Where we share our insights about all things web design, development, and marketing.


Facebook Timeline for business: It’s Here!

Now you may be familiar with the most recent Facebook change to the Timeline profiles, but it is time to switch over your business pages to the same look. Facebook launched their Timeline for businesses this morning, giving business page owners the opportunity to preview the new look or make the switch for themselves.

The new business page will look like the profile pages, and is designed to give business owners more flexibility to show off their brand and identity.  This new layout allows you to choose a cover photo that can display your logo, products, or personalities. The timeline also allows you to feature your company history, highlights, and milestones.

In addition, there have been some added benefits for page admins as well. There is a new admin panel that will display at the top of your page if you are an admin and can be hidden or expanded. This panel will show you notifications of activities, stats, and messages.

The Timeline layout will make your pages more social and engaging, giving you a better opportunity to utilize this as a marketing outlet.  We have updated our page to the new look. Have you? It will be to your advantage to preview your page now and be ahead of the trend. All pages will automatically change by March 30th.  If you think you are ready to learn more about the change, check it out here.

Graphic Designer Rachel Green of TWG Design Studio
"Rachel has a love for all things creative. She is passionate about what she does and loves to create new things."


How to Create a Pinterest Account

Pinterest is currently still an invite-only social network that only allows you to join if you are invited by a current pinner of if you request an invitation.  If you know someone who is currently on Pinterest, ask them to send you an invite. If you do not, go to www.pinterest.com and request an invite. You will be notified by email when you can create an account. To create an account with Pinterest you have to connect with your existing Facebook or Twitter account. We recommend that you use your business twitter account when setting up your account so that the two are easily connected and you will not connect to your personal Facebook page.

Once you have set up your account, you are ready to start pinning. Set up a few pin boards that relate to your business and what you will be pinning. Remember that pins should be grouped together by topics and categories so that they are easy to find. You can categorize your pin boards so that your pins show up in search results, as well. After you get your Pinterest account jump started with some pins, add the Pinterest follow button to your website, so users can easily find your Pins.

In order to maximize the use of this social network, promote your Pinterest account on your other social networks and your blog so that your customers know it is there. You can also add a ‘pin it’ button to your website next to your product images so that users can pin their favorite items to their Pinterest account directly on your website.

Pinterest can be a useful marketing tool for your business. Determine if this social network can be beneficial to your company and start pinning today!

Graphic Designer Rachel Green of TWG Design Studio
"Rachel has a love for all things creative. She is passionate about what she does and loves to create new things."


Pinterest for Businesses

The newest trend in social networking that could help you promote your business

What is Pinterest? Pinterest is the latest trend in social networking that is taking the world by storm. It is an online bulletin board that has gained prominence in the social world very quickly over the past few months. Members can use this as an online notebook to “pin” their favorite recipes, clothes, workout tips, inspirational quotes, humor, and other products to bulletin boards.  According to CNN.com, the site has grown 400% from September to December of 2011 and draws more users than Google+, LinkedIn, and YouTube combined. That’s pretty popular. And what’s more, is that most of Pinterest’s users are unique visitors because of its recent growth in popularity.

How to Use Pinterest for Your Business:

1.    Pin your own products, images, and videos on Pinterest
2.    Get users involved with your brand by asking them to pin images on their account that they like most from your business pins
3.    Add the Pin-It button to your website
4.    Re-Pin what your followers are pinning
5.    Use Hashtags to connect to other social networks and subjects that are being talked about
6.    Use it to gather information about your buyers and customers and what they like
7.    Drive pinners to your website

Pinterest can be very beneficial to your business. It is another way to visually represent your brand and get people talking about your products. It is especially beneficial for ecommerce sites that offer a variety of products for consumers.
TWG has become very interested in Pinterest and its advantages for businesses. We have created our own Pinterest account, but the site is not open to just anyone. In order to create an account, you must request an invite or receive one from a friend that is already on Pinterest. If you are interested in trying this out for your business, let us know and we will send you the invite!

Graphic Designer Rachel Green of TWG Design Studio
"Rachel is a graphic designer who is passionate about combining function and style into stylish websites that truly do the brand justice. Rachel uses her experience in a variety of areas including design, marketing, advertising, and social media to give clients the complete package."


Find Your Marketing Love-Match in QR Codes

Quick Response (QR) codes are not just a passing fad—they are quickly becoming a reliable method for marketing teams to direct consumers exactly where they want them most.  Did you know, though, that these codes are not as mysterious and hard to come by as many may think?  In fact, sites like http://www.qrstuff.com/ have easy-to-follow directions that can walk you through how to create and generate your very own code. 

Free sites like this also offer some pretty good ideas on ways to use QR codes as well as a basic overview of the benefits to your business.  Did you know, though, that inside TWG Design Studio we have a design team that can take these codes to the next level with artistic flair and customization---tying the QR code into logos and images that free generating sites cannot provide?  Either way, if you have not begun looking towards QR codes to give your advertising and marketing a modern appeal, you may want to look into them before you’re left behind—and your competitors are connecting to customers quickly and smoothly without you!

QR Code Info:

This is what a standard QR code looks like:

•    They are “read” quickly by smart phones and mobile devices
•    Examples of use:

  • Magazine ads
  • Billboard ads
  • Invoices
  • Newspapers
  • Web pages
  • T-shirts
  • Envelopes
  • Postcards
  • Brochures & flyers (and other print pieces and signs)

•    QR codes store more information than a standard barcode, such as URL links, geographical coordinates, and text.
•    The reading device needs to have a QR code reader—which are available to download for free, by the dozens!  Some Examples are

  • Kaywa
  • Red Laser
  • QR Code Reader

This is what a TWG Design Studio custom QR code can look like:

QR Codes are easy to create, and easy to use.  The versatility and benefits to this new-age method provides instant value to any marketing strategy.  The technology behind QR codes is the future in mobile strategy for product sales, information access, and promotional programs.  In a time of online shopping, social website giveaways, and online bill pay---consumers no longer have to go to a business---the businesses cater to the consumers.  How much easier can you make it on your consumers than giving them a code to scan to take them right where they need to be?  Providing information, deals, coupons, and the ability to pay a bill, or purchase a product…? 

Search marketing benefits:

•    Business Directory Listings
•    Business Cards directing to

  • Website
  • Social Media Sites
  • Downloadable Contact Page

•    Print Advertising and flyers (track-able with special pages for QR use only to track conversion)

  • Product details
  • Contact details
  • Offer details
  • Event details
  • Coupons
  • YouTube video



QR codes are becoming more and more common all the time.  Here is a list of some examples of national and international use of QR codes—these may inspire a unique use for you, or at least provide a good example for you to implement within your own business!

•    Dick’s Sporting Goods displayed a QR code on the JumboTron during a football game. The fans took pictures of the QR code which connected them to a website where they were offered discounts on purchases.
•    McDonald’s uses QR Codes on its packaging in Japan so consumers can access nutritional information, and review the amount of calories, fat, and carbohydrates in their meal.
•    A couple of years ago, Ralph Lauren began placing QR Codes in print ads, store placements, and mailers. The QR Codes gave consumers access to their style guides, limited edition collections and exclusive video content.
•    Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull movie posters were printed with QR Codes, giving users access to movie’s trailers. The user also received a QR code discount coupon for their next concession purchase.
•    Pepsi printed QR codes on bottles that redirected users to a custom landing page to view content.
•    CSI used QR codes as a plot twist in a TV episode.
•    The Nonprofit Technology Network used QR codes to conduct a scavenger hunt at an NTEN conference.
•    Google is using QR codes to highlight “Favorite Places” in search results.
•    Editorials Online published a book that contained nothing but QR codes (no text at all) that, when decoded, provided content about love and hate.
•    Audi made a giant QR code out of people holding black and white squares in a video advertisement.
•    Lego created QR code advertisement using Lego blocks.
•    Calvin Klein displayed a large QR code on a billboard that launched a racy advertisement.
•    Real estate agents are putting QR codes on “house for sale” signs.
•    Best Buy has a QR code iPhone app that provides product information.
•    QR codes are showing up on Japanese tombs—providing information about the deceased.
•    QR codes wer

e used in the NBA all-star game.
•    Fox TV is using QR codes to advertise TV programs.
•    Starbucks is using QR codes for micro payments.

QR Codes are not just a passing fad or a quick-to-die trend.  They are truly a new-age wave in the marketing game.  They are easy, can be customized, and can be seen all over!  It’s not too late---do some reading and find out the best way to start using these little marvels yourself!


Facebook Timeline: How It Changes Things

You may have heard about the latest and greatest Facebook change coming your way, and you may already be using it. The Facebook Timeline will forever replace our beloved Facebook profiles in the coming weeks; and by February 1st all profiles will be switched to the timeline. Timeline offers a variety of new features, but like all other changes with Facebook, it will take some time to get used to.  In order to help you with this process, here are some quick tips and info to help you learn the new timeline and how it will affect your business page.

What you need to know about the Facebook update:
Your personal profile will now have a new look. All of the same essentials will still be there, just in a different layout. Your profile picture will now be a large image across the top of your page and will be called your cover. This gives you the ability to do something really creative with your page – but more on that later.
You will still have the ability to update your status, “like” business pages and make friends, and add photos and videos. However, these items will be grouped a little differently. Here is the info you can now find at the top of your page:

  • Work and Education
  • Family and Relationships
  • Living
  • Health and Wellness
  • Milestones and Experiences
  • Other Life Event (for those odd balls that don’t fit into a predetermined category)

The point is to tell your life story over time. Your posts will display in a timeline (hence the name) and you can star your favorite moments to make them widescreen, or remove the ones you want to hide. Facebook has added new sharing features that will allow you to control what moments of your life are shared and with whom.

How it affects businesses:
Timeline may also have an effect on business pages, too. But, this could actually benefit your brand’s page tremendously. Here is an example of what the sites could potentially look like with timeline:

Photo courtesy of Mashable

The key here is this– more pictures means more branding opportunities. Let’s face it, people are naturally drawn to pictures over text; and the majority of people remember pictures more than words, anyway. So if there are bigger images available, you can use those spaces to display your products or services and design them to be specifically branded for your business and message. The cover is the perfect spot for a current promotion or brand image that will allow you to be more creative and interesting with your page – which will ultimately attract more interaction with followers.

The visual appeal of the timeline pages will be sure to be an advertising and marketing benefit for business pages. An article on Mashable.com explains that according to ExactTarget, “of the people who "Like" Facebook brand pages, 40% are doing that to receive discounts and promotions. Now with the larger post size and photos, Timeline can easily serve as a brand blog, providing fans with frequent and engaging updates in a neatly packaged profile."

In the mean time, there are some things to be aware of that will affect your posting strategies. With timeline, users have more control over what displays in their news feeds. In the top right corner of each story, users can choose to “unhighlight the story” or “hide all stories” from a certain person or page they follow. Facebook will use that information to edit what shows up in your news feed. So for those of you with boring posts – you will show up less in your follower’s feeds. What to take away from this: take notice to what you are posting and how often you are posting on your business page and put more effort into your content.

It is important to become familiar with this new Facebook change so that you can continue to use your business page to its full potential. While it is still unknown if these changes will make their way to business pages, you want to be ready for the switch should it come later.

Graphic Designer Rachel Green of TWG Design Studio
"Rachel is a graphic designer who is passionate about combining function and style into stylish websites that truly do the brand justice. Rachel uses her experience in a variety of areas including design, marketing, advertising, and social media to give clients the complete package."