December 20, 2011 | Comments Off
Busy, busy, busy! That’s what I’ve been since my last blog post a couple months ago! I apologize for neglecting my blog over that time, but I swear I’ve had good reason to! I’ve been busy the past couple months coming up with web designs for local businesses Forte Professional Services and Elegance By Design (Previews and live examples of both should be ready by the new year). The other projects that have been keeping me busy are Facebook business page designs! If you’ve been following my Facebook page or Twitter account, you’ve probably noticed posts about Facebook fan pages for Windsor Squash & Fitness, Royal Islander Owners Association and Natalie Cervini Chiropractor. Clicking any of those links will take you to their Facebook business page which I designed.
There are several ways for businesses both small and large in the Windsor Ontario area to enhance their Facebook page design. One of the first ways I always suggest to my clients is to create an extended profile banner. This is the first item required by Facebook when designing a page and is located in the top-left hand corner of your page. You can add basically any sized image in there and Facebook will re-size it to fit or you can have a web designer (like me) create an extended profile banner which is at most 180px (wide) x 540px (high). You can see examples of the profile banners I’ve designed below.
Another great way to enhance your fan page is to create a “welcome” tab. You can set this tab to be the first thing users see when they visit your Facebook page. This tab can be any size you want, however if you create one that is wider than 510px, chances are Facebook will add a scrollbar to the bottom of it by default. What’s nice about the welcome tab is that it can be created to give the user the illusion that they “must” Like your page before moving forward. Without a welcome page on your Facebook, users will automatically be directed to your Wall, where they can get all the information about your business without having to Like it first.
The last suggestion I usually make to my clients is that they add 5 images 98px (wide) x 68px (high) to an album titled “Profile Banner” or something along those lines. These images should be about the business in some way shape or form. For example, on my Facebook page, you’ll notice (if you’ve Liked it) I have 5 images across the top. These 5 images are of 5 web designs I’ve done over the past year. If you don’t add any images at all, people who have Liked you page will see blank images which is really just a waste of quality Facebook page space! (My apologies for the rhyme)
If you’re a business in Windsor and have a Facebook business page, you should definitely have at least 1 of the suggestions I’ve listed above. If you don’t, you could be missing out on potentially reaching thousands of new customers on a regular basis.
If you’re interested in having a Facebook page designed by me, please email me or call 519-995-7329. I have extensive experience in designing these pages and offer the most affordable rates in the city!
August 16, 2011 | Comments Off
For a few months now, I’ve been putting a lot more of my time into learning and understanding online marketing, specifically on Facebook and Twitter. I’ve come to learn a lot about both networking sites by reading online blogs about social media marketing as well as doing a bit of my own trial and error. Because I’ve done more of my trial and error on Twitter lately, I figured I’d write a quick post about how not to be annoying on Twitter.
1) Don’t always try to sell yourself or your product – This is easily the thing I find most annoying about some of the people and businesses I follow on Twitter. They’re always trying to sell me on something. They never post any quality tips or hints about their product and each of their posts links to some type of online marketing strategy.
2) Don’t have all of your tweets auto-posted – A person or business who auto-posts all their tweets from their blog or Facebook couldn’t be more boring. Just tweet after tweet of links moving me to their blog or Facebook. If I wanted to get info from their blog or Facebook I’d follow their blog or Facebook.
3) Don’t tweet so much – I can’t stand logging into my Twitter account and having my timeline bombarded with 10 of the last 15 tweets from the same person. I understand that most Twitter users are following over 100 people, but I’m only following 15 and when you post 10 tweets in and hour, that’s basically all I see.
4) Tweet once in awhile – The opposite of what I just posted. I hate it when I follow someone who seems like they’re tweeting useful tweets and then all of the sudden it just stops. In the last week alone I’ve gone to follow certain people and then I realize they haven’t posted a tweet since 2010.
5) Don’t get too personal – I understand that many people create Twitter accounts for themselves and not businesses, but even then I don’t really need to know about your personal life. It’s great that you went out and drank 15 tequila shots on Saturday night, but that’s not something you should be tweeting to a mass audience. Especially if you run your own business.
So what annoys you on Twitter? Fill in a comment below and let me know!
July 26, 2011 | Comments Off
When I do web designs for small business clients who have a Facebook page or Twitter account, I always recommend that they add the social networking icons to their website. I always find that it’s best to add the icons or logos as transparent PNGs. For those of you unfamiliar with transparent PNGs, they’re images which have a background that you can see through. For example, the 3 social networking icons at the top of my Sebastian Agosta Web Design site are all transparent PNGs. Adding an image that’s a transparent PNG makes a website look much cleaner and since the backgrounds are transparent they can be added to any site no matter what the color.
Over the last few months, I’ve collected a few transparent PNGs which I’ve had to use on my sites as well as my clients sites. I use the Facebook, Twitter and Linked In icons the most. Since I had some trouble finding some of these when I needed them I figured I’d add them all to my web design blog, that way if you ever need them, you know where to find them!
Rather than make this post extremely long by posting my 10 most used PNGs, I figured I’d put them in a ZIP file for you. Inside this zip file, you’ll find transparent PNG icons for Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Blackberry. You will also find PNG logos for Apple, Windows, GroupOn, Google, Android and WordPress.
If there are any other transparent PNG logos or icons you’re having trouble finding, let me know and I’ll see if I can find it for you!
July 14, 2011 | Comments Off
As if Facebook, Twitter and social coupon buying sites weren’t enough, Google goes ahead and tries to release ANOTHER social networking site! As most tech people on the web know, Google has failed several times trying to release their own social networking site (see Orkut, Wave & Buzz), however this time they may have nailed it. Most of the stories I’ve read on Google’s new social network Google+ (or are we calling it Google Plus), have been positive. Most of the users who were lucky enough to be invited to early trials have also stated mostly positive reviews. About a week ago, I was invited by a friend of mine to try Google Plus for myself and see if I agreed with the early reviews of the new social network.
Now that I’ve had a week or so to use Google+, I figured I could give my early take on the functionality and user interface of the site. Before I go on, I want to mention that the site is still in BETA and most of the functions are very, very raw. I’ve seen a lot of comments on blogs stating the problems with the site already. People seem to forget that it’s barely a month old.
After a week, my first impression is very similar to most other tech blogs around the world – Google seems to have finally gotten it right. If you already have a Google account, your Google Plus account integrates very smoothly with that. You barely even know it’s there. Once you’re on the inside, you start to understand why Google has been tinkering with a different user interface for their search, it fits in perfectly with Google Plus. Profiles and the “stream” or news feed, function very similarly to Facebook. The major difference in usability comes when you add your friends. Google has called this Circles. You can now add different friends to different circles and when you make a post, you can decide which of those circles gets to see it. This is easily the most talked about and interesting function so far. The other new advancement as far as social networking goes is being able to video chat with your friends. While Facebook is just adding this feature now, Google+ already has it. It’s called Hangouts and you have the option of video chatting with more than one person at a time. Some of the other interesting features include; +1, simple photo upload and Sparks, which takes you to news around the world you may be interested in.
There are plenty of other functions and tidbits about Google+ I could talk about, but since the site is still in BETA, I’d rather post another more full review in the coming months. My initial take on Google Plus is a very positive one. It has a lonnnng way to go before we can ever even speak about it overtaking Facebook or Twitter, but it seems the big G is finally on the right track.
*Anyone who may be interested in giving Google Plus a try, please get in touch with me. I have 8 invites that I have no problem sharing with fellow web designers, social marketers!
June 6, 2011 | Comments Off
One of the first things I tell my clients when we’re in initial discussions for the development of their websites is that they need to create a social presence as well. They need to create a Facebook business page as well as sign up for a Twitter account. When it comes to Facebook business pages, there are several things you can change to brand your page and make it stick out above the competition. The most noticeable thing you can do is create a banner-type profile image. When used to their full potential, they can make any large or small business stand out above the rest.
Chances are if you’ve visited a Facebook business page, you’ve seen the type of image I’m talking about. For example, if you visit my Windsor Web Design page, you can see the exact type of profile image I’m talking about. These images have a maximum size of 180px width by 540px height. I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve viewed a page that only had an image the size of a business card, which had text that couldn’t be read once it was uploaded to Facebook. These types of large profile images allow you to add just about anything you want including; services offered, location, contact info and even examples of past work.
I use Adobe Photoshop when creating my Facebook business page profile images. I usually start with a blank canvas of 180 x 540 and depending on how much information my clients may want, I sometimes take the height down to 400 or 500px. If you decide to create your profile image yourself, be sure to brand it with the same type of colors and fonts as your web page or logo. Also be sure to add contact info, services offered and a slogan if you have one.
Adding a large profile image to your Facebook business page is an easy and affordable way to show Facebook users that you’re serious about your Facebook page. It’s also a great way for you to tell people a little about your small business without having to create a wall post which could eventually get buried at the bottom of your page.
If you’re unsure about creating the image yourself, feel free to contact me. I’ve done several of these types of banner images before and I could get one done for you within a day or two at a very affordable rate.