Brad Duncan Design Studio



Currently in testing, a new Facebook ‘Buy’ button may soon appear on your newsfeed alongside adverts and page posts.


With 1.28 billion registered users, Facebook’s break into the e-commerce sector may soon see the world’s largest gathering place become a global village market. 


Just a couple of years ago facebook users were glued to their phones in a Farmville-fuelled social frenzy. This short lived era was Facebook’s first attempt at a virtual currency, Facebook Credits, and has given the firm a strong holding for the real thing.


If testing proves successful, Facebook will soon be selling the ‘Buy’ button to every facebook page, effectively transforming them into an ecommerce store.

The development will see Facebook change dramatically with social media managers having to adapt their role to social salesmen. Community metrics such as the number of fans, likes and engagement will become less important with data-driven sales figures leading a newly evolved social commerce.


“Not so long ago, people assumed that Facebook would be best suited for building awareness and engagement, not for influencing conversion or sales,” said Debra Aho Williamson, principal analyst at eMarketer.


“With this step, Facebook is becoming even more firmly established as a major player in direct response advertising."


“It’s a definite sign that Facebook wants to restart its efforts to become an ecommerce company as well.”


With facebook investing vast amounts of time and money in the development of social shopping, it won’t be long until the other networks adapt to a newly forming social phenomenon with their own unique spin on the ‘Buy’ button.


Get ahead of the game because this is the start of mainstream social shopping. Your competitors will already be thinking about social selling strategies, even before the functionality exists.



Michael Ruff 

The death of Facebook organic reach;

where to go from here? 

Latest Blog

Mainstream social shopping – get ahead

of the game before your competitors

With everything that went on in the world of social media last year, it’s exciting to see what 2014 will bring. Infographics, video and content marketing are almost certainly set to continue to grow but it is how you use them and where you post them which will really count this year. 


Social Media Strategy


2013 saw forward thinking businesses begin to understand the importance of a social media presence. 2014, however, will require much more than just a presence; it will require a strategic strategy plan which will ensure engagement and interaction with customers and clients. This means concentrating on the social networks that best work for your business and using them to achieve results. It is impossible to have an active account which attracts engagement on every network.


It’s also worth remembering that whilst a large social media fan base is great, it is the engagement which is fundamental to your success. Shares, retweets, and in the case of Google Plus, +1’s are not only an asset to your SEO but also a sure-fire way of spreading your message effectively. Imagine speaking to a huge crowd of people, some of whom are starting their own irrelevant conversations and some of who have fallen asleep. This would be a clear indication that you need to become more engaging in your presentation; naturally you change the tone in your voice and find a more appropriate way to connect with your audience.


Social media is all about sharing and as an expert in your own field you have plenty to share. If you haven’t already your brand should become a newsroom for your niche, producing and responding quickly to news stories, images and videos. Blog about what’s going on in your sector, offer tips and advice and give your followers a reason to click on your link. Even better, give them a reason to share your link!

2014, The Year of Google Plus


Previously only subjected to facebook ads, social media advertising is set to grow in 2014. Why? Banner ads are now pretty much ignored and Facebook, for instance, have the branding, exposure, and traffic to pull it off. Whilst it is still possible to make a free facebook account, you now have to pay for page posts should you want anyone to see them. Facebook themselves, state that pages will only organically reach 16% of their fans on average, although in reality that figure actually seems to be well below 10%. Whilst this may not be a problem for big brands, smaller businesses may seriously need to reconsider their social media strategy.


Fear not though because a rather substantial search engine has been beavering away at their own social network. You may or may not know but now two years old, Google Plus offers fantastic functionality, a refreshing layout and hosts useful features including communities and hangouts. G+ is a fast growing social network and hit 300 million active users towards the end of 2013, that’s up from 190 million in May 2013 and shatters Twitter’s 230 million.


The best bit about G+? Everyone can see all of your content! For those left disheartened at their poor facebook performance, G+ will be more than happy to accommodate you. Actually there’s an even better bit. Being Google, G+ was engineered in such a way that G+ accounts will naturally dominate the search results above all other social platforms. The bottom line is that you are simply losing out in terms of SEO if you are not using G+. In my view an active G+ account is essential and, whilst still shy of facebook’s active users, 2014 is definitely the year for G+.



Michael Ruff 

The Death of Facebook Organic Reach;

Where To Go From Here

Designing Your Design Brief

In Five Steps

Compiling the initial design brief for your business be it the branding, website design or logo design can be a daunting task. It’s also an essential task and one of the most important in any design project. Feel the pressure? You needn’t. We have assembled five core elements of a design brief to help get you on your way. Whilst the design brief is a fundamental reference point for both the client and designer it’s important to remember that nothing is set in stone.


It's All About You


Nobody knows your business like you do so let’s start with the basics: who are you and what do you do? How long have you been in business? Who are your customers and who are your competitors? It’s important for your designer to build up an understanding about your company and this is your chance to really shout about what makes your business special.


• Your company background

• Your industry sector

• Your products and services

• Your area of expertise

• What makes you unique

Characterising your values


Yes, it’s still about you but as good as designers are they are no mind readers. The more they learn about you and your company the more they have to work with. It’s also the perfect opportunity for you to develop a relationship with your designer because trust and understanding are critical to your design project.

What are your company values and what do you want to portray with your branding? Let’s keep things basic by considering the following list of preferences to determine which values convey your company’s personality. Your business will not strictly be one or the other but consider which way your values lean and how strong are they?


• Feminine Vs Masculine

• Young Vs Mature

• Luxury Vs Economical

• Modern Vs Classic

• Light-hearted Vs Serious

• Loud Vs Quiet

• Simple Vs Complex

• Subtle Vs Obvious


This is an important exercise for both you and your designer which will help to distinguish the correct style, tone of voice and mood for your new design.


Now we’re talking


At this point your designer will have an understanding about your company and you have cleared the ground for the foundations of your design project. You must now discuss the project aims and objectives. Are you requiring a completely new design or are you looking to refresh your current branding to achieve better results?


• What initially triggered this brief?

• What is your message?

• What do you want your design to achieve?


Don’t be fazed if you are still somewhat unclear about your aims and objectives because your brief has already achieved a purpose. A solid plan in the mind may fragment on paper but a conversation with a professional designer will stabilise your plan and get you back on your way to your new design.


Setting the mood


Remember that image on Google and that logo you’ve seen in the newspaper? Tell your designer about them! Anything that you have seen, read or heard that has caught your attention is helpful perfect for your design brief.


Put together some inspiring mood boards and consider the following:


• Colour

• Imagery

• Typography

• Tone


You may not know how to use that image on Google but if it has inspired you it will be an asset to your designer. Design examples are gold dust in the designing world. Remember when I said designers are not mind readers? Well examples offer the perfect vision into your mind about what you like and, just as importantly, what you don’t like.


Time in a bottle


A redesign is often triggered by a significant event with a penned date in the diary. Even if your design is not ahead of a key business milestone it is important to establish a timescale. This timescale will allow you to keep track of the project and give your designer deadlines to work with. Bear in mind that that there are many stages to the design process and the longer the timescale the more scope your designer has to achieve your perfect design.


Closely related to your schedule is of course budget. Tell your designer what your budget is because it will allow them to tailor their services to benefit the project. Even if you can only offer a roundabout estimate for now, it’s enough to get the ball rolling.


A professional designer will advise you on the feasibility of your timescale and budget. It’s a working relationship so work them and together you will achieve your objectives.



Michael Ruff