In a sad day for UK geeks, Maplin enters administration


There’s some sad news for the gadget-buying populace of Britain. Troubled (but iconic) geek retailer Maplin has entered administration after it failed to find a buyer. While its 211 shops remain open, the chain’s prospects look unfathomably bleak. Maplin wasn’t just any old store. It’s was special. I guess the best way you could describe it is as almost analogous to Fry’s and Radio Shack in the United States. At one point, it stocked virtually every computer component you’d care to mention, along with a generous selection of general electronics gear. In short, it was a mecca for nerds. So,…

This story continues at The Next Web

from UK – The Next Web https://thenextweb.com/uk/2018/02/28/in-a-sad-day-for-uk-geeks-maplin-enters-administration/

How to Gain a Massive Following on Instagram: 10 Proven Tactics To Grow Followers and Engagement

Instagram now has more than 800 million monthly users and sky-high user engagement levels.

And with 80 percent of accounts following a business on Instagram, it seems like marketers might be more keen than ever to get acquainted with Instagram for their business1.

I know we are at Buffer!

Lately, we’ve been sharing, liking, and trying new ways to grow Buffer’s Instagram account, and it’s been so much fun. Since Instagram is a platform we’re keen to focus on, we thought it would be fun to research some ways to grow a following there.

Whether you’re growing your own personal account or working on behalf of a company, read on to find out the 10 best tactics (with tools and examples!) we uncovered that could help you grow a bigger, more relevant audience on Instagram.

Instagram scheduling is coming to Buffer! We want to create a great Instagram scheduling experience for you. Watch us build, and share your thoughts.

How to Gain a Massive Following on Instagram: 10 Proven Tactics To Grow Followers and Engagement

Top 10 Instagram Growth Tactics

10 actionable ways to supercharge your follower growth on Instagram:

1. Post consistently (at least once a day)
2. Try videos, live videos, and Stories
3. Study and use quality hashtags
4. Share user-generated content
5. Collaborate with others
6. Post at your best times
7. Use your analytics
8. Engage your fans
9. Host contests
10. Cross-post

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1. Post consistently (at least once a day)

Visual marketing tool Tailwind studied more than 100,000 Instagram profiles in 2017 to understand how posting frequency affects follower growth and engagement rate2.

They found that the more often you post, the more likes and followers you get.

According to the study, profiles that posted seven or more times a week (or at least once a day) get more likes and gain more followers faster than those that post less frequently.

Tailwind Instagram study on posting frequency

Here’s the impact of posting more:

You can almost double your follower growth rate by moving from less than one post per week to 1-6 posts a week. You can more than double your follower growth rate again by moving from posting 1-6 times per week to once or more per day.

The key takeaway: Post consistently on Instagram. Brands that get into a regular flow with Instagram posts tend to see the best results.

With Instagram’s algorithmic timeline, consistency feels like a key element to getting your posts seen and appearing at the top of the timeline. If your posts are shared on a regular basis and picking up good engagement, then our hunch is Instagram’s algorithm may place your posts near the top of your follower’s feeds.

2. Try videos, live videos, and Stories

While Instagram started as a photo-sharing network, it has grown beyond just photos. With features like videos, live videos and Stories, brands can now create many different types of content to engage their fans and grow their following.

Here are a few compelling reasons to try posting these new content types:

  • The average engagement for videos is growing faster than the average engagement for images3
  • When you go live on Instagram, you will appear right at the front of the Stories feed4
  • More than 250 million people use Instagram Stories every day5
  • Sixty-eight percent of marketers surveyed plan to create more Stories in 20186

Sixty-eight percent of marketers surveyed plan to create more Stories in 2018

Free resources:
How to Create Beautiful Instagram Stories (and 10 Amazing Templates to Use)
Here’s All You Need to Know About Live Video on Instagram Stories:
A Video Marketing Guide On Creating Epic Content for Social Media

3. Study and use quality hashtags

We’ve explored hashtags a lot on the blog, but it seems that nowhere on social media are they quite as important as on Instagram. The right hashtags (and location tag) can expose your image to a large and targeted audience, and Instagram users don’t seem to get hashtag fatigue in the same way they might on other networks.

Due to its popularity, it’s even possible to follow a hashtag now!

Simply Measured did two studies and found that Instagram posts with both hashtags and a location tag get the highest average engagement7. In other words, hashtags could be your best bet for growing a fast following on Instagram.

For example, check out one of our recent top Instagram posts, where we used ten hashtags and a location tag:

Instagram post with hashtags and location tags

While Instagram allows for a maximum of 30 hashtags per post, TrackMaven found that nine hashtags seem to be the optimal number for getting the maximum engagement8.

With free Instagram tools like Display Purpose, Focalmark, and AutoHash, you can easily get quality, relevant hashtags for your Instagram posts. For instance, with Display Purpose, simply type in a few words about your image and it’ll recommend the top hashtags to use.

Instagram hashtag tool: Display Purpose

4. Share user-generated content

In a year, we grew our Instagram following by almost 400 percent  – from 4,250 to 21,000 followers. And a large percentage of this growth was a result of us embracing and sharing user-generated content.

The easiest way to think about user-generated content is this: brands taking the best-of-the-best user content from around the web and featuring it on their own social media or other platforms while giving credit to the original creator (user).

At Buffer, we started the hashtags #BufferStories and #BufferCommunity to showcase the unique stories of our users. These hashtags have opened up a huge variety of content options from curated stories of digital nomads to social media tips from marketers. Here’s an example:

Instagram user-generated content

Besides growing your following, digital intelligence firm L2 Inc found that user-generated content also increases the likelihood of an Instagram follower becoming a customer9.

Further reading: Check out our full guide to curating user-generated content on Instagram here.

5. Collaborate with others

Another great way to extend your Instagram reach and grow your following is to collaborate with others, either through partnerships or sponsorships.

For example, we once collaborated with Brian Fanzo, founder and CEO of iSocialFanz, by taking over each other’s Instagram Stories. Through the partnership, we were both able to provide value to our own audience and reach a new audience.

Instagram takeover example

If you have the budget for social media sponsorships, then influencer marketing might be suitable for you. Swedish watchmaker Daniel Wellington is a classic example. They grew their Instagram following from 850,000 to 2.1 million followers in one year by sponsoring Instagram influencers10.

Here’s an example of a recent sponsorship post:

Instagram sponsorship example

The Instagram influencers tag Daniel Wellington’s Instagram account in their sponsored post, which drives people to check out Daniel Wellington’s profile. Through this strategy, Daniel Wellington has amassed more than four million followers so far.

If you wish to explore influencer marketing, here’s a quick five-step influencer marketing guide to get you started.

6. Post at your best times

After looking at more than five studies on the best times to post, I learned that there isn’t a universal best time to post on Instagram.

Instead, every brand has its own best times to post. You have yours, too!

Timeliness of a post is one of the major factors in the Instagram algorithm. So a possible best time for you to post on Instagram is when your followers are most active. Here’s how you can find that information:

  • In the Instagram app, tap on your profile photo
  • Tap on the Instagram Insights (bar chart) icon
  • Scroll down to the “Followers” section and tap on “See more”

At the bottom of the page, you’ll see on which day of the week and at which hours of the day your followers are most active. For example, our followers seem to be most active on Thursdays from 9 am to 3pm ET. You could also look at where your followers are based and experiment with times that you think they’ll be active.

Instagram Insights Followers

Alternatively, you can use Instagram analytics tools like Iconosquare or Buffer for Business to find your best time to post using your Instagram data. This is especially helpful if you don’t have a business profile on Instagram and, thereby, no access to Instagram Insights. Here’s how the Iconosquare feature looks like:

Iconosquare best time to post feature

7. Use your analytics

One of the key ways to grow your Instagram following is to post high-quality content that your followers like and would engage with.

How do you know what your followers like? Again, Instagram Insights provides the data for you to understand which posts your followers like the most.

  • In the Instagram app, tap on your profile photo
  • Tap on the Instagram Insights (bar chart) icon
  • Scroll down to the “Posts” section and tap on “See more”

Here, you’ll see your top posts sorted by impressions. You can tap on the sentence at the top of the page and change the filters according. For example, you could instead see your top videos in the past three months sorted by comments.

Instagram Insights Top Posts

Do you notice any trends?

Does a certain type of image get more impressions or engagement? Post more of those images and see if your followers continue to like and engage with them.

You can even dive deeper into the data by selecting a post and tapping on “View Insights”. For example, I found that, with one of our recent posts, we reached more than 1,700 people who weren’t following us. If they like that post, there’s a high chance that they might end up following us for more similar posts.

8. Engage your fans

In the Instagram algorithm, engagement is one of the major considerations (perhaps the top consideration) when determining how many people to show a post to.

The more engagement a post has, the more people will see it in their feed. 

With many engagements, your posts may even be featured in the top posts of hashtags or in the Explore tab, reaching even more people. And possibly gaining more followers.

A great practice is then to engage your followers by liking or replying to their comments to your posts. Since they took the effort to check out your posts and commenting on them, it feels great to reciprocate by continuing the conversation. Here at Buffer, we use Buffer Reply to easily and quickly reply our fans on Instagram (Facebook, and Twitter).

9. Host contests

Our most commented-on Instagram posts are all contest posts, where we gave out Buffer swags as the prize. Here’s one of them:

Instagram contest post

These posts are great for increasing your reach on Instagram and gaining new followers. For example, you could invite your followers to comment with their favorite emojis or tag a friend to enter the contest.

With the help of either the algorithm or your followers, you could reach many people who might not have heard of your brand before. And if they like the posts on your profile, they might choose to follow you.

To help you get started, Social Media Examiner has an awesome primer on all kinds of Instagram contests.

10. Cross-post

Finally, make sure your existing fans know you’re on Instagram through cross-posting. Instagram makes it simple to share your posts to Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr, which could be a great tactic to get some extra exposure.

And there’s a great advantage to cross-post! A Buzzsumo study of more than one billion Facebook posts from three million brand pages found that images posted to Facebook via Instagram receive more engagement than natively published images11:

facebook-image-engagement

You can also try embedding Instagram photos in your blog posts (see this post for an example) or adding an Instagram feed to your Facebook page for some additional discovery. Here’s a look at Buffer’s Facebook Page with an added Instagram feed:

Buffer Instagram on Facebook Page

One last tactic: How to drive traffic from Instagram?

One of the challenges of marketing on Instagram (and possibly a part of its joy for users) is that you can’t quite add links for your viewers to click.

If you want to send your followers to a specific link, it’s becoming a common practice to change the link in your Instagram profile and add the comment “link in bio” to a corresponding photo or video.

You could also use a tool like Campsite to create a mobile-friendly page where you can list multiple links and associate the links to the respective Instagram post (which you can then link to from your bio).

Instagram tool: Campsite

Wrapping it up: Anatomy of a perfect post

We’ve gone over quite a lot of tactics to remember and try! The kind folks at Made Freshly combined lots of these tips for growing a following into this fun, evergreen infographic:

IG anatomy high res

Bonus: Instagram scheduling is coming to Buffer

We’re so excited to share that Instagram scheduling is well on its way to Buffer! 🎉

As an official Instagram Marketing Partner, we’re eager to deliver a meaningful Instagram scheduling experience — automatic posting, in addition to reminders, and done in a thoughtful, clear way.

While eager to build it fast, we also want to build it the right way. We’d love your advice on what would feel ideal to you. Come watch us build, and share your thoughts.

What are your Instagram experiences?

In our quest to grow our followers, it’s always helpful to remember what really matters in all of this: The friends we’ll talk to, the relationships we’ll create, and the fun we’ll have.

An easy way to keep this principle central is to spend a bit of time each day just hanging out and enjoying Instagram. You might respond to comments, like photos, follow some new friends, and comment on awesome posts. It’s the time spent showing and sharing the love that can pay off in new followers. It also creates a better social media experience for everyone.

We’d love to keep the conversation going—both in the comments here and on Instagram, of course! Lots of awesome friends shared their top tips for marketing on the social network, and we’d love to hear yours, too! Add your thoughts below!

 

You might also enjoy these Instagram marketing resources:

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The Ultimate Guide to Instagram Analytics: Metrics, Insights, Tools, and Tips

 

A Complete Guide to Instagram Marketing: The Playbook That Drives Results

 

How Instagram Stories Work: A Powerful New Way to Engage

 

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from Social https://blog.bufferapp.com/instagram-growth

From Hobby to Career: Interview with Designer Michael Moodie #1 DOTW

Designer of the week

Editor’s notes:
This first interview marks the beginning of a new series of interviews on WDL. We want to keep you, our audience, as engaged as possible with the news in the web design field but also give back by featuring our favorite designers in a weekly article.

We’ll feature a new designer every week (hence the name; Designer Of The Week or DOTW) and we want to give you the possiblity to be featured as well. If you think you have something to say to our audience, drop me an email and we can chat some more (andrei.tiburca@gmail.com)

Enjoy.

Interview with Michael Moodie

Michael Moodie is a Canadian designer living in Seattle. His passion for design and lettering has its roots back in the early years of childhood when Michael was writing graffiti and skateboarding. I first encountered him on Instagram where his painstaking work has a consistent fan base. The designer and lettering artist spent the last 7 years working in-house at creative agencies, startups and now at Amazon Video. On his blog, Michael welcomes his visitors with the unconventional “Don’t steal my work, Thanks” and justly he does.

Hereinafter, we invite you to get to know the talented artist and his beautiful work better. Also, do not hesitate to follow Michael on Instagram, Dribble, Behance, and LinkedIn.

Michael, where does your inspiration come from? 

I gather a lot of inspiration from what my friends are getting up to and how they are making an impact, also from places I visit and how graphic design influences their culture. When I’m not designing I enjoy mixing drinks, creeping around gallery spaces looking for inspiration and spending time with my good mates.

How would you describe the world of graphic design in your country?

With the emerging industry of User Experience design, Graphic Design has changed to be more of a data-driven process opposed to a subject matter experts (the designers) opinion. Through my experience, Data informed graphic design has given designers the opportunity to take their craft to the next level and lead projects from the customer back to the experience. We are starting to see design led fortune 100 companies to perform at 200%+, and more ownership given to design teams and individual creatives.

What is your favorite piece of work and why?

I change my favorite piece of work every day, I create a lot of my work to be sarcastic and relatable. I generally create all the work I love by hand using pencil, ink, and paper.

What do you think are the most important 3 skills for a designer?

Critical thinking, Humility, and a genuine love for the craft.

How do you stay updated with what is new in the design world?

Design conferences, meetups, online classes such as Skillshare, Reddit/medium, friends.

Have you worked with any major brands?

I have worked with brands such as Warner Brothers, Starbucks, Mattel, McDonald’s, Microsoft, etc. My experience working with large corporations is that the design process is very slow paced with many revisions and restrictions. For me, it is most important to spend most of my time in the planning phases to get a strong understanding from all stakeholders on the artifact we are delivering or collaborating on. In my experience, these brands aren’t big on “surprises”. Document your process and bring your client along for the journey.

Who are your favorite 3 designers?

I couldn’t chop my favorite down to 3, I have many inspirations across many mediums.

What is something new that you have learned as a designer in your past experience (jobs & internships)?

I’ve learned that not everything needs to be perfect, there is a very human element to imperfections and errors that should not be fixed.

What kind of people do you love to work with? 

I love to work with big idea thinkers, a visionary per say. A person who sees things that I don’t and understands the lifecycle of the design work we are doing. I love to work with people with purpose, who leave their own flavor on the work.

How do you handle stress and pressure?

I work my best under stress and pressure. I start to feel very competitive with myself and push harder to excel.

Michael, thank you for being so receptive and kind to have answered our questions. 

Thanks so much for the opportunity!

Below, we have cataloged some of Michael’s images that highlight the best his versatile, innovative, and done with great care and thoroughness work.

 

Read More at From Hobby to Career: Interview with Designer Michael Moodie #1 DOTW

from Web Design Ledger https://webdesignledger.com/designer-of-the-week-michael-moodie/

Why LinkedIn Groups Can Be Great for Businesses (and How to Create a Successful One)

LinkedIn Groups do not have a great reputation. Many of them are filled with self-promotion and spam rather than valuable discussions and meaningful interactions. Hence, it can be easy to turn down the idea of creating a one for your business. “It wouldn’t work.”

While it is true that there are few good LinkedIn Groups, it doesn’t mean that they aren’t useful for all businesses. With the shift in social media usage in the recent years, closed communities such as Facebook Groups and LinkedIn Groups might be the next best way to engage your audience.

In this post, we’ll explore why your business should have a LinkedIn Group and how to create and manage a successful group.

Read on to find out more.

Why LinkedIn Groups Are Great and How to Build a Successful One

Why LinkedIn Groups

If you’re still wondering if LinkedIn Groups are useful for your business, I hope the following reasons can convince you of its importance and power.

First, social media as we know it is changing. There’s a significant shift from simply broadcasting marketing messages to engaging fans. Instead of building huge public pages, more and more businesses are opting for niche closed communities. This shift is also encouraged by changes on major social media platforms such as Facebook, where meaningful content in groups is given priority over public content.

LinkedIn has also announced that they will be improving the LinkedIn Group experience, which is “at the heart of what makes LinkedIn a trusted place for professionals to help and support one another”1.

LinkedIn Groups changes

Second, LinkedIn usage is growing. While Facebook and Instagram had received the attention of most marketers (including ourselves) in 2017, LinkedIn has steadily grown its user base to more than 500 million members.

And unlike Facebook and Instagram, people on LinkedIn are there to further their professional network, build their personal brand, and increase their industry knowledge. This makes communities like LinkedIn Groups a great way for bringing your customers together, especially if you are a business-to-business (B2B) company.

LinkedIn Membership growth

Finally, LinkedIn Groups has powerful community management features that are not available on other social media platforms. For example, LinkedIn sends a daily or weekly digest of all activities in the group to your members to keep them updated and engaged. You can also send an admin announcement email to your members once a week — an email that’ll sit in their inbox, not a notification in the app.

LinkedIn Group announcement example

If these reasons are convincing enough for you, if you have the resources, and if you want to learn more about creating and managing a LinkedIn Group, let’s dive in further.

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How to create a successful LinkedIn Group

1. Pick a topic that your customers care about

A Group, however, should be focused around a topic that has a natural connection to your brand and less on directly promoting your brand or company. People should join the group because they are interested in the topic, not your company. Over time, the audience will create a natural connection with the topic and your brand, through an earned connection, which is much more valuable.

— Charlie Lowe at Social@Ogilvy

HubSpot’s LinkedIn Group is about inbound marketing; Content Marketing Institute’s LinkedIn Group is about content marketing. They focused not on their own brand but on topics that their customers care about.

Your customers might be interested in discussing your products with fellow customers. They are, however, likely to be more interested in the wider topic instead. For example, if we had a LinkedIn Group, members would likely be more keen to discuss how to improve their social media marketing than chat about how to use Buffer.

Having a topic that your customers care about will not only attract them to be part of your LinkedIn Group. It will also help keep the conversations in the group focused and make it easier for you and your team to manage the group.

Here are some questions to help you decide on your group topic:

  • What are your goals for the community?
  • What conversations would be useful to your customers?
  • What are some questions that your customers often ask you?
  • What are the common topics that your brand is related to?

2. Create your LinkedIn Group

Once you’ve decided on your topic, the next step is to create your group on LinkedIn.

Creating a LinkedIn group is as simple as filling out a form. Navigate to your LinkedIn Groups and click on “Create group”. Or you can use this direct link if you’re logged in: https://www.linkedin.com/groups/create.

Here are the fields to fill out:

  • Group title
  • Group logo
  • Description
  • Group rules (optional but highly recommended)
  • Group membership (standard or unlisted)

Create a LinkedIn Group

One aspect that I would recommend focusing on is the group rules. Your group rules will help your members understand what’s encouraged and what’s not. Having your groups rules stated explicitly will also make it easier for you to manage your group and moderate conversations.

Here’s an example by Content Marketing Institute LinkedIn Group:

Content Marketing Institute LinkedIn Group rules

It might sound harsh that they would “delete any discussion submission which includes a link to posts and articles or are a promotion of services” and “Members who repeatedly submit links will be removed from the group.” From my personal experience, having such rules and enforcing them seem to be the key difference between a LinkedIn Group with meaningful discussions and one that is filled with spam and links.

 

If you want to check out more group rules for reference, I thought Search Engine LandStep Into The Spotlight!, and Lean Startup Circle have pretty good group rules. (You’ll have to join the groups to see the rules.)

3. Set up message templates

One handy feature of LinkedIn Groups is its message templates. You can create custom messages that would be automatically sent to people interested in joining your LinkedIn Group. This is a great opportunity to let your brand tone shine. If you do not create a custom message, LinkedIn will send its default message accordingly.

Here are the various message templates:

  1. Request-to-join Message (to people who requested to join your group)
  2. Welcome Message (to people whom you have approved their membership in your group)
  3. Decline Message (to people whom you have declined their request to join your group)
  4. Decline and Block Message (to people whom you have declined their request and want to block any further requests)

To access this setting, click on “Manage” on your LinkedIn Group homepage and select “Templates” on the left. Then, click on “Create Template” for the ones you want to customize. Here’s how customizing the template looks like:

Customize message templates

Here’s an example of how a custom welcome message email looks like (the message is in the middle section while the other two sections are automatically generated, I believe):

LinkedIn Group custom welcome message

If you would like interested people to fill out an application form to join the group, you could include an application form in your request-to-join message, like HubSpot did:

LinkedIn Group application

This way, you can ensure that only people that fit your target persona or people who are really interested would join your LinkedIn Group.

4. Invite your connections and grow your group

To help ensure that your LinkedIn Group remains a trusted place for you and your members to gather, you can now invite only people whom you’re connected to on LinkedIn.

To invite your connections, click on “Manage” on your LinkedIn Group homepage and select “Invited Users” on the left.

Invite your connections

If you have other marketing channels, such as other social media profiles, email, or a blog, you could use them to promote your new LinkedIn Group. Alternatively, you could also share your LinkedIn Group on your personal LinkedIn profile and encourage your colleagues to do the same.

Here are a few more ideas from LinkedIn on promoting your group:

  1. Optimize and edit your group information to include keywords that prospective members are likely to search for.
  2. Encourage group members to invite people.
  3. Advertise your group with LinkedIn Ads by clicking the Advertising link at the bottom of any LinkedIn page.

It might be tempting to think that the bigger your group is, the better it would be. Before you go about growing your group, here’s a thought to consider: many of the largest LinkedIn Groups have over a million members and are often filled with just links. It’s often the smaller groups with proper moderation that have meaningful discussions. (LinkedIn has now limited the number of members in a group to 20,0002.)

5. Start discussions and be active

This step and the next are the most crucial ones, which will influence how well your LinkedIn Group becomes. You ready?

Once you’ve created your LinkedIn Group and invited your connections, your group would likely still feel very empty. Members might not post anything if there aren’t any posts in the group (or they might just start sharing links 🙈).

I would recommend creating a “Welcome post” as the group’s first post, where you welcome new members, share what the group is about, and gently remind members to check the group rules.

Then, feature that post so that it stays at the top of the group feed for all new members to read. You can feature a post by clicking on the three dots in the upper-right corner of the post and selecting “Feature”. Here’s an example of how a featured post looks like:

LinkedIn Group featured post

The next thing to do is to start some discussions in the group. This serves two purposes:

  1. It helps get conversations going in the group, and
  2. It signals to your group members the type of posts that are appropriate and encouraged.

The question-and-answer format seems to be the best way to start valuable conversations in LinkedIn Groups. According to Inc., James McDonald, who started a successful industrial water treatment LinkedIn Group several years back, posted a question every day and let his members respond to it3.

Besides starting discussions, you’ll also want to participate in relevant discussions by commenting or liking. This will encourage your members to post more and, again, let them know the type of discussions that are recommended the group.

Starting discussions and participating in them can be quite time-consuming. But your effort will pay off once you have created a culture of having meaningful discussions. New members tend to follow the actions of existing members. If they see only quality conversations and no self-promotional posts, they’ll more likely contribute to the discussions than promote their own things in the group.

6. Moderate all posts and remove spam

This next step is just as important as the previous. Once your members become active (yay!), it’ll be crucial to moderate the posts in your LinkedIn Group. My hunch is that most LinkedIn Groups fail because of a lack of moderation.

According to LinkedIn, “Spam is the top reason people leave groups” and, if I may add, the top reason people become inactive in groups4. Spam in LinkedIn Groups is usually in the form of links. So I would recommend being quite sensitive to members sharing links in your LinkedIn Group, and deleting the post or removing the member.

To remove a post or comment in your LinkedIn Group, click on the three dots in the upper-right corner of the post or by the comment and select “Delete”.

Delete LinkedIn post

To help you reduce spam, LinkedIn also has an auto-moderation system that would flag promotional content. You could also encourage your members (or group managers) to flag posts that are not appropriate for the group. Then you can head to your group management page to moderate the posts under the sections, “Moderation Queue” and “Classifier Queue”.

LinkedIn Group manage content

Here’s a little heads up: building an engaged community can take some time and effort. You’ll likely have to repeat step five and six for quite some time so don’t be disheartened if your group isn’t very active after the first month or two.

If you would like to learn more best practices for managing LinkedIn Groups, there are a few good answers in this Quora thread (especially the answers of Alice Fuller, Andy Foote, and Jeff Martens).

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Who’s doing it well? A few great examples

In case it’s helpful to take a peek at what great LinkedIn Groups are doing, here are a few of my favorites (from my very limited research). Approval is required before one joins a group so I have not been able to check out many. If you know of any other great examples, would you kindly share them below? Thank you!

Search Engine Land

Search Engine Land

Search Engine Land is a LinkedIn Group for SEO, filled with many great question-and-answer discussions. They are very strict about not sharing links in the group, except for links from Search Engine Land’s websites. (The assumption is that as it is a Search Engine Land’s group, people who join are interested in getting news directly from the company.)

Social Media Marketing

Social Media Marketing

Social Media Marketing claims to be the largest and most active social media marketing LinkedIn Group as of May 2017. There are many great discussions in the group, such as the one in the screenshot. At the same time, as it is such a big group, moderation can take some time so you’ll often see self-promotion posts in the group.

Step Into The Spotlight!

Step Into The Spotlight

Step Into The Spotlight! is a business and marketing LinkedIn Group by Tsufit, author of Step Into The Spotlight. Tsufit regularly starts discussions and moderates the posts to keep the group free of spam. While self-promotion in the group is generally not encouraged, there’s a post where members can showcase their work in the comments of the post.

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Over to you: Which are your favorite LinkedIn Groups?

LinkedIn is the best platform to reach professionals who are interested in connecting with other professionals. This makes it a great place to build your professional community. While LinkedIn Groups might not have a great reputation (now), the few well-run groups are good indications that it’s possible to create a successful one.

That’s all from me. I would love to hear about your favorite LinkedIn Groups and why you think they are great!

The awesome featured image above is by NASA and taken from Unsplash.

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from Social https://blog.bufferapp.com/linkedin-groups

6 Streetwear Brands on Fire with Millennials

Some fashion brands are better than others. That’s just a fact. And while you might be obsessed with Nike and Under Armour, does that mean they’re the best brands out there? No, it certainly doesn’t. And to be honest, those brands are trash compared to other street style companies that have been around a lot longer and made an actual influence on society. I’m not trying to piss anyone off, but here are the TRUE best streetwear brands in the game right now:

 

 

 

Supreme:

Supreme is by far one of the best streetwear brands out there. This skateboarding shop turned clothing brand, created by James Jebbia, started off as a small company in downtown Manhattan and quickly became a designers dreams. Thanks to collaborations with top luxury/streetwear brands like Louis Vuitton, Nike, and Kermit the Frog, Supreme is the brand people want to be wearing. Even celebrities like; Cara Delevingne and DJ Khaled have been pictured wearing this. Consumers don’t seem to have a problem dropping thousands of dollars if that means they get to rock a Supreme Louis Vuitton Bag (which sells for no less than $4,000, btw) and post a picture of it on Instagram.

The Louis Vuitton x Supreme-$7000-$14500

 

 

Supreme Box Logo Hoodie in Heather Grey: $800-$1450

 

 

 

 

Read More at 6 Streetwear Brands on Fire with Millennials

from Web Design Ledger https://webdesignledger.com/6-streetwear-brands-fire-millennials/

Best Fashion Apps for Men

In this glorious/terrifying digital age we live in, there truly is an app for everything. We’re talking ordering pizza, operating a drone, learning a new language, even checking out what it would look like if we were to merge faces with Danny Trejo (pretty unsettling, FYI).

There are literally millions of downloadables floating around, a handful of which claim to be able to help us refine our style, but which ones are actually worth having?

To save you from cluttering up your smartphone finding out, we’ve compiled a rundown of the apps we think no stylish man should be without.

Instagram

Instagram isn’t just a place to share pictures of your lunch or funny snaps of your dog – this platform is filled with fashion and style inspiration for men of all ages and tastes.

Not only have global brands flocked to the social media network since its inception back in 2010, but the very best menswear bloggers, street style photographers and publications like us can also be found amongst its millions of profiles.

Available free on iPhone and Android.

 

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Depop

eBay is great and all, but for those who find the process of making a listing a tad arduous, Depop might just be your new best mate.

Best summed up as an Instagram version of the auction site, simply take a few quick snaps of the item you want to sell, fill in some basic details, and your clothes will be listed as images in grid form for all to see and buy at the push of a button.

Available free on iPhone and Android.

 

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Read More at Best Fashion Apps for Men

from Web Design Ledger https://webdesignledger.com/best-fashion-apps-men/

The Best Website and Page Building Tools You Should Rely on in 2018

It’s not difficult to get confused if you set finding the best possible website builder as an objective. It’s hard enough to define what “best” is since there are so many top-quality products on the market. If you’re looking for the best tools that also happen to be free, your search could become even more frustrating.

The good news is, you’ve just come across a post that’s spot-on. It will show you the best tools for your 2018 website-building undertakings. These tools also happen to be free.

These are the most advanced and trusted free web-building products on the market. All you need to do to find the best one is to choose the one that best suits your needs.

Be prepared to be more than a little surprised as to what you’ll find here, versus what you already have.

 

  1. Mobirise Website Builder

            Mobirise is easy to work with, the sites you build with Mobirise are 100% mobile-friendly, and since it’s an offline builder, Mobirise is yours, and you have total control over how you use it. You can publish your website on a local drive, on Google Cloud, on Amazon S3, or elsewhere.

Last, but not least, Mobirise is free; both for commercial and your personal use. Visit the website, look for the Windows and MacOS Download buttons, and away you go!

This website builder is easy to work with since it’s all drag and drop with no coding necessary. You have more than 300 attractive and trendy website blocks and templates to work with in the free version (and, an additional 500 if you opt for a premium version) plus a huge library of icons, Google fonts, and free images.

Thanks to its Google AMP/Bootstrap 4 framework, it’s performance is lightning fast.

We encourage you to keep going down the list; but if you stop here, and download your copy of Mobirise, you’ll still be ahead.

 

  1. Visual Composer Website Builder

Visual Composer has been around for quite a while in one version or another, but the Visual Composer Website Builder is a completely new animal when it comes to WordPress builders.

Forget everything you knew about WPBakery Website Builder, as this product is not an upgraded version of it. It is a tool that is made entirely from scratch. Like other builders in this list, it comes in both free and premium versions.

The Visual Composer Builder is a drag and drop builder. You design your page layouts by selecting among a set of rich content elements and dragging and dropping them to your page. Coding isn’t necessary, and a selection of professional templates is available to help you get started.

There are plenty of other features as well, plus you can use the Builder with any WordPress theme, you get Google fonts support, special effects, and it’s responsive.

 

  1. Portfoliobox

Portfoliobox was designed with professional creatives in mind. This includes photographers, artists, designers, and yourself. Since it’s an online tool and is not theme-based, you’re not forced to use a standard theme, and you can in fact use any style you choose for any page; allowing you to create a website and portfolio that genuinely reflects your work, or that of your client’s.

Portfoliobox also offers free and pro plans. With the free plan, you get hosting of up to 30 images, 10 products, and 10 pages. If you decide to move over to the pro plan (it’s recommended that you first try the free plan on for size) you get hosting for more images and unlimited products and pages.

More than 400,000 unique websites have been created with Portfoliobox. Sign up for your free account today!

 

  1. Elementor Page Builder

Elementor is a free drag-and-drop page builder that’s super-fast with great UX & UI. It is also the easiest way to design WordPress websites. The editor is flexible, easy to use & intuitive. Zero coding is needed, making the design process more enjoyable than ever before.

Create any web page with pixel perfect design, speeding up your workflow with features like mobile editing, template library, import/export templates and more.

5.Themify Builder

Themify Builder’s combination of 40+ pre-designed layouts and comprehensive styling, including the ability to arrange layout grids virtually any way, offers unparalleled flexibility as a website builder. You can also style your layouts for desktop, tablet, and mobile, thanks to Responsive Styling feature.

This drag and drop layout tool also features a live preview capability, and the layout parts you create can be saved and reused. With Themify Builder, you also get a collection of 60+ animation effects.

 

  1. uKit

If you see a need fora small business website on the horizon, whether it’s yours or a client’s, uKitis an ideal pick, especially if that “horizon” is staring you in the face. You can literally have a website up and running in minutes with this super-flexible, responsive, and SEO friendly drag and drop builder. 200+ templates come with the package to get you started. Sign up for a free trial.

 

  1. Pixpa

While you can use Pixpa for almost any type of website, this all-in-one web-building platform is especially suited for creative professionals in need of a portfolio website. Pixpa also features a built-in eCommerce store, and client-proofing and blogging tools.

With its affordable pricing (you can get started for free), best-in-class hosting, and 24/7 customer support, Pixpa has become the platform of choice for many.

 

  1. IM Creator

IM Creator is a drag and drop website builder with a twist. While you have 200+ templates to get started, the approach you use involves creating your site by choosing among its selection of stripes and polygons to drag and drop onto your pages.

IM Creator is super-simple to use, it doesn’t require coding, it comes with eCommerce and blogging capabilities, and its fully responsive and Google-friendly.

 

Conclusion

These 8 website building tools might be described as being “free and easy.” This is aside from their many other features and capabilities.

It isn’t every day you get a chance to select among the best of the best website building tools. So, when you find the one that’s a perfect match for your needs, and it also happens to be free, do not miss a chance.

Make your day by going through the list, and trying one, two, or more of the Best of the Class of 2018.

Read More at The Best Website and Page Building Tools You Should Rely on in 2018

from Web Design Ledger https://webdesignledger.com/the-best-website-and-page-building-tools-you-should-rely-on-in-2018/

10 Ways Universities Can Use Facebook to Market to and Connect With Students

When I was in university two years ago, Facebook was already intertwined with student life.

We heard about news and events through Facebook Pages and collaborated on group work through Facebook Groups. After graduating, I’ve been getting updates about the university through the alumni Facebook Page. Nowadays, it’s also common for prospective students to research on Facebook when deciding their university and course.

With Facebook being a part and parcel of university students’ lives, there are many things that social media teams at universities can do to market the university, engage students, and stay in touch with alumni.

Here are just some ideas I’ve found through my research that you can implement for your university…

Facebook for Universities: 10 Creative Ideas for Social Media Managers

10 Facebook ideas for universities that want to be social

1. Share news, achievements, and milestones

A great, easy way to get started with using Facebook for your university is to share news about the university, such as achievements of students and professors and milestones of the university. This way, prospective, present, and past students can stay up-to-date with the happenings in the university while they are on Facebook.

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) shares about an average of one post every weekday (which is a great frequency to begin with).

MIT Facebook post

If you want to go one step further, you could list the milestones of the university on the Facebook Page’s About section, like the University of Cambridge did. They listed their key milestones all the way back to 1209 when the university was founded.

University of Cambridge milestones

To list a milestone on your university’s Facebook Page, click on the three dots below the Page cover photo and select “Create Milestone”.

Create a milestone on Facebook Page

A popup will appear for you to fill out the details of the milestone, expand on the story, and add relevant photos. If you want to celebrate this milestone with your Page fans, you can leave the “Hide from News Feed” checkbox unchecked and hit “Save”. The milestone will be added to your Page and shared on its timeline.

Facebook Page milestone popup

2. Collect reviews from current and past students

Besides websites such as The Student Room and the UCAS, prospective students are also using social media to research their university options. They join Facebook Groups of the courses they are interested in, speak with current students, and check out reviews of the universities.

Facebook provides a section for you to collect reviews and ratings from current and past students, where you can also react or comment on the reviews. And yes, it’s important to respond to reviews, especially if it’s an unhappy comment.

A university that does this well is the University of Southern Queensland (Australia). They have garnered over 500 reviews and are rated 4.4 stars out of 5.

University of Southern Queensland Facebook reviews

To turn on the review section for your Facebook Page, navigate to “Settings” > “Edit Page” > “Tabs”. Besides “Reviews”, click on “Settings”, toggle the “Show Reviews” option, and hit “Save”.

Facebook review section settings

3. Provide virtual tours for prospective students

Another thing that prospective students might be keen on is checking out the university campus. Virtual tours via social media is a great way to let them explore your beautiful campus, especially for international students who are not able to fly over for the university’s open day.

Thanks to Facebook Live, you can even take them on a live, interactive tour around the campus. For example, two graduates at the University of Sussex did a Facebook Live tour of their campus and replied to questions via the comments.

http://www.facebook.com/plugins/video.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2Funiofsussex%2Fvideos%2F10156206044601754%2F&show_text=1&width=560

You don’t need any expensive or fancy equipment to do this. All you need is a smartphone, Facebook Live, and a few passionate students who are interested in showing people around, like Steph and Matt.

On the other end of the spectrum, there are also virtual tours that are created using virtual reality technology. The virtual tour can then be added to your Facebook Page, like how Yale University did.

Yale University VR campus tour

4. Use Messenger to answer inquiries

In the past, emails and phone calls are the most common ways of contacting universities. With the rise of social media and messaging apps, Facebook Messenger opened up another communication channel between universities and students.

For example, Harvard University has a “Send Message” call-to-action on their Facebook Page. According to the Facebook, the Harvard University team typically replies to messages instantly.

Harvard University Facebook Messenger

If you are unable to check your Page’s messages regularly throughout your workday, you could use Facebook’s Response Assistant to set up automated greetings and replies to let students know that you’ll get back to them soon. You can find this under your Page “Settings” > “Messaging”.

Facebook Page Response Assistant

5. Welcome and bring new students together

Starting university life can be quite scary to many. It can be worse if you do not know anyone else going to the same university as you. So many universities create Facebook Groups for new students to ask questions, interact with one another, and get information about events and activities.

For example, the University of California, Davis creates a new Facebook group for every batch of new students at the university, which is managed by a group of administrators from their marketing and communications team.

UC Davis Freshman Facebook Group

Such groups can allow new students to connect and interact with one another even before the university term starts. After the term has started, you can use this group to inform students about events and activities happening on the campus.

It’s also common to have Facebook Groups for the various degrees and residence halls. For example, the Student Union at the University of Warwick sets up an official Facebook Group for every hall annually so that students living in the same hall can get to know one another better and organize activities via the group.

University of Warwick Hall Facebook Groups

If you would like to create Facebook Groups for the students in your university, here’s our guide to help you get started.

6. Curate student-generated content

Beside sharing news and announcements from the university, you could also share photos and videos taken by students. This not only gives prospective students a view of the university from current students’ perspectives but also engages current students by featuring them on the university’s Facebook Page. How cool would that be!

For instance, the social media team at California Polytechnic State University (Cal Poly) started a hashtag campaign, #CalPolyNow, to help share students’ voices and photos. Students would use the hashtags while posting on Instagram, and the team would re-post selected photos on the university Instagram account and cross-post some on their Facebook Page (with permission).

http://www.facebook.com/plugins/post.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2FCaliforniaPolytechnic%2Fposts%2F10156353018369367&width=500

If you feel that the students in your university are more active on Instagram, you could also link to the university’s Instagram account from the Facebook Page. Using Facebook apps such as Instatab or Instagram Page App, you can add your Instagram gallery to your Facebook Page for free. Here’s an example by Cal Poly:

Cal Poly Facebook Instagram Feed

Alternatively, you could curate Instagram posts taken by students and compile them into a Facebook photo album, like Brigham Young University did.

Brigham Young University student-generated content

7. Offer career advice and support

Not every student would know how to plan their career. I certainly didn’t know when I was in university. Thankfully, many universities now offer career planning advice and support. Facebook is a great way to spread these helpful resources to the student body.

For example, the Student Careers & Skills at the University of Warwick has a Facebook Page, where they share career advice and inform students of relevant career fairs and events.

University of Warwick Student Careers and Skills

(Fun fact: Our CEO Joel Gascoigne and I both went to the University of Warwick!)

8. Organize and promote university events

With Facebook, you can also easily organize and market events at your university. Instead of having to create a new website for an event, you can simply create an event page on Facebook, where you can state the date, time, venue, and details of the event.

For example, Imperial College London regularly uses Facebook to promote events at their university.

Imperial College London events

An additional advantage is that Facebook would help you spread the word about your events. When students indicate that they are going to an event, Facebook would show that to their friends either on their News Feed or via notifications. This can help attract more people to your events.

You could go one step further by boosting your event on Facebook (as in advertising it on Facebook). Once you have created your event page on Facebook, there’s a “Boost Event” button that’ll allow you to advertise your event. Here’s more information about creating an event ad on Facebook.

Facebook promote event

9. Create sub-Facebook Pages

If you were to search “uc berkeley” on Facebook, you’ll see not one but more than 50 Facebook Pages. There’s the main UC Berkeley Facebook Page but there’s also one for the Haas School of Business at UC Berkeley, one for the UC Berkeley’s Goldman School of Public Policy, and many more.

UC Berkeley Facebook Pages

Every university is so diverse with many different departments, societies, and clubs. And each has its own unique set of audience. Rather than having one Facebook Page for the entire university, it’ll be more appropriate (and more fun) to have a Facebook Page for each group.

Of course, you do not have to manage every one of them as long as there’s someone within each group that is willing to. As the marketing team for the university, it’ll be great to lay out some guidelines or offer advice to the “marketer” in each group.

You can also give them an awareness boost by featuring them on the university’s main Facebook Page. If you like the Pages with the main Facebook Page, you can feature them by going to “Settings” > “Featured” and selecting which Pages you want to feature.

UC Berkeley featured Pages

To like another Page, click on the three dots below their cover photo and then “Like As Your Page”, and select the Page you want to like as.

Facebook Like As Your Page

10. Connect with alumni through Facebook Pages or Groups

We’ve talked a lot about marketing to prospective students and engaging current students. But staying in touch with the alumni is important, too. Alumni can help graduates jump-start their career and contribute through volunteering and fundraising.

For instance, Stanford University has several alumni Facebook Pages. On their main alumni Facebook Page, they share stories about their alumni and reminisce about the Stanford history.

Stanford Alumni Facebook Page

Over to you: What other ideas for you have?

Most students are on Facebook and are using Facebook Groups and Messenger to collaborate and communicate with one another. So Facebook is increasingly becoming an important channel for social media teams at universities to market, engage, and stay in touch with students. (The same can also be said for other social media networks such as Instagram and Twitter.)

As a recap, here are the 10 ideas I’ve found through my research and from my personal experience at university:

  1. Share news, achievements, and milestones
  2. Collect reviews from current and past students
  3. Provide virtual tours for prospective students
  4. Use Messenger to answer inquiries
  5. Welcome and bring new students together
  6. Curate student-generated content
  7. Offer career advice and support
  8. Organize and promote university events
  9. Create sub-Facebook Pages
  10. Connect with alumni through Facebook Pages or Groups

What other cool ideas can you think of that social media managers at universities can try? Are there anything special that you do at your university? It’ll be great to hear from you!

P.S. If you are interested in learning more about social media at universities, you might like our podcast interview with Nikki Sunstrum, Director of Social Media at the University of Michigan.

The awesome featured image above is by Jason Leung, taken from Unsplash.

from Social https://blog.bufferapp.com/facebook-for-universities

10+ AMP Ready Magento Themes

AMP Ready Magento Themes

How often do you use your smartphone? Do you remember how helpless you felt the last time when your smart device was left at home? Smartphones have become indispensable parts of our lives. We check out the news feeds in social media at breakfast. We read the latest news on the media portals on the way to work. Also, we chat with friends in messengers each time we have a spare minute. Moreover, we spend hours searching the web on-the-go. Finally, we choose only the fast-loading sites. The ones that make us too long to wait until the content loads are quitted immediately. In order to attract the wider audiences and keep people coming back, the modern day businesses need to take care of the proper performance of their sites on all devices and the screens of mobile phones in particular. Today we’re introducing AMP-ready Magento themes from TemplateMonster Marketplace.

What is AMP?

AMP (or accelerated mobile pages) is a module that is intended to make the content of the websites load quicker on the smaller screens. Having it installed on your site, you will impress the web users with the lightning fast page loading speeds, as well improve your search engines rankings. If you run a Magento-based eCommerce site and want to boost its performance on the handheld devices, then the AMP module is just what you need.

Having the AMP module installed on your site you will have all pieces of content loaded in less than 2 seconds. All documents of this open-source technology contain AMP JS JavaScript Library. The latter delivers the optimal performance by adding a few roles in your markup.

AMP controls the entire load chain. It prioritizes the main content on the web page by loading it first, with the third-party content being loaded afterward.

Top Reasons to Use AMP

With the help of the AMP module added to your website, you can:

  • accelerate page loading speeds;
  • bring unique UI and UX to the Category and Product pages;
  • load images, texts, and widgets faster;
  • let the users find content on the Google Results page;
  • make your site compatible with all smartphones and tablets;
  • make your’s content load for less than 2 seconds;
  • achieve higher site ranking in the search engines results;
  • attain up to 10% traffic growth and 52% sales boost.

10+ AMP-ready Magento Themes

TemplateMonster is the first digital marketplace on the market that started to sell AMP-ready Magento themes. At the moment, there are 6 Magento themes that are integrated with the technology. All consecutive Magento 2.2 themes will be loaded with the module also.

Magetique – Premium Responsive Magento 2 Theme

Fine-tune your website design and style using this multipurpose Magento theme that has an aesthetically appealing palette. Magetique is a cool theme created to get fashion, furniture, tools, cars, and other types of projects to the web. Its 100% responsive structure will look perfect on any monitor size. AMP technology will ensure lightning fast page loading speeds. Putting up a web platform is definitely beneficial for advertising these days, and this design can play an important role in the arrangement of your online marketing strategy. Moreover, a lot of template settings can be changed on the fly through the advanced admin panel. Neat and well-organized design of the web template allows you to promote loads of content on one web page, without diminishing its legibility. In addition, buying this particular template you get round-the-clock technical support and detailed guidelines.

Magetique - Premium Responsive Magento 2 Theme

Details | Demo

Fashion Slash – AMP Fashion Boutique Magento Theme

Fashion Slash is a fashion and beauty shop theme designed for bringing your website on the net. This theme is an advanced solution for small to large-sized eCommerce projects. Moreover, included blocks of content and widgetized elements make the design of the template clear. Setting up a web resource and granting your prospective customers an opportunity to check out the information concerning your project on the move can be a wonderful method of raising your client base. Additionally, easy-on-the-eyes page layout with the focus on visuals easily catches the attention of site visitors, driving them in.

Fashion Slash - AMP Fashion Boutique Magento Theme

Details | Demo

Illin.co – Tools & Equipment Magento Theme

The most impressive thing about this template is the design. Well crafted 100% responsive website design with a robust visual impression will wonderfully work for redressing or putting up tools and equipment web stores. Regardless of the gadget, you have to browse the webpage, its interface will display flawlessly because of the built-in AMP technology. Thus, the website visitors will definitely love this navigation and graphic elements that guide them swiftly throughout the site. Create your online resource even more productive with this custom WordPress skin. In the event of any problem with this template, you can contact one of the professional assistance managers and they will resolve the problem of any difficulty for clients.

Tool Store Magento 2 Theme

Details | Demo

Jewelrix Magento Theme

This jewelry Magento theme is a good solution to present any sort of fashion-related eCommerce project. Easy-to-use site navigation and easy-to-browse, responsive and cross-browser compatible design will facilitate the visitors’ interaction with the website based on this theme. SEO-optimized, it can be easily found by the web users whichever search engine they are making use of. Magento is already a powerful option equally for personal and business sites, and with this layout, it will turn out to be twice more effective to launch your eCommerce project. Moreover, responsive design offers an ideal user experience. Furthermore, the website created on the basis of this web template will result in the enjoyable browsing and make buyers interested in your deals.

Jewelrix Magento Theme

Details | Demo

Designer Boutique Magento Theme

This designer web template comes with a graphic-heavy layout great for a stunning presentation of your web-based project. This website template is quite suitable to present your photo portfolio, freelance photographer portfolio or fashion photographer on the net. Being integrated with popular social networks platforms, the template shown here can be an ideal tool to get in touch with your clients. Moreover, multipurpose and easy to change, the web layout can be comfortably adjusted to demonstrate your website at its top. Furthermore, this 100% responsive theme is a practical solution with nice typography and well-balanced blocks of content.

Designer Boutique Magento Theme

Details | Demo

Mobile Store Magento 2 Theme

To convert electronics store site into a progressive and pleasing one, think of this vibrant straightforward Mobile Store Magento 2 Theme. This particular photography portfolio Bootstrap web theme that can be used to get started with an online resource for mobile and tech gear eCommerce projects. Thus, if you want to build a successful online resource with Magento, you have to use a powerful and fully-fledged website template, supporting specific forms and plugins. Intuitive navigation and 100% responsive design of this theme offer the web page visitors a pleasant user experience. AMP module will enhance the performance of the site in all web environments.

Mobile Store Magento 2 Theme

Details | Demo

Auto Parts Magento 2 Theme

The Magento 2 web template is a smooth and cutting-edge design for photography auto parts shops. In other words, it is a combo of visual aesthetics and features. SEO-optimized, it can be easily found by Internet users whichever search engine they are making use of. Don’t overlook this theme if you aim at maximizing your web recognition. Responsive layout is one more reason to try this web design for your web store as it performs equally well on any screens including PCs, tablets and mobile phones. And as a result, a lot of people can easily get to your webpage from their handheld gadgets. In addition, a welcoming customer assistance squad is available 24/7 for free. Select this web theme and spread the word of your e-project all over the world.

Auto Parts Magento 2 Theme

Details | Demo

Modern Furniture Magento 2 Store

Get your website off to a flying start by using this theme. Pay attention to this template that was tailored to build or redesign your furniture or interior design eCommerce site. Presented blocks of content, widgetized sections make the structure of the theme distinct. Moreover, a lot of template settings can be changed on the fly through the usable admin panel. Make every client feel the delight of surfing your Internet site using this theme. Furthermore, the clients will smoothly browse around a thought-out web page, and view it on numerous mobile devices because of its 100% responsive, cross-browser compatible and SEO-friendly layout. Clean, valid code and comprehensive documentation will aid you in enhancing this web theme the way you desire. Make use of this web layout to persuade prospective web users that they will have a nice time browsing your website!

Modern Furniture Magento 2 Store

Details | Demo

Recuidi – Healthy Food Store Magento Theme

This healthy food template is built by a team of qualified designers, therefore it will make any site work to its full potential. This innovative Bootstrap web design has been created to satisfy the needs of food delivery and supermarket sites. Visiting a website page based on this theme users will allocate the necessary content without problems. Moreover, thanks to its fully responsive essence, you will easily reach clients who surf the web on the move, whereas SEO-friendliness will let you boost traffic rates of your online project. Thus, if you want to build a successful online resource with Magento, you have to use a powerful and fully-fledged website template, supporting specific forms and plugins.

Recuidi - Healthy Food Store Magento Theme

Details | Demo

AllyBike – Cycling Supplies Store Responsive Magento Theme

AllyBike is a responsive cycling store web theme that’s been designed to run flawlessly across a wide range of devices and web browsers. Present the inventory in the usable style online to get the clients you were not able to engage in the past. Building a brand new project on the net, you need to ensure that it will stand above the rivals, which is when this theme will come to be useful. Included blocks of content, widgetized elements make the design of the template clear. Moreover, its well-arranged layout is effective for content-rich websites that need to present all specifics in an easy to perceive manner. The theme is also richly documented and provides professional 24/7 support. Start a thriving web resource by means of this web theme and get the gains.

Cycling Magento 2 Theme

Details | Demo

CompShop – Computer Store Magento Theme

The Computer Store Magento Theme will easily draw the attention of online users to your products and services. This innovative template was created to satisfy the needs of the needs of computers and Internet shops. The content areas help make the design user-friendly. If you’d like to present your webpage effortlessly, this responsive and SEO-friendly website template is going to be a splendid solution. If you want to build a successful online resource with Magento 2, you have to use a powerful and fully-fledged website template, supporting specific forms and plugins. Thus, the great outcomes are achievable due to this theme’s SEO -friendliness, usable features and clear yet catchy design. In the event of any trouble with this website layout, you can get in touch with one of the well-trained support managers and they will solve the problem of any difficulty for you.

Computer Store

Details | Demo

Decorta – Home Deco Responsive Magento 2 Theme

Decorta is a ready-made responsive home decor web template designed to present your products and services in the best way on the net. Advanced and responsive sites are the best way to present professional furniture and home decor services worldwide and boost interest among your target audience. Also, the content areas help make the overall design user-friendly. Being integrated with popular social networks platforms, the template shown here can be an ideal tool to get in touch with your clients. In addition, the vast majority of theme’s settings can be changed immediately through the usable admin panel. This design was developed as lightweight as possible so that your website can certainly load fast.

Home Decor Magento 2 Theme

Details | Demo

The collection of the AMP-ready Magento themes will continue to grow. Do not miss the chance you accelerate the performance of your web resource throughout a variety of handheld devices. Present your offers in the more lucrative style to the wider web community.

 

Read More at 10+ AMP Ready Magento Themes

from Web Design Ledger https://webdesignledger.com/10-amp-ready-magento-themes/

The 9 Ultimate Graphic Design Trends In 2018

When it comes to design, although 2017 was a great year, we expect 2018 to be even greater. I’d rather not jump to conclusions right away but believe me; it’s going to be a wild year! And it’s going to inspire us into achieving great things as 2018 will be all about the freedom of expression, about bringing back to life old styles and trends and of course, about dealing with unexpected things as well.

 

We’re already accustomed with the unexpected, we’re pleased to see old styles coming back to life and we love to let our imagination take us to new highs, conquer new horizons, and contribute to the immense pool of creativity that the liberty of expression allows us to share with the rest of the world. Before getting back to work, however, I invite you all to take a quick look together at some of the most interesting trends we expect to see coming forth during this year.

Let’s enjoy them together:

1. The “Glitch” Effect

Back in the day, no designer would have thought that a “glitch” effect will someday become a trend in this industry. If you would have handed them a similar image, they‘d probably told you that either the photographer was bad, or that the photo has been somehow deteriorated. Nevertheless, anybody would have advice you to avoid such mistakes and maybe, to take a few photography lessons from a professional photographer.

Fast forward to 2018 and we see the same mistake evolving into one of the year’s major trends in graphic design. It has now become a desirable effect, a bohemian reflection of the word “modern”.

Here’s how to create the glitch effect in Photoshop.

2. Double Exposure

double exposure photography

Photographers and graphic designer have been working with double exposed images for decades. I’ve seen numerous designs and art exhibits featuring double exposed photographs that came close to what I believed to be perfection in visual imagery. I have also seen designs based on this effect that were nowhere near what they were aiming towards. Double exposure is still a major trend in 2018 but tread softly on this one. It really needs a great eye for details in order to make it work. If you manage to do it, however, you’ll get a great combination of imagination, perspective and in some cases, illusion.

3. Cropped Typography

Typography is and always was an important part of graphic design. Great typography can add style and effect to a banner, a flyer or a poster. A bad choice in fonts however, can ruin an entire design.

When it comes to adding a great visual effect to your copy texts, my mind goes to one of the hottest trends of 2017 that will also be present with us during this year. It’s called cropped typography and it requires some skills to do it without losing in readability. However, if you manage to include it in your designs successfully, you will get them the artistic touch sometimes your clients will ask for, through simplicity and beauty.

4. Chaotic Typography

There’s a certain amount of chaos in our apparently ordered lives. On one hand, we have the chaotic lifestyle of the modern city, on the other hand, the chaos of the modern worker, the constant changes technology triggers in our lives and so on. It would have been sad not to bring some of this chaos into our graphic designs as well. Fortunately, 2018 brings forth a new interesting trend that adds an artistic touch to our designs through chaotic typography.

5. Typography as Real Life Elements

Words have the power to bring ideas and concepts to life. Therefore, why not animating instead the words themselves, through human interaction? Yes, the following images are suggestive for yet another trend I expect to be popular in 2018. Expect to see more of this during the following months.

6. Color Transitions

We got used with color transitions in the past few years. It was a huge and popular trend designers favored until 2007 or so, when everybody seemed to embrace the idea of flat designs. Well, in 2018 I expect to see transitions coming back to life and we can already see the trend developing with iOS, Stripe and Instagram.

7. Illustration over Photos

Nobody likes plain photos. They’re boring. And I believe that there is no designer who did not, at one point, receive one boring photo to work with. Of course, everybody expect you to do miracles with it. You are a designer, isn’t it? You can do it.

Well, if you find the right inspiration, nothing’s impossible. A boring photo can become a piece of art with an artistic touch and the following examples may help you find that inspiration.

This trend combines photos with digital drawings and transforms everyday images into valuable pieces of content, suitable for banners, posters or advertisements.

8. Bold Typography

There are some companies that do not need special artistic designs in order to market their brands. You’d think that this is only available for major brands, such as Microsoft, Google or YouTube but remember the fact that they were not always as big as they are now. Their designs were always based on simple, bold typographies, and yet, they looked powerful and marketable right from the start. Can this continue to be a major trend in 2018 as well?

Well, it can. All you need is to find the right fonts, pair them with the right colors and of course, the right brand.

9. Metallic Textures

If until recently we’ve seen metallic elements as a rather fashion related trend, now, they will step down from the catwalk right into our graphic designs. It’s expected that in 2018 and maybe even the following years, we’ll see more metallic elements incorporated into our typographies and 3D compositions as well. They add style to basic designs and therefore, a positive outcome to even  the most otherwise boring visuals that are going to be created from now on.

Conclusion

The digital graphic design is a vast industry that is connected to almost any other industry of today’s economic environment. Each year comes with new trends and each graphical designer chooses whether or not to follow them or come up with something new instead. The examples I chose to share with you today will nevertheless serve as inspiration for the following months and why not, to help you create some of your best designs as well.

 

Are there any other trends expected to come forth in 2018 that you know about? What do you think about this list?

 

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