September 3, 2018Comments are off for this post.

How social media influences fashion

Social media has a huge influence on our day-to-day lives. How we communicate and interact with people is completely different to ten years ago. Everywhere you go, someone around you is on their phone or tablet engaging in some sort of social activity. Social media is used as a way of communicating with friends and showcasing a lifestyle, which makes it an excellent tool for businesses to promote products.

Social media has fast become a powerful marketing tool, which takes advantage of the ‘sprinklers’ and ‘vacuums’ within the cyber world. The sprinklers share content and the vacuums suck it all up. Together they keep the social media world alive, fuelled by social influence and discovery.

‘Fast Fashion’ is one industry reaping the benefits. Fast Fashion retailers are seeing the advantage of these shorter trend lifecycles resulting in people constantly looking for a product to satisfy their micro-moments of inspiration. Consumers today will not go into a store to find a ‘new look’ – they turn to their social media feeds/bloggers to see what the latest trend is or find a hot new outfit.

These behaviours support the concept of ‘social proofing’ and empower the sprinklers of social media to become influencers in their own right, and the vacuums to find a way to duplicate the look before it’s gone (and affordably).

Social media has become the direct path to online shopping

A key change on Instagram recently has been ‘Paid Partnerships’, which have become one of the most effective ways for a brand to reach audiences. According to Instagram, the new tool allows creators to quickly tag the business they have a relationship with.

Fashion Bloggers have fast become an influential force within fashion and minor celebrities in their own right. Key retailers pay bloggers to promote their product on a daily basis, along with which come big celebrity advertising campaigns, TV work and invites to top events as the retailers recognise how much influence the bloggers hold.

Going forward, this cycle of bloggers, celebrity endorsements and news feeds shows no sign of slowing. It is now easier and faster for inspired shoppers to find their next look online with direct links to the actual product. It couldn’t be easier!

Originally published by Success Appointments

April 13, 2018Comments are off for this post.

Get your story straight

Google wants you to be relevant, customers want you to be helpful, GDPR wants you to be honest and you just want to get your brand out there. More than ever, it’s crucial to get your story straight.

The only certainty in life is that life is uncertain. It's difficult to predict whether tomorrow will bring blizzards or heat waves, cyber attacks or military coups, or whether Tescos will still have courgettes come Monday. Digital offers a sanctuary from uncertainty. Digital is your reliable best friend. You know where you stand with digital.

Tell the Right Story

Or at least, we think we do. The level of immediacy promised by the online world has created even greater expectations around transparency. In an era of increasingly short attention spans, brands have unique but infinitesimally small (micro in fact) opportunities to capture attention and opportunity. Moving forward, these online transactions will be defined by trust.

Being digital obsessives, we’re obsessed with the next wave of tools designed to provide the certainty that your marketing activities are actually paying off – and that your visitors are getting fair treatment. 

In a time of rapid change and digital growth, mastering the channels that make your brand an online native is not just important, but essential to giving your brand long-term life.

Reach the Right People

In an era of “peak stuff”, the digital realm offers limitless opportunities. Seemingly, any form of surplus is worthy of monetisation: empty houses; sheds; parking spaces; washing machines – if you own it and it’s going spare (at least some of the time) there’s probably someone working on an app to monetise it.

How do brands get it right? They optimise and tailor their message to resonate with the right online audience.

The future of innovation may lie, at least to a certain extent, in digital start-ups filling micro-niches made reachable by peer-to-peer tech, blockchain and the ubiquitousness of smartphones. The interesting part is how these upstart businesses are reaching their audiences, and how they’re imprinting their brand on the collective conscience.

So instead of waiting around in the hope that your marketing strategies will pay off, like the next cryptocurrency fad, get stuck into digital the Red Squirrel way. Don't be a victim of the trough of disillusionment – be one of the next great innovators and thrive in the digital ecosystem.

March 16, 2018Comments are off for this post.

Ten ways Pinterest can help your business

Following a period of phenomenal growth, Pinterest now holds the third-biggest market share after Facebook and Twitter. Despite this, it is often overlooked as a platform for people searching for baking recipes and home décor inspiration, and many brands still don’t consider the network to be a marketing tool. But it’s time to change that perception.

Here are a few ways you can use Pinterest to promote your business:

  1. Set a strategy: Make sure you pin cleverly according to the goal you are trying to achieve. Do you want to drive traffic to your website? Boost your brand awareness? Increase your sales? Whatever it is, always pick relevant images or articles.
  2. Create boards with keywords in the title: Pinterest is a great searching tool. Using keywords makes it easier for people to find your business, if it's something they are looking for. Make sure that you select a category for each one of your boards to help people find them and for Pinterest to recommend them as well.
  3. Use a “Pinterest for business” account to get analytics: It is always useful to know which of your pins are getting more engagement. This way you can see what’s working really well and what’s not.
  4. Do giveaways: Offering free items such as eBooks and podcasts can drive a lot more traffic to your website. In addition to this, it's also a great way to gain more followers with a similar taste to yours.
  5. Share your pins and boards on other social media channels: If you happen to have quite a big number of followers on your other social media channels, using them to promote your Pinterest account is a great way to drive traffic to your pins and boards.
  6. Build relationships with influencers: Every platform has influencers who stand out within their industry. Relationships with those influencers can benefit your business.
  7. Make your products shareable on Pinterest: Make sure a “Pin it” option is included on your website and blog posts. This way, visitors can share your product photos to Pinterest quicker.
  8. Use high-quality and vertical images: Pinterest is a visual social network. Therefore making sure your photos look professional – good quality, good lighting, and the right size - is extremely important. According to a research by Curalate, brighter, more colourful images tend to get liked and re-pinned more often, since it catches the person’s attention.
  9. Like other people’s pins: Perhaps you will come across pins that you like but aren’t necessarily relevant or useful to your audience, you may want to consider liking them instead of re-pinning them.
    Every time you like someone’s pin they get a notification, this might make them check out your profile and want to follow you.
  10. Use Pinterest’s mobile app: Since most of us nowadays spend almost a lot more time on our phones rather than on our computers, the Pinterest mobile app is a must-have! It makes browsing, liking, pinning and re-pinning a lot quicker!

February 8, 2018Comments are off for this post.

Novo: Breaking the recruitment mould

In an industry awash with clichés and stereotypes, one recruitment company – Novo UK – is challenging the status quo and pushing back against common preconceptions.

When Red Squirrel were first invited to look at the marketing concepts behind the new Novo launch and to read the brief for their new web development, it quickly became apparent that we were dealing with a completely different animal.

With a large slice of humility and a healthy smattering of brutal honesty, when speaking with the Novo team it was blatantly obvious how frustrated they were with the recruitment sector getting a bad reputation (understandably in their words) for being a sales-based game lacking credibility and class.

Working alongside Director Gary Melton and Marketing Manager Neal Rawlinson, Red Squirrel were tasked with building a deep understanding of Novo’s service-driven approach to recruitment and then incorporating this into a website that fully encapsulates their unique, no-nonsense ethos both visually and functionally.

We needed to bring this approach together with a daring new brand concept that took the user experience to a whole new level, worlds apart from the formulaic London Skylines, men in suits shaking hands and pictures of desks we constantly associate with recruitment websites.

Our second challenge was to bring Novo to life and create a real sense of their very distinctive culture – again, in huge contrast to the overly corporate boiler room environments typical of the sector and which forms a key part of their strength as a brand – while also outlining their unquestionable experience and expertise.

The new Novo brand is daring and inspiring and it has truly been a privilege working with a recruiter that has the vision and courage to take the recruitment industry in a new direction.

Working with Gary, Neal and the Novo team has been a real eye opener and an absolute pleasure – the fact that they’re as mad as a box of frogs has only helped!

Take a look at the live site – – and please give us your feedback and comments on Novo’s new approach to recruitment!

January 9, 2018Comments are off for this post.

Five ways to enhance your social media profiles

It’s official: human beings are social addicts. The majority of us spend an obscene amount of time on social media, whether we’re promoting our business (or that of others) or simply sharing our personal lives with our followers. For both of these types of social media profiles, improvements can be made in a matter of minutes.

Here are a few easy ways to improve your social media profiles which, altogether, shouldn’t take you more than an hour.

1 – Make your profile photos consistent across all channels

Having the same profile photo on all your social media channels allows people to recognizse you immediately as they scroll quickly through their feeds.

The more people see your logo, the more likely you are to be in mind when they need your product or service.

2 – Fill in every field of your bio

Leaving one of these fields empty can come across as unprofessional or even lazy. Make sure every field is completed with the right information and that it explains exactly what your business is all about. This will allow your customers to learn about you and the services you offer more quickly.

3 – Link to your other social media profiles

Use this field to link to your other social profiles as another means of cross-promotion.

Facebook allows you to add multiple links to its website fields, where you can add all your other social media accounts. There are also apps that allow you to display Instagram and YouTube accounts in Facebook tabs. LinkedIn allows you to add your Twitter account to your profile. And Pinterest allows you to connect both Facebook and Twitter, in addition to having a website field within your profile.

4 – Showcase your best content with pinned posts

These types of posts can only be made on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn and they are the first thing people see when they enter your account, as they stay put (unlike normal posts).

Choose a post that promotes an important or strong piece of content – whether that be a special offer, landing page, video, blog post or other media asset. Making use of this great tool can greatly improve your social media profile.

5 – Ask a few friendly clients/customers for reviews or endorsements

Positive reviews on your social media profiles earn trust and increase your chances of turning strangers into followers, and followers into business…

How to do this:

  • Make use of LinkedIn’s endorsements section: Here, people can endorse the skills on your profile or leave unique endorsement messages.
  • Use the review and star rating section on Facebook pages: This is where people who have already tried your services can leave a small message or a rating on your profile, describing their opinions and experiences.
  • Pin positive tweets on Twitter: Take a positive tweet about your business and pin it to the top of your account. That way, people who visit your profile will see it immediately.

December 15, 2017Comments are off for this post.

Facebook Interview – Part 2: Dan Paine, Security Recruiter

The digital world is notorious for spin and sensation, with few tech solutions living up to their own hype – or going the distance. Fads come and go, but few actually make a tangible or truly disruptive impact. Can digital tech displace the human touch in recruitment? The Daily Squirrel caught up with Dan Paine, Security Recruiter at Facebook in London to discuss the challenge of recruiting cyber security specialists at the world’s best-known social media platform.

Are there any particular trends – technologies or tools – on the horizon that you’re excited about?

The big one is AI and machine learning and everyone’s talking about how it will affect recruitment. I think that, yes, it will have an impact, but you’ve got to look at applying it in the right way and I don’t think anyone knows what that is yet. How can this actually help us?

At the end of the day you’re always going to need the human touch in recruitment. Some say that AI is going to take recruiters’ jobs, but it won’t because you’ve still got to do interviews, you’ve still got to have phone calls with people and talk to people. It’s a people-to-people business; you really don’t want to be approached by a machine.

Recruitment bots are something that a lot of companies are missing out on and that could be quite big – a bot that would stay in touch with someone via WhatsApp messenger or a Facebook group. Maybe this person won’t be interested straight away, but this bot could pop up every four or five weeks to have a chat about team size, environment and day-to-day work. Then, when that person is ready to chat, the bot could set it up automatically with a recruiter.

That kind of creative stuff, which will make us more efficient and more scalable, is where it’s going to be at – but I’m very much waiting to see it happen successfully.

What is your view on the workforce of today?

I hate the word “millennials” and giving a group of people a label, but I’m very passionate about young people exploring different careers and opportunities in the workplace. The 18-22 age group in full-time work is very low, they’re really under-represented in the workforce, but this is our future generation. A lot of them are going to university, but what happens to the ones that don’t? Do they end up in part-time supermarket jobs for the next three years because they don’t know what else to do?

By 2030, around 75% of these people are going to make up our workforce and they’re more or less wasting their time. Where this really stems from is the early education years, 14-15, when you’re at a point when you’re just starting to think about the future. Where our education system is fundamentally broken is the lack of business knowledge available, and what the world does – what businesses actually do – and it’s quite worrying.

If I’d had the opportunity when I was that age to really learn about business and how things are actually structured, I’d have been in a much better position.

In terms of cyber security, what key challenges do you face as a major social media platform?

We’ve actually faced a branding struggle recently, which is surprising considering we’re one of the most famous companies in the world. I’ve spoken to many people who’ve said they never thought Facebook would have a security team here in London, and it’s a real branding issue – we’re not just software engineers, we do have some pretty hardcore, exceptional and industry-renowned security people who work here.

The other challenge is the famous ‘skills gap’, or talent shortage – I would always say there isn’t actually a skills gap, it’s more that the bar is set very high when you’re interviewing people. It’s not about finding the right skills, it’s about finding people with the right personality who are going to be able to be successful here. We have a lot of people who are great technically, but the way Facebook operates doesn’t agree with some people.

On the whole, diversity is also an issue in cyber security recruitment – diversity in tech is a massive issue anyway, and this is something that needs to be taken back to the schooling system and get people interested early on in their career.

People need to learn that you don’t have to have a certain sort of profile to study computer sciences or get into IT. You can go beyond coding and into sales, HR or project management or analysis. That’s where our industry is struggling quite a lot.

Click here to read Part 1 of this interview

November 15, 2017Comments are off for this post.

Blog your way to success

There are many reasons why your business should publish a blog: it’s your direct communication channel with customers and clients; it gives your company a voice; it allows you to share your expertise and – most importantly – it provides insight into your audience and helps drive SEO.

Here are a few tips for you to consider when writing a blog for your business:

Visuals are the key to success

People want visuals, so even if you only share one header image on your post, it gives the reader an idea of what the content is about and, chances are, that image will stick in your reader’s mind throughout the whole post – so make sure you use an appropriate one.

Using personal images or videos will also enhance your credibility by proving that ‘you’ve been there’. You didn’t just sit at your desk, open your laptop and decide to start writing random posts. Use visuals to get closer to your followers.

They want to see PEOPLE

Speaking of followers, you want to attract the right kind. And by the right kind, we mean the ones that are actually interested in the product or service that you’re offering. Followers won’t stay for too long if there isn’t someone behind the blog. They need a face they can relate to and a personality to get to know. So don’t be scared to upload employee photos, events, social evenings etc. – with their permission of course.

Our former Social Media Manager, Melissa, has been running a lifestyle blog for over six years and saw a big boom in followers and engagement the day she started posting more photos of herself while writing hotel and restaurant reviews, blogging about her trips across Africa and even reviewing beauty products. People saw a face they could relate to, and that was all they needed as a reason to follow.

Visit Melissa’s blog here: Tiger On a Gold Leash

Schedule all the way to the top!

When it comes to blogging, consistency plays an important role. Writing a post today and not writing another for two months won’t get your business anywhere. The ideal approach would be to write one a week and then schedule the same post to go out on social media several times over the following months, targeting the audience that didn’t have the chance to read it the first time it was shared.

To do this, it’s important that you write timeless blog posts that are relevant today, but also in six months’ time when you’ll share it again.

Be creative!

Stay up to date with all the industry trends, but once you’ve decided what to write about, try to give it a different approach. What hasn’t been said yet? What questions haven’t been answered yet? Your alternative spin on topics is what will make people want to read your blogs.

And remember, blogging is a way to tell your brand’s story by offering insight into your company, philosophy, employees and inspiration. Think creative and stay true to your culture.

October 15, 2017Comments are off for this post.

Facebook Interview – Part 1: Dan Paine, Security Recruiter

Cyber security is a major buzz trend in digital circles, and, with platforms like Facebook forced to up their game in the wake of GDPR and the 'fake news' epidemic, looks set to become an indispensable part of the online anti-terror toolkit. The Daily Squirrel caught up with Dan Paine, Security Recruiter at Facebook in London to discuss the challenge of recruiting cyber security specialists at the world’s best-known social media platform.

What is your role at Facebook?

I’m a recruiter hiring for Facebook’s new cyber security teams in London. We’ve traditionally had a lot of security presence in America but now we’re looking to ramp up here. There are a couple of different teams I work with; one of them is dealing with internal and external threats, so for example if an incident occurs through a third-party cyber attack or someone clicking a suspicious link.

The other team is more focused on product security; they’re basically working with our engineering teams who are building all of our products, and are focused on ensuring that the applications are built with security in mind.

How would you sum up your ideal approach to recruitment?

It’s about bringing everything back to basics and seeing where you can make the most of nothing. So if you’re hiring for a startup or building a brand new team, what small things you can do to have the most impact and be the most effective with the least effort and spend.

“Move fast and break things” is a slogan that was coined a number of years ago at Facebook and is extremely relevant in recruitment terms – you’re moving fast, so you’re acting less like a traditional corporate organisation and breaking obstacles that might be in your way to keep moving and being as efficient as possible.

It’s really about having the basics and building processes to scale, rather than just sitting there and being reactive.

The name ‘Facebook’ carries exciting and progressive connotations. How does Facebook differ from other recruitment environments you’ve worked in?

How we recruit and what we do isn’t really that different to anywhere else. It isn’t anything revolutionary or truly innovative. We just hire great recruiters and sourcers who really know their stuff, and that’s what makes it what it is, because the people are passionate and take huge amounts of ownership. We have some pretty cool internal tools too.

At other companies I’ve worked at recruitment is just seen as an HR function, but here it’s seen as something that’s truly needed and all the managers have bought into it. The people here really take ownership over the process.

So what’s it like to work at Facebook – how would you sum up that way of working?

It’s about extreme proactivity and extreme ownership. If you asked anyone in an interview they would say they’re proactive and take ownership, but to actually have living proof of that is another thing.

People think of Facebook as massive and compare us to Google and Amazon, but realistically we’re about a fifth of their size. We’re not there yet, so a lot of our people do two or three different roles in one. You’ve got to be very proactive and able to diversify yourself, and be very agile to go and try something different.

You can’t pass the buck at Facebook and people who work like that have struggled. That’s the environment, you have to be super proactive and take responsibility always – but be honest with yourself if you’re struggling and ask for help. It’s like a very well-financed startup.

Do you use any particular digital tech to support your recruitment drive?

Anything from Google searches and LinkedIn to some other tools… Being a technology company we’ve built some of our own sourcing tools to help us find people quicker and be more effective about it. It’s nothing crazy or massively new, just the basics done very well.

Usually people buy things like ATSs and database systems, but we build our own. Some new tech will help with the fluidness of everything, from posting a job to booking interviews.

Click here to read Part 2 of this interview

September 15, 2017Comments are off for this post.

Instagrowth: Making the most of Instagram

Instagram is one of the most popular social media platforms out there and a vital (and free!) marketing tool for your business. It can showcase your company culture, your people and all the key elements that make up your USP – the crucial part is turning your engaged followers into customers.

So how can you attract more followers on Instagram and grow your business organically?

Instagram Influencers

An effective way of growing your Instagram account (and hence your business) is to connect with influencers in your industry.

Instagram influencer marketing introduces the customer to your brand from a trusted source (the influencer) in a casual way instead of via a traditional ad. This maximises the chances of someone following your business account and become a customer/client.


Use hashtags to attract new customers that would be interested in your content or product. You can even use a branded hashtag unique to your business – either the name of your brand or anything that represents its culture. Use this branded hashtag on all of your photos and, with time, your followers will start using it on their photos too.

Be consistent

If you want to get more followers on Instagram organically, it’s important that you stick with a theme. If your theme is coffee, don’t confuse people by sharing too many cat photos, for example. People started following your account because of the type of photos you share – don’t switch things around too much. And be sure to use high-quality photos that showcase your brand in the best possible light.

Community content

There really is a community for everything. Investing time in your community members by liking, commenting and even sharing their content is a great way to capture more Instagram followers and turn them into loyal customers.

Turn your bio into a call to action

Your Instagram bio should be able to convey what your business does and tell a customer how to find you, while showcasing the company’s personality and prompting the customer to take action. You can also include a hashtag to encourage followers to associate their content with your brand and expand your business’s visibility.

The field for entering a URL in your profile is essential and you should make the most of it. When you want to promote new content, place a short, trackable link in the bio. You can then promote the content via the photo caption on your latest post (i.e. “Check the link in our bio for more!”). Be sure to change the link regularly and according to the content you want to promote.

Timing is everything

Top brands only post about five times a week, so the key is not the quantity of posts but the quality and consistency. Create a schedule around the best times of day for engagement. This varies day by day, though after-work hours are generally best because that’s when people tend to spend more time on their phones checking social media (or that’s the theory, at least).

We can help you grow your business’s Instagram account organically. Get in touch

July 15, 2017Comments are off for this post.

Red Squirrel delivers 520% ROI for Swansea University

Swansea University is a research-led institution set in Swansea Bay. Providing education for over 15,000 students, Swansea University covers a wide range of academic disciplines including the arts, engineering and life sciences.


With ambitious plans for campus expansion and international student growth, Swansea University wanted to use a UK-based digital media agency to reach new audiences in their target markets. Red Squirrel Digital were asked to create a digital marketing strategy to drive international student recruitment enquires in the key target market of Nigeria.

With a need to reach a niche audience in very specific locations within Nigeria, the challenge was to be able identify the right audience that matched the course entry criteria for Swansea University. The secondary challenge was to ensure that all applicants were processed in an effective and efficient way from the UK, a procedure that is traditionally carried out by in-country agents.


With a brief to provide a strong ROI with a limited budget, Red Squirrel’s approach was to use very niche targeting on a real-time bidding process to ensure maximum reach and ROI. With Nigeria leading the way in the mobile market in Africa – 25% of consumers own a smartphone – the group’s research and analysis highlighted that a mobile campaign would deliver the furthest reach and return. Using a mobile ad display network, the campaign ran for a period of four weeks targeting set university campuses around key cities, with ongoing optimisation of location, user device ID, publisher sites, and creative to deliver a higher ROI.


Red Squirrel’s first step was to research the market and identify the Nigerian cities that held the highest number of post graduate students. They then set up geo location targeting for mobile devices within a 5 km radius around five Nigerian city campuses and targeted users of publisher sites that had a strong student audience. Location targeted cities and districts included Lagos, Port Harcourt, Abuja, Kano & Ibadan.

The next step was to research the device usage in the Nigerian market to identify the banner sizes needed for the campaign. With a high Nokia feature phone usage rate in the Nigeria, we briefed our creative team to produce dynamic and creative device ad formats to provide a high CTR. All clicks were driven to a dedicated landing page for recruits to sign up to a meet and greet at an in-country event. Upon completing the form all applicants were sent a response email with further information and were presented an overlay which directed them to download the university prospectus and link through to the main university website.


Red Squirrel Digital outperformed Swansea University’s key objectives by delivering a far reaching branding exercise as well as a 520% increase in ROI:

  • 13,730,225 impressions
  • 91,815 clicks
  • 8,458 data captures
  • 3,683 PDF downloads
  • 4,573 clicks to website