So just what is Social Media and can it benefit my business?

The web presents opportunities and challenges in equal measure for businesses of all shapes & sizes. Figuring out the opportunities from the challenges can be an expensive learning process. Because we’re business people, just like you, we know where you’re coming from — and we can help your business get to where you need it to be.

Maybe you’re still unsure about what Social Media and Social Networking entails, or whether it’s appropriate to your business and its needs.

The Beginner’s Guide to Social Media

So you’re new to social media, right? That’s where my ebook, The Beginner’s Guide to Social Media can help, in addition to the social media services provided by Octane, a business with years of web design, development and consultation experience, which celebrates its 9th birthday on the 14th of June.

Social Media services include:

  • Building a presence for your business via the Social Web
  • Helping the search engines find your website or blog
  • Design, develop and install corporate blogs
  • Help you build your business brand and manage your brand and reputation via the Social Web
  • Web design & development, including fully managed email and hosting

Our core social media service offering

Before we undertake any project, we like to do our homework. We won’t say “Yes!” to anything until we’re absolutely sure we can help you. If we do say “Yes!”, then we may well:

  • build a precise, realistic plan of action — including a strategic brief and estimates of both time and cost, with deliverable, measurable goals;
  • work with your marketing teams and their strategies — integrating with another activities, such as any print-based campaigns;
  • identify your business niche — we will scour the web to find the best venues to promote your products / services;
  • provide an excellent web design service — melding your new ‘blog with your existing corporate identity, ensuring a totally seamless design;

The benefits of using Octane for your social media needs

Here’s 3 reasons your business should use Octane — you have access to:

  • a powerful network of influential and knowledgeable professionals from around the world, ready & able to help promote your content;
  • a results-driven, measurable internet marketing plan, geared towards your businesses specific needs;
  • a web design & development agency and internet consultancy that’s been building world-class websites and web applications since 1999.

Interested? Then why not contact us right away to arrange your free consultation


The difference of success

I’m not a gambler. I run a business and not knowing what’s in store week in week out is enough of a gamble for me. I prefer the “sure thing”, so putting my money on a ticket, a football team and a long drive to London was a gamble too far.

Playing the game

I’m from Barnsley, which is a small mining town in south Yorkshire, the largest county in England, often referred to as “Gods own County”. But I wouldn’t know anything about that.

Sunday the 6th of April was the day Barnsley got to play in the FA Cup semi-finals for the first time in a very long time.

I and a few friends decided to make the trip to the new Wembley, to see Barnsley Football Club play Cardiff City Football Club.

Now, I should ask that you bear with me through this preamble, as the background is essential to the point I’ll be making towards the end.

Barnsley have had an astonishing run; they managed to beat off Liverpool and Chelsea in earlier rounds, both of which are Premiership sides, while Barnsley languish precariously at the bottom the the Championship, which is the league below them.

Liverpool and Chelsea are formidable footballing clubs, neither being what you’d consider to be push overs. All the same, Barnsley beat both of them.

It’s not like Barnsley just got really lucky. Every football pundit in the country would tell you that Barnsley won because they played the better football against formerly Liverpool and then more recently Chelsea.

So how come Barnsley lost to Cardiff yesterday? Because they played not like a side enjoying a rich vein of form, but a side languishing at the foot of the Championship, courting the relegation zone and demotion to Division One.

For the likes of Liverpool and Chelsea, Barnsley were most definitely the underdog and an unknown quantity. As for Cardiff, they’re also in the Championship and they knew more about Barnsley. In the end, that may have been all the difference.

There’s something reassuring about failure — it’s often far easier to get something wrong than it is to get it right. And to keep getting something consistently right is something of an art form.

Business is no different than football, or any other sport, for that matter. Performance, accuracy, efficiency, professionalism and sustainable success are paramount, not peripheral or preferable.

Failure is an inevitability of trying to succeed

So as I sat there, watching my home town football team go a goal down in the 7th minute, I began to realize how transient loyalties are. Curses and insults rained down from the stadia, washing down into the lower reaches of the field, sure to be heard by both the media and the players.

In my estimation, you don’t really know a person until you’ve seen them in a crisis and when they’re drunk. Anything else is just so much talk. During that game of football and on my way home, I saw people new & old in both those situations. What I saw didn’t impress me.

When failure comes to those who achieve greater things than others, those who’re less accomplished and look up to those who achieve great things will seek out the differences between themselves and the achievers, using those things as reasons to admonish and vilify them, not realizing that those very things they identify as flaws are often the very things that make the achievers great.

I aspire to be great enough that should I fail, that I be able to do do with dignity…


5 simple ways to improve your business website

Most business websites are under performing, and the reasons are all too common. Thankfully, most websites can be improved without too much effort.

Here’s a list of 5 easy methods to improving your business website:

  1. Prompt the visitor to act — by adding in a “Call to Action” at the end of a web page; such as your sales telephone number, or a button to place an order, or to contact support or sales, you’re preventing your product / service pages from becoming dead ends.
  2. Making contact — speaking of getting your visitors to contact you, just listing your email address is neither professional or sensible. Firstly, if you have a proper contact form, your visitors will have much more confidence in you. Secondly, by listing your email address on your website, you’re essentially inviting people to send you junk email. As well as giving your potential customers a way to contact you, also list your main telephone numbers and postal address, too.
  3. The write stuff — bad grammar and poor spelling are a turn-off. Most businesses have a copy of Microsoft Word, so make sure you use it! Also, when writing about your company or your products and services, think about your audience and write with their needs in mind. You’re not out to win any literary awards, but you don’t want to bore them, either. Be concise, descriptive, informative and use words and phrases appropriate to your product / service, and avoid jargon.
  4. Image is everything — you don’t have to be a professional to take professional-looking photographs of your products. A lot of websites have very poor photos, which do more harm than good and don’t give a good impression of either their products or the company itself.
  5. Broken links — possibly one of the most heinous of website design crimes is the broken link. Finding them is both frustrating and unprofessional. Periodically check your website for broken links and fix them!

Think your business website is suffering from some of these problems, but don’t know how to fix them? Well I do, so contact me straight away and let’s get that website of yours earning you money!


Octane is just so Blah!

OK, I admit it, I have a secret and it’s out — I lead a double life! Octane Interactive also trades under the name Blah, Blah! Technology, a technology trends and opinion blog, which has an audience of thousands, from all over the world.

Blah, Blah! Technology, trends and opinion blog

You see, there are plenty of things that interest me, but aren’t really the kind of thing I would or should talk about through my business. So that where Blah comes in, which offers me a great opportunity to share ideas with people all around the world.

The wonderful thing about Blah is the chance to share my insights with some very bright and like-minded people.

Also, I write about the things I on a commercial basis, such as how SEO (Search Engine Optimization), Personal Branding & Brand Management, Social Media, and the more regular web design & development, as well as the science & technology stuff, too!


Website design for Barnsley businesses

Are you a Barnsley-based business wondering how a website can help you? Or maybe you already have a website, but it’s not performing the way you’d hoped. Octane can help.

Simply having a website isn’t enough these days. As a business, your website should be an integral part of your marketing strategy, intimately tied to your “off-line” print-based campaigns.

Additionally, if you want people to find you on Google, your website needs optimized for the search engines (often referred to as SEO; short for Search Engine Optimization), which will increase your chances of being found by both existing and prospective customers

Running a promotion for a new product or service? Then consider creating a Landing Page, to funnel those visits towards a goal.

Do you share data with your customers? Or what about staff working from home or different offices? Octane can create tools to help your business coordinate all of your data through your website, simply and securely.

If you’d like to know what Octane can do for your business, contact us right away…