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GWS Media Ltd



Bristol internet marketing and website design team specialising in website design and branding, SEO services and App design. We write on issues of design and marketing for small businesses who want tips on how to market themselves on the web.



Updated: 2015-09-17T08:18:36.836+01:00

 



Which Cosmetic Brands are Breaking the Mould when it Comes to Digital Advertising?

2014-04-07T15:42:36.149+01:00

Cosmetic Brands Breaking the Mould We'd like to applaud some particular cosmetic brands who appear to be trying to break the traditional forms and expectations of cosmetic advertising.NARS on PinterestWe've noticed some cosmetic brands are getting a bit savvier when it comes to harnessing online tools for their campaigns.Beyonce isn't the only one to have made big launch announcements through social media over the last few months. Last year Nars jumped on the Pinterest bandwagon and launched a lipstick range through it.The way they did this was clever as it provided customers with the ability to accessorize their  new lipstick with other fashion items and then to purchase it, from within the platform.Dove goes for 'Real Beauty'Another notable beauty campaign that caused a stir came from Dove. In fact, it was dubbed the best advertising campaigns of 2013 by Forbes.  allowFullScreen='true' webkitallowfullscreen='true' mozallowfullscreen='true' width='320' height='266' src='https://www.youtube.com/embed/XpaOjMXyJGk?feature=player_embedded' FRAMEBORDER='0' />Dove included women who weren't models in their video campaigns, attempting to deliver a different message to  the conventional portrayals we're so used to from the cosmetic industry.This campaign from Dove provides a brilliant example of a powerful video online marketing campaign - for a full case study and more information about the planning of the campaign, The Huffington Post details all here.Dermablend on Youtube:  #camoconfessionsThis week also saw the launch of the new Dermablend YouTube advertisements. allowFullScreen='true' webkitallowfullscreen='true' mozallowfullscreen='true' width='320' height='266' src='https://www.youtube.com/embed/3KmV-zy6Zxc?feature=player_embedded' FRAMEBORDER='0' /> allowFullScreen='true' webkitallowfullscreen='true' mozallowfullscreen='true' width='320' height='266' src='https://www.youtube.com/embed/pld69nmrRJo?feature=player_embedded' FRAMEBORDER='0' />Dermablend have made a brave move with their new YouTube campaign in highlighting the fact that people DO in fact want make up to cover things up sometimes, and that it doesn't have to be a negative thing to want to hide these things. We're watching in anticipation as to how these various socal media and video campaigns play out and maybe we'll have a follow up post-campaign write up for you n the future.Tweet us- what do you think and is this what you want from beauty campaigns of the future?For further online marketing support and information about our services, contact GWS on 0117 972 4835 [...]



Ian is running the Bristol 10k

2014-04-05T11:00:08.013+01:00


Our designer, Ian, is running the Bristol 10k for the charity National Eye Research Centre. Ian has been aware of the Charity through GWS for many years, andthought it would be a great time to raise awareness and help fund research to the prevention of blindness. The race is taking place on the 11th of May 2014 and he's been training since the beginning of the year. 

His favourite app for tracking his training is Runtastic. The app is a favourite amongst a few of our team's runners because of its usability, clean design and integrated GPS system - plus, it's available on Android and iOS. 

Ian would be very grateful for any encouragement and further donations- here's a link to his Just Giving Page. Also, if any tech people have any other recommended app's or wise words of training support tweet GWS and we can pass them on. 





McSnap! McDonalds Joins Snapchat - GWS Media Thoughts

2014-04-04T16:02:00.067+01:00

McDonald's are one of the latest brands to open a public Snapchat account, not long after we blogged about  Snapchat's growing success as a platform.This may be an inevitable move for such a huge company with an massive marketing department, Snapchat is a no brainer when it comes to large brands who are trying to connect with young, global audiences.Interestingly though, judging by McDonald's other social platforms, Snapchat seems be one of the only social platforms they're taking seriously.What they've been doing...McDonald's on Facebook: McDonald's direct engagement with customers is surprisingly low on Facebook. Unlike Burger King, they do not appear to reply to their customers' comments, despite having ten different pages.Having said that, they do use the platform to post fairly frequently (acquiring obscene amounts of likes along the way) so that their fans can interact with each other. What is also notable is that they do not run any offers, promotions or competitions through Facebook, which again suggests that they have very little interest in interaction here. McDonald's on Twitter:McDonald's seem to be putting a bit more time into their tweeting -  there are loads more posts and replies to messages (though primarily to positive messages, no response to the negatives). Their @McDonaldsCorp account has a lot more personality and asks people about their day, in addition to promoting certain green aspects of their company, such as their use of sustainable beef, etc...Another theme that is fairly continual through the McCorp account is that some of their staff sign off with their name making it a little more personal.  They're not one of the first companies to do this, ASOS also do this:McDonalds on Snapchat:According to Adweek almost 70% of college students would be happy to add a brand as a friend on Snapchat because they followed them on another social site.If  you look at Maccy D's Facebook following, we're predicting a huge surge in the amount of Snapchat friends they have. What McDonalds is doing here is not too far afield from other global brands- Audi, NARS Cosmetics and Karpmaloop. For many, gaining a presence on Snapchat right now is a very clever move for brands, especially when it comes to communicating with younger (teen) and more tech savvy audiences.If anything else, it may just be a positive way for them to link people back to their other social media channels:Here is what McDonald's have said with regards to their activity on Snapchat:"With any platform, we always want to dip our toe in the water first and see how it works," Wion said. "In this initial mode, we've gotten several thousand followers in a couple days. We think it's a good sign that this has long term viability."Run by their inhouse PR team, it will be interesting to see how they strategize this.Especially considering a lot of their platforms do not appear to be have a whole lot of activity on them. So far, they appear to be playing things pretty safely and the fact the public cannot influence the Snapchat campaign as easily as they could in 2012, should be very beneficial for them!(See below demonstration of how their 2012 #McDStories campaign catastrophically failed for them:)Here's an overview from Adweek of what Macdonalds have done on Snapchat so far, alongside some further images of their snaps:If you've got any questions about GWS Media please feel to visit our main website here or contact us on promo@gwsmedia.com. [...]



Social media: Girl's or Guy's game?

2014-04-03T10:06:56.052+01:00

Image SourceIt may be surprising to know, but statistically there are apparently more women on social media than men, as cited by Brandwatch. Studies reveal that across all the main social media platforms,  Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest - 30% of women check their socials daily compared to 26% of males. Additionally woman interact with brands a lot more than men, and 58% of online news readers are also female. There are more woman accessing their socials on their smart phones and tablets, in addition to paving the way to visually orientated social sites such as Instagram, Pinterest and Tumblr - which happen to be the three fastest growing social networks at present.Image Source The Trends:Not only do women seemingly love the more visual sites in general, Pinterest is really leading the pack. Stats show that 33% of US females are using the site compared to an 8% of guys. The growing popularity of more visual sites is evident, and if brands are clever they'll be researching the best ways to get what they need out of the platforms.Additionally,  there is loads of selling power in these mediums. Lots of people know that Pinterest is one of the most effective for driving sales. So, given the stats here, should we be considering gender more when we post on these sites?Tweet us, men and women - what do you think? Have you seen similar trends in your experience? What do you want from social media and what do you think might be coming? For further online marketing support and information about our services, contact GWS on 0117 972 4835 [...]



Who Wants Half Price Beer for an Instagram Snap? Carlsberg #happybeertime

2014-03-28T11:00:11.012+00:00

Instagram has always been a strong contender in the world of apps and has been reported to be one of the fastest growing global sites with current user stats at 200 million.When you hear of big brands cashing in on this, it's hardly surprising.One of the latest brands to get clever on Instagram is Carlsberg.Their aim is to share memorable nights out through images, whilst extending happy hour and supplying free beer. Visitors to participating bars are being given the opportunity to keep buying Carlsberg or Tuborg beer at half price by uploading pictures to Instagram with the name of the venue and the #HappyBeerTime hashtag.The bars will be fitted with a dongle that streams a counter to TV updating participants and bar staff in real-time when content is submitted. The campaign, which is curated by creative agency Konstellation - will initially be trialed in Denmark, but there are vague plans to move it to the UK if successful. A definite strength of the campaign comes from the fact that both the bars and the customers will benefit from the buzz - the customers receive the beer, create the hype on Instagram, and Carlsberg can enjoy a positive buzz. Low maintenance but effective!It's possible that Carlsberg might  face certain set backs or negative press from alcohol awareness charities and organisations (in addition to general press). However, Carlsberg have been very firm in stating that this campaign is focused on promoting the time that people are social together, and not heavy drinking.On the whole this is clever marketing from the brand.It's simple, and they're utilising Instagram's growing popularity and the rise of mobile phone usage. Relatively speaking, this is a cheap way of creating a fun buzz for the brand on a youth-led website and application.It will be really interesting to see how this plays out for them. For more information about any of our media services, visit our website or call us on 0117 972 4835(Carlsberg image source)[...]



"Free Pizza Night" at The Stable in Bristol - GWS Media

2014-03-27T11:28:19.788+00:00

1) Who & What is 'The Stable'?Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/StableRestaurants‎  Twitter: @_TheStable The Stable is a small chain of five restaurants founded by Richard and Nikki Cooper, that serve pizza, pies and cider, in the south west region of the UK.Richard is the man with a passion for local produce and ensuring that everything is kept firmly within The Stable's ethos, while Nikki has a fantastic eye for design - clearly reflected through their unique and eye catching restaurant interiors.Alongside the two of them is Andy, co-founder and chef, who is a big face in the business: he lives, breathes and sometimes even sleeps at The Stable.Seems like a strong base for a good business!2) What was Free Pizza Night?On 12th March 2014, The Stable decided to launch a free pizza night across all of their five restaurants, as a celebration of acquiring 1,000 new likes on their Facebook page.Some of the team at GWS went along to the Bristol Free Pizza event (yum) and the evening was such a success for us that we thought we'd write a blog post about it.In order to get a bit more information, we got in touch with the Stable's marketing manager, Andy Delbridge, with a few questions, here's what he said:3) Why Did They Do it?  The aim of this short campaign was to say 'thank you' to their customers in the area, whilst obviously increasing awareness & social media presence online. The planning of this campaign also coincided with the new opening of their restaurant branch in Newquay. 4) How Did They Spread the Word? This took around two weeks planning and commenced as soon as the company hit 900 likes on Facebook. They didn't have any advertising within the restaurants and the word was spread primarily through Facebook.In the run up to the event , Facebook growth was primarily organic -  just one paid for post on Facebook and Twitter steadily growing alongside that.The public shared their posts, helping to get the word out across Bristol.It was basic logistics and ensuring the restaurant managers were completely prepared - especially with staffing!5) What Happened Online? On the day of the event, the Stable's website crashed, actually a good indication of the amount of publicity the campaign generated.Luckily this was lasted for just an hour from when first reported. It wasn't ideal but it may have meant that visitors were diverted back to the social networking pages, meaning Andy was able manage any queries and spread the word further from there. 6) Was Free Pizza Night a Success? Since Free Pizza Night, The Stable have organically increased their Facebook following by 1,500 and they gave away 1157 pizza's across four hours.They're still measuring the online effects of the campaign and whether any of their restaurants have been busier since the night.7) What Obstacles Did they Experience? Due to the event being such a success it  meant that many people were left queuing for their delicious pizzas for quite a while - which could possibly have run the risk of being a negative. Andy said they did the best they could to keep people entertained and happy by asking local buskers to perform close by and the presence of people from different charities (such as Send a Cow) were happily chatting away to people. In genera. hunger and determination for pizza seemed to ensure a happy queue.  GWS actually spoke to a lovely lady from Send a Cow at the Bristol restaurant, who told us about their latest project with Live below the Line. We're now arranging a group of us to raise money for the charity. 8) Our Thoughts:  We thought that The Stable had managed to execute a simple but very effective offline PR move with great management and strong online support. It would be interesting to see how the pizza sales do from a more long term perspective after the event and how the campaign might particularly affect custome[...]



GWS Media Case Study: What are ASOS Doing on Social Media?

2014-03-24T09:47:03.670+00:00

ASOS have had phenomenal success since their launch in 2001, their marketing is generally great and it comes as no surprise that their social media strategy is so successful. Let's break down what they do on each platform:Asos on Facebook:https://www.facebook.com/ASOS With over 3 million fans, they're not the most popular clothes fashion account (Topshop just pip them as we write with around 500,000 more) but their force on social media is definitely noteworthy. Their facebook follows a fairly consistent pattern of about 3 posts a day - largely relating to their sales and offers and pretty much always through an image.Typically, Asos will gather a few hundred likes per post and they manage to respond to a lot of their comments (mainly questions- but sometimes other things- and they often like to ask questions in return).There are also a lot of images of celebrities and their looks, and they manage to successfully inject a bit of creativity, humour and personality into their posts.Asos on Twitter:ASOS have created three separate accounts for their customer care (@ASOS_HeretoHelp), general account (@ASOS), and their Green Room (@ASOS_GreenRoom) which is a clever way to separate any negative tweets from angry customers, whilst boosting their own mileage with regard to eco initiatives. https://twitter.com/ASOS Their main account is very active with lots of posts about products and company updates, and they reply to many of their @asos tweets - an excellent example of how to build strong online relationships with your target market and customers.All of their accounts have a fairly personable approach, with colloquial terms such as 'babes' being used, with a suitable professionalism in their Here to Help account. What is also interesting to note, their Here to help account is slightly understated style wise in comparison to the other two- possibly this is part of being fitting with their more professional approach, and emphasis purely on problem solving. Asos on Pinterest:www.pinterest.com/asos/‎All boards and images are linked back to the ASOS site, which is expected to help improve their website traffic.Also, judging by findings from Shopify it would seem ASOS's presence on Pinterest is very strategic- with 10% of people more likely buy something when referred through the site, their investment of time should be very profitable.  ASOS should be able to make a positive impression on Pinterest as their images are such a high quality. Plus, with their wide range of stock and different ranges they have a lot of scope for a lot of boards- not to  mention the large appeal of their products, for both genders and a large age range. Asos on Google +https://plus.google.com/+ASOS‎ASOS are one of few brands to be actively using Google + - they post unique content to this portal and have built up around 1.4 million followers here.They are the most popular UK business on the network, proving that whatever they're doing is at least attracting interest. When browsing their Google + activity they have a mixture of sales pitches, product news and amusing links about assumingly relative media related posts, such as references to popular film and television: The Big Bang Theory, Mean Girls and the American comedy, Friends.Another advantage of being ahead of the game is the fact they they have the power to build up a presence ahead of competitors. Noone knows for sure, but it seems inevitable that Google + is going to keep growing, and Asos have now positioned themselves ahead of many competitors.Asos also use Google +  to give company updates on  internships, offers and competitions- whilst still promoting their products.  As they solely sell online, it's important that their online activity is positive and on trend.Conclusion:ASOS appear to be speaking to their customers in a consistently personal an[...]



GWS Media App Picks: Thursday 20th March 2014

2014-03-20T07:00:07.459+00:00

Today's picks can assist with loads of different things: Medium helps to with interest and entertain during times of boredom and Moovit seems a great tool for daily scheduling your travel and organisation.

Tweet us your thoughts: 

App 1: Medium




  • Medium: This is the hot new website from Twitter co-founder, Ev Williams, that has already acquired thirteen million unique monthly users. The website is a self-publishing platform that expects to eliminate the world of blogging. The website susses out the best content using a combination of algorithms and human guidance, and promotes certain content through official collections like "front page picks". Apparently through the phone app you will only be able to view, not upload. Set to hit stores next week. 

App 2: Moovit



  • Moovit: This app lets you track public transport within the UK, and can help you plan the quickest and least-crowded routes for you. It also provides an estimated travel time, combination of real-time data from transport companies and public updates to give you a journey that is as stress-free as possible. Maps and pictures are also included, along with a function that lets you set alarms for your most frequented routes. However, it should be noted, Moovit does not accurately report the number of people waiting, which could be very problematic in busier cities such as London. 



    GWS Media App Picks: Wednesday 19th March 2014

    2014-03-19T10:21:31.466+00:00

    It's Wednesday and we're feeling dreamy: shopping and travelling! We are breaking things up mid week, with a bit of clothes fashion & flight booking.

    Don't forget to comment and tweet your thoughts! @gwsmedia

    App 1: The Hunt


    • The Hunt: Photograph and upload the picture of the fashion item you're after and the Hunt community will endeavor to track it down for you. You'll also get brownie points for helping others. A fashion focused app that also provides an online element to the social side of shopping. 

    App 2: Skyscanner



    • Skyscanner: The app is essentially the same as the website; a great portal for simply checking flights at various times across a host of airlines. It's free and handy if you're considering jetting off at any time. 


    Got questions for us? Tweet us at @gwsmedia, contact us at promo@gwsmedia.com or visit our main website.



    GWS Media App Picks: Tuesday 18th March 2014

    2014-03-19T09:28:27.575+00:00

    Tuesday's app selections are fairly diverse but both run the risk of being pretty addictive. Don't forget to let us know your opinions on our app selections: comments and tweets are always welcome! @gwsmedia



    • Adobe Photoshop Express: This is a great free app for simply and quickly editing photos on your smartphone, on a very usable application. It allows you to crop, straighten, adjust exposure, colour effects and more. 



    • Puzzlejuice: PuzzleJuice is an educational gaming app, by combining colour-matching, block tessellating and word combining. The visuals are bold and bright, which ensure you're aesthetically satisfied, whilst zoning out and testing your fundamental gaming skills. On the whole it's functional, stylish and fun. 





    GWS Media App Picks: Monday 17th March 2014

    2014-03-19T09:26:15.522+00:00

    New apps appear almost daily so it's difficult to keep track of what's worthwhile and what's not. This week we're blogging about apps that are either old favourites, new favourites and some that we are possibly a little bit undecided with.First up! Snapchat: Snapchat has experienced enormous growth since it's launch in 2013, with the creators turning down $3 billion dollars from Facebook for acquisition of the application. Not bad for an app that sends photos which disappear in seconds once the recipient(s) have seen them. It's possible that the correlated rise of 'selfies' and Snapchat's seemingly predominant usage by younger members is part of the app's success. One company who has cashed in on it's popularity is Taco Bell, using it to send images of offers, food and keeping in touch with their customers. Deliciously Ella: Ella is one of the biggest food bloggers out there at the moment, so why not have an app? At £2.99 it is still fairly cheap and provides over 100 recipes, five different detox menu's and multiple photos of each recipe. It's very aesthetically pleasing and inspiring for lovers of food like us. (Restricted to iPhone's and iPad's only).[...]



    From Facebook to your Website: Do you Know What Makes a Strong Landing Page? (Tech Talks - Part 3 of 3)

    2014-03-11T12:49:32.416+00:00

    Image under Tom Woodward under Creative Commons license 2.0Feb 12th 2014: Part 3 of GWS Tech Talk given by GWS Media Director, David GravesThere isn't any point in referring visitors from platforms like Facebook & Twitter to your website if your landing pages are not ready for these visitors.Optimising your landing pages is a crucial part of integrating a successful conversion rate with your social media strategy. For an introduction to planning social media success, and for an outline of how your landing pages feed into that, take a look at part 1 of this series, How to Boost your Current Conversion rate with Social Media. Consider what your Social Followers are Looking ForLanding pages can come in all styles, some of which are highly aesthetically pleasing and highly functional, and some that are poorly designed not not organised with the end user in mind.The rise of digital marketing and online paid advertising (as mentioned in part 2 of this series, the Sales Process & Social Media) can enable websites to grow their traffics referrals by  leaps and bounds in a short time, this all this is meaningless your landing pages don't engage visitors.If possible, you should have a specific landing pages tailored to your planned social media campaign, bearing in mind the motive behind your campaigns. For example, if you want to capture the contact details of your social followers, make sure your landing page is setup to encourage users to provide this information.If you lose a high percentage of social traffic once they land on your website, which can often happen if you direct social media traffic to a standard page, why not take a look at how to improve and tailor that page to what these visitors are probably looking for.Strategising your Landing Pages for Social VisitsIf you directing traffic from a social media channel for a charity and funneling it to a donation page, common sense predicts you're likely to see fairly high bounce rates.At the very least you could look at adding some softer contribution options – getting involved, finding out more about events run by the charity etc. Visitors may also need to be encouraged and reassured with more details of what their donations will be used for, and testimonials from people who have benefited from and been helped by the Charity's cause.Image under Mike Licht under Creative Commons License 2.0If you want to capture customer details through your landing page, then ask yourself whether the content you are offering in return is compelling enough, and whether the page sells this content effectively.Making changes to the page, its design and content can allow you to increase conversions in a big way, but don't just guess, make sure you measure the effects of your changes. Just because a design is fresh and new doesn't necessarily mean it will be more effective, no matter how pleased your designers are with it.This is also an area where if the volume of traffic and income stream justifies, you may want to look into some formal usability testing.Don't Just Use TextIt’s important to utilize attractive images, testimonials, perhaps a video (if appropriate) and clear calls to action on any landing page.You normally don’t want to offer too many choices of action, e.g. if the page is asking for personal details in return for content, giving an easy alternative exit to view the rest of the website may reduce your signup rate. (See here a strong example from Diet Coke).If someone is coming to this page from a social media campaign, consider how the page will look to them and whether it’s going to seem dull compared to the social media channel.Remember: someone may have clicked through straight from your social media campaign - is your landing page going [...]



    Tying your Approach to Social Media with your Sales Process (Tech Talks Part 2 of 3)

    2014-03-19T09:23:28.944+00:00

    Image under the tartanpodcast under Creative Commons License 2.0Feb 12th 2014: Part 2, GWS Tech Talk given by GWS Media Director, David GravesSocial media marketing (like direct response marketing) needs a good list of prospects and understanding of what they want in order to engage them with relevant information that will get them to buy from you.After all, people will not be over keen to listen if they have very little interest.Social media enables you to build up prospects over time, and you've also got the potential to go viral - but this is not something you can count on (and if it does happen, it won’t necessarily be a post that you particularly want to go viral).Few social media leads convert, so research ways you deal with your leads and see if you can identify where your online leads typically fall off: Unsubscribing from your emails, unliking / unfollowing your channel, abandoning your landing page, or abandoning your shopping cart/enquiry form.Pay attention to your content on social media with conversion & engagement in mind. Most platforms give you inbuild information about which posts are most popular, where what is triggering your follows & unfollows etc. Here’s an article outlining five ways to track unfollowers.Image under mrsdkrebs under Creative Commons License 2.0Someone that clicks on a Twitter post to download an e-book is showing content interest but not necessarily sales interest.They may be interested in your content and potentially be a sales prospect for your product or service in  the future, but if they’re not ready to be sold to now then the normal sales process for more direct leads is going to be a major turn off. So, it would be more beneficial to find other ways to utilise these opportunities.Most content lead qualification forms will include questions probing customers to give information about how likely they are to be changing existing providers or looking to purchase a new product, along with some indication of time frames.However you get this information, it will give you a greater handle on when (or if!) they may be open to a sales approach.Someone that followed / liked you and engaged in a conversation on social media may still be a lead despite the lack of further details so avoid offending with an early sales pitch.Possibly nurture these leads over a period of time – maybe weeks but probably months – to ensure they continue to think about you and are reminded of what you offer. Hopefully when they are ready to convert, you’ll be central in their minds. Emails provide great nurturing techniques: Adding people to a monthly newsletter and using systems that generate personal sounding emails. Annoying as these may sometimes be, they do offer a gentle series of gentle nudges to help keep you at the front of your potential client’s mind.Image under Sean David under Creative Commons License 2.0Alternatively, dependent on your industry, you can integrate a campaign that meets two requirements; for example, see what Topshop did with their Pinterest campaign. You can look on the worse examples of follow-up marketing automation emails as an instructional manual on what not to do – my particular least favourites are the ones which eventually resort to plaintive messages such as: ‘David… We’ve missed you… Please login again and see just how many amazing new features we’ve been adding to our system…’On the whole, it will be more effective to spend your time analysing your social media trends and implementing the best strategy to get people onto your landing page or retaining them on the social platform, than worrying about conversion rates.Further steps to utilise social media channels are [...]



    How to Boost your Current Conversion Rate with Social Media (Part 1 Tech Talks - The Basics)

    2014-03-11T11:46:56.540+00:00

     Image via Pete Simon under Creative Commons license 2.0.Feb 12th 2014: GWS Tech Talk given by GWS Media Director, David GravesIn this talk I’m going to explain a number of ways to increase your conversion rate with social media marketing. I'll be providing you with some key areas to be looking at if your conversion results so far have been disappointing. Perceiving social media as a tool to raise your brand /personal brand awareness and position yourself as an expert is fine, that's how most businesses approach social media and when done well, this approach really does work.Many companies also identify potential clients through complaint platforms on Twitter -  as social platforms like Facebook & Google + now showcase customer feedback, there is an increasing amount of space for companies to answer any burning questions or feedback their customers might have for them:Skittles Facebook PageIf what you offer is not something that customers normally purchase online, then your conversion goal  might be to receive a phone call or email, a contact form submission, an expression of interest in a seminar or event, or something else that captures personal details and qualifies the interest. These things would be good ways to tangibly measure the ROI of  your social media strategy.An integrated approach is best  - if you're receiving interest from social media, you need to ensure the tools are there for customers to convert in the easiest way possible. For example, if your social media campaigns are linking back to your website, you should double check that the landing page in question includes wording that speaks to these referrals, easy ways for customers to reach you & possibly additional conversion options such as newsletter or blog subscription.1. Know your Target Market Know their wants, their pain points, what do they search for, and base your social media strategy around that target market.Tools like Quantcast can help you investigate and break down the audience for a selection of (mostly larger) web sites that have taken part in Quantcast’s system. If you are after a similar target market as a particular web site, then this could provide some very interesting information - geographic and demographic data, and keywords which indicate an interest in your product / service.Taking these you can then explore for further related keywords using e.g. Google’s Keyword Planner and Google Trends.2. Communicate in a Way that Fits your AudienceAssuming that your target audience will appreciate your marketing messages is misguided, you should be trying to identify the things your potential customers are looking for answers to and keeping informed about the trends they're talking about.Tools like SocialMention and Topsy are really useful for this. Mention.com can also help you keep track of any positive/negative mentions of your company. the  products you sell, and your competitors. Companies may also benefit from researching Amazon & Ebay reviews too.Image via Philippe Martin under Creative Commons License 2.03. When to post? Think about it.You'll probably find that posting at certain times has an effect on the level of response / clickthrough you receive. Some people suggest that you should split test tweets, repeating a tweet every few hours, then track which gets more clickthrough.If you don’t feel that’s too much to do manually, there are various online tools that can help. Tweriod recommends the optimum time to tweet based on followers and Tweetwhen shows you the best times to tweet based on your last 1000 Tweets.4. Prioritize the Right Metrics Generating likes, followers and monitoring your[...]



    Weekly Round Up: Cadbury’s Rebranding, Instagram’s Latest Update & Last Minute Christmas Shopping!

    2013-12-20T16:29:24.886+00:00

    Cadbury RebrandingCadbury have given their Hot Drinks range a makeover, the new designs are due on the shelves in January.Image courtesy of Design WeekThis is the second major rebrand for Cadbury in recent years, Bulletproof won the pitch last December and have been working since then to create a new stylish design that does justice for the reputation of Cadbury.Image courtesy of Design WeekWhat do you think? Instagram’s updateRecently SnapChat turned down a $3bn takeover bid from Facebook.  Now the Facebook owned app Instagram, have introduced direct messaging allowing users to send private messages to individuals or a select group of friends. allowfullscreen="" height="281" mozallowfullscreen="" src="//player.vimeo.com/video/81527238" webkitallowfullscreen="" width="500">It’s hoped this move will keep them more in line with SnapChat and other messaging apps.Last Minute Christmas Shopping!If like me you've left your shopping to the last minute, have no fear!  Bristol has plenty of unique places to shop so you can find those one of a kind gifts! Image courtesy of Christmas Steps Arts QuarterChristmas Steps Arts Quarter  is a great place to find loads of independent shops.Image courtesy of Market at the MoonMarket at the Moonhave hosted markets each weekend over December in the run up to Christmas and they’ve now decided to run their markets every Saturday, all year round.Image courtesy of Christmas SpiegeltentThe Christmas Spiegeltent is hosting its last two quirky markets over this weekend before it closes its doors for the year on Sunday![...]



    Merry Christmas Everyone! Weekly Round Up: Bear & Hare, Spotify’s Free Mobile Service & the Bristol Pound!

    2013-12-13T11:52:44.837+00:00

    allowFullScreen='true' webkitallowfullscreen='true' mozallowfullscreen='true' width='320' height='266' src='https://www.youtube.com/embed/XqWig2WARb0?feature=player_embedded' FRAMEBORDER='0' />John Lewis’ Christmas adverts are fast becoming a staple in the Christmas calendar - many are saying they have started to signify the beginning of Christmas.  Since this year’s ‘Bear and the Hare’ advert aired on YouTube it has had over 10 million views!The accompanying song, a cover of Keane’s 2004 song ‘Somewhere Only We Know’ covered by Lily Allen, has reached number one twice since the advert aired four weeks ago and is a strong contender for Christmas number one.What’s really interesting is that John Lewis chose to launch their campaign via YouTube and Twitter, which is where their target market is, rather than on their website, a move that has seen them achieve their highest chance of virality and record sales.So what can we learn from this campaign? James Porter at Moz Blog discusses this further along with eight other lessons we can learn here. Spotify’s Move to Free Mobile Service Due to growing competition, Spotify has decided to extend its free ad-supported music service to mobile devices.Image via Johan Larsson under Creative Commons License 2.0 Smartphone users will be able to listen to playlists they have created in a random order, whilst tablet users will have the further perk of being able to select the tracks they want to listen to. Founder Daniel Ek says the move has been made in order to bring in more paying subscribers who can listen to the music offline.  This move comes just before the launch of Dr Dre’s new Beats Music streaming service available in the US from early next year and YouTube’s expected music service launch in January.The Bristol Pound this Christmas The UKs first city wide local currency is aiming to have a target spend of over £B20, 000 over this Christmas. By achieving this target it will help support small businesses and the local economy in Bristol.They also support the ‘Shop Local This Christmas’ campaign launched by Made in Bristol.Read more about this on the Bristol Pound blog.  Don’t forget you can also spend your Bristol Pounds at GWS Media![...]



    Art and Design Thursday: Oscar Tuazon's Sensory Spaces

    2013-09-19T12:00:02.283+01:00

    Images courtesy of Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, Rotterdam. Photos by Studio Hans Wilschut.The Museum Boijmans, Rotterdam, has been transformed by American artist Oscar Tuazon. Tuazon's work marks the beginning of a new exhibition format for the museum, Sensory Space. For over three years the museum will be inviting international artists to create artworks specifically for the Willem van der Vorm Gallery. And what an exciting way to start the project!Tuazon invites guests to climb inside his work, or rather, pass through them as they make their way through the white walled rooms of the gallery. The metal frames have created doorways and windows, giving the audience an inviting glimpse of rooms to come.Tuazon says: ‘I do much of my work on-site and that usually means I don’t have a lot of time or a lot of control over exactly what materials are available. I use what’s there. I use what’s expedient, whatever I can afford. Each solution for a problem has particular properties and those properties are always interesting to me. I let them dictate the work. I like that thinking process because it incorporates considerations of time and economy. I like thinking under duress. I think that immediacy comes through when you look at the work.’Special thanks to Contemporary Art Daily for sharing Tuazon's work.[...]



    Website Wednesday - The March on Washington, Interactive Media & a Seriously cool project from Arcade Fire

    2013-09-18T12:00:04.057+01:00

    Interactive History: The Wearestillmarching Website: Image courtesy of Creative ReviewIf you've got a hankering for a truly immersive web experience then look no further. Last week, Creative Review featured a beautiful site created by Organic, and a little help from their friends at Google and the clever folks at Unit 9.  wearestillmarching.com  expertly handles weighty historical content alongside our modern day need to share and connect with each other, but it does take a little time to get to grips with everything the site has to offer - which is a whole lot!Martin Luther King may have delivered his immortal “I Have A Dream” speech more than half a century ago, but as the URL says, we are still marching, and this site has huge potential to document that.Digital Storytelling - Arcade Fire & Just a ReflektorImage courtesy of Creative ReviewAnd just when you thought we’d given you more than you could possibly handle…another site that begs to be played with again and again. As well as teaming Unit 9 and Google once more, Just A Reflektor, is collaboration between indie rock icons Arcade Fire and digital storyteller Vincent Morriset.The website, or rather the film, takes the audience from passive observer and forces them to interact directly, whether it's with your computer mouse or phone. This alters the way you take in the story, and it keeps your attention completely focused on the concept, the visuals, and the song.You won't want to click away.This isn’t the first time that Morriset and Arcade Fire have teamed up – we particularly like the interactive music video he created as a companion for Neon Bible. You may also remember Morriset as the creator of BlaBla, a film created for the computer.Spectrum App - What's your Favourite Colour? Images courtesy of eigenlogik.comIt's not just websites that have been getting us hot under the collar at GWS HQ - the app that we most want to play with has got to be Spectrum. Not only does the web preview have a gorgeously minimalistic design – the app itself is all simplicity with countless clever tricks up its sleeve.We've especially fallen in love with Spectrum’s ability to pick colour schemes from uploaded photos. So next time you see something and think ‘those colours are just right’ – you’ll be able to break it down into lots of tasty HEX codes for you to slap all over your design.If you find yourself with a spare minute or two, check out this Spectrum video tour -  just don't drool too much.And our closing thoughts?This week saw the launch of the new iStock rebrand. While we're big fans of this brilliant resource and its slick new design, we cannot condone their use of gendered language in the launch campaign - it's all there in black and white, and it's not cool.[...]



    Weekly round-up: Bristol Kite Festival, 'Pay-Per-Gaze' and Disappearing Murals

    2013-08-30T12:04:20.351+01:00

    Bristol International Kite Festival - via 24/7magazineAll eyes will be on the Bristol skyline again with the Bristol International Kite Festival starting this weekend. We're really look forward to seeing all those vibrant and unusually shaped kites!  Speaking of strings, this weekend also boasts the beginning of the Bristol Festival of Puppetry. Running between the 30th August and 8th September, the public will be able to enjoy live performances, animations, workshops, and exhibitions. And if you still haven't found all the Gromits that have been gracing the streets of Bristol, Gromit Unleashed continues until 8th September with a new wooden sculpture joining the trail. Online Marketing and Social Media For BusinessesImage by sam_churchill via FlickrGoogle Glass has been around for a while now, attracting a lot of attention from social media marketers. Combined with the Google's recently patented 'pay-per-gaze' ad system, Google Glass could take adverts to the next level. Chris Taylor predicts that with 'pay-per-gaze' advertising is likely 'to change more in the next 20 years than it has in the last 100'. According to him 'pay-per-gaze' is just the beginning - read his full forecast for Google Glass ads in his article on Mashable. We have also found this interesting article from Fast Company about Google Glass helping a half-deaf person hear better. It seems that despite quite a lot of initial scepticism, Google Glass may bring some positives too. For some businesses Pinterest may still be an undiscovered land. Here is a post from Mark Macdonald explaining how this unassuming social platform could boost your company's sales. The more followers you attract, the greater is your outreach so it is worth checking this advice from Social Media Examiner on how to build your audience on Pinterest. You may also find useful these tips on choosing the right names for your Pinterest boards.Art, Design and Technology Lazyglasses via Think GeekAs well as reading more about Google Glass, this week we have come across other unusual spectacles. The first pair is a perfect gadget for couch potatoes. If you love watching TV while lying down flat on your back, Lazyglasses might be for you. They work similarly to a periscope, using mirrors to reflect light from one place to another, allowing you to see what's on the screen in this reclining position. Another pair has been designed by EnChroma to help colour blind people see the world the way non-color blind people do. While the 'non-colour blind glasses' have received positive comments from people with the condition, even they doubt if seeing red and green is worth the price. We are always interested to see new, alternative street art and this disappearing utility box mural from a San Francisco-based artist has caught our eye. Mona Caron has created 'Manifestation Station' so that when looked from a certain distance and angle, it lines up with the junction in the background as if vanishing. 'Manifestation Station' by Mona Caron  [...]



    Weekly Round-Up: New Bristol Graffiti, Content Creation Tips and 'Hand-Tech' Gloves

    2013-08-16T14:30:02.064+01:00

    Brunel on a Brompton via Bristol CultureWe enjoyed spotting the hot air balloons over Bristol last weekend; most days saw balloon launches and there was also a spectacular record breaking landing in Keynsham. Other items of intrigue Bristol Culture have documented this week include a knitted dragon across a bridge and an strange looking oil rig lifeboat. There's also a new series of stencilled graffiti of iconic figures in Bristol by artist Stewy, which includes Brunel riding a Brompton bicycle and Blackbeard on a BMX!It has been announced that the Bristol Gromits will be on display at a gallery in Clifton after the Gromit Unleashed trail finishes, so there's a chance to see all 80 in one place if you don't have time to get out on the trail.This week at GWS we've given a presentation on Apps to an audience at Berwick Lodge, where we talked about future developments and current trends. We've gone live with a new site for Exelin. We've also been working on new sites for a variety of clients, including a security company.Online Marketing and Social Media:We've mentioned Google+ in previous blog posts, and with it now being an essential part of any company's on-line marketing focuses with the power to affect how websites and brands appears in search results, here's some simple explanation of Google+ in relation to SEO and its influence.For the management of social media, there are many options to consider, but can they really manage everything you want them to? Social Media Toady highlights five advanced features of engagement tools that can save time and frustration - they mention using canned responses and automation recipes.Writing content for social media and blogs can be challenging but often writers spend little time on the title, when in fact headlines receive at least five times more views than the main body of text. Here are some title tips to create compelling headlines, which include testing types of titles, monitoring competitors and writing with three audiences in mind. These content creation tips to help provide useful and informative content to your target audience start with finding out what information your customer needs and planning how to deliver it.Art, Design and Technology: 'Hand-tech' glove via Design TaxiSocial media sites are the most active of all sites on the internet; if you've never imagined the number of Facebook likes, tweets, Skype calls or emails in process every second, here's a flabbergasting visual representation which also includes Instagram, Youtube and Tumblr - all sites which did not exist 10 years ago.Going back to an historic age, these Stop motion videos on Vine were created for a Vine Challenge to make a dinosaur-themed six second clip. Looking to the future, technology continues to develop in ways previously thought impossible - could a high-tech glove be next? A designer from the Netherlands has created a 'hand-tech' glove for the future which is proposed will be able to video record, take photos, measurements and translate gestures into voice.Data visualisations by Martin KrzywinskiThe timing of art within every day activities can be crucial- especially for this graffiti artist who choose to paint a piece of street art which is only fully revealed for its chosen space and time at night. This video reveals how and why the break-dancing person was painted as in this way. 'Liquid jewel' by Fabian OefnerOther artistic designs that captured our imagination this week include these data visualisations of mathematical constants which appear to be sophisticated colour[...]



    Weekly Round-Up: Bristol Balloon Fiesta, Blogging Tips and a Floating Cinema

    2013-08-09T14:52:40.750+01:00

    Bristol Balloon Fiesta has taken off for 2013This week in Bristol the famous International Balloon Fiesta is off to a flying start with fireworks and shaped balloons in the sky yesterday evening, and we're looking forward to seeing the mass of balloons floating overhead as they take off over the weekend -  we'll hope for clear skies!If you're arriving into Bristol by train this weekend, take a moment to look around Platform 3 at Bristol Temple Meads and see if you spot a new artwork; what appears as inconspicuous as a small girl standing on the platform is actually a cubic sculpture - move closer to the installation and the pixelated sculpture is revealed. Another new street art piece pictured by Bristol Culture recently plays with the concept seen in the Banksy mural on Frogmore Street and creates a new scene underneath it.This week at GWS we've been completing a new intranet for the South West Manufacturing Advisory Service and finishing a server move for Mensa International. We've been creating pages for catalogues for the smouthwall and food packaging supplier Nicholl, and updating the site of Shaunak's Pharmacy. Social Media and Online Marketing for BusinessesIncrease blog traffic with 57 tips from Jeff BullasThis week we've compiled a selection of blogging tips, research and suggestions that we hope will help propel your blogging efforts forward: Jeff Bullas starts with 57 tips to boost blog traffic, which include building up a targeted twitter following, Facebook likes and an email list and implementing social media sharing buttons. These suggestions will particularly benefit your business if the content is high quality; compelling, interesting, useful and relevant writing is the key starting point for bloggers to catch their audiences' attention. One great blog piece can also be used to create associated content by re-purposing material into various forms and posting in different places - such as recording an audio version for Spreaker, uploading a Youtube video or creating a hangout or video segment in Google+. Image sharing apps and websites can also be used. For some interesting blog statistics, including graphs categorised by blog age, size and revenue, Heidi Cohen provides insight into why people blog, what their desired outcomes are, and which types of blogs drive direct revenue through their blogging activity. For businesses keen to optimise their website rather than blogging, here is a simple list of meta tags to use, with tips and explanation on how best to maximise their impact, from the basics of page titles and meta descriptions to social media tags and custom titles for Facebook.  Art, Design and TechnologySolar powered headphones via GizmagWe found an inspiring collection of solar powered technology this week, including headphones with solar panels over the top that will charge an mp3 or phone whilst listening, and solar powered lights for cycling - great for a sunny day but perhaps not totally reliable for UK residents! This solar tent also caught our eye, with its stylish design and capacity to capture and store energy from the sun which can be transferred to charge electrical devices inside the tent!Green airport designs via Design ObserverSolar and environmental focused designs and technology are also being utlised for much larger scale projects, including at some airports: from the architectural design of [...]



    Weekly Round Up: Festivals in Bristol, The Most Clickable Headlines and Bristol Grafitti Art

    2013-08-02T17:17:53.795+01:00

    Harbour Festival Dance Village: Photo by Colin RaynerLast weekend we enjoyed the Bristol Harbour Festival which attracted a great crowd of visitors despite some drizzly downpours.  An area of the festival in Castle Park became a nautical themed landscape; Treasure Island was complete with a pirate ship style stage and could may well become Bristol's first Pirate Festival in the future if the idea is developed. This weekend, Bristol Old Vic is hosting the final concerts of the Bristol Proms - a program of classical music and digital innovations including Handel's Messiah on Saturday. The next big Bristol event is always waiting around the corner during the summer, and we're looking forward to the start of the Bristol International Balloon Fiesta in a weeks time.This week we've gone live with the new website for British Mensa which features mental workouts and brain teasers as well as chat and forum facilities for members. There is online event booking and a series of enhancements to make it more interactive and fun for members. Why not have your IQ tested? Online Marketing and Social Media For BusinessesIn our last round up we discussed the use of hashtags and how they have become an important part of social media marketing- here are some more examples of the biggest hashtag mistakes and tips on the benefits of using hashtags on Facebook, such as promoting deals and events and crossing social networks.Jeff Bullas presents this guide to social media marketing as it stands now, with tips on how to make the most of the 10 biggest social sites including Pinterest, Youtube and Vine. The importance of content creation, engagement and building a network on each is emphasised, with suggestions including posting content, links and joining groups on LinkedIn and creating 'how to' and product display videos for Youtube with appealing titles.The choice of headline or title for your digital content is discussed in this Moz Blog which suggests that 2 million blog posts are published every day and 80% of people will not read past the headline. The importance of a well crafted headline is a key takeaway from this and there is a variety of graphs, data and explanation of what makes people most likely to read more. Unambiguous headlines that include numbers and have a strong superlative style are recommended.Art, Design and Technology:Some artistic designs that caught our eye this week include this 'woven light' installation which uses metal fencing wire and plexiglass to encourage coloured light to emerge as people explore the room. We also like the style of these branching out pillars in Paris which combine straight structural architecture with weaving tree branches. Other wooden based designs include this unusual wooden rocking chair that combines a cradle and chair, and a dog shaped hand crafted wooden guest-house by the side of an Idaho road.We came across this collection of feel good graffiti which show how sprayed street art can brighten up urban landscapes. We were also intrigued to see these new additions to the street art scene in Bristol in the form of love birds around the houses of St Werburghs and a huge Brunel mural in Clifton Gorge overlooking the Suspension Bridge.[...]



    Weekly Round-Up:Bristol Harbour Festival, Google Carousel Updates and Washing Machine Chairs

    2013-07-26T15:00:09.421+01:00

    Bristol Harbour Festival fun on the waterThis weekend in Bristol we're looking forward to the start of the Bristol Harbour Festival with its array of  stages and entertainment areas hosting free music, dance, circus, theatre and workshops as well as exciting displays on the water and lighting up the sky. We hope the sun shines down for it and into the summer holiday season.Social Media and Online Marketing for BusinessesWe are interested to see how the new Google update of Image Carousels or knowledge graphs has already started to affect search results in the UK: Google takes information from existing maps listings and Google+ pages and compiles results in a rolling carousel at the top of the page for particular searches. These changes are to be rolled out in the UK, and for local businesses they may be important to consider. If the Google Maps and Google+ pages for a business are complete and are already visible in maps results this new Carousel system could be of benefit.Here's one example of how local searches in Bristol are already changing:  'Museums Bristol'  shows a horizontal list of museums frequently mentioned on the web with an image for each. We're interested to hear if you see other searches that have already been affected.Example of Google Image Carousel for a Restaurant searchFor any Facebook page managers, Social Media Today looks at Facebook Insights and gives a helpful explanation of each newly improved page feature. If your business is more relevant on Twitter, here are some ideas on optimising a Twitter profile, including through the use of photos, backgrounds and bios. Twitter brought hashtags to online conversations and they have the potential to positively influence your brand/campaign/following if used well. Here are some hashtag mistakes such as using a hashtag that no one else uses and strategies for creating great hashtag conversation such as offering an incentive.Art, Design and TechnologyBranching out using Banksy's illustrationArtwork we liked this week includes these real leaf illustrations using branches and leaves alongside drawings to create scenes such as sailing on a leaf and being rained on by leaves. This artistic, environmental and social project turned book documents a year of climbing trees, with up the tree photography and these prints made from a slice of the Trafalgar Square Christmas tree.Chineasy language illustrationsAnother artistic project aiming to make learning Chinese easy with the use of simple illustrations around each character caught our eye: Chineasy helps language learners and makes for a unique and interesting illustration project.Johannes Stotter's body paintingWe liked these images in which body paint camouflages and incorporates a person into natural scenes of fruit, animals, wood and leaves. And this photography series which documents empty boardrooms makes for an unusual glimpse into the settings of high powered business meetings, capturing the space without the action.Finally, our favourite designs of the week include these swirling structures made entirely from chewing gum, and innovative chair designs from Jerusalem, all made from a recycled and re-purposed washing machine.[...]



    Weekly Round-Up: Hello Lamp Post, Re-Imagining Content and a Skateboard Pizza

    2013-07-19T17:13:20.034+01:00

    Astro Dog Gromit in Millennium Square, BristolWe adore Bristol all year round but it flourishes with activity during the summer when the sun bounces around the harbourside with the anticipation of a new event or festival pretty much every week. The Gromits around the city have been basking in the sun and attracting many visitors as well as artists; here is some great Gromit photography, images of a lone Gromit at London Paddington Station and a get well card for a missing Gromit in Bristol. Giant Gromit sculptures are not the only objects animating the city this summer; Bristol's Playable City Award for the Hello Lamp Post project by PAN studio involves speaking to lampposts and text conversations with bus stops and post boxes. This weekend you can join the Bristol Cycle Festival which is part of the second Make Sunday Special event and includes the cycling carnival - Carnivelo. More festivals to see include the Bristol Shakespeare Festival and next weekend the Bristol Harbour Festival, which returns with a fireworks display for its finale.This week at GWS we've been testing new sites for clients including ONA, Oasis and Kents Direct. We also met with Mensa International, the High IQ society, the Manufacturing Advisory Service and ONA - the Network Cabling Experts. Social Media and Online Marketing for Businesses: Jeabyun Yeon via BehanceJeff Bullas provides some fascinating global statistics and usage facts, figures and graphs for the top 5 social media networks, revealing Facebook to be the most globally used with high engagement. The use of Twitter, however, is still increasing and here you can find some tips on how to improve your re-tweet rate by adding things like links and hashtags.  Hashtags can also be used on Google+, and along with the use of images, circles, communities and hangouts; Google+ can generate great engagement for businesses and brands - as suggested by Social Media Examiner. For bloggers, these ideas to make guest blogging more powerful include focusing on contextual links and linking to other guest blogs you have submitted. Another way to get the most out of time spent on content marketing is reusing or re-purposing material, as explained by Heidi Cohen, with ideas on transferring or re-imagining content into various formats.Art, Design and Technology:Some interesting designs we came across this week include this bendable smartphone watch for the future, this versatile modular shelving design and a spell checking pen which vibrates when a written mistake is made. These unusual and wacky summer accessories also caught our attention, including an air conditioned shirt, a solar powered bikini and a mermaid tail swimsuit.More creative designs we found this week include this pizza slice skateboard which looks like a triangular piece of pizza, and these miniature paper sculptures of every day scenes housed within representations of modern technology.To end, here's a fun Friday animation, written by Conor Finnegan and featuring a bird who is afraid of flying: allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="300" mozallowfullscreen="" src="http://player.vimeo.com/video/46141955?title=0&byline=0&portrait=0&badge=0" webkitallowfullscreen="" width="400"> [...]



    Weekly Round-Up: Banksy and Gromits in Bristol, Google+ and Air Art

    2013-07-05T14:00:03.701+01:00

    It comes as no surprise to us that Bristol arts and creative initiatives have been praised in Parliament, as Bristol Culture recently reported. Among many creative undertakings in Bristol, the counter-culture scene was mentioned, including of course Banksy, who was in the news again with speculations over an artwork in Park Row. While some claim to finally have caught Banksy 'in action' on cameras, others remain sceptical about whether the new mural is actually his. And the big sculptural event of the summer has started as the 60 giant Gromits were unleashed across Bristol at the weekend, with a grand opening at the start of the week. We've enjoyed spotting an Elvis Gromit, a pirate Gromit and many others within the vicinity already.This week at GWS we have been working on new websites for the network cabling company ONA, and Oasis who offer air conditioning maintenance. We're also working on upgrades to the National Composites Centre site, and transferring a client site to a high availability cluster. We've also been finishing a new App for buy to let landlords. Social Media and Online Marketing for Businesses:Some articles which we liked this week include Kirsti Hines' post on how to use Google+ to expand your business outreach. Making a direct connection between your business website and your Google+ page, using hashtags and hosting Google+ hangouts are some of the tips shared for gaining more exposure for your content and your business via Google+. Another post by Craig Gress, illustrates well the potential of this social platform by showing how Google+ can be utilised in the travel and hospitality industries. We also found some suggestions from Heidi Cohen on how to build long-lasting, engaging blogs. Social Media Today posted a very timely warning for all content marketers against using copyrighted images, explaining how opting for paid stock images could save you $1000 in licensing fees for violating copyrights. There are many options available including istockphoto. Staying digitally connected daily through social networking for business purposes is the norm nowadays - this is probably why this week we came across another post about 'digital detox'. We are definitely not planning a 'techless' vacation this summer! Classic typewriter converted to a computer keyboard Art, Design and TechnologyIt is always interesting to see the old marrying the new and this classic typewriter converted into a computer keyboard made us smile this week. So if you happen to have an old typewriter in your attic, don't throw it away yet! Spray-on furniture by James ShawAnother inventive idea which caught our eye is this spray-on furniture by James Shaw. This British designer has made three guns which spray out papier-mâché, plastic and pewter onto metal frames to create vibrant, artful pieces of functional furniture; it looks like a lot of fun and great creative potential.And finally, Air Art: check out this penlight from Yozora Oekaki for the iPhone and iPad which allows you to create light drawings in the air in up to 27 different colours. All you need is its special free app for iOS devices. Here it is in action: allowFullScreen='true' webkitallowfullscreen='true' mozallowfullscreen='true' width='320' height='266' src='https://www.youtube.com/embed/o89M7Bo2MBo?feature=player_embedded' FRAMEBORDER='0' />[...]