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Recruiting: Developers – various roles

We’re expanding our development team to support our growing client base and looking for self-motivated and enthusiastic coders to join our ranks.

We have a number of roles for experienced developers to join our team and are also looking for experienced freelancers to join our rosta.

Skills required include:
Knowledge of hosting environments
Experience of developing in Drupal and WordPress

Absolute requirements are a genuine enthusiasm for coding, a willingness to learn, attention to detail and a strong work ethic, along with evidence of high-quality coding work in a commercial environment.

Please reply with a brief CV, contact details and examples of your work, to jobs@tickboxmarketing.co.uk

Absolutely no agencies please.

St Peter’s Hospice launches on Hummingbird

Our latest Hummingbird CMS website has just launched for St Peter’s Hospice in Bristol.

St Peter’s is Bristol’s only adult hospice, and one of the most high-profile charitable organisations in the city.

Working closely with the team at St Peter’s, we’ve designed and developed a website to help them more effectively engage with and grow their important online community, as well as support patients and families affected by life-limiting conditions.

Within the first couple of days of launch, St Peter’s were already reporting noticeable efficiencies in the way they collect online donations, and how they can improve engagement with online donors.

The Hospice is the latest charity to adopt Tickbox’s specialist Content Management System, Hummingbird.

Hummingbird CMS is a powerful, flexible system designed and developed on open source platforms over the last six years. The CMS is the result of our long-term collaboration with major charities, museums and arts organisations to directly support their digital engagement work.

It supports online giving, events and membership management, e-commerce and integration with a huge suite of specialist charity and fundraising platforms – all seamless integrated with social media.

The latest version of Hummingbird also delivers fully responsive design to ensure our website work seamlessly across all platforms, including mobile. It is a trusted, scalable, customisable and integrates with other open standard platforms.

We’re delighted to have helped deliver this new site for St Peter’s and are looking forward to working with them to help support the fantastic engagement work they do across the Bristol region.

From the Horse’s Mouth – HorseWorld’s winning way with Social Media

patty the donkey painting

Patty - HorseWorld's painting donkey - was a Facebook hit

We’re delighted to see our client HorseWorld shortlisted for the Communicator of the Year award at the prestigious Bristol Post Business Awards next week.

It’s particularly pleasing for us as we’ve followed them through their journey with social media, from tentative first steps to it being a key part of their communications strategy.

We advise a lot of clients on social media strategy, but HorseWorld are one of those who have really grabbed the reins (pun intended!) and created something that we now use as an example in our social media workshops.

Like most clients, HorseWorld were a little unsure of how to approach social media when we first met them – and even whether to do it!

With a strong marketing team already getting results through existing channels and working flat out, there was the question of capacity – who would actually do it? – and also understandable caution at opening up public communication channels without the experience of managing it.

High percentages

They needn’t have worried – after taking the plunge, HorseWorld’s team have delivered a level of social engagement that puts many bigger organisations to shame.

As we tell all our clients, it’s not about the numbers – in two years they have gathered close to 4,500 Likes on Facebook, a good number but still plenty of room for growth.

What they are great at is turning those likes into conversations and actions that benefit the charity. The level of interaction is remarkable – at any one time, as many as a quarter of those Likers are actually active: talking to HorseWorld, sharing posts, having a conversation.

To put that in perspective – HorseWorld’s usual interaction rate is between 15-25%, compared with the Facebook average for even well-known brands (with huge social media budgets) of 1.4%.

In fact, while a rival horse charity has 5 times as many Likes, the level of active users they have is no higher than HorseWorld’s – and active users are really all that matters.

Managing conversations

Social media is not about marketing, it’s about managing conversations and turning those conversations into actions.

HorseWorld’s Facebook page has seen them re-home horses, increase visits to the point that they are almost at capacity, generate national press coverage – and even get one of their animals on Britain’s Got Talent!

They’ve done this with the same limited social media capacity that most charities have – and they’ve done it by not thinking about the technology or trying to come up with gimmicky ideas, but rather just by having that winning formula all conversations need in order to flow – “be interesting, be interested”.

They know their audience and share their passions, and they talk to them – it is simply people talking to people about stuff that interests them both. Sounds easy, but it takes a certain talent to pull it off as effectively as HorseWorld.

Their online community feels listened to, and knows their opinion is important and that the people at HorseWorld genuinely enjoy interacting with them.

HorseWorld MD Mark Owen told us: “Social media has helped HorseWorld establish a real-time two-way communications dialogue with our supporters from all over the world at extremely low-cost.

“We have been able to truly engage with the public and involve them in every step associated with our Charitable work of Rescuing, Rehabilitating and Rehoming Horses in need.

“We are also able to quickly garner options from our visitors, supporters and Equestrian enthusiasts about our work and the Equine Welfare sector in general – which is invaluable feedback when planning for the future.”

The Bristol Post Business Awards are being held on Wednesday 27th June.

Recruiting Assistant/Junior web developer

We’re expanding our development team to support our growing client base and looking for a self-motivated and enthusiastic junior coder to join our ranks.

The role would suit a recent graduate or young developer with evidence of commitment and enthusiasm and examples of recent commercial coding work.

Skills required include:
Knowledge of hosting environments

We believe strongly in developing talent internally, and the right candidate would have the opportunity to grow their position into a more senior role.

Absolute requirements are a genuine enthusiasm for coding, a willingness to learn, attention to detail and a strong work ethic.

Please reply with a brief CV, contact details and examples of your work, to jobs@tickboxmarketing.co.uk

Absolutely no agencies please.

Social media and tourism

Tourism and social media seem to be the theme of the week this week, yesterday saw the topic covered at the annual Exmoor Tourism Partnership where I was a keynote speaker. This morning I was talking on the same subject on BBC Radio Somerset, and today it’s the major theme of Somerset’s Annual Tourism Conference.

I was asked the same question on radio as I was when giving my talk – why is social media so important for tourism.

The simple answer is “because it is how a huge proportion of holidaymakers make their decision on where to go”.

A recent survey suggested that nearly 50% of people who did any social media research when considering a holiday (and that’s most people these days), changed their mind about where to go as a result of social media.

That’s quite a stat – nearly half the people thinking of going somewhere then entirely changed their mind because of how people were talking about places online. You need to make sure they are talking about you.

Talk amongst friends

It’s actually not hard to see why that happens. When people simply search online, they find information about a place written by the place itself. Or they may find reviews by people they don’t know.

When they search on social, more often than not they are finding reviews from people they know – or at worst a friend of a friend.

How much more persuasive is a recommendation from a friend than an advert?

The beauty of social media is that you can, in effect, join in a conversation between friends about things that relate to your business.

Unlike and advert, that has to be watched or read, or a website that has to be searched for and found – your social media is there, live, in the conversation, when people are deciding where to go.

You’ve posted pictures of your guests having a great time (with their permission of course!) and tagged them in it. You’ve connected with networks that are interested in things you have – fishing, horses, cycling, rambling, good food etc – and given them useful information that they like to share. You’ve posted videos, you’ve tweeted about the river levels, or the weather, or things to see and do, or events going on in your town.

So when they think about where to take a break, you are there – on their own platform, in their living room or on their phone, at the right time in the right place.

Social media doesn’t require an enormous amount of technical knowledge, what it does require is careful planning, proper strategy, and – most of all – your voice with something interesting to say.