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News and advice from the Oxford Web team, September 2012
01865 596 144

Going social - painlessly

Picture your perfect potential customer. They may be a man or a woman, tall, short, thin or fat, but they have a need in their home or in their business, and your business can fill it.

Now let's say that this perfect customer is in the 20% of your potential customers who are most active on social media.  In this particular case they have their own twitter feed, and they get regular updates from twitter via mobile phone.

(I don't know if 20% of your customers have their own twitter feeds; it will depend heavily on what you're selling, but on many of our customers' websites we're regularly seeing numbers of visits from "social" links rise above 10%... so take note!)

This customer has an eclectic mix of people and businesses they're following on twitter.  Which means that when waiting for a train or bus, they will always use their phone to browse recent tweets from those people and businesses.  If they see something of interest, they'll usually follow the link to a web page.

Where do you come in?

Here are a couple of tips to get onto that person's feed:

  • Instead of "follow us on twitter" on your website, give them a reason - for example ("Follow us on twitter for exclusive discounts and offers").
  • Follow them first - they may be curious about your twitter description and follow you back.
  • Post on twitter mentioning them (using the @ symbol to quote their twitter user name).
  • Improve your twitter output.  Make it relevant and useful, and regular but without flooding it.
Can Search Engine Optimisation be bad for your website?
And finally

If the Olympics have made you feel bad about your feeble efforts to keep fit, take heart!

Tech talk: creating a slide show without Flash

You may have seen image "carousels" on some websites, including a few of ours. Until quite recently the best way of creating carousels which worked nicely on a broad range of browsers was to use Adobe Flash. But jQuery (a handy javascript library) and the abandonment of old browsers like IE6 have changed all of that. 

There are many good javascript carousel libraries, but one we've found particularly good, and easy to program, is Pixedelic's jQuery plugin, "Camera".

The best thing about it is that you don't have to do an awful lot with your HTML markup - the following markup will do:

<div class="camera_wrap">
<div data-src="image_1.jpg"></div>
<div data-src="image_1.jpg"></div>
<div data-src="image_2.jpg"></div>

All you need to do to turn the markup above into an interactive slide show is include the CSS and Javscript provided (free of charge, but do donate) by Pixedelic.


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