Tuesday, 21 April 2015

5 Great Tips For Your Social Media Strategy


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Today I have invited Graham Innes of Creation Social Media in Perth to give his five top Social Media Tips for businesses to use in their Social Media Strategy.

Tip number one is all about making sure that your first impressions are right on any single social media channel you use for your social marketing. Make sure your cover picture is optimised or any other image space you have is optimised. Then it is important you engage on social media because many people set up lovely platforms but then forget to talk to people, so make sure you engage.

Tip number two is all about having a GMAIL account. If you have a GMAIL account remember it gives you accesses to both YouTube and Google+. It is important because both YouTube and Google+ give huge advantages to search engine rankings for social media on the internet. YouTube is the second largest search engine on the internet and if you can populate that channel with a slideshow and a description of your business it gives you a great chance to be found on additional platforms. The same applies to Google+. People shy away from Google+ because they see it as the platform that is never used very much in the UK. However you should populate it with content and once done you don’t have to go to it very often.

Tip number three is look at how you use Twitter. Twitter’s search capabilities are now astonishing and Twitter is now the third largest search engine on the internet. That means there are hundreds and thousands of people out there at this moment looking for content on Twitter who don’t even have a Twitter account, and it could be conversations about your type of business that you need to get people to talk about. So Tweeting on Twitter isn’t the most important thing, it could be about searching on Twitter. Then there’s image on Twitter. Don’t be scared to put out images on Twitter because it helps to draw attention to your tweet and increases the number of favourites and retweets. And do not forget you can attach up to four images per tweet.

Tip number four is look at your LinkedIn profile. LinkedIn have spent a fortune on how to make the most of your LinkedIn profile by optimising it with images and with content. LinkedIn Publisher is a new facility LinkedIn has brought in that allows you to post the equivalent of a mini-blog on LinkedIn. If you go to put a status update out you’ll see access to the Publisher platform from that status update box. When you go into the Publisher platform write a short post of 200 – 300 words, post it out and it will go into the inbox of all your connections so they will be notified that you have published a post. It’s a great way to engage and a great way to keep people up to date.

Tip number five goes back to the old favourite, Facebook.  Facebook has made enormous changes through the last 12 months but one thing they haven’t changed is the ability for you to showcase a huge cover image on your business facebook page. The one thing people do not do is they don’t put a description behind that cover image and therefore they are taking away the opportunity for people to find more about their business just by hovering over the cover image. So if you go to your cover image and change it make sure you put a description behind it because if you don’t you’re just taking away that additional advantage for search engines to find out more about your business. 

Wednesday, 15 April 2015

Paper Recycling and Confidential Waste Destruction in a Glasgow Movie Studio

The paperless office has been talked about for years but if your office is anything like mine there will be plenty of paper in it including your recycling bin. What I have never thought about until recently was what actually happens after my waste paper is taken away and how paper is recycled.
 
A couple of months ago I was asked to produce a video for a Motherwell skip hire company and soon after I completed the job they introduced me to another recycler in another town. I guess recycling is like most other industries where everyone knows everyone else. That is why I was sat in an office talking to Stephen Duffy, Managing Director at Highlander International Paper Recyclers talking about making their website video.

Now before I write another word I have to confess I am one of those “geeks” who loves working factories and seeing things made. I have been in factories that make gas mixtures, beer coolers, those chill drinks cabinets you see everywhere, rubber gaskets etc. So you can imagine I was excited at the prospect of seeing the inner workings of a paper recycling centre. That was when Stephen dropped a little bombshell. He pointed to some wording etched into a glass partition wall and said, "That’s the logo of the movie studio that was here before we bought the building.” Obviously I must have looked puzzled because Stephen continued, “Although this was originally a purpose built paper recycling facility, a few years back it was converted into a Film and TV studio. Then we converted it back into a recycling centre”. Well I wasn’t expecting that, nor what Stephen said next, “And some of the studio is still here”.

This was getting just a wee bit surreal. Think about it, I was about to make a video about a paper recycling operation that was operating in a movie/TV studio that still had some of the studio fixtures and fittings! So when the offer came to take a look around you can imagine I wasn’t about to say no.

Here’s the studio ‘Live’ light”, Stephen said as we climbed a set of steel stairs and went through a couple of doors.
 











He didn’t have to tell me where we were now, it was the studio control room or gallery. To my left I could see out of the L-shaped glass windows that overlooked what would have been the studio floor but was now the temporary resting place of dozens of paper reels. To my right there was an area where TV equipment must have been located and some of the cabling still seemed to be in place.
   

 

I followed Stephen through another door and we were in a large space with a couple of sofas and an open balcony that was perched over the former studio floor.
 
This must have been the “green room” for guests/talent. We went out onto the balcony and looked back at the gallery exterior. Everywhere we had been and everything I was looking at was covered in in a light coating of paper dust and cobwebs. Given some atmospheric lighting it would make the perfect set for a live action episode of Scooby Doo.      

   

 

 
Some of the walls still had areas that had been painted that special shade of green (just green, not green with a hint of blue or a bit of yellow etc.) for use in green-screen production where the green background is digitally removed and the actors superimposed on a new background.

 






Well that’s it”, said Stephen, bringing me back to the real purpose of my visit. I was going to be making a video about paper recycling for Highlander International’s website so I better get a brief and do a recce. Sometimes I will just do a briefing session with the client on the phone but other times I’ll do a walk-though with the client, taking notes and photographs as we go. Both will be useful once back at the office to write the script. So this is what I picked up about Highlander International Paper Recyclers.
The recycling process obviously starts in your premises and may consist of ordinary office waste paper, confidential waste, surplus or outdated marketing stock, mixed papers, newspapers and magazines. It may even be roll ends from printers or full rolls from a paper mill that is no longer required or faulty.
 
Highlander provides its customers with a range of collection options like 30yd open skips, 35 yard compactor skips, 20-35yd lockable walk-in skips. They also collect in plastic tubs (they are crate size), bespoke cages, on pallets, in bales and bags using their roll-on roll-off trucks, curtain side trucks, secure tail lift box van and 45ft articulated trailers.

 
Because Highlander is a privately owned Independent paper recycling company it does not operate under the same restrictions that a mill owned recycler does. Highlander is free to trade the recovered paper with any approved reputable customers worldwide, thereby achieving maximum best value and higher waste paper prices or scrap paper prices. That best value is then passed back to the company’s waste paper suppliers.


Once the waste paper arrives it is handled by the firm’s fleet of 7 JCB Teletrucks, the loose paper being moved to the grading station where workers manually grade the waste into 20 separate grades, an important part in achieving maximum value for the recovered paper.

 

With two of these on site they can process up to 50 tonnes of waste paper every hour.
Each forcing out a line of recovered paper or cardboard bales.
 
The bales, each weighing perhaps as much as 600kg, are the stored in the large warehouse until sold to clients around the globe.
 

Branded paper kept locked and under CCTV
Branded paper kept locked and under CCTV
As well as recycling mixed paper waste Highlander also specialise in confidential waste destruction, such as confidential documents and surplus branded or watermarked papers. When the confidential waste arrives it is kept in a locked secure area that is covered by CCTV and all staff vetted annually through Disclosure Scotland. Clients even have the option of monitoring the destruction of their confidential waste remotely. Highlander International has an unrivalled capacity to deal with confidential waste destruction and disposal.


The document destruction hammer mill is capable of processing 7 tonnes of confidential waste per hour. It’s the largest of its kind in Scotland which means customers can be sure their confidential waste is processed faster.


Left: Large reels of paper waiting for processing  Right: 2.2m wide reel splitter splitting small paper reel

If the waste arrives on reels it can be separated from the cardboard cores using a 2.2m wide reel splitter, the largest in Scotland and capable of dealing with reels from 100kg to 4 tonnes. The reel splitter blade easily cuts through the paper before the machine disgorges the separated material onto the grading station floor for baling.

Now that the paper has processed the bales will be stored in the warehouse until sold. Highlander’s unrivalled knowledge of paper mills and processors of recovered paper worldwide allows them to send the paper to the mills that provide best value.

 

 

 

 
Now the bales will be loaded onto curtain side trucks or containers and shipped daily to destinations across the UK, Europe, Asia and the Far East with many clients situated in India, Pakistan and China. The company will trade up to 100,000 tonnes annually from their Glasgow recycling centre.


 
Highlander International Paper Recyclers are based in East Kilbride, Glasgow, Scotland and can be contacted on 01355 524215 for paper recycling, confidential waste destruction and disposal plus the best waste paper and scrap paper prices.

 
Watch the finished video here or on YouTube and see how paper is recycled.
 

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For more details about Highlander visit the company website here.
 
For more details about Tosh Lubek Productions click here.

Tuesday, 14 April 2015

5 Great Tips For The Best Career


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If you are asking yourself “what job should I do?” watch the video and read the tips below. Tosh Lubek Productions has invited Magda Tomaszewska from CV World in Stirling to help answer your question with careers advice on How To Choose A Career. Magda is a Certified Professional CV Writer and Career Coach who specialises in guiding people to build careers they really want and deserve. Here are her 5 Top Tips on choosing the right career.

Tip One
Define your natural skills and talents. Find out what you are naturally good at and feel passionate about. It is very important to keep developing yourself in that area and to choose the career that utilises your biggest strengths.

Tip Two
Know your career values. All of us appreciate different aspects of work. These could be for example a stable income, flexibility, executive level job title, commuting time and many others. If your job is incongruent with your values, you may quickly experience a burn out.

Tip Three
Understand your career purpose. What is your personal mission? What is it that drives you to succeed? Understanding your purpose helps you focus, concentrate, eliminate unnecessary activities and stay on the right track.

Tip Four
Do your research. Look for types of jobs that match your career values and utilise your main skills. Consider various options, think outside of the box, read about opportunities available to you and speak to people who have been in the positions that you are considering.

Tip Five
Define your success. Dream and think about what you really want. Create your own definition of success and start working towards it. Remember that clarity of your goals and purpose will help you make the right career choices.

If you would like to work with Magda she can be contacted through her website http://www.cv-world.co.uk


For more advice on career planning see the National Careers Service website https://nationalcareersservice.direct.gov.uk/ADVICE/planning/Pages/chooseacareer.aspx

Tuesday, 7 April 2015

5 Great Tips For Your Best Company Colours

The importance of Colour

Colour is more important to your business than you might think. If you get it right you can influence your customers positively but if you get it wrong your business will suffer as you give out the wrong message to the wider world about your brand. The colours you use can significantly influence potential customers when they judge you, your company and your product. Apparently almost 85% of consumers claim the colour was the primary reason why they bought a particular product. In the case of Heinz they made an extra $23m by changing the colour of their ketchup, but more on that later. Colour can also help create the story about your brand. If someone has no prior knowledge of your business the colour and design of your logo will influence their perception of your brand. Changing the colour alone can also change the brand personality.

With the importance of colour in mind I spoke to interior designer and colour consultant Jane Chrumka from Harmony Ridge Interior Designers Edinburgh and asked her to share a few tips on how anyone could use colour more effectively in business. 
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Jane’s 5 Top Tips

Colour is a powerful and effective communication tool and when used well and wisely it can draw attention to you or your company for all the right reasons. Jane’s five top tips for colour in business are:

One. Be an individual and apply design and colour specifically for you and your requirements. For example, if you are exhibiting pick out your dominant corporate colour and use it as an accent to draw attention to your stand.

Two. When mixing colours decide whether you are using a cool or a warm colour pallet, for best results stick to one. Mix with purpose if you are going to do so.     

Three. When presenting yourself, for example in a meeting or networking or presentations, think about your wardrobe style and colour. Present to each occasion and with your audience in mind.

Four. Check your intended message is being supported by your colour choices.

Five. Have fun and explore with colour. Seek professional advice if you need it.


Men and Woman are Different

When it comes to personal colour preference blues and greens generally lead the way since these are often our favourite colours. However the favourite colours of men and women do differ so you would be wise to consider which gender you are targeting.

A study by Joe Hallock using 232 respondents from 22 countries revealed these differences quite nicely. Overwhelmingly for men the most popular colour was blue with 57% citing it as their favourite, with black next at just 9%. For women blue was also the most popular but at a lower figure of only 35% of respondents, with purple next at 23%. Interestingly NO men cited purple as a favourite colour.
Favourite Colours by Gender
Favourite Colours by gender

The safe takeaway from the data would be choose blues and greens if you are targeting both men and women but if you are after a male audience make sure you avoid purple.

 
The Genders Respond Differently to Colours

The genders not only have different favourites but also respond differently to colour stimuli. An interesting example being research on whether the colour of clothing changes how sexually appealing someone appears. Psychologist Andrew J. Elliot found that men were significantly more romantically attracted to women who dressed in red compared to any other colour. However for women the colour of a man’s clothing did not alter his attractiveness. An interesting result since in nature the displays of colourful males feature in courtship rituals.


Colours have meanings

Colours tend to have meanings. In nature red, black and yellow are understood as warning signs of danger. Examples being the garden wasp or the venomous Coral Snake as shown below.   
 Micrurus tener

In our own world colour meanings and emotions are extensively used in logo design and branding. Reds tend to excite us while blues and greens are more relaxing. The graphic below gives some of those meanings although details can vary country to country.
The next infographic from The Logo Company shows some useful examples on the emotions of colours and how they can and have been used.
http://thelogocompany.net/blog/infographics/psychology-color-logo-design/



Be Careful With Your Colour Palate
Pay attention to your industry’s standard colour schemes. If you try something completely weird your customers may become confused or your choice is initially a runaway success stop and understand why that maybe.
Take the example of Heinz EZ Squirt – A ketchup released in the US initially in Blastin Green to tie-in to the first Shrek film. Kids loved it so Heinz launched further colours of EZ Squirt such as Funky Purple, Stellar Blue, Passion Pink, Awesome Orange, and Totally Teal. Sales soared capturing 60% of the US ketchup market and making an extra $23m for Heinz, however within five years EZ Squirt was off supermarket shelves due to falling sales.
The trouble was EZ Squirt was a novelty product with much of its success down to children’s affection for the Shrek movie. Once Shrek mania faded the reality of colour psychology came back into play and consequently EZ Squirt sales also faded. It’s not really surprising since children don’t like the colour green because that’s the colour of their least favourite food, vegetables. For certain products there is a “right” colour and for millions of consumers ketchup is not green. According to Nigel Hemmington, head of Bournemouth University's School of Service Industries "When something doesn't look the colour we expect, it changes our perception of how it tastes.”

Colour and Conversion Rates
If you are using your website or online video to sell a digital product (ebook, video training course, knitting patterns, etc.) you can exploit colour to help boost your conversion rates.
For your onscreen Call To Actions (CTAs) choose colours that strongly contrast with the rest of your page's colour palate. The CTA button will stand out, attracts the eye of the viewer/visitor and conveys the obvious “Click Me” message. By using that bold colour you are guiding your customer in the direction you want them to go.
If you have the opportunity you should do an A/B test to ascertain the best colour to use. Perhaps you might not like the button colour the data tells you is the best but if that is the one people are clicking the figures cannot be wrong.


More on Colour & Interior Design
For a little more information on the use of colour I have another video from Jane Chrumka. It is relative short and may help you if you are planning on using colour in your business or home.

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For a BBC article on colour psychology related to home decoration click here 
For a Wikipedia article on the psychology of colour clickhere.