We’ve updated all our profile images & raising money today in support of Red Nose Day 2013!
This week marks the UK’s National Apprenticeships Week. This week intends to raise awareness of apprenticeships and the positive impact they can have on businesses and the UK economy. Forecasts indicate that apprenticeships could add a further 3.4bn a year in economic gains to the UK.
Apprenticeship schemes will give young people the chance to learn a trade and build their careers. The Government are looking at ways they can expand apprenticeship opportunities so that they can become more widely available to young people. Barclays have also announced an expansion of its national ‘Bridges to Work’ programme, which is designed to help companies find and employ apprentices.
Apprenticeships ensure that your workforce has the practical skills and qualifications your organisation needs now and in the future. The mixture of on and off job learning ensures they learn the skills that work best for your business.
Over 130,000 workplaces offer apprentice places because they understand the benefits that apprentices bring to their business – increased productivity, improved competitiveness and a committed and competent work-force.
Improve your bottom line – Apprenticeships deliver real returns to your bottom line, with Apprenticeships helping them to improve productivity and to be more competitive. Training apprentices can also be more cost effective than hiring skilled staff, leading to lower overall training and recruitment costs.
Fill your skills gaps – Apprenticeships deliver skills designed around your business needs providing the skilled workers you need for the future. They also help you develop the specialist skills you need to keep pace with the latest technology and working practices in your sector.
Motivate your workforce – Apprentices tend to be eager, motivated, flexible and loyal to the company that invested in them. Remember, an apprentice is with you because they want to be – they have made an active choice to learn on the job and a commitment to a specific career.
One Connect Limited will host an Apprenticeships and Placements event on 20th March 2013 at Cotton Court. The event will commence at 5.30pm until 7.30pm. Refreshments will be provided along with free parking onsite.
5.30pm Refreshments and networking
6.00pm Welcome: One Connect Limited – Sarah Walmsley
County Councillor Michael Green
One Connect Limited – An insight into our services
Charlotte Iddon and Rachel Briggs will highlight the benefits of working with One Connect
Limited and how your business can be supported in a risk free and cost effective way.
With offerings of accessing free training, saving costs on recruitment and sourcing free staff.
Looking to grow your business? Want a new way to recruit young talent?
This event is for any business owners in Lancashire who are looking to grow their businesses. With offerings of saving on recruitment costs, providing you with independant advice and guidance on recruiting and training, information on grants and funding available.
One Connect Limited is hosting an Apprenticeship and Placements event on March 20th at 5.30pm-7.30pm in Cotton Court Business Centre, Preston Lancashire.
Refreshments and networking from 5.30pm speakers from 6pm
You will leave knowing more about grants of up to £15,000 for your business to support young people, One Connect Limited’s programmes which offer Lancashire businesses young adults for up to 8 weeks at no cost to the business. This hugely successful programme offers businesses young adults on a trail basis, to enable skill matching.
Sarah Walmsley of One Connect Limited and Councillor Michael Green
Dawood Fard and Louis Rollenson of Centurus Ltd
Charlotte Iddon and Rachel Briggs of One Connect Limited
Paula Gibson of National Apprenticeship Service
Your business can’t afford to miss out on this great opportunity, book your place to find out more.
There’s business to be won, customers to acquire, loyalty to create and fun to be had using Instagram for business. Even if you sell insurance, you’re in recruitment or you sell nuts and bolts – don’t count this channel out just yet.
Whilst your competitors are still headlong in the social media ‘big four’ (Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and LinkedIn), you could be stealing market share with less popular or mainstream channels. In fact, many businesses could do very well looking for niche channels that they can dominate instead of being an also-ran on mainstream channels that are becoming more and more saturated with competitors.
Most of us know social media is here to stay and whether we like it or not it’s part of our every day business just as much as a telephone, computer or a website is vital to our business.
This means that, on the whole, just being ‘in’ social media is no longer good enough, you’ve got to be winning and you’ve got to have a smart approach to your digital communications these days if you want to make it all worth while.
As an agency, we’re working harder than ever to provide insight into how people can get a strategic edge from their social media activities and one way to add value is to start looking for new channels and applications to tap into as well as plugging away with the ‘big four’.
One such channel that’s still very much overlooked in my opinion in Instagram (it wasn’t overlooked by Facebook, mind you, who paid $1bn for the service so there’s some pretty clever guys in Silicon Valley who agree with me).
What Instagram loses to the big four in overall user engagement numbers, it more than makes up for with loyalty and a sense of community that tends to only exist on the less popular channels. It seems bizarre to intimate that Instagram has a small usership – 40 million users worldwide isn’t too shabby and there’s more than enough to justify looking for your slice of the action.
With so much going on, however, and so much more you’d like to be doing with the big four, why would you consider introducing another channel into the mix, let alone a mobile photosharing application? I can almost hear you asking out loud: ‘How am I supposed to use a photography app to generate more sales for my business?’
I’m confident that Instagram can hold your attention when it comes to direct business reasons to engage. One of the biggest and quickest indicators worth noting is that there are already plenty of well-known brands using Instragram to raise more brand awareness and loyalty.
Top 5 Brands Using Instagram:
Why use Instragram for Business?
- It’s much easier to explain or communicate with visuals – a picture paints a thousand words!
- People share photos up to 12x more than they share comments and text.
- Instragram integrates with Twitter and Facebook seamlessly. 300 million Instagram photos land on Facebook each day.
- It’s still in its infancy – getting in now will stand you in good stead for the future (it’s currently growing at a rate of one user per second with over 400 million users in total)
- Instagram is growing four times faster than LinkedIn
- A photo on Instagram could easily be seen by more people than an advert on a Time Square billboard in the same period of time
Still not convinced?
12 Tangible Ways Instagram Can Add Value To Any Service industry / B2B Business
- Giving people a ‘behind the scenes’ insight into your business and your team can help to add credibility, trust and likability to your brand. We link our Instagram photos to a gallery at the bottom of our homepage Ph-Creative.com
- Instragram can be a powerful visual way to provide real-time customer service to show ‘how-to’
- Instagram can be used to keep in touch with customers and show you care – send a picture of something useful to somebody else or evidence that you’re thinking about them
- You can use Instagram to promote and engage with events in real-time and provide a legacy of content afterwards
- You can search instragram to find journalists and bloggers who could contribute to your blog or include you in coverage elsewhere
- Using Instagram as a visual diary of projects can provide a great visual way to record and creatively present case studies of work that stand out and get attention
- Instagram can be your virtual scrap book to record inspiration, projects, ideas and reminders
- Photographing projects and products can provide specific visibility with prospects interested in the same subject matter in real-time
- Including location data can lead to exposure to other users close by – this can open doors when it comes to being found by new prospects and peers, and build supplier relationships
- Instagram can be searched (using the hashtags and user names) to find relevant prospects, peers and suppliers
- You can use Instragram as a quick, real-time means of keeping up with latest developments in technology and/or competitors
- Competitions can be run on Instagram and can leverage activity to provide visibility in other social channels
12 Tangible Ways Instagram Could Add Value To Any Sales/Consumer Business
- Feature your products and generate more visibility for your entire inventory
- Push new products to raise immediate awareness.
- Like and follow complementary brands that sell other popular related products
- Run competitions for the most popular photo of a product (encourages sharing to get the most Likes)
- Run competitions to find new products to feature – ask your community to suggest new ideas
- Ask for feedback and use it to improve products and handle returns and customer satisfaction
- Link your Instagram photos to Pinterest and harness the growing power in that channel
- Release sneak peeks of new product lines to create hype or interest pre-sale
- Use Instagram to develop a strong brand personality and association with other brands
- Generate outreach opportunities with industry journalists
- Publically reward loyal customers with unexpected gifts or acknowledgments
- Create hype surrounding ‘Instragram only’ sales offers
When should I be posting pictures and engaging on Instagram?
- When you see something of particular interest
- When you see something of particular relevance to you or your audience
- When you’re at an event
- When you get the most engagement – experiment with when a photo gets the most attention and record when your photos are most likely to be seen based on this live feedback
How can I stand out on Instagram?
- Try to be original – don’t post the obvious version of the shot, look for a better angle, an unusual side or perspective.
- Use the standard filters to make an average photo look great.
- Use the soft focus feature to exentuate aspects or blur out parts of the photo
- Crop the photo well remove unwanted clutter or distractions from the main focal point.
- Try using some other apps to take photos and process you photos for added effects first. I recommend Camera+, Photoshop Express, & Gridlens
Who should I be looking to interact with on Instagram?
- Customers’ friends
- Industry experts
- Neighbours (local business community)
- Team members
- Relevant brands
- Relevant Twitter influencers
- Relevant associations, governing bodies & awards committees
How do I find people to engage with on Instagram?
- Search through followers of a relevant users and follow them / like their photos
- Search friends of a relevant user and follow them / like their photos
- Search for keywords by relevant user and by relevant photo, follow them and analyse/note what tags they use analyse who’s following them – follow the interesting and influential ones
How do I Engage with a relevant community on Instagram?
- Like some of their photos
- Leave relevant, positive comments using the right tags
- Mention other users in comments
- If people comment on your comment, keep the conversation going by commenting again!
- Tweet other people’s photos and share them on Facebook etc
How should you comment on yours and other peoples’ Instagram photos?
- Be nice. Compliments go a long way
- Be sincere, make an observation that’s true and interesting
- Be thoughtful either by suggesting something similar in content or style
- Be humorous, there’s nothing wrong with making people laugh (in good taste!)
- Be real, don’t just comment because it’s part of a strategy, comment because you mean it and have something useful to say – you should only be focussing on things you like or know a lot about and so put that to the test and use what you know etc.
- Be quick. The more real-time you are the more notice people will take of you and the more people you’ll reach because it’s current and people are looking at it now.
- Be smart. Use the right language and include useful tags that you know are used by the user or other relevant users
Find us on instagram: CottonCourt
Get to grips with your business’s social media presence
Let us show you how to engage with new and existing customers, increase your website traffic and improve your lead generation.
Cotton Court is hosting social media workshops in conjunction with 3ManFactory. This course is ideal for business owners, freelancers and anyone responsible for customer service, marketing or PR within their organisation that want to take the first steps into social media.
These courses are hands-on and are carefully structured and designed so that each delegate will leave with complete profiles on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn., and will be linked with other businesses through these pages.
Social media has transformed the way that companies of all sizes interact with their customers. Businesses can use Facebook and Twitter to reach over 30 million users. LinkedIn however is 4 times better for b2b lead generation than Facebook and Twitter.
- 91 % of experienced social marketers have seen improved website traffic due to social media campaigns and 79% are generating more quality leads.
- 75% of business owners have been put off a particular company due to their poor use of social media.
- Social media users who receive great service tell an average of 42 people (compared to just 9 for social absentees)
- 47% of customers are somewhat likely to purchase from a brand that they follow or like
- 65% of the world’s top companies have an active Twitter profile
- 90% of marketers use social media channels for business, with 93% of these rating social tools as “important”
These courses are held monthly within our IT Suite.
To book your place, or for more information, please call 01772 507767 or email email@example.com
Conference & Training Space
Stretch your conference budget further and get 1 day FREE! When you book 10 dates, or 1/2 day FREE when you book 5 dates.
Whether you need a meeting room for 2, or a conference for 100+ delegates, Cotton Court can provide the solution. Our fully equipped suites feature the latest interactive audio-visual equipment, Wi-Fi, and internet ready PCs with onsite IT support; plus a full range of catering options and a dedicated member of out professional team to ensure that your event is a success.
Qoute: CC143 – terms & conditions apply
Permanent Desk Space
New year, New start! from £25 per week
If you have made New Year’s resolutions to reduce overheads, work more efficiently, build your business networks then why not take advantage of our latest offer?
Desk space allows businesses, individuals or occasional professionals to the Preston areaa cost-effective method of working within a business environment, without the large overheads. It enables users to conduct business obligations in a comfortable workspace, whilst presenting a professional appearance through a prestigious business address.
Qoute: CC25 – terms & conditions apply
Social Media Course – £99*
1/2 PRICE COURSE. When 2+ people book together
Explore how social media for businesses can’t be ignored in today’s ever changing society.
Get your social media working for you
Qoute: CC – terms & conditions apply
Great to hear our Customers and Friends 3ManFactory have been shortlisted for Creative Agency of the year! What a year they’ve had after moving into offices with us and just the other week were finalists at the E3 Business Awards
The Red Rose Awards is the event where Lancashire business, commerce and industry are celebrated. Being Lancashire born and bred ourselves, we can’t wait to join the party at the Empress Ballroom in Blackpool’s Winter Gardens next month.
We wish them the best of luck and hope to see the trophy proudly displayed within there office!!
See more of what they do at 3ManFactory Website