some honest feedback. Remember what the prime purpose of your site is – selling – and ask yourself how effectively it fills that brief.

You have to move with the hardware too. As more browsers look at the web on small, mobile screens, it’s vital that your site is accessible to them. Toolkit can optimise your site for phones and tablets.

Once you have a site that your business can be proud of, then it’s time to work on getting as many people as possible to see it. Don’t put the social marketing horse before the website cart.

To find out about our redesign service and a host of other online services, including marketing, call our friendly, local team on 02380 633 644.

Get in touch with Toolkit Websites, Web Designer in Southampton, Hampshire, UK and see how we can help your business grow.
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A personal plus from Google

The two giants of the social media world would appear to be Facebook and Twitter. But slowly growing in the background is Google+ and it could be the one that’s really worth investing your time in.

It’s quite a clever innovation, combining the power of the web’s biggest and best search engine with your personal interests.

Google+ takes that a stage further and also integrates with YouTube and Gmail as well as the hugely important Google maps. With none of the fanfare that has accompanied the media-friendly rise of Tweets and status updates, Google+ is now the second biggest social network on the planet.

In fact, so powerful is Google+ becoming, that if you take look at the way Facebook has been redesigned you’ll see it bears more than a passing resemblance to Google’s social look.

Google+ and your business.

If you have a business, you should really have a Google+ page for it. Straight away you’ll see the effect on your search results. You’ll get even more traction when other Google+ users search for you.

This being Google - owners of the most valuable data in the world - there are a lot of tools available to users to see who’s looking for you, who’s talking about you and so on.

With the system of circles, you can maintain and separate your personal and business life and target the right people to talk to.

A Google+ page in your name and signed blog posts will further boost your search juice - if you’re an expert in your field you’ll start to get recognised as such and your writing will be recommended to searchers. Google’s prime directive is to provide the best search results and you need to be a part of that process and play their game.

Don’t take our word for it. Take a look at the big names that have signed up and follow their lead - this is a ship you need to be on.

As web experts, we at Toolkit know the importance of Google and we can help you understand how it views your website and change it to make it work for you. We’re also experts in social media and offer a number of setup services that will get you up and running with a great looking and effective presence. And we can help you make search engine optimisation of your site an everyday thing.

Just give us a call on 02380 633 644 or email info@toolkitwebsites.co.uk and we’ll start talking you through your options.

Get in touch with Toolkit Websites, Website Designers in Southampton, Hampshire, UK and see how we can help your business grow.
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Google goes it alone with new Chrome

The technicalities of how we view the web aren’t really a problem for most of us. As long as it works, we’re happy. However, Google’s announcement that it’s dumping the WebKit software currently used in its Chrome browser is more than just a shot in the Google v Apple war; it could have an effect for everyone who owns a website.

Apple’s WebKit is out, and Google’s own rendering engine Blink is in. Rendering is part of the process of turning computer code into the visible, visual pages we click on. Both programmes are open source – that is, while they’ve been developed by the two giants of the internet age, they’re available to programmers for free.

This matters, because Chrome is now the world’s most popular browser. The way it sees a webpage is important to everyone who designs or even owns sites. If Chrome can’t look at your page, then you’re going to miss out on millions of potential clicks.

Designers like the team at Toolkit already check the pages they make are visible through the full range of browsers and on mobile platforms.

The web is a wide-open world; FireFox and Microsoft’s Internet Explorer already use their own rendering engines. But this big split means that Apple’s Safari and Chrome – which account for 40% of the browser market – are now entirely separate entities on which pages need to be tested individually.

Some in the industry see this as Google taking a cheap shot at Apple. Google of course, see it differently, (or at least describe it differently) – they say Blink will simplify design and make Chrome a better browser.

Chrome – which is free – is already on version 27, and Blink will appear in about 10 weeks in version 28.

If you own a site, the chances are that nothing will change. Google are not going to produce a browser that renders large parts of the web invisible, no-one would use it. However, designers now have another stage to go through in their testing process.

The best way for page owners to test their sites is to download a copy of all the popular browsers and take a look for yourself. And, it’s something you need to do regularly; all browsers are updated as bugs are spotted.

If you are having problems viewing your site through any of the popular browsers then give us a call on 02380 633 644. And, of course, if you want a site you can manage yourself and that will work on every browser, including the ever more important mobile market, then get in touch with the our team today.

Get in touch with Toolkit Websites, Web Designers in Southampton, Hampshire, UK and see how we can help your business grow.
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Don’t make a hash of your hashtags

You want your business's message to be heard on Twitter. That’s tough. You have to find a way to be more interesting to his friends than Dave’s party at the weekend, and eight million pictures of cats.

1 – Why hashtags?

Hashtags are one way to rise above the noise and stand out, but you need to know what you are doing.

A well-designed hashtag can engage your customers. While they only have functionality in Twitter feeds they can be used across all your marketing and promotional materials – consistency is always key in marketing.

2 - How to hashtag

You need to do some research when you come up with your hashtags. Try them out and don’t use something that already has a wide currency or a number of already established meanings that won’t serve your purposes.

Be relevant and be catchy. Use something that rings true to your product or service. Hashtags come pouring out of Twitter, make sure yours is easy to remember. For example, at Toolkit Websites we believe in our Passionate Service Promise so will regularly Tweet and place #passionateservice at the end of our posts.

Keep it short too. With only 140 characters to a Tweet, no one wants to waste 20 on a hashtag. And listen. If your client base turns your hashtag into something of their own, then pay attention to what they’re saying and start using theirs too. This will make you seem responsive.

2 – How to market your hashtags

Stick your chosen hashtag wherever you can and don’t be afraid of repetition. That’s how your hashtag will gain currency and become associated indelibly with your brand. The stronger the association, the more likely that people will use your hashtag to find you.

3 – Using hashtags

You can now use widgets to add tagged conversations to your website. It won’t clog up your own Twitter feed and people can join the conversation without having to follow everyone who uses the tag.

You should also add a dedicated landing page to your website. Make the content there relevant to the tag rather than to your product or service as a whole. They’ve followed the hashtag; this is your way of getting them to engage with you as a business.

Tweet chatting. Make your hashtag into an event. Tweetchats are controlled by you and can open up the conversation around your hashtag. These can be powerful tools – your industry knowledge is a potentially valuable commodity, interested parties (and potential customers) will come flocking.

You can register your hashtags at twubs.com. While it doesn’t stop other Twitter users saying what they like under the tag, it’s a useful way to keep some control of your tag and to find out who’s saying what in your industry.

We offer a range of social media services, helping you to get the most out of everything from Twitter to LinkedIn. Just give Toolkit a call on 02380 633 644.

Get in touch with Toolkit Websites, Web design company in Southampton, Hampshire, UK and see how we can help your business grow.  
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