WHERE LOCAL BUSINESS GROWS

Social Media

In today’s digital age it’s important for every business, big or small, to consider social media as part of their online presence and marketing strategy.  For smaller businesses, in particular, it can be a cheap or low-cost way to let people know what you do, but on the down-side, it can be time-consuming, particularly if you don’t really know what you’re doing and why.

On a very basic level, social media can be a great way of increasing traffic to your website, and making sure that you can be found on the internet.  Many companies now use social media widgets as a way of making sure that new content is regularly added to their websites, but what works even better is to make sure that you’re posting regularly to a news or blog page and sharing that to all your social media profiles.

On a more sophisticated level, many social platforms now have so much functionality that you can actually run your business or organisation from your page or profile (like a mini website).

Facebook for example, is the 3rd most popular website in the world with over 2 billion users worldwide (and it owns and integrates with Instagram, Messenger and WhatsApp) and from your page you can advertise, promote events, take bookings, sell products, take calls and messages, advertise jobs, create special offers, promotions and competitions, seek reviews and send out polls and questionnaires, host groups and communities, as well as generally sharing information and telling people about what you do.  And you can tailor what you do to specific groups, profiles and demographics (businesses as well as individuals) and instantly see who has viewed, clicked, bought or interacted … giving you great intelligence about your customers and stakeholders.

The key benefit then for using social media, instead of other marketing activity or as part of a marketing mix is that it gives you a direct line to a specific audience whether it’s customers, partners, suppliers or influencers and brand ambassadors.  And it’s all about engaging, interacting, building relationships and having conversations rather than just sending out or broadcasting information to unknown people.  People are more likely to buy or work with companies that they feel they know, trust and have a connection with.

If you think of it as virtual networking from the comfort of your home or office, you can’t go wrong.  But, rather than having to walk into a room of people and start a conversation, you can quickly and easily find and target specific people (including suppliers, sellers and competitors) who’ll be interested in what you do and make new useful contacts.  In addition you can talk direct to customers and get reviews and feedback, gain market intelligence and insight, and build up a loyal customer base and even a fanbase of people who you know will share and talk about what you do.

And the same principles apply whether your a business to business supplier or business to consumer supplier (business people are people too and many are regular social media users).  The thing to remember is that most social media platforms are free and are designed to make money from advertising, which means that they want businesses to use them too.  Most now have an option to create a business profile rather than a personal profile, and tools just for business users.

If you are considering using social media for you business, but don't know where to start then please search the Business Hub Kirklees directory for local businesses who may be able to help, or ask our Business Hub Advocates for some free, impartial advice 



Getting started with social media
 

As with any marketing or promotional activity, the key place to start is with a plan.  You need to know how social media fits into your wider sales and marketing plan, and what you want to get from it.  You also need to know who you’re trying to target or network with and where they are (i.e. which social media platform they’re likely to be on).

And if you’re new to social media, it’s probably a good idea to pick one platform and start with that rather trying to do too much.

The key questions ask yourself when getting started with Social Media:

  1. What do you want to get out of being on social media?
  2. For example, do you want to increase brand awareness, increase traffic to your website, gain market intelligence, share information quickly and easily, promote a new product or service, generate more leads, encourage people to sign up for your newsletter?
  3. How will that fit in with your current marketing activity?
    Will social media complement and add to that?  For example, how will social media help facilitate your brand awareness, sales, advertising, PR, email marketing or web presence?
  4. Who do you want to target? Is it potential customers, is it influencers who may be able to review and promote your products or services, is it suppliers or distributors?
  5. Who are those people? Can you create a profile for them? The more specific you can be, the more likely you are to be able to find them and target them effectively
  6. And where are your competitors? Are they using social media? Is it working for them? How are they doing it?
  7. What information and content do you have that you can share?
  8. Are you already generating content via a blog or email that you can use?
  9. Who is going to create the content and manage your account? How and when?
  10. How do you want your company or brand represented?
  11. Social media allows you to create a ‘personality’ for your business that people can connect and interact with – what do you want that to be?
  12. How are you going to let people know that you’re on social media?
  13. Again, this needs to be built into your current marketing activity and materials.
  14. Do you have the capacity and skills to manage this yourself? Do you need some extra help or training?

And then, when you've answered these, you can move on the most important question: Which platform should I use?

Content kindly provided by www.yorkshirepowerhouse.com visit them for free business templates & much more.

Which social media platform? The top three
 

Each social media platform is different, with a different feel and different users, and so whilst many companies are on lots of platforms, it’s a good idea to start by picking the one that suits you and your company most and managing your activity on that one really well.  More platforms are being developed and launched all the time, and they go in and out of fashion, but as a general rule, stick to the bigger and more established ones unless you have a genuine business reason for being on something new and funky.
If you’re starting from scratch, it’s probably best to look at the top 3 platforms first – Facebook, YouTube and Twitter.  Here’s our summary of the pros and cons:

Which Social Media Platform? 1. YouTube
YouTube is the world’s no.2 website, behind it’s owner Google.  It is a video sharing site with around 1 billion users, and around 400 hours of video is uploaded to it every minute.  Most of this content is created by users.  These videos can be up to 15 minutes long (or longer for the most popular YouTubers), and on average users watch an hour of video per day.

Advantages
Will help with your SEO as Google will rank YouTube videos highly.
Can be accessed on TVs and games consoles as well as computers and mobile devices.
Allows videos to be embedded on other websites and platforms.
Includes great analytics.
People can subscribe to your channel
Thinking about marketing your business?
Download our marketing plan template

Disadvantages
Only really about video (although YouTube has introduced Communities that allow for other content).
Relies on earning money from Google AdSense (which means that ads will be placed alongside your videos).
It’s so big, it may be difficult to stand out.
You have to have a Google+ page.
YouTube has been criticised for hosting and promoting inappropriate content.

Good for
Video and TV production companies and those that naturally create lots of visuals/video
Estate agents, venues, hotels
Games designers and games related companies
Companies that want to be found on Google

Which Social Media Platform? 2. Facebook
Facebook is the world’s 3rd most popular website, and half of marketers say that it is crucial to their business.  It is the biggest social media platform with over 2 billion users.  Over half of those use it every day and half are also on Messenger.  As well as Messenger, Facebook also owns and integrates with Instagram and WhatsApp.

Advantages
Is the biggest, most well-known and most used social media platform
Allows business profiles and includes great tools and functionality
Allows advertising, including split testing
The promotional tools are quick, easy and cheap
Users can subscribe to and prioritise your content
Allows you to create specialist groups and communities

Disadvantages
Isn’t generally used by younger people
Regularly changes its mysterious algorithm and how it does things
Has received a lot of bad press recently which has put some people off using it

Good for
Any business, particularly B2C
Smaller businesses who want a quick and easy web presence
Companies who want to target people by via specific demographics, such as age, interests or location
Businesses with a strong community feel and loyal following

Which Social Media Platform? 3. Twitter
Twitter started life as an online text messaging platform, but now allows for slightly longer messages, plus images and videos. In fact, 82% of users watch video on Twitter,and tweets with images get 150% more retweets.  It is the 10th most visited site, with around 300 million users, including 100 million active users who post up to half a million tweets per day.  It is more likely to be used by older people and women, and 80% access it on their mobiles.  On average, each user follows 5 businesses.

Advantages
It’s concise, to the point and instant.
It is inherently linked with news, events and current affairs
You can have a business profile and make use of Twitter ads, buy now options and polls

Disadvantages
It’s concise, to the point and instant
It’s easy for tweets to be lost amongst the constant noise
You have to be quick to respond

Good for
Businesses related to news and current affairs (media, PR, newspapers)
Fast moving industries
People with lots to say (authors, commentators, presenters)

Content kindly provided by www.yorkshirepowerhouse.com visit them for free business templates & much more.

Other social media platforms
 

The other main platforms to consider are Google+, Instagram, Pinterest, and LinkedIn.  Each has its own pros and cons, and advantages and disadvantages which you need to consider.  For example, do you you need to be found on Google (Google+), are you all about images (Instagram and Pinterest) or do you need to network with other businesses (LinkedIn).  Here’s a summary:

Other Social Platforms – 1. Google+
Google is the most used website in the world and therefore has a huge amount of power and influence on anything to do with the internet.  So, even though Google+ is one of the smaller, less used and less well-known social media platforms, it’s always worth considering to help with your online presence and SEO, and if you need people to be able to find you (both in real life and the virtual world).
This is why, of the 100 million plus active users on Google+, most aren’t active.  Similarly, because Google owns YouTube you may have to consider being on Google+ to be active on YouTube

Advantages
Integrates with other Google tools, functionality and platforms like YouTube.
Helps improve your SEO.

Disadvantages
Not as big or well-known as other platforms and not as well-used.
Not as easy to use as some of the more well-established platforms.
Thinking about marketing your business?
Download our marketing plan template

Good for
Businesses who need to be found on the internet
Businesses who need to use YouTube
Businesses who use other Google tools and functionality

Other Social Platforms – 2. Instagram
Instagram is a photo and short video sharing platform, and 55 million images are uploaded to it daily.  It is accessed and used via a mobile app (rather than a computer) and so, although it has 800 million users and is owned by Facebook, it is only the 17th most popular website.  90% of users are under 35 and they are more likely to be women.  They are 50% Android-lovers and 50% Apple devotees.

Advantages
It is used by over 1 million advertisers
It includes business profiles, and ads
Analytics gives you fantastic insights into your followers
It is owned by and links to Facebook
It includes tools that add great conversion and retention potential

Disadvantages
It is owned by and links to Facebook, but sharing between platforms only works one way (and some people may be only on one to access the other)
Most functionality is only available on mobile devices
It is very image focused and content must be high quality

Good for
Businesses that regularly create high quality images (designers, photographers, architects, authors, events and activity providers)
Businesses who want to target a younger audience
Businesses who want to target mobile device users

Other Social Platforms – 3. LinkedIn
LinkedIn is an online business network originally designed to allow employers, workers, recruiters and sales people to network and make connections.  It isn’t as popular and highly-ranked as the other social media platforms (probably because it’s a bit more specialist), but still has 500 million users in 200 countries (106 million of whom are active).  For most people, it acts like an online CV.  It is owned by Microsoft.

Advantages
Great for making business connections around the world
Great for recruiting, job hunting and networking
Great for creating a business profile and brand
Allows you to join and network in special interest groups
Allows advertising (and includes special status for ‘influencers’ and ‘top companies’)
Great for gaining industry insight and market research

Disadvantages
All about business
It’s a bit more formal than other platforms
Isn’t necessarily easy to use

Good for
Business to business activity, including finding suppliers, distributors and competitors
Recruiting and job hunting
Market insight and research
Business development and promoting yourself and skills and services
Corporates – it helps create a corporate identity by linking together employees, brands, departments, and subsidiaries
Business service providers such as marketers, salespeople, consultants, freelancers

Other Social Platforms – 4. Pinterest
Pinterest is a virtual pinboard where people can save ideas in the form of images, gifs and videos.  It is a smaller (250 million users), newer and specialist social media platform, but studies have shown that it’s more effective at driving sales than any other platform.  This is because it can act as a virtual storefront, guide people’s choices and can incorporate direct links to websites and online shops from images of the products, and can even have a buy button.  Users are more likely to be educated to graduate level.

Advantages
Allows for business profiles, advertising and direct buying
Allows businesses to showcase products, and new trends and fashions and help people make choices

Disadvantages
Smaller, specialist, less well-known
Image-focussed & need to be high-quality and interesting

Good for
Businesses who are reliant on images, styles, designs, fashions and trends and need to drive sales
Holidays, fashion, crafts, art, design, DIY – many use it to showcase a new season or collection with direct links to allow people to buy individual items
Targeting a more educated audience

Content kindly provided by www.yorkshirepowerhouse.com visit them for free business templates & much more.

What makes good social media content?
 

Social media is by nature a visual medium and most platforms have been created on the basis of sharing images and video.  They’re packaged in handy mobile apps that we carry everywhere with us on our mobiles and tablets, and we can quickly and easily take a photo or record a video and upload it to our friends and followers.

Twitter (and LinkedIn because of its origins as a business network) is probably the exception to that as it started as an online text messaging platform, but now, like other social media platforms, it includes short video and image content too.  And in fact, photos on Twitter get 150% more retweets and 82% of users watch video on Twitter.  See our article: Which Social Media Platform? The Top Three.
As a rule of thumb a photo or video makes the best content.  This is purely because our brains can process visuals 60,000 times faster than words, and in a world where we’re always on the go and accessing social media on our mobile devices while we’re out and about, we’re instantly drawn to something we can understand in a glance.

An image is also more likely to catch people’s attention and evoke an emotional response (think of all those cute cat pics), and is more likely to be remembered.  So if you’re doing it right, it’s a great way to get your brand noticed and recognised.
Thinking about marketing your business?
Download our marketing plan template

Things to remember:

Be consistent
Always include your branding and try and create a look with colours and fonts that mean that people will recognise and remember.
Be interesting
Try and vary the type, style and length of the content you post.  Facebook for example includes lots of different publishing tools, so make use of them and try a poll, event or offer, or even a Facebook Live video.
Be relevant
Don’t just post for the sake of posting
Keep it simple
If you’re just starting out and are not used to writing, stick to a STAR format (Situation, Task, Action, Result) and try and tell a story (stories sell, facts tell).
Engage
Your aim is to get people to interact with you so include questions, quizzes, competitions, challenges, opportunities to share photos, info, opinions, and encourage user-generated content.   And remember that engagement goes both ways – you need to interact, like and share too!
Create a personality for your company
Are you fun, quirky, formal, professional?
But remember to keep personal and professional separate
It may be that you are your brand, in which case, there may be some blurring between personal and professional, but in general your company’s brand, personality and culture needs to be separate and professional.
Make sure you’re in the right place
You need to know who you’re targeting and why, and where you can find them.
Plan ahead
As with any business activity, you need to plan in time to create and post your content and it’s a good idea to think ahead about what you’ve got coming up that you could share
The good news is that all the major platforms have great data and analytics built in, so you can try things out and see what works and what doesn’t.

Content kindly provided by www.yorkshirepowerhouse.com visit them for free business templates & much more.

How do I make the most of social media marketing
 

If you’ve done some research and created a plan, chosen your platform, and started posting some quality, engaging and consistent content, then you’re already on the right track.  Like anything, it takes time to start seeing some results, however there are things you can do to improve your chance of success.  The key is to keep monitoring, researching, learning, tweaking and improving, and avoid the common pitfalls.

The holy grail of social media marketing is user-generated content.  This means content that your customers have created about your products and services and this can be anything from a review or a check-in, to an image or video of them using your product.  40% of customers look for this sort of content before buying and will see this as proof that a company is trustworthy.

80% of all social media content is user-generated (i.e. created by ordinary people every day), and 25-54 year olds create the most content.  40% of people would love their favourite companies and brands to use their ideas, and the most successful companies on social media harness this and make it work for them – for example, the action camera company, GoPro, gets customers to post their own extreme sports videos to their social media and they choose the best ones to feature on their website, and use in their marketing.
And as well as working on encouraging user-generated content, here are our top tips for getting the most from your social media activity:

Go back and double-check that you’ve got all the basics right
Did you do your research and create a plan? [see Social Media Marketing: Getting Started]  Did you choose the right platform?  [See Which Social Media Platform? The Top Three and Which Social Media Platform? The Best of the Rest]  Are you posting the right content? [See Social Media Marketing: What Makes Good Content?]

Make sure you know your chosen platform inside out
Are you making use of all the built-in tools and functionality?  Are there some tips and tricks that would help?  Do you need some help or training?

Are you making use of the built-in insights and analytics?
These will tell you what’s working and what isn’t and you can use this information to quickly and easily improve your activity.  It may be that your posts aren’t reaching the right people, or you’re posting during the day, but your customers are on social media in the evening.

Are you making use of other tools?
There are lots of great apps and tools out there to help you improve what you’re doing and make life easier.  For example, Twitcher is an add-on for your internet browser that allows you to switch between multiple Twitter accounts.  It may be that you need a better camera or design package to create great images, or that you need a management tool to help you post to different platforms and plan ahead.

Are you part of the conversation?
The whole reason you’re on social media is to build relationships and engage with your target market, and 74% feel more positive about a company or brand after an interaction with them.  In which case they’re more likely to support, promote, and keep interacting with you, and buy from you.

Are you building a network?
Similarly, being on social media is about you building your network and making the right contacts – and that includes building relationships with influencers and brand ambassadors who can help spread the word and support what you do.  Ideally, these need to be people who have lots of followers in your area, sector or industry, and who people trust.

Are you trying to do too much?
If in doubt, it’s always best to keep things simple.  Look at step 1 again, go back to basics and make use of any relevant tools, and training – or bring in the professionals to help you get things right and manage things effectively and efficiently.

Are you making use of tags, hashtags, and links?
Hashtags and tags are an essential part of social media and an effective tool to make sure that your content is relevant, can be found and is shared.  Similarly, you need to include links and calls to action to get the interaction and response you require.

Are you telling people that you’re on social media?
And are you making it easy for them to find you?  It sounds obvious, but you need to make sure that your social media links are in a prominent place on your website, and that they’re included in your email signature, stationery (including business cards) and marketing materials.

Is your social media working with the rest of your marketing activity?
Ideally you need all your marketing activity, whether on social media, printed or online to be working together towards achieving the same goals, whether it’s brand awareness, generating more leads, or improving sales.  And to do this, your branding and messages need to be consistent.

What are the Pitfalls?
At the same time as making sure that you’re doing everything right, there are some common pitfalls that you need to avoid.  Here is our top ten things that people tend to get wrong:

Hashtags
Make sure that you know what a hashtag is and how to use it.  It’s simply a way of highlighting a keyword or search term in your post.  People can search for specific hashtags and find relevant posts. And you can even create a unique hashtag and encourage people to use it for a particular event or campaign.  This allows you to find and curate all those tweets/posts (for example, #WW100 is being used to denote the 100th anniversary of the end of WW1).  Hashtags started on Twitter, but are now common in most social media platforms

Tags
Similarly a tag is a way of mentioning or including another person or organisation in a post.  They will see your post and can generally choose to react to it and share it.  This means that your post will reach more people.

Mixing business and pleasure
It’s really easy to confuse your business personality with your own, particularly if you use social media personally, but generally, your customers won’t want to know about your political views or see pictures of you on holiday.

Branding
Promoting your brand is a key reason for being on social media, so make sure that you use it on your profile and in your content and are consistent.

Are you spreading yourself too thinly?
It’s really tempting to try and be on every platform, but be realistic about what you can manage and what’s going to be of most benefit for your business.  It’s better to be focused, targeted and using of one platform really well.

Broadcasting
The key difference between social media marketing and other forms of marketing is that it’s about conversations and building relationships – and that only works if it’s a two-way thing.  Lots of companies get themselves a scheduling tool like Tweetdeck or HootSuite, create lots of great posts and schedule them regularly, but don’t actually go on the actual platform to see what’s happening, respond to comments and questions and share, like and comment on other relevant content.

Aggressive selling
Similarly social media isn’t about selling, and that shouldn’t generally be your main aim for being on social media.  It can generate leads, can encourage people to visit your website or sign up for your email newsletter and ultimately lead to sales, but people need to feel that they know you, can trust you, are getting some value and have a choice beforehand.

Right post, right platform
The other problem that can arise from using scheduling and management tools is that a great post on one platform doesn’t work at all on another.  For example, many people post to Facebook and automatically send the same post to Twitter, but because of the difference in size and format, it doesn’t necessarily work.

Spamming
And similarly broadcasting, aggressive selling, and automatic posting can lead to accusations of spamming and generally, social media companies look on this as seriously as hosting companies and they will block and close down your account.

Lack of planning
As with any sales of marketing activity, if you don’t know what you’re doing and why, don’t plan the activity and the time to do it, then you’re likely to fail.

Content kindly provided by www.yorkshirepowerhouse.com visit them for free business templates & much more.

Understanding Facebook likes vs. follows
 

For this guide, we will be talking about pages rather than personal profiles. Just in case you aren’t sure what these are, the main differences are that a personal profile represents a person on Facebook and can send, receive and accept friend requests, whereas a page will mostly represent a business and can be liked rather than befriended.

A very quick and simple overview of the differences between Facebook likes and follows:

What happens when someone ‘likes’ your page?
They are added to a list of people you can use for remarketing
They are added as a follower of your page by default

What happens when someone follows your page?
Your posts become eligible to show in the follower’s personal newsfeed
A liker gets the option to change their follow to a “see first” follow, prioritising your posts over posts from other pages.

Basically, a “follow” is better for reaching people with organic posts and a “like” is better for reaching people through paid advertising.

Though Facebook likes are required for someone to follow your page, the reverse is not true.

There is an option to unfollow a page after liking it but, more likely, if someone doesn’t like the posts that they are seeing from your page they will simply unlike your page (which will unfollow it too) as the ‘follow mechanic’ in Facebook is understood by few.

Those who do understand the mechanic will know that they can also receive more posts from a page they really like by updating their follow to a “see first” follow. For obvious reasons, this is the most desirable option for a page.

To get more “see first” follows, strangely, the best way is to educate and ask… something along the lines of “If you are enjoying our content and want to see it more often you can go to our page and change your like to a see first like”. Think carefully before you do this though, not all situations are the same and this could work for some and not for others.

As always with Facebook, the best practice is to post relevant, high quality, useful content to give you the best chance at convincing someone to not only like your page, but to not unlike or unfollow it.

Content kindly provided by www.yorkshirepowerhouse.com visit them for free business templates & much more.

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41 results found, page 1 of 5.  
Vapour becomes one of fastest growth cloud voice partners in UK

Monday 04 February 2019

Vapour Cloud has been hailed as one of the fastest growing mid-market cloud voice partners in the UK, following 3000 Avaya licenses sold in the second half of 2018. The digital transformation specialist – also renowned for its video, network and data storage portfolio – has experienced 500% growth in its cloud voice division over the past two years. And as the expanding technology business looks ahead to the next 12 months, work to supply 4,000 Avaya licenses is already forecast for 2019. The news comes as Vapour also announces a partnership with Manchester-headquartered Avaya service specialist IPNetix. The two tech firms are collaborating to strengthen the pre- and post-sales offering for Vapour Cloud voice customers throughout the UK. Vapour’s CEO Tim Mercer explained: “Working closely with the IPNetix team makes a lot of sense to us. There is far more competition than there is collaboration in the IT channel. But by combining complementary resources and expertise, clients receive a far more value-adding ‘package’ from the experts in their respective fields. “IPNetix works so closely with Avaya, that their technical engineering knowledge and insight into what’s coming next from this communications giant, is the perfect addition to our proposition. We have a huge year ahead of us, when it comes to the omnichannel comms solutions we provide to clients, and the relationships with Avaya and IPNetix are crucial components in our onward growth.” With net recurring revenue of 96%, Vapour grew by 51% in 2018 and CEO Tim Mercer aims to expand the company by at least another 50% over the next 12 months.
Posted by Scriba PR Limited
Secondary school students urged to rise to design challenge

Thursday 17 January 2019

Lesley Gulliver and Darren Evans – experienced design thinkers from brand consultancy The Engine Room – visited students at Salendine Nook High School this week, in a bid to prevent the ‘death of design’ from the UK curriculum. 280 year eight students gathered to hear the challenge set by the local design experts – four weeks to design something that will help people live a healthier lifestyle in 2019. Whether it’s an app, a cookery book, wearable tech or a promotional video, the design and technology (D&T) students have been urged to think big and not be held back by the misconception that it might not be possible. The challenge marks a new collaboration between The Engine Room and the secondary school’s D&T teaching cohort, who are equally passionate about preserving the imagination and creative problem-solving skills of young people. They’re big believers in the fact that whilst design was once a ‘top of the pile’ subject, it is increasingly being dropped in favour of seemingly more ‘academic’ subjects, in schools throughout the UK. The challenge therefore marks the start of a drive to get students, parents, teachers and employers thinking about the power of design. “We’re not saying everyone needs to grow up aspiring to be a designer, by job title,” explains The Engine Room’s founder Darren Evans. “But design thinking fits in EVERYWHERE. It encourages a collaborative, iterative and human-centred approach to tackling challenges that simply isn’t taught in other subjects. “So, whilst I applaud the country’s commitment to raising STEM subject performance, I desperately don’t want this to be to the detriment of students being able to study design too. So, what better way to hopefully inspire them, than explaining the opportunities that design can create for them, just before they’re due to make their GCSE subject choices.” “We’ve a challenge on our hands to banish misconceptions,” continues Salendine Nook’s D&T head of department Andy Loadman. “D&T is not ‘woodworking’ or home economics anymore. It’s a subject that centres on teamwork. There’s never a wrong answer. We encourage our students to conceptualise, create, test, learn, and re-think, together. This will see them learn life skills that apply to varied careers ranging from engineering through to the public health service. “We’ve got some uber-bright students within the school and having only spoken to them briefly about this challenge before The Engine Room’s visit, it was such a joy to see how excited they were by the prospect of experimenting with their creativity. This is exactly why I became a teacher in this subject.” Darren Evans and Principal Mr Christian will decide on the winner of the challenge in four weeks’ time. The victor will go on to receive a bespoke purple pencil, which mimics the prize awarded to winners of the UK’s iconic D&AD (Design and Art Direction) awards – only in Salendine Nook colours rather than the infamous yellow! “I’d like to hope this could become an annual, multi-school contest,” added teacher Nicky James. “This could be the start of a really exciting design hive for young people, which puts design firmly back on the curriculum map!”
Posted by Scriba PR Limited
Free design thinking workshops urge Yorkshire SMEs to think what could be

Thursday 10 January 2019

A fully-funded workshop is being held on Wednesday 6 February, to help businesses in the Leeds City Region use design thinking to tackle complex commercial problems and stay ahead of the game. With 20 places available, the one-day Design For Growth masterclass will empower business leaders to utilise design thinking methodologies, to transform their approach to planning, ideas generation, strategy and customer service. Aimed at firms who want to trigger significant organisational change with a human-centred approach to innovation, the workshop is the brainchild of design collective What Could Be. This team of four creative minds – with more than 110 years’ combined experience – is made up of Jonathan Ball, David Townson, Darren Evans and Lesley Gulliver. Whilst the design thinking movement is not new, What Could Be has been at the forefront since 2010. In that time, the team has helped start ups, SMEs, large corporates and public sector organisations across the country widen their design focus to instigate change, innovation and bottom line impact. But now their focus is on supporting local firms as they prepare for what could be the toughest year of the past decade. “Our world is changing, and fast,” explains Jonathan Ball. “So savvy businesses are looking for new ways to deliver products and services in order to reap a competitive advantage. “We’re not trying to turn people into designers and the challenges that delegates may face won’t necessarily be overtly design related. But we are trying to demystify the discipline, especially to people who may consider it quite ‘fluffy’. “Utilising techniques originating from design practice, we’ll show how a practical, creative approach to problem-solving can be applied to a range of contexts. Our one-day immersion workshop will provide intensive training, with guidance on how to apply the discipline to delegates’ current organisational challenges. Everyone will get to use a toolkit of methods, resources and frameworks to enable them to further their design-led innovation with colleagues or clients.” When asked who the workshop is aimed at, Jonathan added: “We hope to welcome anyone in business with real organisational challenges to address.” Design For Growth will take place at York Mills, Mirfield, from 10:00-16:00 on Wednesday 6 February. Pre-application is essential, and two hours follow up coaching will also be provided. Search for 'design thinking for business growth tickets' to book.
Posted by Scriba PR Limited
Yorkshire agency to aid successful young entrepreneur

Wednesday 19 December 2018

Digital creative agency The Bigger Boat has announced that Daniel Fisher-Jones is the victor of its recent competition to win mentoring support in creating a brand identity for his business, Liverpool Audio Network (LAN). The scheme was launched at The University of Huddersfield – and supported by its Enterprise Team – where staff members from The Bigger Boat, including account and design directors, provided a one-hour workshop to a cohort of third year undergraduate students currently undertaking the Enterprise Placement Year (EPY) programme. Covering the key elements of branding, the interactive tutorial provided advice on the most important factors to consider when establishing a brand identity – including the dos and don’ts of the process and inspiration for the entrepreneurs – to assist them in successfully turning their initial design ideas into actions. The attendees were invited to complete a brand essence review, for the chance to secure ongoing free brand identity development – which could equate to £5,000 of assistance – from The Bigger Boat. As the chosen winner, Daniel has already taken part in a further workshop at the team’s Mirfield offices, and will now receive help with the creation of a complete design concept for his company, plus further support for the next three months. Commenting on the win, Daniel said: “Being chosen by The Bigger Boat not only surprised me but it has also given me a wonderful opportunity to vitally rethink my organisation's brand identity, which is now over a year old. As my venture has developed since its launch, a rebrand – to resonate with the business’ future – couldn’t have come at a better time. And the passion and expertise that The Bigger Boat has shown is invaluable.” Doug Main, creative director at The Bigger Boat added: “The level of talent on the day was astounding and we certainly had a tough decision to make. Daniel stood out as an exceptional candidate, with a great brain for business and a drive to succeed. We’re all looking forward to working with him on his venture. “It’s really important to us to give something back to the next generation of entrepreneurs, and working alongside The Enterprise Team at the university has enabled us to hopefully inspire – and help – up and coming businesses. The EPY allows students to spend an academic year researching, planning and starting their own business, and provides in-house support – via The Enterprise Team – to develop ideas, attend relevant skills and networking workshops, and access hot-desk facilities in the university’s start-up incubator, The Duke of York Young Entrepreneur Centre. Providing his thoughts, Philip Clegg, Head of Enterprise and Entrepreneurship, said: “Although the EPY is now in its 14th year, we constantly review and improve the programme based on the student’s own experience and feedback. Collaborating with The Bigger Boat has enabled the cohort to hear from a fantastic local company and helped to inform their thinking around their own brand development at an early stage. “We are extremely grateful to Doug and his team for the support and advice offered and we look forward to developing our relationship with them further as one of our ‘Friends of the Enterprise Team’.” The Bigger Boat provides an array of services – including SEO, website design and development, and paid search – to a wide range of clients. Established in 2010, the 13-strong team recently received a Digital Impact award for its rebrand of client Little Tikes’ website.
Posted by Scriba PR Limited
Vapour rings in new partnership with telecoms brand

Friday 14 December 2018

Cloud technology specialist Vapour has secured a new partnership with Bolton-headquartered telephony brand Telesis. With long-standing relationships with communication giants including Vodafone, EE, O2 and Panasonic – plus 30 years’ experience – Telesis is no stranger to the voice sector. Having once focused solely on the delivery of telecoms solutions, recent business acquisitions have widened the scope of services offered to clients. But the Lancashire team did not have a dedicated cloud hosting provision – until now. The new partnership will see Telesis become a reseller of Vapour’s Sanctm product suite. With access to robust servers hosted in Vapour’s UK data centres – as well as highly-secure backup and storage services – it is hoped the collaboration could boost Telesis turnover by up to 20% over the next three years. The move will also see Vapour expand its presence in Lancashire, particularly on the M61 corridor. Commenting on the partnership, Telesis’ managing director Christian Bleakley said: “The technology sector is becoming increasingly crowded with suppliers vying for customers’ attention, which can make it difficult for organisations to know where to turn. We’ve worked hard to build a solid reputation in the telecoms market but when it came to client requests for wider digital transformation support, this was a gap we couldn’t previously plug. “The relationship with Vapour – a ‘best in breed’ organisation within this complex field – will allow us to expand on our service offering to existing customers, whilst enhancing our proposition for new prospects. We’re very excited to see how this unfolds in 2019 and beyond.” Telesis will also plug into Vapour’s marketing automation engine, which will allow the team to communicate with and nurture new business opportunities. Vapour’s CEO Tim Mercer adds: “We’ve spoken extensively, throughout 2018, about our partnership strategy and the importance of collaboration in the channel. We’re big believers in concentrating on our own niche and fostering partnerships with other organisations to leverage expertise in their key areas. This approach benefits our business and our partners’ – plus clients are delighted that they have access to more in-depth knowledge and advice from people who really know what they’re talking about!”
Posted by Scriba PR Limited
New Chief Operating Officer for cloud tech specialist

Friday 14 December 2018

West Yorkshire digital transformation specialist Vapour Cloud has appointed a new Chief Operating Officer with more than 20 years’ experience in the technology space. Andrew Nash has joined the Elland-based business following a year of 51% growth, and will play a key role in a further 50% revenue uplift in 2019. Having ‘fallen into’ technology during his college years – admittedly by accident – Andrew soon got the bug for all things innovation. The business offered him a permanent role as a PC configuration engineer and two decades later he was still with Avaya, having progressed to the position of Global Services & Support Director. He then became Managing Director of unified data and voice communications firm SBL Group, where he spent over two years of his career, before joining the Vapour team. Now he will be responsible for spearheading further innovation throughout Vapour’s cloud portfolio, especially within the voice and video product suite. Commenting on Andrew’s appointment, CEO Tim Mercer said: “We’re as much about people as we are about tech, and Andy’s skill-set fulfils both strands of our ethos perfectly. Digital transformation has evolved from being a buzzword that few people understand, to a powerful source of value creation for businesses. And with Andy’s help we’ll empower more clients and develop more people, as the next few years unfold.” Andrew added: “Everyone loves communicating and it’s been a privilege to work for companies that make this possible, throughout my career. I’ve loved being on board with cutting-edge firms that have constantly been at the forefront of the latest tech advancements, and Vapour is no different. They spot an opportunity and whatever boundary they promise to break, they do. That means my role is very exciting indeed. Tim values collaboration and I look forward to having a big part in ‘what’s next’ at Vapour. “2018 has been the year when conversation surrounding things like AI, the IoT, video and 5G has really ramped up. 2019 will be about knitting all of these opportunities together so that they’re understood and within reach of companies irrespective of their size and sector. We’re constantly crafting new ways of delivering voice and I believe that this has been the key to our vast expansion so far. The next 12 months though, could be massive.” Vapour Cloud is a private equity backed business founded in 2013. The company – which specialises in cloud voice, video, connectivity, security and storage – is on track to breakeven in March.
Posted by Scriba PR Limited
Huddersfield Tech Firm Announces Pilot Programme to Give the Gift of Connectivity

Friday 23 November 2018

Tech company yboo to launch a new programme helping children get connected to online educational resources. Technology firm, yboo, has announced an educational pilot programme commencing in Honley High school to enhance educational opportunities and bridge the nations digital skills gap by gifting children with the resources to stay connected. In 2018, 1 in 10 households still have no access to the internet with affordability being cited as the main factor (according to the ONS Internet Access – Households and Individuals 2018 report) and as online studying at all levels is growing to become the main educational resource, it is correct to question whether having access to the internet is a right. As Megan Markle recently stated in her most recent royal tour speech, “Everyone should be afforded the opportunity to receive the education they want, but more importantly the education they have the right to receive”. yboo strongly believes that in an era where google scholar is used as the main research tool as opposed to books, connection to the internet at home is VITAL for educational development. With this in mind, yboo have launched the Give the Gift of Connectivity programme in Honley High school with plans to branching out nationwide in 2019. yboo will donate laptops and Huawei MiFi routers which will allow a child to connect to the internet off campus. yboo, which provides a free app to monitor a user's mobile phone signal strength where they work live, work and hang out, has utilised their technology to identify GiffGaff as having the strongest signal strength in the area of the pilot school, resulting in GiffGaff SIM cards being installed in the MiFi devices. The school will be able to loan the devices to children throughout the school year who require access to connectivity. The aim of the programme is to enhance a pupil’s learning experience and increase their confidence in the use of technology. yboo also encourages safe internet usage and will also support the school with technical setup and safeguarding. Mrs Lord, Deputy Head at Honley High School said; “We understand the importance of connectivity and safe online access for students in completing their work in today’s society. We’re delighted to have the opportunity, working with yboo, of obtaining a bookable resource, that will allow students to safely access a world of information to help them complete online research and project work”. Commenting on the pilot programme, yboo’s Campaign Manager, Keely Robinson, said: “yboo is deeply rooted in providing children with the same opportunities that those in our company have. Without access to online resources and the opportunity to develop digital skills, our company wouldn’t even exist. We need to support the next generation in helping them gain the skills required to provide them with a successful future whilst addressing the much talked about digital skills gap. We want children to have the opportunity to become to the next Founder of a big tech company”. To involve your school or if you are interested in supporting the project, contact Keely Robinson via email kr@yboo.co.uk
Posted by KC Communications
A New Home for the Printasys team!

Friday 23 November 2018

Recently we made the decision to find somewhere to set up our base and create a space that allowed us to meet clients, connect with other local businesses and introduce them to CFH Docmail. It was important for us to have a base in the heart of our local town of Huddersfield so we could ensure we feed back into the local economy. We found a perfect solution that allows us the flexibility to meet clients and book out space when we need it. We are excited to announce that our new base is at the excellent 3M Buckley Innovation Centre and we couldn't be happier with our decision as we share the building with over 40 other businesses! We are also very pleased to be connected directly with the University of Huddersfield and we have had the chance to meet many of the academic team and students. We really look forward to working with them on projects in the future. Are you local or in the area? It would be great to see anyone who wants to learn more about what we do, or just to have a coffee and a chat. Let us know and we can book a time that works best for you! Get in touch: brian@printasys.co.uk or john@printasys.co.uk
Posted by Printasys Ltd
yboo Announces World First with Signal Strength Feature

Friday 02 November 2018

In a ground breaking move, Huddersfield-based tech firm, yboo, has announced a new signal strength feature update to its money-saving app as it seeks to transform the way consumers shop for the best mobile phone deals. yboo is the first globally to recommend the best mobile phone deals based not only on price but signal strength based on where consumers live, work and hang out. With no need to register, estimate usage or work out which network gives you the best coverage, yboo is making choosing the right mobile deal easy for millions of consumers in the UK. The money-saving app is giving both consumers and mobile networks the single version of truth about the best deal, which might not necessarily be the cheapest. While operator coverage maps might indicate covering a particular geographic area, they do not measure signal strength and quality of service at a device (smartphone) level. yboo’s technology can report on a comprehensive range of information, such as a users’ physical location and signal strength change. Once a user installs the yboo app onto their mobile, with no need for registration, it collects anonymous data about the signal strength quality in areas the user visits, including in-building coverage, which is then aggregated against other users with the app then making unique recommendations based on these results. The app update will also support the yboo #insightsfromoutside Portal release that provides mobile operators with the ability to understand network blackspots, target yboo consumers with unique offers and create products that increase connections and ultimately compete more effectively with other providers. Commenting on the latest developments, founder and CEO of yboo, Martyn Gould said: “We’re obsessed with delivering real value at yboo, and understanding service quality and signal strength means that the right deal for you might not be the cheapest. We’re working with mobile operators to make things better but until every network provides every user with service level agreements and service credits, things are unlikely to improve without our help.” yboo will be exhibiting their latest product functionality at MVNO Europe taking place in London, from the 6th to the 8th November. To gain access to yboo’s Insight Portal visit https://yboo-b2b-test-portal-v2-1.herokuapp.com/
Posted by KC Communications
Ambitious Yorkshire Tech Firm Expands with Six New Recruits

Friday 12 October 2018

Huddersfield-based tech firm, yboo, has recruited six new staff as the company continues its ambitious growth strategy to bring the money saving app to 60m smartphone users in the UK. Loren Birkett, Keely Robinson, Josh Hoyle, Helen Cullinane, Mike Constantinou and Phil Kershaw all join the firm to raise the profile of yboo in the UK and launch a range of new features within the app to help Consumers understand more and get the right mobile deal for them. New features include detailed signal strength measurements where users live, work and hang out and rewards for sharing yboo or switching networks via yboo. Loren, a graduate of Huddersfield University, joins as Social Media Manager and will be delivering campaigns to ensure yboo is able to listen to and understand what Consumers want and need. This will drive the launch of new yboo products in Q1 of 2019. Keely, a graduate of Cardiff Metropolitan University, joins as Affinity and Affiliate Campaign Manager. Keely will be focussing on delivering yboo Social Responsibility activity including working with schools to ensure families without broadband have access to yboo mobile broadband devices. Josh joins as Project Developer, leading a website redesign and yboo outreach to Consumers raising the profile of the yboo brand both Nationally and Internationally as yboo moves into new markets and new verticals. While Helen, who has 20 years’ experience in the telecoms industry, joins as Head of Delivery. Helen will be responsible for implementing a governance structure and ensuring people, processes and technology come together elegantly to support yboo growth. Mike and Phil are talented developers with a passion for solving real problems using cutting-edge technology to process and understand millions of events and bring real value to Consumers and Mobile Operators alike. Founder and CEO Martyn Gould said of yboo’s new recruits: “I’m absolutely delighted to welcome Loren, Keely, Josh, Helen, Mike and Phil to the yboo team. Each person brings something different, new skills and new views. We now have a great blend of experience and talented youth as yboo continues its rapid ascendancy. yboo is the only product that recommends on price and service quality saving the average Consumer £156/year with zero effort. We compare 300,000 deals across the whole of the UK market in seconds giving Consumers real benefit and matching them to the best deal based on their unique usage pattern and behaviour. The firm continues to recruit for additional staff to support its future development strategy which includes the delivery of an insight portal launching in early November. The portal will provide anonymised data to enable mobile network operators to fix blackspots in network coverage and build dynamic products to bring better value to the Consumers they wish to target. For more information visit www.yboo.co.uk or follow on twitter @yboouk
Posted by KC Communications
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