Category

Business

5 Top Tips For Social Media

By | Business, General, Social Media, Technology | One Comment

Every day we’re learning new things, and with Social Media new tips are sent into the online world every day at an increasing rate. Add this to the fact that being a Social Media Manager today is very different from a year ago and it is hard to keep up. Those that call themselves Social Media Managers find that their job roles and their responsibilities have shifted completely into content marketing. Now when running Social Media platforms content is key to organic and genuine interactions, sales is second to increasing reach and should be treated as a nice by product of a successful campaign and in my opinion should not be a primary aim.

Once we have accepted that Social Media is content driven it becomes a question of; how to source/generate good content and how to ensure that good content is regularly being posted at the right time.

Here are my top 5 tips for those beginning to tackle the Social Media world.

1) Set Up Google Alerts

This is brilliant in it’s simplicity and is usually overlooked. The reason that I have put this down as a Top Tip is mainly for when you’re on the go or if it slips your mind to have a look at industry related news Google will e-mail it straight to you. An added bonus is of course if you have ‘push notifications’ enabled on your phone so it notifies you. However, make sure you select your options correctly so you do not get random articles from blogs who are talking about events loosely connected with your industry.

To set up Google Alerts click here

Simply select the options that best suit your purposes, personally I set up two alerts one for ‘News’ and one for ‘blog’ results to weed out the really generic stuff.

Blog Post 16.04

2) TweetDeck

My relationship with Tweetdeck has suffered some highs and some lows. When first venturing into Social Media I had TweetDeck enjoying the ability to update Twitter and Facebook with one click whilst simultaneously being able to schedule posts for a later time and/or date. Then the faster performing management systems like Hootsuite and Sproutsocial (see point 4) came along. They included the ability to manage numerous accounts at once across multiple platforms not just Twitter and Facebook. Rather than try and compete TweetDeck streamlined their system and removed Facebook allowing the user to zero in on Twitter.

They realised that one problem with Twitter is simply the vast amount of information that an average user is bombarded with and the speed that it moves at. The beauty with the new TweetDeck ironically is that if focuses only on one Twitter account at a time. You can therefore have columns dedicated to the ‘Lists’ that you have lovingly created on Twitter allowing you to watch real time what your followers are up to. Or if you have a ‘List’ dedicated to leads you can see what they are up to and when they are online allowing you easier access to engage.

You can only access TweetDeck on desktop at the moment but there is an app to make accessibility easier.

3) Buffer App

I was resistant of this application when I first came across it worried that it might interfere with my posting schedule, however it has rapidly become part of my daily routine and is now a brilliant way of sourcing content.

Buffer allows you to schedule content that is it’s primary aim, it means that rather then sharing a good article that you have found straight away you can store it away and Buffer will schedule it for you. It’s newest addition is what has now won me over. Through signing in with your Twitter Account Buffer looks at what you regularly post and then tailors suggestions to you every day. This means that with one click of a button you both source and schedule good content in the most efficient of ways.

4) Management Tools

Although I’ve simply labelled this point as ‘Management Tools’ I will mainly be talking about Hootsuite and Sproutsocial as these are the two that I primarily use and have the most experience with. Both have their advantages and disadvantages but the main reason that it has made my top 5 tips is for their scheduling feature.

With Hootsuite you can schedule the following:Hootsuite Profiles

Sproutsocial is slightly more limited but it makes up for this with it’s easier reporting system and fantastic user interface. With Sproutsocial you can add the following accounts:

SproutSocial Profiles

With both management systems you can schedule content for the next year if that is what you wish allowing Social Media Managers to plan campaigns months in advance and giving them the confidence that content will definitely be coming out on those dates. It also allows you to post at strategically potent times of the day maximizing reach and engagement.

Hootsuite Scheduling EditSprout Social Scheduling Edit

5) Pulse

Pulse is one of my favourite discoveries of recent months. Recently bought by LinkedIn it had been the late Steve Job’s favourite app for it’s simplistic design and integration with all major social media platforms. Whilst I do love how easy it is to share on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, what I use Pulse for is sourcing custom content across a range of industries. It allows you to source articles from all around the web in categories tailored to your wishes. The articles are then displayed in a visual format that is pleasing to the eye and when you click through to the article you can ‘like’ it and share it in two simple steps.

Pulse 1Pulse 2Pulse 3

You can then organise these categories into ‘Lists’ to suit the industry you’re working for. For example for NoVa Digital Media I wanted to source articles dealing with the latest news in Technology:

Pulse 4

With LinkedIn’s acquisition you can now sign into Pulse via your LinkedIn Account, and faster searches with more discovery tools.

I hope that these Tips help anyone looking to take on the social media world, if you would like to discuss more please get in touch:
@HWalshNDM
h.walsh@novadigitalmedia.com
01708553320

New Twitter Layout

By | Business, General, Social Media | One Comment

Over the next few days you will be hearing more and more about the new Twitter layout and it’s comparisons to Facebook. Of more importance however, are it’s implications for businesses and how they can take advantage.

So what are the changes and how can we utilise them to our advantage?

1) The First thing that stands out to us is the new cover photo option. This is what screams Facebook when you first see the new profile layout. Rather than have a small header behind the profile picture it now takes prime position and stretches across the entire page. This means that unlike Facebook the cover photo is now a lot larger and some could argue more effective.

Like with Facebook the profile picture now moves to the left and lower down the page cutting into the cover photo slightly.

New Twitter Profile 1Old Twitter Profile 1

Tip 1: Twitter advises that the best dimensions for your profile picture is now a much larger 400 x 400 px

Tip 2: As you can guess the new header turned cover photo is now 1500 x 500 px rather than the much smaller 520 x 260 px

Tip 3: Business’ should take advantage of this new space for Call to Actions and to show off products that they are proud of

Tip 4: USe your space wisely. Whilst it will be a great new way of promoting new information and Calls To Actions when on a mobile device the profile picture returns to the centre of the Header therefore blocking out parts of the Header that were visible on your desktop.

New Twitter Profile 1.4

 

2) Once you’ve used the new Twitter for a couple of minutes you notice that the profile page has a far more Facebook feel to it. Your tweets are much larger making them easier to read and your profile information is now underneath your profile picture much like the ‘About’ information on your Facebook Profile.

Tip 5: Again this makes the information easier to read and access and should therefore be used by companies to stress important information about their company.

3) Perhaps our new favourite feature, and one that is very different from good old Facebook, is the new ability to ‘Pin’ a tweet to your timeline – you cannot however, pin other users tweets to your timeline. By ‘pinning’ a tweet you keep it at the top of your profile timeline so that every time a user clicks on your profile that is the first pin they see.

What does this mean for business’? Well one of the biggest problems companies face is that the average life span of a tweet is extremely short, the longest being around 2 hours however the more followers you have and the more accounts they follow cuts this time dramatically and for some will only last a few minutes.

By giving accounts the option to ‘pin’ a tweet it means that they can have one tweet remain static at the top of their page. If however, you decide to ‘pin’ another tweet it will replace the previously pinned tweet which will then go back to it’s position prior to ‘pinning’. This means that the pinned tweets do not get simply pushed down your timeline but virtually disappear if they were pinned quite a while ago.

New Twitter Profile 3

Tip 6: ‘Pin’ those tweets that have a link that you wish to promote, or a competition/offer you want to push.

4) Visual Changes

Tweets that are performing well based we’re guessing on retweets, replies and favourites will appear larger in your stream drawing the eye to these tweets more than others.

You may notice that your photo gallery layout has changed as well and some could argue that it looks quite similar to another Social Media platform we all know and love, Pinterest (combine this with the new ‘pin’ feature and it’s not just Facebook who seems to have been flattered through imitation).

New Twitter Profile 4

Tip 7: Photos are now easier to view and easier to select making it a useful tool for promoting certain products.

5) If you were to then visit a profile who has switched over Twitter tells you how many mutual followers you have underneath a more prominent direct Tweet box.

This means that you can easily see how interconnected your networks are and if it is worth going through their followers or not.

New Twitter Profile 5

6) Don’t Panic!

Not everything has changed and more importantly if you’re not a fan you do not have to switch over. . . yet. Twitter have not mentioned when or if they plan to make these changes permanent but like Pinterest and unlike Facebook, they are giving you a chance to choose whether you change over.

Additionally your Home, Notification, and Discovery Pages have not changed meaning that your background graphics can stay exactly the same.

What do you think? Do you like the new Twitter layout? Have you switched over?

If you are a business and you want to know how this affects you more please ring on 01708553320 and one of our friendly Social Media Gurus will love to talk you through it.

Happy Birthday Nova

By | Business, Essex, Technology | One Comment

Nova’s One Year Birthday

Last Friday witnessed Nova’s 1st year birthday and we do not take it for granted that we have made it. The statistics are not on our side with a third of all new companies failing in their first year. We have had a lot of help along the way whilst putting in some serious hours ourselves to make it work.

Time has flown by since we first begun and so we have attempted to document some of the biggest changes since we began taking our first steps in the big bad online world. We have evolved and adapted and expanded in all directions, but more importantly we have remained a company we can proud of.

Moving Onto Bigger And Better

Our first big step was to move offices from Basildon to the CEME Centre of Innovation and Excellence in Rainham. Closer to London and boasting an inspiring environment the CEME Centre encouraged our upward trajectory and cemented Nova Digital Media as a serious Digital Company.

We love our new offices, the team here understand our goals and offer a helping hand whenever possible. There’s room here too if you fancy being our neighbour!

Congratulations It’s Twins!

Well not quite. Our most recent piece of news takes the form of a brand new exciting company: Nova Connect. Pushing the boundaries of technology Nova Connect aims to deliver solutions that will help you to engage with your clients like never before. Aim to be different with Nova Connect.

With Nova Connect we are pushing harder than ever talking to a whole range of new clients. We have time for everyone from SMEs to Governmental Departments to Blue Chip Companies we’re talking to as many people as possible!

New Faces

We have gone from one man’s dream to a team of nine. With a dedicated Web Design Team, PR inspired Social Media gurus, avid networkers and out of this world creative team. Together they produce some of the most unique and effective campaigns that can be found on the web.

Included within this growing team are the core employees of Nova Digital Media with the notable addition of John Wallace as Managing Director.

Rebrand

Here at Nova we are vain beings and understand how a change in style can make the world of difference. It is for this reason that we have planned a few makeovers during the last year ready for our second. We have brand new business cards, and an exciting new look about to launch in the coming weeks. Our new websites are almost ready promoting some of our newest tech and the wonderful Nova Connect.

A Clear Process

In order to have a machine work at maximum capacity there has to be some element of trial and error. Over the past twelve months we have worked hard to create a process that allows our team to become an extension of your company rather than an outsourcing cost. If you were to pick up the phone today then you would begin a clear journey towards success.

To put it simply after the first ‘hellos’ we would:

• Consult
• Conceive
• Design
• Deliver

Over the past year we have witnessed a few lows (nerf guns in the office and chocolate during diets) that are completely out-weighed by the highs (new offices, new company, new tech, new Nova). Come and enjoy the next year with us!

6 Great Social Media Infographics

By | Business, Social Media | No Comments

The Social Media world is a fast moving and often extremely confusing place. Luckily a few lovely companies around the net have taken it upon themselves to create Infographics that convey vast amounts of information in a visually appetising way. Below are six such Infographics that I believe do a good job of covering the basics of Social Media when approaching it for the first time.

1. To Tweet Or Not To Tweet

Do not let the title of this Inforgraphic fool you. It covers all of the major Social Media platforms as well as Twitter. What’s great about this Inforgraphic is that it packs as much information in as possible without being too much. It gives you a short description, key metrics, key tips and the number of users on each platform.

To Tweet Or Not To Tweet

2. Top Social Media Marketing Trends In 2014

In order to perform well on Social Media it helps to be able to predict what will be successful and the part Social Media will play in our everyday lives. This infographic from Talkwalker tells you all of the above and also warns you of the ‘Digital Rebellion.’

Top Social Media Marketing Trends In 2014

3. Word Science

This Infographic delves a little deeper into the psychology behind the content that you create for sharing on Social Media. It informs you of the words that encourage shares, Retweets and ‘likes’ when you post on your blog, Facebook or Twitter accounts. The same words, in my experience, that one would use on Facebook work well on Google + whilst the words for Twitter can be easily used on Pinterest with similar success.
Word Science

4. 10 Quick Tips & Examples For Better Status Updates

Shortstack and the ‘Social Skinny’ offer this great inforgraphic. Presenting 10 great quick tips that can greatly improve your Social Media strategy from the offset. Some of the tips seem quite obvious, for example ‘share a tip’ but others are one’s that you might not think of straight away such as adding PS to the end of a status.

10 Quick Tips & Examples For Better Status Updates

5. How To Integrate Social Media Into Big Events

One of the greatest challenges on Social Media is how to implement it effectively when promoting an event or competition. This Infographic from NeoMobile gives you 5 simple steps that you should follow when utilizing Social Media into Big Events. All of the steps bar the first one can also be used for a competition if you so wish.
How To Integrate Social Media Into Big Events

6. 19 FB Etiquette Rules For Business

This Infographic is quite probably the most important of the bunch. Although it is for Facebook a lot of the points can be used across all platforms. Having poor manners and pushing your self onto other people in a rude way will do a lot of harm to your social media efforts, so be polite!

19 FB Etiquette Rules For Business

But Remember

If Content Is King Then Conversion Is Queen

 

If used correctly each of these Infographics can give your Social Media campaign the best start imaginable, but do not be afraid to look back at them at later stages as well!

Have you found any other fantastic Infographics?

Would you like a free social media consult to expand on the above?

If so then give us a quick call on 01708553320

February Round Up 2014

By | Apps, Business, Social Media, Technology, Web Design | No Comments

February Round Up

February although the shortest month has seen the most amount of projects fly through our door, it’s been hard to choose but here’s a few of our favourites:

1) Atelier SM

Website: http://atelier-sm.co.uk

This website is a firm favourite.

Atelier-SM Architects needed a website that would show off the impressive and beautiful work that they do every day.

We created a website that visually stimulates and emphasizes the scale and quality of Atelier’s projects. The entire has site a clean feel with easy to navigate pages that present information in a captivating manner.

Atelier Home Screen Shot

Atelier wanted something that instantly impressed the visitor and would encourage them to delve further discovering what makes their process different from other Architecture firms.

Atelier Projects Page

2) Good Food Village

Our newest project is our Social Media’s favourite topic: food. Not just any food, delicious mouth watering food. Good Food Village specializes in freshly cooked food created from locally resourced award-winning produce.

Their website is in the very first stages of development and being cared for by our web-design team. However, already completed in order to maintain our quick turn around claim, are their brand new business cards that we designed and then printed ready for pick up.

As always our aim is to create a product that represents the brand in a modern way.

gfv

3) Nova AR

All of us here at The Nova Agency are extremely excited by our huge steps in Augmented Reality Technology. Kept mainly hush hush this is the first month where we can talk about the work we are doing, or at least hint at some of the work we have been doing.

As a start up less than a year old Nova AR is moving faster than the technology it is developing.
Augmented Reality is the future. We are not just talking the future of marketing, it is the future for too many industries to mention and Nova AR is working up AR apps that can be applied to the majority of them.

Our most recent venture has brought us into BT’s orbit with our BT prototype set to make an appearance in their BT Inet showroom. Within the next few days they will be downloading the Nova App so they can highlight it’s full functionality, including the triggering of a video from a static image.

Our app will be getting serious exposure to senior executives of global corporations helping to emphasis BTs position at the forefront of leading technological thought. Our app would allow a brand new interface between consumers and BT that has never been seen before.

Here is BT’s James Porter being filmed for his Nova AR appearance:

BT Photo Shoot

 

 4) BEES

Website: http://beesmedia.co.uk/

B.E.E.S Media, a company who dedicated to providing innovative Digital Media Solutions utilising energy efficient technology, needed a website and they needed it fast. Having found an opportunity to put them in front of London Mayor Boris Johnson but having a short time span to work with they needed something that would show off the true potential of their services.

Luckily for them one of Nova’s talents is being able to create beautiful easy to navigate websites quickly.

The company came to us on Friday 21st and by Tuesday 25th we managed to get a landing page up for them. This Landing Page is now under development and provides and excellent starting point for the final website.

BEES Media Screen Shot

If any of the above intrigues you or you would just like a free chat give us a call, we’re a friendly bunch promise!

Social Media And SMEs

By | Business, Essex, Social Media | No Comments

Yesterday on Radio 4 a guest speaking on behalf of last night’s Brit Awards explained how they have made this year’s show more exciting than ever by, “having the ceremony streaming live to over 150 countries on Youtube and allowing viewers to vote on Twitter for the first time. Social Media is central to everything we’re doing this year.” And it worked. Not only has #BRITAwards2014 remained a Top trend since the event but it was flooded with Tweets casting votes for a particular boy band, who like Voldemort I refuse to call by name.

Now of course a British SME will not be looking to the Brit Awards as a business model that can realistically be followed. Social Media does not have to be ‘central’ to everything that you are doing but now more than ever it should have a more pivotal role within your company. A recent report of survey answers from American companies show that 90% of small businesses are actively engaging in Social Media every day.

And where America goes the UK, and some may not be happy about this, tends to follow. Alongside this growth in Social networking participation these American SMEs also witnessed a 42% increase in customers gained with online and social channel driving the most business. Already 57% of small businesses in the UK use Social Media and the number is growing every day.

Can your company really afford to miss out on Social Media when in the next 2-5 years Social Media will be the one of, if not, the primary channel of communication between businesses and consumers.

You may be sitting there saying that your key demographic isn’t on Social Media, well Twitter’s largest user group are 55-64 year olds and Facebook well Facebook has over 1 billion members so if you can’t find your target market there I’m not sure where you will find them.

Markets were created because people began congregating to discuss daily life and then needing somewhere to buy products. Sellers seeing an opportunity set up stalls to flog their wares. Ask yourself, where are the majority of your customers now> Now when you are not limited by physical restrictions and can attract new custom all around teh world, where are they congregating to gossip, discuss, and debate. Where are they looking and asking for new products.

The answer is, if you haven’t already guessed it, on Facebook, Twitter, Google + and Pinterest to name but a few.

But be warned it’s not just about tweeting and posting about deals and offers. It is not a ‘traditional’ method of communication. The everyday user has dictated the etiquette on Twitter, and it’s companions, it is a social place and so the majority of your posts should be relaxed and invite conversation.

Social Media gives with one hand and takes away with the other. That is why a guiding hand can make all the difference between getting lost amongst the chatter or transforming into the ultimate conversationalist.

The scary fact is that many SMEs are going to have to step out of their comfort zone and embrace Social Media. Albert Enstein once said, “A ship is always safer at shore but that is not what it is built for.” Your business needs to be heard, whether it’s to tell people about an offer, or to show off a testimonial it needs a forum to do this and the new slightly scary world of Social Media is this forum.

But don’t worry Nova Digital Media can help you every step of the way. Whether it’s simply setting up your accounts and showing you how to ‘Tweet’ or running a fully fledged campaign across multiple Social Media we have a team of self-confessed Media addicts ready for you.

Give us a call today for more information, just ask for Helena: 01708553320

New Trending Feature On Facebook

By | Business, General, Social Media, Technology | One Comment

Trending On Facebook

Facebook has recently rolled out a new Trending feature on Facebook Home pages.  Although not available to all Facebook users this feature works like Twitters trending news feed.  It shows the top 3 most popular topics and hashtags being talked about on Facebook at that time.  These stories are collated from people and Pages who’ve shared them with you or have shared them as Public.

Why?

Facebook has introduced this feature, recognizably a Twitter function, in order to encourage conversations, and to push their introduction of the #.

Where?

These trends will appear on the right side of your homepage with a little blue arrow cementing the topic as a rising news story of note.

Facebook Trending Feature

At the moment this feature seems to be at it’s earliest stages with users not able to set locations as a filter meaning that UK users may come across popular news stories in the US.  Whether this is positive or a negative depends on the user.  I for one have no interest in whether the Seattle Seahawks have made it to the Superbowl or not.

As a Twitter user who hates having to click on the trend to find a viable link, and thus having to witness a few moronic tweets a long the way, this will save me time when sourcing content.

One useful feature is Facebook’s addition of putting a link up to a news article discussing the trending topic.  This means that a user does not have to click on the trend to see what it is about but rather can go straight to the source.  As a Twitter user who hates having to click on the trend to find a viable link, and thus having to witness a few moronic tweets a long the way, this will save me time when sourcing content.

These trending topics do not appear on your business page news feed so companies cannot reference them when on their page.  Additionally this feature has not been rolled out to everyone so if you cannot see these little blue arrows of trending might do not worry, I’m pretty confident it will be with you soon.

Do you have this newest feature? Will it add to your Facebook experience?

Personally I would have been more excited by Facebook’s endorsement of GIFs on our news feeds.  Now that would be an excellent addition.

JLaw GIF

5 Key Points To Twitter

By | Business, Social Media | One Comment

Twitter is one of the best places to start your Social Media journey so here are Nova’s 5 key points to Twitter:

1)   Genuine Followers

Perhaps the most important element to Twitter success are the accounts that you attract as ‘followers’.  To make sure that accounts who are relevant and interesting follow you, your account must do two things.  Firstly, it needs to post content that others will want to read about.  If you are posting regular updates on industry news and asking genuine questions then active accounts on Twitter will want to follow you.  Secondly, you need to go out and find those accounts and follow them.  Interact with them, answer questions that they post.  Here’s a little trick if you’re asking yourself whether they are genuinely active on Twitter have a look at when they last post.  If it’s not in the last 48 hours chances are not the kind of account you want clogging up your ‘following’ list.

2)   Replies

The whole point of Twitter is to be social and so would suggest that politeness will go a long way in being noticed and respected.   If an account re-tweets one of your tweets you should thank them for taking a notice and reading what you have to say.  Again if someone asks you a question you should respond as quickly as possible not only to show efficenicy but genuine interest.  If you cannot respond for a while then apologise for the hold up, show that you care about what your followers have to say.  Replies should convey your company, witty or friendly it will help to build on your image.

3)   Re-tweets

In order to engage with your followers and gain new ones, you need to retweet their content as well as share your own. It also builds your profile up, and provides new content for your followers to read. You should retweet content relevant to your niche market. Retweet posts from your target audience, and if relevant, comment on the posts too. You can search hashtags to find certain topics, but make sure the posts are not older than one day.

4)   Lists

step1

Twitter is a fast-paced world and to gain ‘followers’ you yourself have to follow hundreds if not thousands of accounts.  All of these accounts have something interesting to say but their tweets can get lost amongst the chaos that is the Twitter Universe.  One way to make sure you keep up to date with your favoured accounts is to organize them into ‘Lists’.  By selecting the drop down option and adding the account to a list that you have created

step2

You can create ones as you go or create lists prior through selecting the ‘List’ option on the side of your home page, this is also where you would go to view your ‘Lists’ and read the tweets that they have sent.

view lists

You can tailor lists to certain industries and interests allowing you to quickly source the accounts you favour.  If you do not want the accounts to know that you have added them to a list you can choose the privacy option.

5)   Content

When it comes to any social media platform content is king, and this is especially the case with Twitter.  No one wants to read the same tweet about the sale that you have on or the special services that you provide.  Followers will get bored and quick.  You should post articles and news relevant to your industry.  Pictures should be used especially those that will make other people want to share.  That is not to say that you cannot push your company’s services and deals just remember to use the correct # to determine what kind of tweet it is #news & #offer/#business respectively.

Don’t forget if you have any questions ask away!  You can find us at:

@TheNovaAgency

www.facebook.com/novadigitalmedia

or drop us a line at: hello@thenovaagency.com

We offer One on One Social Media courses which include set up of all major Social Media platforms tailored to your business.

 

 

Facebook’s New Rules

By | Business, Social Media | No Comments

Facebook’s new rules have been the subject of much discussion recently.

The front of the Times was quite forthright with thoughts towards Facebook’s new rules to allow teenagers the ability to post publicly, “Fears for children’s safety on Facebook” the headline reads on the front page claiming that, “Children’s groups and internet safety experts have rounded on Facebook” after they announced their plans yesterday. Indeed Twitter conveys the same concern as well as the added critique that Facebook is doing this in order to create more revenue from advertisers through gathering data from the new influx of public posting from teenagers.

Tweet 1

 

Tweet #2

 

Executives from Facebook however, have argued:

  1.  that they are offering teenagers the choice to publicly post and,
  2. that they were simply following in the steps of other social media platforms such as Instagram, Twitter and Tumblr who have always allowed teenagers to make public posts.

Giving Teenagers The Choice

This is an important aspect to Facebook’s new rules. Facebook isn’t simply rolling out public settings to all photos and comments that teenagers post from now on. At the moment posts are automatically set so that when teenager’s join Facebook anything that they write or share can only be seen by ‘Friends of Friends’. What Facebook intends is for teenagers to be given the option to change the intended audience from ‘Friends of Friends’ to ‘Public’. Teenagers therefore have to make the active choice to select the ‘Public’ option and therefore should know what will happen when they do so. In case they do not however, they will be giving a reminder as to what they are agreeing to exactly, that :
Facebook Public Posting #1

Additionally Facebook will always remind them that they are posting publicly and not to friends or friends of friends only.

Facebook’s New Rules Following Twitter?

Presenting the teenagers with the choice to post publicly is an important feature as it offers this demographic the responsibility whilst also informing every step of the way. Facebook argue quite rightly that, “Teens are among the savviest people using social media, and whether it comes to civic engagement, activism, or their thoughts on a new movie, they want to be heard.” Instagram, Twitter and Tumblr have been used by Teenagers for years to share their thoughts publicly and Facebook executives have argued this in the face of criticisms from children’s groups. That teenagers are already aware of what posting publicly means and so should be able to do so through Facebook.

The problems lies in the frame of mind that a person approaches each social media platform with. The psychology behind Facebook is entirely different compared to other Social Media sites. Tumblr and Twitter are joined with the desire to connect with new people to share common likes and hobbies with a huge group of people that the user has never met before. I’ve seen relationships begin and grow through Tumblr, even to the point of marriage, through the enthusiasm flowing through different ‘fandoms’ (the name given to a particular fan group usually centred on a tv programme or film). Users join up to Tumblr knowing that their posts can be seen by anyone in the world at any time.

Twitter also is a forum where every post is made with the intention that the rest of the world can see it. It is designed so you can publicly acknowledge and be acknowledged and for teenagers an excellent forum to contact their idols.

Both platforms also allow some boundary between users, only the minimum amount of information is required and expected. Facebook however, encourages the user to create a very personal profile with age, birthday, location, past schools, past employments, and suggests other profiles that you may want to be friends with. Facebook has always felt more private than any other platform. It began as a forum for a select demographic where young adults could post personal photos and posts without the fear of older generations or influential peers being able to see your post. That approach has never really disappeared, lessened perhaps, gone completely no.

Facebook through allowing teenagers the option to have public posts have offered an opportunity for this age group to promote themselves in the public sphere at an age where their first thought is not, “How will this affect me in five years time.” We shouldn’t hypocritically judge those teenagers that do not take stock of their actions as most of us at that age most likely did not listen when we were told the same thing.

There are articles upon articles about the dangers that face this young group with concerns over sexual predators and cyber bullying using Facebook’s new stance for their own horrific plans. I am not going to wade into this argument rather I am going to focus on something else, something that (hopefully) affects more teenagers than disgusting acts by other people. Something that concerns me is how the switch over to public posting can affect a teenager’s future employability prospects. I put this to Facebook, asking a group to share amongst friends the news that Facebook were changing their rules so that youngsters can be aware of what this could be mean when applying for a job. I received a reply within the hour:

“Who would want to employ 13-17 year old’s anyway, unless of course your a newsagent looking for paper boys…”

I responded quickly:

No the problem will be in five years time when employers might research the apprentices or school leavers that they are thinking of taking on. At my company we are in the process of hiring apprentices as young as 16 and each time we look into their social media profile. It’s just something to take into account we’ve already seen twitter affecting school leavers and it’s never too early to think about

And this is the crux of my issue with Facebook’s new rules. Despite the warning that they give every time a 13-17 year old goes to post publicly the teen in question will still be in the frame of mind that I mentioned earlier whilst not being warned enough that potential employers will be looking through you social media profiles and soon.

So if you know of anyone that could benefit from this advice please share this post.

If you would like any more information on the subject please do get in touch either by phone: 08459007770 or by e-mail: h.walsh@novadigitalmedia.com

What Is A Responsive Website?

By | Business, Web Design | 2 Comments

One thing that you have to understand before embarking upon this blog post is that I know next to nothing about designing a website.  I can understand the presentation, the aesthetics of certain imagery and the weight of words, of when and when not to use them. . . .

But show me the coding or the back end, talk to me about ‘html’ or the ‘CSS’ and I revert to the brain functionality of a toddler.

My mind shuts off, my ears fill with white noise and my brain starts replaying the finale of Game of Thrones.

A typical conversation in the office can sometimes go like this:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l3qkJyCzcrk

My fellow colleagues, veritable experts in web design, even devised a simple ‘how to’ guide on a manual WordPress install.   The first ten minutes involved a pacing chief development officer and a shouting chief technology officer (both very supportive and offering hints even though they weren’t supposed to help).

Eventually I got there with a new understanding on how website hosting works.  Design, however, is still a bit of an obstacle course.

An area however, that anyone with a smartphone, phablet, or tablet can relate to without even knowing is responsive website design.

Wikipedia describes responsive design as adapting “the layout to the viewing environment by using fluid, proportion-based grids,[5] flexible images,[6][7][8][9] and CSS3 media queries,”

Otherwise known as changing how the website looks so that it appears and performs in a more efficient and visually pleasing way and without making you want to throw your phone against the wall.

So if a website simply looks like a downscaled version of a computer screen with miniscule content then it is not responsive.

If you are currently on a tablet or iPhone then you will notice that this blog fits perfectly on your screen.  The layout has adapted to which way you are holding your device with the writing fitting the width of the screen and the photos easy to view.

There’s no need to zoom in, no need to squint or chase around the links or forms that seemingly move around the screen.

Now you are all thinking about those websites that are non-responsive, you know which ones I mean now.  They do not fit the screen, they are clunky and static, and they annoy more then help.

They make you work for results that you shouldn’t have to work for.

Results show that consumers are far more likely to leave a site that is not responsive.  I remember having this problem with www.next.co.uk.  They now have a wonderful (if addictive) app but prior to this I avoided looking at the website altogether.  And now more than ever people are using their phones, and tablets to shop, surveys show that this Christmas more people will use their phones to shop than last year, especially if you are an electrical retailer.

How many times have you followed a link from Facebook or Twitter whilst coming home on the train and have been confronted by a web site with words that are too small to see and photos too tiny to appreciate?

Have you like me tried to complete a form on a non-responsive web site and ended up screaming at your phone as it loads in the wrong place, fills out a part you cannot see and have the whole web site move around as you try to click on the segment you are trying to complete chasing it around the screen until you give up completely.

The obstacles I have just listed are the tip of the iceberg when it comes to not having a responsive design for your website.  Google is now starting to punish web sites that aren’t responsive.

Every single website that we design here at Nova Digital Media is mobile responsive to ensure that you do not scare off potential customers.