What is cloud computing and what can it do for me

The term cloud is used as a metaphor for the internet. Cloud computing is a general term for anything which involves delivered hosted services over the internet.

In broad terms a cloud service has three characteristics which differentiate it from traditional hosting, these are;

  1. It is provided on demand (by the minute or hour in some cases)
  2. It is scalable (a user can have as little or as much as they want)
  3. the service is fully managed by the vendor (you typically only require a computer and internet access)

Cloud computing promises to speed application deployment and lower costs, whilst increasing business agility. It has transformed the way we design, build and deliver applications to the users. Have you used a search engine today?, have you accessed web mail if so you are already using cloud services.

There are public clouds, private clouds and hybrid clouds but don’t let the jargon put you off, everyone agrees that cloud computing is the key to the future of I.T but lots of these people are unsure of what it is. Many companies are jumping on the bandwagon to offer “cloud services” so it is worth understanding such terms as SaaS (software as a service) or PaaS (platform as a service) or IaaS (infrastructure as a service) to name a few if you need to evaluate a suppliers claims.

Cloud computing has some real benefits but also has risks such as loss of services if your provider has downtime or worse still goes out of business also regulatory concerns over data security so choose your vendor carefully.

I recently setup a really simple system for a plumber who lives down the street; he already had an iPhone, an Apple Mac and an iPad although in his words he wasn’t really sure what to do with them. During our conversation he mentioned that his wife mans the phone at home and jots down all of his incoming appointments then rings him at regular intervals to give him the new list, if the call is urgent she tries to call him straight away, within 10 minutes we had connected his Apple Mac, iPhone and iPad calendar applications up to iCloud (he was familiar with the calendar app anyway), now when his wife enters the call details into a time slot on the calendar app on the Mac the appointment appears on his iPhone and iPad almost instantly and any Urgent appointments are highlighted in red, he now knows exactly when and where he should be, what the problem is before he gets there, the address and customer name and contact details and it cost him nothing as he already had the technology simple, but had this come up a year or two ago it would have been a little more difficult and a lot more expensive to achieve, it’s certainly not the best solution to his problem but it works for him and cost him nothing.

The reason for the anecdote above is to show that the “Cloud” isn’t frightening or intimidating, it’s not the answer to everything but in certain cases it does exactly what it says on the tin.

To conclude, here are a few more terms you may want to research if you want to know more, it is a fascinating subject.

Utility Computing
SaaS
– Software as a service
PaaS – Platform as a service
IaaS – Infrastructure as a service
RIA – Rich internet application
Multi-tenancy
Public, Private, Hybrid Clouds
Virtualisation

If you would like any help or advice with your web presence or would like more information on cloud contact us.

At CodeSpinnewe have over 25 years experience of producing custom software.

If you would like to get more tips, or would like to receive a free 90 page eBook on Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) please visit http://www.codespinner.co.uk/free-ebook.html

Alternatively if you would like us to discuss your software requirements contact me at:

Tel: 07850 009750
Email: info@codespinner.co.uk
Website: http://www.codespinner.co.uk/
Twitter: @CodeSpinner

Tell me and I’ll forget, show me and I will remember, involve me and I will understand (old chinese proverb).

 

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What is a squeeze page?

A “squeeze page” is a single page and its sole purpose is to either capture the visitors email address (in return for your free giveaway) or in some cases, to make a sale, but by far the main reason is to capture the visitors email address.

When building a business, a highly-effective squeeze page is essential for daily lead capture because without those leads network marketers don’t have a business!

Design an effective squeeze page.

“Who do you want” – One of the more important steps, yet time and again people charge straight in without a clear understanding of exactly the type of person they want on their email list yet without this vital step how are you going to develop a campaign good enough to create interest and gain trust.

Take the time to work out exactly who you are trying to attract on to your list in terms of your ultimate goals. Then and only then will you know how best to write the copy.

Your squeeze page has one goal to get people to sign up to your email list; every word on the page should support that single action. If it doesn’t, lose it.

Things to Avoid

Remove anything distracting the user from signing up that includes things like the sidebar, links, navigation menu, non essential text, links and images this page should have one purpose only “sign them up”

Your primary goal with a squeeze page is to get people to opt-in.

You must have:

  1. A headline: You’ve got to instantly catch attention with your headline.
  2. Benefits: You’ve got to tell by teasing, usually with fascinating bullet points.
  3. Call to Action: You’ve got to expressly tell people to sign-up.
  4. Opt-in form: You’ve got to have a way for them to sign-up.
  5. Build Trust: Add a photo or signature, privacy disclaimer, testimonials anything to show that you are trustworthy.

The Gift.

This could be a free report, eBook, or piece of software, news feed or any other freebie.

You will always get subscribers who take your incentive with an alternate “specially for spam” email address, or simply unsubscribe immediately, it is your job to keep them subscribed, you could for instance offer to drip feed them reports over time, break the eBook into parts or give early news on what’s coming next.

The key is to make people aware that you’re giving more than you’re taking.

Keep the page focused and concise, obviously the essentials have to be there, the headline, benefits, call to action and obviously the opt-in-form but also reassure the user that you will respect their privacy there is nothing worse than signing up for something useful then finding your details have been passed on to all and sundry.

How much information do you really need?

The less you ask for the more likely they are to sign up, you only need the email address, if you want more trial more but in our tests the email only option performed far better, however, if your business needs a mailing address, or other personal details consider getting them on board first then build up your contact details. The more trust you build; the more people open up to you.

Don’t Forget to Monitor and Test!

Every business is different the only way to find exactly what works for you and your potential audiences to do your own testing. Even changing a single sentence or word can make a difference good or bad so monitor.

If you would like any help or advice with your web presence contact us.

At CodeSpinner we have over 25 years experience of producing custom software.

If you would like to get more tips, or would like to receive a free 90 page eBook on Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) please visit http://www.codespinner.co.uk/free-ebook.html

Alternatively if you would like us to discuss your software requirements contact me at:

Tel: 07850 009750
Email: info@codespinner.co.uk
Website: http://www.codespinner.co.uk/
Twitter: @CodeSpinner

Tell me and I’ll forget, show me and I will remember, involve me and I will understand (old chinese proverb).

Effective Email Marketing

This is an introduction to creating an effective email marketing campaign for your business, subsequent posts will offer advice on building squeeze pages, creating a campaign and tips and tricks to help make it effective.

Even with the advent of social media, smart phones, and tablets, email marketing is still one of the most effective forms of marketing online and that isn’t expected to change anytime soon, so it would be a shame to pass-up email marketing as a possible revenue source for your business.

The mailing list is king, collect as many email addresses from customers or potential customers as you can and once you have them keep them, let’s face it, people are not going to join your mailing list without a good reason, these days people are more suspicious and reluctant to give out any personal data and that includes their email address so for them to give it to a total stranger would be going against what they think is the safe choice, if you want them to persuade them to do that then you have to offer them a worthwhile incentive.

The best way to do that is to give them something for free, we all like to get something for nothing eBooks work well, short reports also work well, even free software (make sure it’s yours to give away).

Building Your List

The first thing you need is a mailing list and, if the list is large enough, an automated bulk mailing system. There are plenty of third-party services that can do this for you, today’s services offer a lot more than just managing your email.

Most services offer a free option often limited to a certain number of subscribers or number of times in a set period you can use the service, this can range anywhere from 50 subscribers to 100 emails a month depending on their terms and conditions but you will not get all of the bells and whistles of the “paid for service”.

If you are just starting out it is worth building your list until you reach your free limit, and then upgrading to a paid plan as it could take a little while to build up your list an you could end up with a paid-for-service that you are simply not ready for, the free service will also allow you to do some early trials and gain valuable experience at no cost.

Starting Your Campaign

Now that you have your list you need a place to put your web form or squeeze page (also known as the opt-in form) so you can collect email addresses they are called squeeze pages because the only objective on the page is to get the user’s email address (my next post will tell you what is needed on a squeeze page and how to optimize it).

You have a few options for how you want to implement the squeeze page you can write a separate HTML page or you can download a template or simply use a page from within your blogging platform you may see a lot of people on the web refer to “landing” and “sales pages” as squeeze pages they are not the same thing there is a subtle difference.

Once you have setup your squeeze page wait until you have at least a month’s worth of messages in the queue ready to go out, why?, well, unless you keep in contact regularly, email addresses tend to go stale and inactive after a sustained period of no contact from you so once they join your list you ideally want them to be getting emails from you right away and on a regular basis.

Actually writing your email campaign series is considered by many to be a dark art but with a little bit of trial and error it is something that you can do quite effectively, email marketing is not new so there are plenty of articles, blogs and resources on the web I suggest you read them learn from others mistakes but be prepared for failures as well as successes.

Good luck!

If you do not feel confident tackling this on your own, lleave it to the experts!

At CodeSpinner we have over 25 years experience of producing custom software.

If you would like to get more tips, or would like to receive a free 90 page eBook on Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) please visit http://www.codespinner.co.uk/free-ebook.html

Alternatively if you would like us to discuss your software requirements contact me at:

Tel: 07850 009750
Email: info@codespinner.co.uk
Website: http://www.codespinner.co.uk/
Twitter: @CodeSpinner

Tell me and I’ll forget, show me and I will remember, involve me and I will understand (old chinese proverb).

On-line Marketing of your Hotel, Guest House or B&B

More and more often these days the first place potential guests look for holiday accommodation is online, various studies have shown that people trust search results when it comes to making a decision about a product or service, therefore a Hotel, Guest House or B&B with a solid online presence is more likely to attract consumers to their website than those which rely solely on traditional advertising.

As a Hotel, Guest House or B&B owner, there are a number of ways in which to engage with your consumers online, and drive them to your site and ultimately turn site visitors into bookings.

3rd Party “Booking Sites”
Whilst this is a cost effective way to get your business online quickly and some times free the costs compared to having your own site can be higher than they appear on first glance, unless you start paying a fee you ofetn have no idea (or control) over where your site appears when a potential customer starts looking typically the process is by area, then sorted by price, facilities or rating. there is also the booking fee (they are in business as well don’t forget), your business has to be “sold” in a fixed slot between all of the other competing businesses.

Social Media
Social networks provide fantastic opportunities to make contact with customers, even if others in your industry are not, your customers are and that’s what counts.

This year Facebook reached the 500 million user mark, and on Twitter there are in excess of 100 milllion active users (Source: Twitter CEO Dick Costolo ), and as mobile Internet usage increases, these numbers are sure to increase.

Facebook and Twitter can be used to build online communities, building trust in product-consumer relationships and can be integrated with various other Marketing and SEO tactics, you can use social media to promote your business, pictures of your guest house and surrounding areas to entice potential customers, details of events, special offers, party bookings.

Make sure you can be found!
Search engines are often the first port of call for a potential customer who is looking for more information therefore, it is important to ensure that your webdesigner is doing his or her job and that your website is shown when someone conducts a search using keywords which are related to your product or service in your area.

Content is King
Hotels, Guest Houses and B&Bs have the opportunity to produce content which is both informative and promotional, you can write about local events, offers or travel tips – something which is of use to your customers and which will generate awareness of your business, use these opportunities to provide as much useful information as possible this will drive people to your site.

Whilst there are many things which can be done to increase your business presence on-line, it is usually a combination of tactics which produces the best results.

The beauty of online marketing lies in the fact that your efforts can be tracked and measured in real time, this will reasure you that you are focusing your efforts in the right places and spending your budget wisely and allow tweaking when necessary.

At CodeSpinnewe have over 25 years experience of producing custom software.

If you would like to get more tips, or would like to receive a free 90 page eBook on Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) please visit http://www.codespinner.co.uk/free-ebook.html

Alternatively if you would like us to discuss your software requirements contact me at:

Tel: 07850 009750
Email: info@codespinner.co.uk
Website: http://www.codespinner.co.uk
Twitter: @CodeSpinner

Tips on improving your copywriting skills

Now is the time to start taking advantage of all the existing and emerging social media platforms currently available to you. Whether you are a business looking after your own social media campaigns, or a consultant working on behalf of a client, it important to get it right and this is where learning even the basics of copywriting skills will pay dividends.

Social media has been around for some time, initially these were great platforms to help build brand awareness and gain user interaction in fact they still are, however, in some instances they can be used to help drive traffic and improve conversion rates as well as playing a huge part in a business’s rankings with the many search engines.

Now is the time to start taking social media more seriously, whether it’s getting the basics right, or in understanding social media strategies, the following copywriting tips are worth remembering when using any media platform:

Spelling and Content

There is nothing worse than visiting a site that contains spelling mistakes or content that doesn’t read well, from a business perspective this will at best this makes the company look unprofessional and careless and at worst it can put a stop to any user interaction, rendering the whole process pointless.

Don’t beat about the bush

Whether you are writing a full page or trying to tweet a message in 140 characters or less, it is important that the message is to the point, any followers will simply lose interest if the message is “wordy” and not to the point, this doesn’t mean avoid having a personality it just means be clear and concise in what you are trying to convey.

Don’t lose the connection

Keep a clear connection between your brand image and social media personality it is an all too common mistake for many brands using social media, for example, a company may have the perception of being vibrant, new and exciting, but their social media activity may not reflect this, so write in a way that will enhance your brand image, whatever that may be.

Be creative!

It is important to focus on getting the user to click on a link, or to look at something you have shared, one way to do this is to be a little more creative with your posts or tweets, so instead of tweeting, “Here are some copywriting tips”, you could create more interest for example by saying, “For tips on improving your copywriting skills, follow this link”.

Make time!

It is all too easy to forget about updating social media content, especially if you are busy, however, every little helps, one way is to set yourself reminders to send out a tweet or update your status at various intervals during the day even if you can’t find time to post a full article.

Set aside some time to actually engage in online conversations with others, the more “active” you are the better this will be for your company’s exposure.

Most of all – Enjoy it!

The whole point of social media is to engage with others this is why it is important to enjoy the experience and not go for the hard sell which will put people off.

Potential customers or clients would rather take time to talk and engage with a company that is actively seeking their interaction rather than abruptly trying to push their products or services onto them.

Above all have fun! this will show in the way you write and the way other people perceive you or your business don’t see it as a chore but rather an integral and important part of online marketing.

At CodeSpinnewe have over 25 years experience of producing custom software.

If you would like to get more tips, or would like to receive a free 90 page eBook on Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) please visit http://www.codespinner.co.uk/free-ebook.html

Alternatively if you would like us to discuss your software requirements contact me at:

Tel: 07850 009750
Email: info@codespinner.co.uk
Website: http://www.codespinner.co.uk
Twitter: @CodeSpinner

How to Gather Better Requirements for Custom Software Development

Deciding the business requirements when going bespoke can be quite difficult this is because software and business systems can become very complex and as a result there are lots of places where miscommunication and assumptions can occur.

So why is “going bespoke” any different, there are many other industries where a contracted individual creates something for a customer, building construction for instance; for example when you buy a home from a builder.

Usually the builder has various show homes that you can visit and look around, usually they have examples of all of the different options that you could purchase for your new home, and in any case people are generally familiar with houses, they know what to expect and they know what not to expect, so in reality when you purchase a home from a builder there are relatively few choices that you make and the choices that you do make as a customer are things that you are very familiar with.

In software development this would be similar to purchasing a software product that is already built and then modifying it. It’s a fairly low risk undertaking and you usually get the chance to try out a version of the actual software you are going to purchase.

However, custom software development is a whole different “kettle of fish”, It is much more like designing your own house.

When designing your own house there isn’t an example you can go visit, whilst a builder could point out certain features of other similar buildings that you could see, often you are left only with a set of plans or drawings of what the final structure will look like.

It can be hard for the customer to visualize what the finished structure is going to look like, ok you can look at the plans and see that a bedroom is going to be 10′ x 15′ but it is a little more difficult to really get a sense for what that room is going to feel like when you walk in or how the furniture will fit, how quiet it will be etc.

The same is true for bespoke software development. It can be quite difficult for non-technical customers to really be able to visualize the finished system and how it is going to work, and because they can’t really see the completed system in their mind, it can be very difficult for them to explain to the developer how it is supposed to work.

So what should you do? Here are some best practices that can be followed when developing a requirements document for bespoke software applications.

Draw a “model” on paper whenever you can, create examples of how you want your software to work give examples of major functional features so that you and your staff can “walk through” different screens and functions, get a better feel for how things might look and work.

Map out prototypes that walk through complex functionality and “use cases”

Create mock ups of key screens that show as much functionality as possible use something like Visio tm (Microsoft) or Pencil (http://pencil.evolus.vn/en-US/Home.aspx) which is a free open source tool but there are many more

Create annotated visual functional requirements documents. I have written a few functional requirements documents over the years and have found that if your requirements document is entirely text that describes every piece of the system, people will generally just nod their head and say yes to everything.

The truth is that no matter how eloquently you write and how painstakingly you describe your requirements, people by their very nature prefer things to be visual, they need to see it to really understand how it is going to work, where possible you should always add a diagram or flowchart.

Remember you are striving to improve the transfer of knowledge between yourself and the developer. The more the developer knows about your business the better they will understand the problems, the better they will be at describing the solution.

Bespoke software development can be quite challenging, however, with a little work you can make the knowledge transfer between you and developer much more efficient.

Alternatively, leave it to the professionals, get them to do the hard work whilst leaving you to “sanity-check” and simply approve the final requirements.

At CodeSpinner we have over 25 years experience of producing specifications and requirements.

If you would like to get more tips, or would like to receive a free 90 page eBook on Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) please visit http://www.codespinner.co.uk/free-ebook.html

Alternatively if you would like us to discuss your software requirements contact me at:

Tel: 07850 009750
Email: info@codespinner.co.uk
Website: http://www.codespinner.co.uk

Bespoke Software Fills The Gap!

Bespoke software fills the gap between off-the-shelf solutions and your business requirements.

Purchased off-the-shelf solutions often provide most of the functionality a business needs, but often they find that their business processes don’t quite match the generic processes these solutions provide, not only that but often you are paying for functionality you probably don’t want and functionality you don’t need.

An example is where businesses use a standard accounting package that doesn’t match their sales order processing process, bespoke software can fill this gap, enabling you to take advantage of the lower costs associated with these types of applications and investing in the specific needs that these solutions don’t provide.

There are numerous other examples where bespoke software can help you, as a business, make the most of your existing investments

Examples of where bespoke software can help are with duplication, where information has to be entered multiple times into various different applications, this is not only a labour intensive operation but often leads to errors resulting in data varying between one application and another.

Don’t discount your existing solutions just because they don’t quite fit as often bespoke software can provide a viable solution without having to re-invent the wheel! Customised solutions of vertical market applications can offer huge savings and enable you to harness the functionality that drew you to the specific product in the first place.

At CodeSpinner, we focus on working with SME’s, these are our core market and we believe we understand them because we are one as well. This is important because we understand the business issues that our clients face.

Some questions you should be asking are:

  • Do we know what our business needs in order to be able to choose the right solution?
  • Does the software developer understand our business? Do they have a process that will enable them to find out?
  • Do they undertake a full requirements capture that challenges our needs?
  • Do we go down the off-the-shelf route, or do we go for a bespoke solution?
  • Will the end product give us the functionality we require to solve the key business issues which highlighted the need in the first place?
  • Can we live with 70-80% of the functionality we require if we utilise an off-the-shelf solution?

Whilst this not a definitive list of questions these will certainly help kick-start the process you then start to think about your requirements more fully.

If you would like to get more tips, or would like to receive a free 90 page eBook on Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) please visit http://www.codespinner.co.uk/free-ebook.html

Alternatively if you would like us to discuss your software requirements contact me at:

Tel: 07850009750
Email: info@codespinner.co.uk
Website: http://www.codespinner.co.uk

Why Does My Business Need A Website?

When did you last pick up the yellow pages, most people have them there was a time when you eagerly awaited the next issue, there was a time when it was your first port of call if you needed anything other than a friend or relative, these days that has all but gone I can’t even find our copy at home, in fact I think the last time I had ours was to kill a spider J

Nowadays the first thing most of us reach for is anything connected to the internet, a phone, a tablet, a laptop or desktop computer anything with a search engine.

Whatever your business you need to be “searchable” on the web and appear as high in the resultant list as possible, at Codespinner we can achieve this for you at no extra cost, not only that we can make sure you stay there. Remember rightly or wrongly customers will often judge whether or not to do business with you on the basis of your website OR lack of one.

Frequently asked questions.

Will It will cost a lot of money. At Codespinner our websites are fixed price, you know immediately how much it will cost I can even will tell you without knowing anything about your business, your site will be unique, professional, effective and to your exact specification – but the cost won’t change.

My competition hasn’t got one. If they haven’t then they should, more and more businesses do more of their selling online why wait until competitors are ahead of you.

I can get one free on the web. True, you could build a free website to a standard template which looks like every other free site in your area of business, the colours may be slightly different, the pictures may be slightly different but otherwise it’s the same, if there are any features built in that improve your search engine results then they are built in for every other business that has created the template site, besides if it’s free how much support and help will you get if you have any problems.

My products/services don’t change that often. Maybe not, but surely you have News about your business, you have promotions and sales drives surely you would like to interact with your customers or potential customers, what about when your business is “out-of-hours” with a website there is no such thing, your business is working for you 24/7.

They didn’t have SEO when I was a child. J not even going to attempt answer that one other than to say at Codespinner we do it all for you.

It isn’t enough to just have a website; you must have a professional looking site if you want to be taken seriously. If your site looks unprofessional or like a “free template website” then your chance at making a good first impression will be lost.

One of the great things about the internet is that it has levelled the playing field when it comes to competing with the big boys.

Setting up a Facebook page

How to create a Business Facebook Page.

Want to make the most of Facebook for your business? Here’s how.

Facebook accounts in the UK number over 30 million. If you’re looking to tap into the marketing potential of Facebook or improve your own sites SEO ranking the first thing you need to do is create a business page. These are the steps and we show you how to make the most of this social media portal.

To Start
First you will obviously need a personal Facebook account. If you already have one great If not you may wish to create a separate business account so your employees can login and edit the company page. If you want to advertise on Facebook it will be tied to this account so a separate profile makes this easier to manage and control if the person who normally manages this task leaves.

Where to Click
The first challenge you have is finding where to create your business page. The link you need is often hidden away amongst the hundreds of options on your profile page. To get started the page you need is http://www.facebook.com at the bottom of the page you will see a set of links.

Mobile · Find friends · Badges · People · Pages · About · Advertising · Create a Page · Developers · Careers · Privacy

Select “Create a Page” (marked in red above)

Choosing Your Page Type
When you select ‘Create a Page’ you then have to choose from the following options:

•    Local Business or Place
•    Company, Organisation or Institution
•    Brand or Product
•    Artist, Band or Public Figure
•    Entertainment
•    Cause or Community

Once you have chosen your page type you can choose a category. It is important to select the one which accurately matches your organisation as users will often search for companies using this field. For example, a restaurant would go into the ‘Food/ Beverages’ category where as a magazine should go into the ‘Media/News/Publishing’ category.

Basic Information.
1.     Profile Photo: Here you have the option to upload an image. This should be your most up to date company logo in a square format – this same image (or a cropped square version) will also appear next to your updates.

2.    Get Fans: This is an excellent opportunity to start promoting your page straight away. If you know a number of high profile users it would be worth inviting them to view your page. If you already have a comprehensive list of contacts you can upload an Outlook, Constant Contact or .csv file and Facebook will alert the users of your new page. This is a fantastic option for a company like an online florist, who may already have a valuable list of emails for customers, clients and suppliers.

3.    Basic Info: Here you have the opportunity to add your website. This is worth doing as you can gain a valuable back link which can direct social users to your main domain. You also have 255 characters to summarise your company. This should convey your page’s proposition and unique selling point. I would also suggest including your main keywords and location to help the page appear in relevant Facebook search results.

The Detail.
Once you have created your page the real work can begin. Click ‘edit page’ in the top right-hand corner and enter as much information about your company as possible. When it comes to creating a Facebook page the more you give out the more you will get back. If you enter your address details you will appear for local searches i.e. ‘Computer Shop Brighton’. Similarly if you enter awards the company has won, this will give the page and your business more credibility.

If you have any photos they are worth uploading to send a visual message to the user. If you are a local store load pictures of your shop and displays, if you’re a restaurant include pictures of your best dishes. Similarly, a retail shop should display pictures of their most popular products. This can be done by going to the photos tab in the left hand column.

Get Connected.
Now your page is ready. The final steps to setting up your Facebook page are to make sure you are connected to the right people.

If you go to ‘edit page’ and visit the resources tab you can link the page to your Twitter profile. This section also gives you the option to install ‘social plug-ins’ like the ‘Like Button’ on your website. This is worth doing as it enables you to transfer website users into Facebook fans.  In turn this will help you build up a quality customer base and create valuable remarketing opportunities.

Permissions and Settings.
Finally you have the option of managing the permissions of your page. Here you can control what users can post on your wall. You can limit their posting ability by posts, pictures or videos.
You also have the choice of choosing what the default landing tab will be. This is worth testing and will be different for each company. For example, a news website will want their default landing tab to be the wall due to constantly streaming fresh content.  However a local computer store may want to display their information tab to prompt an enquiry as quick as possible.

Custom URL.
When you first create your Facebook page it will give you a long URL with lots of numbers. To get your own custom URL you will need to attract at least 25 fans. Once you have done this you have the opportunity to change the URL to http://www.facebook.com/CompanyName to do this simply go to http://www.facebook.com/username/ and edit the page username.

Creating a Facebook page is an excellent way to stay in contact with not only your core customers but with potential customers as well.

After you have successfully created a business page you can link to it from your own website, e-mail campaigns or other social profiles.

Once live, it is important to keep a regular stream of content populating the wall. Information, pictures and unique content will keep users coming back for more and will also enable you to build up a quality list of contacts for marketing opportunities.

For a free ebook entitled “Search Engine Optimisation Made Easy” visit CodeSpinner

If you would like to learn more about social networking, or would simply like to discuss your online presence or website requirements contact me at:

Email: info@codespinner.co.uk
Website: http://www.codespinner.co.uk
Tel: 07850 009750

Why Should I Blog!

Whether you are a one man/woman business, boss of a small business or even the CEO of a multi-national you simply cannot afford not to blog.

The days when blogging was a niche pastime for spotty kids or bored students is long gone, the reasons today for blogging are many, not least of which is to promote your business.

So what are the reasons?

Blogs give you a way to reach out to clients.

One reason is to allow you to open a dialogue between you, your customers and your potential customers. You most likely have a good idea who your customers are, which products or services they are buying but how well do you know the customer.

Sure leaflets, newsletters and advertising will allow you to get your message across but blogging allows them to speak up as well.

The comment or response functionality of your blog allows your customers to tell you what they think as well as allowing them to learn more about your business.

This allows you to interact with your customers learn more about what they want, their needs, if the customer thinks you care, if they believe you are interested in what they have to say they are more likely to stay with you; there is no greater sales tool than word of mouth from satisfied customers.

Blogs can increase traffic to your business site.

Another reason is SEO If you’re having trouble with search engine ranking for your website then a blog might just be what you need. We all know that search engines love blogs. With some strategic blogging, you can increase traffic to your business website. And if someone finds your blog through keywords in a search engine result, they are probably part of the audience you are trying to reach.

If you are constantly posting new articles to your blog, then you can be sure that the search engines will notice. Keep adding new articles and useful content to your blog and you can expect your page ranking to improve.

You can build a following

When you post good information on a regular basis you will build a group of loyal followers. In time, they will get to know you and your business; your readers can become your biggest champions, providing referrals and leads.

A blog is much easier to maintain than a newsletters or electronic mailing list and what’s more, the contact between the business and the customers is immediate since your blog can easily be updated from wherever you have computer access. If you need help to setup your blog or just need advice about a web presence then we at CodeSpinner can help we offer a full range of services and skills at affordable prices.

Of course, blogging isn’t for everyone. It takes time, a commitment and accurate, interesting relevant material, you will need to post regularly, provide information that’s valuable to your customers, and be willing to interact with and learn from them.

One of the biggest challenges for bloggers is sticking to a regular schedule, we are all busy, and a blog post is yet another item on the to-do list, but once you start writing, especially if you are writing about something you’re passionate about, it just starts to flow and ultimately you will be glad you did it…and hopefully you’ll be advancing your business prospects in the process.

For a free ebook entitled “Search Engine Optimisation Made Easy” visit CodeSpinner

If you would like to learn more about blogging, or would simply like to discuss your online presence or website requirements contact me at:

Email: info@codespinner.co.uk
Website: http://www.codespinner.co.uk
Tel: 07850 009750