Category: Social Media

The Twitter Dot , whats it all about?

The Twitter Dot, what the heck is it?!? You may have noticed when viewing the wall of some Twitter users that when they tweet someone they put a dot in front of the person’s username, but why? There is a reason why people do this and it silently plays quite a big role and I have some evidence curiosity of my manager!

Ever tweeted at someone using the @username at the start of a tweet but wonder where the heck has it gone? You don’t see anything on their wall until they respond to your message sometimes they don’t at all so it is lost in the Twittersphere forever…so it seems. Well, this is where the . comes into play! Continue “The Twitter Dot , whats it all about?”

Instagram tips | Dos & Dont of using Instagram – revisited

3 months ago I wrote a blog post about the does and don’ts of using Instagram and have been conducting experiments for the last 3 months to see if what I suggested worked and to some level, yes it did but there is way plenty of work to do on building a genuine following and its more work than I anticipated. In this post I discuss what I found out and several other Instagram tips on how to continue to grow my following. Continue “Instagram tips | Dos & Dont of using Instagram – revisited”

Dos and donts of building your Instagram account

I have been using Instagram for over a year now and probably, not in the right way for building a following that relates to my brand.

I used it more as a way to store photographs of my personal life which is okay for some if that is all you want to do with this visual social media tool but I have bigger plans to connect with the world, fellow creatives and share my inspirations with people.

I realise if I use Instagram correctly to build a brand I can reach potential customers in a new and more entertaining way. But like anything, it is simply understanding tools properly to help you grow an audience that is interested in what you have to offer. Continue “Dos and donts of building your Instagram account”

How to add accurate subtitles to your YouTube Videos

This may seem quite a strange thing to blog about but something that is becoming increasingly important to me is how accessible the content I provide to web users is. YouTube does have automatic subtitles when you upload a video but sometimes it doesn’t pick the exact words which can be humorous but not good for those who are hard of hearing or deaf. Adding the correct words to your YouTube subtitles will benefit your accessibility for those with hearing difficulties but also help others that may not be able to understand regional acsents so well so may call upon the subtitles.

How to add accurate subtitles to your YouTube Videos

Once you have uploaded your video you will come to a screen with your video and a few tabs at the top. If yo look at the image below you will see a tab named  ‘Subtitles and CC’, click it.

displaying automatic subtitles of YouTube Videos

Next you will see options to click  English (Automatic) subtitles that YouTube automatically provide, once again, click this ( see image below if you are unsure what to click ).


add subtitles to your YouTube Videos, picture of editing captions

Now you are able to edit the subtitles in the automatic feature. You will find a lot of the subtitles that have been created are very wrong. YouTube does try it’s hardest to pick up all the words spoken but if the video star has a strong acsent it will struggle, a lot! It can be quite humorous to watch but it is not good accessibility. Follow these two simple steps to make sure they are correct for those who wish to use the subtitle feature on your videos.

  1. To edit the subtitles let the video play and then click on the subtitles to replace what is being said accurately.
  2. As video plays click subtitle to stop section of video, also click time if it does sync correctly and change the time length to show the words you have edited to perfection ( see below to see subtitle being edited).


Once done there is a button at the bottom called publish. You bet you know what to do next, yep, click publish!

Now when a user watches your video and needs subtitles they will get the correct words display.

Well done you have added accurate subtitles to your YouTube video, you are on your way to providing a better user experience for one and all.

If you get stuck please feel free to contact me or leave a comment below and I will get back to you asap.

    Twitter Profile size 2015 and some examples , NEW!

    Another new twitter profile size?! Really!?? Once again, one of the top social media channels has changed the way it looks trying to improve the user interface and I must say, they have done quite a nice job of it.

    I find it to be a much more minimalistic approach than with the interesting background and follows the same style of Google+ and Facebook with a large header and a small profile picture to one side which in turn makes it easier to design your branded images for and maintain consistency throughout. In this post I will discuss the new twitter profile size for 2014 and what to consider when creating yours.

    Twitter Profile Size 2014 – The header

    JAWilsonDesign Twitter profile, twitter profile size 2014

    What you will notice when you activate the new twitter profile is the header of your Twitter profile has now been made to expand the full width of the users screen. Although this a beautiful, simple idea if you have built and designed your Twitter profile in depth to exact measurements in the past it may result in your branded profile being blurred or pixelated…not good!

    The new measurements of the Twitter header is at least 1500px x 500px and I recommend using a large ppi ( ppi is an abbreviation for pixels per inch. A pixel is a dot on the screen that makes up your image, the more of them the more clear your image will be )  as this will improve the clarity of your image especially if a user is using a very large screen such as a 2560px x 1600px retina display. Also, after uploading a jpeg i discovered Twitter seems to render png files better with less loss to the actual quality of the image, so yep, you guessed it, save it as PNG.

    Twitter Profile Picture Size

    The profile picture for 2014 size has increased in size on desktops too now displaying at approx 210px square. I still recommend adding an image that is fairly high in ppi, larger than the 210px but ensure that the profile picture remains square for best display.

    Twitter Header peaks through

    jawilsondesign new twitter header with the new change to the twitter profile size 2014

    As you scroll through the Twitter news feed the header remains slightly in view by around 10px. I really like this feature as it add a decorative element to the new view. I’m really impressed with how nice the new interface feels on desktop, its so intuitive and pleasent to view, I get excited just looking at feeds on my laptop!! WOOP!

    Avoid text with the new Twitter Header

    I believe that avoiding text on your header is now compulsory. I would avoid it at all costs ( I know I have it at the moment ) as on smart phones it will not work well so try to be clever with images instead of having to include text. If people really want to find out more about you or your company they will visit your website and find out there.

    Background still has a use

    jawilsondesign main background - twitter profile size 2014

    Twitter backgrounds still have their place and what I have found is that it still displays the background when you log in. It is no longer customer facing so design it for your own benefit. Maybe consider adding a message to remind yourself what you use Twitter for and when to use it. For example, maybe you could have the days of the week on one side and then each day suggest a topic that you want to discuss on that particular day or maybe simply just use the same image as the header, it is just for people that use your Twitter account so don’t worry about it too much.

    Choosing your brand colour – Twitter Profile 2014

    Again the colour selection remains and does have a great personalising effect on your profile so ensure that it is selected and not just the standard blue. Colour has a huge effect on a users psychology and recently, i spoke about the effect of colour in this blog post about branding here .

    Responsive Twitter Profile Size 2014

    Keep in mind that end users will, a lot of the time, be using the social media platform on their smart phones rather than the desktop display. When I looked at my new header design on mobile I noticed that my main marketing message ,my website url and my specialities, is slightly covered. To rectify this problem I would probably put my main skills to the very top of the header in order to avoid this happening, but for the time being, I’m quite happy with the way it looks.

    Some 2014 Twitter Profile examples

    Seeing how others are designing their new Twitter profile under the newly designed user interface can inspire you to design your own. I have put three of the ones I have spotted that I think are great designs, the first of which is Smashing Magazine, a web designer/developer magazine.

    smashing magazine twitter header , twitter profile size 2014

     Smashing Magazine Twitter Header 2014

    I particularly like the flat and fun cartoon illustrations of the editor showing that they have a sense of humour but also mentioning the url of their company. It makes me want to visit their site simply because i feel I will have a smile put on my face.

    twitter profile size 2014 , thrive agency use a subtle pattern for their new design

     Thrive Twitter Header 2014

    The next one is Thrive, a branding agency based in the North East of the UK. They have created a repeated image of their logo as a pattern for their new twitter header and it works really well. Their profile is all about branding so showing their brand colour and logo is a great way to show a professional design to their visitors on desktop computers, likewise, it will look great on smartphones as no text will overlap their account profile.

    twitter profile size 2014 design of designboom


    Design Boom Twitter Header 2014

    Designboom are an excellent website all about design and they use their header to show some of the famous faces of design. I have always been a fan of their logo and I think their Twitter header compliments their brand message and content  effectively.

    Whether you are creating a new twitter account or updating your current site its important you reallt think through your graphics and whether the correct message is being portrayed. You may not think that a message is important when most people are focusing on what you tweet but any opportunity you have to either brand your business or self should not be missed and it shouldn’t be taken lightly and it would be wise to take at least some careful consideration of how you want to represent yourself to visitors of your Twitter account.

    Do you have any other suggestions about the new Twitter Profile display? Would you like your profile included in the gallery? Please add a comment below with your twitter profile, I love to seeing the creativity of others. Happy 2014 tweeting folks!

    Grade your websites digital marketing via Hubspot

    There is a lotta lotta information out there about digital marketing and how to get your website seen and generate sales leads and by golly, don’t you just worry that you’ve missed something? Hubspot, probably one of the biggest, if not the biggest, digital marketing agencies offers a service to see if your website is meeting the online marketing ‘grade’. Take some to grade your websites digital marketing via how well it is performing.

    Continue “Grade your websites digital marketing via Hubspot”

    6 things to consider when designing a Twitter Profile

    Designing a Twitter profile seems really really easy, upload a picture as your profile image, a background image, set your colour for links and bobs your uncle it is done. But alas, that was a story from the same place Cinderella comes from, creating perfected branded Twitter profiles really needs a Graphic Designer familiar with digital design and marketing, preferably social media marketing. In this blog post I will discuss what you need to consider when designing a Twitter Profile to perfection and why it is more important than you think.

    1. Designing a Twitter Profile with  exact Twitter Profile Measurements

    The exact measurements of the profile is really important, to the width of the timeline, to the width of the sidebar, to the header size and the profile picture. All these elements have an effect on designing your Twitter profile layout (This my Twitter Account). You then need to consider are you going to left align the background image, centre it or right align it. Once you have considered the layout of the design next you need to keep in mind that everyone will be viewing Twitter on different platforms.

    2. Screen resolutions vary

    designing a twitter profile a bad example

    Twitter is available to view on many different size screens from a small smart phone screen upwards to a very large Apple Desktop PC. Twitter is a responsive platform meaning that you need to consider how your background is going to look on screens with different resolutions. If you look at the above image you can see that the company has not considered that everyone will view their profile at larger screen sizes and forgot to set the default background colour as white to help fade in the image to its background. This is easy to change but important to get it right otherwise you will begin to look cheap and unprofessional.

    3. Branding

    So you have considered what to include in your layout when designing a Twitter profile and remembered that users will be viewing your profile with different size screens, next you need to consider your businesses brand.

    Branding is really important and if you are not consistent with your business message your audience will become confused if your identity looks different on Twitter so try to keep it looking similar to your website, collateral and overall brand. If you have one ( and professional brand designers should provide you with one ) use your style guide and adhere to it as close as possible.

    4. Communicate product or service when designing a Twitter Profile

    Next you will want to take the opportunity to advertise the product or service you are selling. Consider the images you are using as your background and header and do they put across the right marketing message? Does it communicate a story and/or have a call to action such as ‘download our free ebook’ or ‘sign up to our newsletter to find out when our new product is released’ etc. Although your users won’t always see your main profile background it is a marketing opportunity you should exploit and if someone should visit your Twitter Profile it should communicate something appropriate.

    5.Social Media Consistency

    designing a twitter profile should reflect all social media channels

    Do you have social media channels already? Make sure that they are consistent throughout. Another words, make sure they all look the same from the Twitter account, to Google+, to Facebook, they all need to have the same style. In this image above can you tell instantly that this account is connected to the Twitter account previously mentioned? Nope, I don’t think so either, to rectify their problem they simply need to use their logo and possibly more white in their cover photo design. They are also missing a marketing opportunity to communicate something with text not just pictures.

    6. Contact details

    design a twitter profile design with contact details on it

    Lastly, but not least, I think it is quite vital to place your contact details on the Twitter background. Consider putting  your business telephone number, address and other urls that maybe point to your website, social media channels and anything else that you think is relevant.

    All things considered you can’t be good at absolutely everything and although Twitter do make it fairly straightforward to create your own Twitter profile sometimes getting a professional designer to create your imagery is better so that you can focus on the important parts of running your business efficiently whilst a designer develops your profiles in the background. If you need help with your social media profile designs I can help you with it, simply contact me using the contact page here, alternatively if you are a fellow designer is there any other points you consider when creating social media profiles?

      How to Create a LinkedIn Company Page

      Who should setup a LinkedIn Company Page?

      LinkedIn is the ‘business’ social media platform and is used directly for business purposes rather than just being ‘social’. Being able to connect with fellow professionals in your industry as well as potential clients, LinkedIn is the perfect social media platform for startup businesses to gain insightful knowledge from leading experts and for those company’s that are B2B ( or in another words , businesses that do business with other businesses. E.g Service providers, commercial builders, Lawyers etc ). If you sell a product that is more inclined to be a B2C ( business to customer ) such as retail outlets then LinkedIn is possibly not the perfect platform for you.

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      If after reading the introduction you think a LinkedIn Page will benefit your business then you have to ensure your current LinkedIn Profile meets the requirements.

      Before you even start to begin to consider adding a company page for your business to LinkedIn you MUST have all of the following as stated on the LinkedIn Website :-

      [quote name=”LinkedIn” meta=””]

      You can add a new Company Page only if you meet all of the following requirements:

      1. You must have a personal LinkedIn profile set up with your true first and last name.
      2. Your profile strength must be listed as Intermediate or All Star.
      3. You must have several connections on your profile.
      4. You’re a current company employee and your position is listed in the Experience section on your profile.
      5. You have a company email address (e.g. [email protected]) added and confirmed on your LinkedIn account.
      6. Your company’s email domain is unique to the company.


      Now if you are happy that you have all of the above then we can move on let’s get down to business!

      Create a LinkedIn Company Page

      To start you will need to navigate to the tab Interests > Companies and you should be greeted with a similar page to that below. Design Milk is one of the companies that I follow being a designer it is something I find particularly interesting, don’t worry if your screen is slightly different all you need to do is click the yellow button in the right sidebar ‘Create’.

      create a LinkedIn Company page screenshot of location

      Once you have clicked the magic button you will be greeted with a new screen where you need to add your company name and ‘professional’ email address. Once you have done that you will be greeted with several more panels, this is where you place your company information.

       Company Description

      This is where you should put your company description. Think about giving a basic overview of your services and possibly previous clients you have had as well as the kind of people who would find your services most beneficial. Consider your target audience as much as possible.

      If you do get confused or get writers block when you create your LinkedIn Profile I suggest researching and looking at other LinkedIn Company Profiles for ideas, particularly competing businesses in your industry. Take the best elements and of course, remove the not so good ideas.

      Designated Admins

      If you have more than one employee, possibly a social media manager then you can have more than one admin which can be useful to prevent updating the channel taking up unnecessary periods of time that could be spent doing other things. Pleaser note, you have to be connected on LinkedIn in order to be able to suggest the other admin.


      create a linkedin company page

      Image appears at the top of your company page so is an opportunity to brand up your LinkedIn Page and create a call to action. Make it clear what your services are visually or maybe consider using a recent project. However you decide to communicate with your potential followers make sure the size of the image you create is 646 x 220 pixels or larger, a jpg, png or gif and the file size is no bigger than 2mb.

      Standard Logo

      Lets cut to the chase! The standard logo size Is  120 x 60px

       Square Logo

      Just like the above image it has measurements you must adhere to which are 50px x 50px

      Company Specialities

      creating a linkedin company page showing specialities

      Of course this is elf explanatory but you should put the things you are best at and well-known for first and your other services towards the back as viewers will naturally think the order has some relevance.

      Company Type, Company Size, Company Website, Main Company Industry, Company Operating Status, Year Founded

      create a company linkedin page

      All these things are pretty self explanatory so I won’t bother wasting your time just go fill it in! Go go go!

       Company Location

      This is the place where you put your registered offices and contact details. Maybe you don’t have an office as such because you are a freelancer or for some other reason, don’t worry, it’s not a compulsory section of the page.

      Alternatively if you are a fairly successful global company and have over 10 offices then you will have to be chose your most prominent offices in the world as LinkedIn allows up to 5 locations to be added.

       Products and Services

      create a linkedin company page showing products and services screenshot

      To add your products and services to your company page there is a tab near the top of the LinkedIn Page ( seen in the image above ) click it and it will reveal some more new panels to complete. Below are examples of ideas provided by LinkedIn.

      Examples of what you can spotlight:
      • Products: The printers you sell or the book you wrote.
      • Services: Your financial consulting packages or a list of your marketing services.
      • Other: Events you’re organizing or your company’s mobile apps.

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      So that’s it, pretty simple really isn’t it, if you do have any trouble with your company page or images please do feel free to contact me and I will do my best to help you. Do you have any suggestions what makes a good LinkedIn company page? Please leave your thoughts in the comment box below and if you create a company page please feel free to link to it from this page.

      P.S. Don’t forget to visit my new LinkedIn Company Page and follow it, I will be posting all my future posts so you’ll have easy access to all my future tutorials, creative pieces and thoughts. Click here to visit my newly created page, I look forward to connecting with you.

      Is your business making the most of social media?

      Some may say that getting your business’ content out across social media channels is the job of the marketing team but in fact I believe if your sales team or even your general staff aren’t on social media every moment they are in work, then your business are missing a trick.

      Whilst doing my usual job, sitting at my in house mac computer it came to me something my boss had said during the weekly business update call.

      ‘please share our articles,news and content with everyone socially, whether on Twitter, Google+, Facebook, LinkedIn or any other platforms it really helps’

      I knew I was already reposting the business message out on all my main social media platforms but then I thought to myself, ‘I wonder how many social media platforms are the sales team on.’ Luckily, my work table was sat at the foot of the kitchen in an open plan office so when a sales member entered the door I questioned  the poor unwitting soul.

      [divider type=”simple”/]

      Interrogation of how much social media do my colleagues use

      Being nosey and generally wanting to help improve the company’s brand awareness I asked a team member of the sales team ‘do you have a Twitter account?’ and to my surprise he replied ‘no’.

      I feel like this was a missed opportunity for any would be sales team member as I believe by your business’ employees building networks on as many social media platforms as possible ‘can’ increase your networks & ‘can’ generate leads. For example, just a week ago I received three enquiries for freelance work, I have found a possible lead by speaking to a cloud computing provider as well as speaking directly with a radio DJ (based in the locality of the service the company I work for provides ) about advertising the product on their radio show. All this was done by building a genuine network on social media, the potential of digital networking is huge AND global!

      Not only sales, but everyone should be more social

      I mustn’t make our team sound anti-digital social media as they are definitely not, they tend to use LinkedIn and they have quite a good success rate with this platform but its more helpful if you have a large network of various people with varying skills and interests on different platforms in different formats ( video, text , sound and infographics ) to draw interest to the product being sold it is of greater benefit to the sales team and also means the potential for more commission.

      To be frank, a lot of people don’t really understand how to use each social media platform effectively as a sales tool ( even I am still learning day to day! ) and just how much potential benefits of learning how to use them correctly and the opportunity it can bring by taking the time to learn.

      Common thought from a novice user of social media

      Why would you tweet 140 characters, who is going to bother to read it?

      This is a common misconception that crosses the minds of many a novice tweep. When you start developing an effective network you will find conversation, mutual respect, RTs, FF and more are common place, as well as the slightly pointless ‘thanks for following’ which do sometimes become quite tiresome.

      Your business’ social network : Twitter Example

      I imagine a lot of business owners now realise that you should be on social media regardless of your industry and having a genuine network that is 2000+ strong per social media platform is of equal importance but it doesn’t end there! Your business is the first stepping stone in the equation but if you have 20 members of staff all with 2000 followers and who regularly tweet out your information your are increasing your reach by 40,000 as well as your business account!

      This sparked the idea for this blog post, maybe ALL employees should be on ALL social media building separate networks and having their accounts actively open in the background whilst they are working.
      As you probably know, Twitter is pretty straightforward to get the most from and takes such a small amount of working time to use if managed properly. Below is a simple 6 step guide to helping your employee’s build their Twitter network.
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      Helping your team build their Twitter network

      1. Set up your employee’s social networks with social media accounts and relevant profile designs that reflect the brand. The description should inform the twitter user what industry they specialise in, that they work for your business and that their tweets are their own ( should anyone post something they shouldn’t ).
      2. Purchase a justunfollow account that is a high level allows others to add their twitter account to, copy 150 to 200 followers a day and then the next day unfollow the people that aren’t following back.
      3. Creating Twitter lists and categorising users into specific blocks as they follow you  also helps to build relationships on the social network.
      4. Retweeting of ‘other businesses and people’ should be done 3 to 5 times per 1 message that they send out and spread out the tweeting throughout the day. NOTE : As soon as you have a new article make all the sales team aware and get them to RT.
      5. Set up a fun/clever automated DM ( Direct Message ) on justunfollow. I found by having an automated DM message basically promoting that I have a FB page in a tongue in cheek way sparked conversations with people, generated leads & also increased awareness and likes on my Facebook page rather than just following, unfollowing and RTing.
      6. Lastly, the use of one or two hashtags per tweet is also good practice to help get your content found but don’t make every word a hashtag, its classed as spam and uninformative attention seeking rubbish!
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      I hope you have found this blog post useful. If you already allow your employees to use social media how are you using it? Or are you afraid to embrace and risk the change of direct communication with potential customers and partners through social media incase you say the wrong thing? Please share the post and leave a comment in the box below.


      11 ways to build appreciation for your tweets

      1. Follow them – Pat my back and I will pat yours, Following others who are interested in the same things as you, maybe in the same industry is a good start on Twitter but also think about who might buy your service/product is there a type of Twitter user that might benefit most from your presence on the platform?

      I personally believe most people that like what you say will continue to follow you regardless if they are your ‘typical’ market or not and you don’t know who they know and what their needs are so don’t stress too much about who is following you, just try to share useful or fun content.

      2. Retweet them – finding others tweets useful and fun? Retweet them, it’ll be seen by the Twitter use favourably and is a positive act for your followers too as they can see that useful information too and also see if what you tweet is to their liking or not.

      4. Favourite them – favourting tweets is a useful tool for recording things to refer to later and will also notify the twitter account that you liked what they had to say, this will in turn make the Twitter user feel they have worthy content as well as build a relationship between you and the tweeter.

      4. Discuss them – Commenting on others tweets can create conversation and interest in each other as well as awareness amongst the other persons following.

      You may even find through appreciation mutual respect is born that may result in the other Twitter user replicating your appreciation and promoting your tweets on their own feed to their followers in the future.

      5. List them – Everyone has a speciality that they follow as a career path and the Twitter profile description is usually used to describe what their interests and profession is.

      By creating lists specifically for different interests it will firstly make finding specialists on certain topics easier and secondly make the Twitter user feel they have something of value to add to your experience of Twitter making the bond between you and  the follower closer than just another follower.

      6. Be useful for them – Tweet things that are useful to your followers, if you are a marketer, of course, regular tweets and retweets about marketing will be useful where as if you are a building maintenance company it may be worth tweeting things that a potential customer might need like ‘how to spot a cowboy builder’.

      7. Be visual – not so long  ago Twitter made it possible to include images to appear in others Twitter Feeds. Images are attention grabbing as well as having high viral capability compared to the link or informative tweet and if they are humorous then expect exponential sharing, retweeting and favouriting to ensue.

      WARNING : Don’t go overboard with images though, maybe consider an occassional video or blog post. Basically , mix up your content!

      8. Talk to them – Start conversations. Don’t just provide a tweet, comment on others tweets and provide the opportunity to build online relationships. Social media is meant to be social so take time to appreciate others whether in your chosen industry or not, don’t just talk to them for selfish reasons like boosting your own sales do it because you genuinely like what they do/say.

      9. Send unique DMs – Private messages are more personalised than @messages and if you create a unique/humorous tweet you are more likely get a response. Don’t get disheartened if you don’t get a message back not everyone will.

      10. Ask them…nicely! – If you ask people to share, watch or comment on your tweet most people will on occasions. Its important to interact on social media rather than be a dormant thought provider life is more fun and more interesting when we collaborate.

      11. Show your personality – whether you are a business or a individual you have a personality and a sense of humour. Don’t be scared of showing your personality, it will make the experience of your social media presence more fun to those who are interested in your topic and increase the likeliness that you will continued to be followed.


      Whatever you do on Twitter just have fun with it without hurting anyone in the process and try your up most to add value to people who follow you and you will soon become a highly influential Twitter Account in your chosen industry.