Agencies have been using Walls.io for their clients for years. And for years I have been trying to get a bit more insight into how they’re using our product and what they and their clients are loving about it.
I finally struck interview gold when I talked to Parallax, an agency in Leeds that has been using Walls.io for its clients since 2015. I interviewed Liam Bush, Head of Marketing at Parallax, to learn about the agency’s journey using Walls.io.
It’s great to find out more about how an agency uses social walls in different ways for different clients, seeing the depth and breadth of what a social wall can do for them. It’s also wonderful to learn a bit more about our agency customers, such as Parallax.
Head of Marketing at Parallax
Could you tell us a bit about your agency?
Parallax is a Leeds-based digital marketing and innovation agency founded in 2010. We specialise in building complex digital products, but we also do all the other things you’d expect from a digital agency, including designing and developing websites, looking after brands and running integrated marketing campaigns.
We started out as a web development outfit just under a decade ago, but we’ve come a long way since then, bringing on more and more talented coders, designers and marketers as we’ve continued to grow.
One side of the business is firmly rooted in complex technical solutions, covering things like digital signage, 3D holographic modelling, in-store touchscreens and — perhaps most exciting of all — ‘Internet-of-Things’-enabled smart platforms. But the other side of what we do is all in the service of clients who simply want to take their brand to the next level online. So that includes everything from brand development to marketing strategy, SEO to paid social, PPC to creative content campaigns.
Our client roster covers a really wide variety of sectors and industries. It includes the likes of British Airways, NASA, Cauldron Foods, Lucy Zodion, Hisense, Goal, Mattessons, Dyson, Leeds Bradford Airport, AMEX, CitiPark, cap hpi, Enterprise Car Club, Yorkshire Energy, Nespresso and Arriva. We’ve worked on Sportswomen of the Year for The Sunday Times and Sky Sports, and contributed to the serverless recording technology behind the official UEFA Euro 2016 anthem. We’re also known for creating the award-winning Topple Trump! web game and Viva Le Velo — an interactive exploration of world-famous bikes.
When and why did you start using social walls for client projects? What are the benefits?
The first time we used Walls.io was back in 2015. We were running a digital marketing campaign for the dairy-free spread brand Pure, a subsidiary of Kerry Foods. Timed to coincide with that year’s Great British Bake-Off, we set people the task of developing an original recipe using one of Pure’s products. We used the hashtag #BakeDairyFree to pull together all the recipes people were making for the competition and displayed them using Walls.io right there on the landing page.
Following the success of this marketing campaign, we were brought in to design and update the next iteration of Pure’s website. Our primary goal was to increase brand value and raise product awareness by rethinking the website from scratch, promoting their exciting new products and bringing food recipes and user-generated content to the fore. Naturally, we suggested making the social wall a permanent feature of their main site, and they agreed without hesitation.
Around that time, the fitness brand easyGym were a major marketing client of ours. We worked extensively to reposition them as ‘premium budget’ gym — through data analysis and user research, we transformed their digital marketing offer, grew their membership and helped them to retain existing members. As part of this, we set up Walls.io on their new website, using it to pull through photos and videos of workouts, classes and all the hard-won results of people’s fitness regimes.
Following those successes, we decided to use Walls.io when we were asked to build a couple of property websites. The site for luxury student accommodation brand IconInc uses a mixture of tweets and Instagram photos on their social wall, showing international students enjoying their homes.
On the other hand, for our award-winning Roomzzz aparthotels website, we kept everything clean and simple, with just their Instagram feed pulled straight through onto their website without any additional clutter.
To us, the benefits of Walls.io are obvious — it’s an instantly recognisable plug-in that’s easy to implement and brings a website to life. It’s also really easy for us and our clients to monitor and moderate.
Run social walls for multiple clients.
At a reasonable price with the Walls.io Premium plan just like Parallax does.
Do clients ask you to set up social walls, or is it hard work convincing them?
Sometimes clients will ask for a place to embed their social feeds on their site without being prompted, other times we suggest it — especially if we can see they already have a lot of great content on their social feeds. We also like to suggest it as part of campaign-specific landing pages, as was the case with Pure and Bake Dairy Free.
You can easily embed Walls.io on any website or page using a simple embed code that you can grab from your Walls.io dashboard.
A social wall is a great way to shine a spotlight on fresh and relevant content. The only struggle comes if the business doesn’t already have a strong social media output. If they don’t have the budget to invest in regular social content — either internally, with us, or with another agency — they might not be all too interested in bringing a feed directly to their website.
What kind of campaigns are you running for clients?
cap hpi is a great example of Walls.io working as intended. A long-standing client of ours, we were brought on board to help them figure out their new brand when the two original companies — CAP Automotive and HPI — were merging. As two giants in the world of automotive data, we designed and built their new website to bring together dozens of products across eight sectors and five different languages.
During the site build, we met with a bunch of different stakeholders within the business, discussing everything from the illustration style to the way content was going to be structured across the site. With their new brand, they knew they needed to inject some personality into their careers section in order to attract new recruits — a social wall was a perfect fit. They already had an active Twitter feed, but we also set them up with a staff Instagram account so they could start posting photos of award ceremonies, parties and fundraising events.
The main website and branding project was completed in the summer of 2016 — even though we’ve changed and updated their site in the interim, they’re still using the Walls plug-in on their careers hub, bringing in a huge variety of content from their Twitter feed, featuring a mixture of text-only tweets, illustrations and vehicle photos.
What is currently the most exciting project that you’re using a Walls.io social wall for?
We have a few marketing clients we’re excited to suggest Walls.io to. We recently ran a really successful one-off campaign for renowned dog treat brand Good Boy — we created an online quiz called ‘All Dogs, New Tricks’. As a brand, they have so much positive engagement across their social media channels — everyone loves sharing pictures and talking about dogs! We’d love to bring a social wall to a brand like them, either for a future campaign using a specific hashtag, or just to show off all the great engagement they get as a much-loved brand.
We’d also like to do something for vegetarian/vegan food brand Cauldron Foods — over the past couple of years we helped triple their social media following. As veganism moves closer and closer to the mainstream, it’s such an exciting brand to work with — a campaign centred around their tofu, falafels or veggie sausages would work really well on a social wall, perhaps embedded on a dedicated landing page.
How did you end up choosing Walls.io as the tool for your social media walls?
Every website we build needs to be completed to a very high standard, but the development process also needs to be efficient. Working directly with the Instagram API can be challenging, time-consuming or simply impossible to get it working how a client needs.
Right from the very first time we used Walls.io, we found it intuitive, easy to set up, and fit for purpose. We love the simplicity of the Walls.io integration — we can drop a single line of code into a site, and we’re done! We’ve also found it to be extremely customisable — it’s very easy, for example, to modify everything and bring in all the relevant brand colours, simply by using your own CSS.
Our API, which connects you to all the relevant social media APIs in one go, is available for our Premium customers. It comes with extensive documentation and makes life a lot easier for everyone who doesn’t want to spend ages working directly with various APIs for various social media networks.
The social feed on the website we designed and built for Leeds Golf Centre, for example, looks particularly nice — it blends into the page seamlessly, bringing in content from Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
Yorkshire County Cricket Club love their feed so much they chose to have it front and centre on their homepage — dubbed ‘The Yorkshire Wall’, it’s always brimming with the latest cricket news, updates and videos. Just a couple more cases of extremely happy customers!
If you could wave a magic wand, which problem in your work would you like Walls.io to solve for you?
It’d be great if it could make sure whatever was going out on every social feed was on message, on-brand and didn’t feature things like squashed clip-art images! Thinking about it, some kind of AI moderation thing would be really cool.
We also know Walls.io is great for live events, but we’ve not yet hosted one where we’ve needed a social wall. Now we have a brand new office maybe we’ll get something projected on the wall at our next gathering.
Walls.io is built with agencies in mind
The Walls.io tagline is “The Social Wall for Everyone” — because we’re proud of building a product that everyone can use. Big companies will just as much find what they need for corporate walls and events as individuals who just want a social wall for a small private party.
And then there are agencies. We realise that agencies need to be able to run multiple social walls for multiple clients at a reasonable price. That’s why our Premium plan is perfect for agencies.
With Walls.io Premium, you can set up five separate social walls from one account out of the box (talk to us if you think you need more than five walls). You get access to our Walls.io API so you can build your own integrations. And, most importantly, you have the option to add moderators to the social walls you’re running. So you’re able to pull your client in and give them access to the moderation dashboard of their social wall.
Help your clients have the success you know they can have and make social walls part of your services as an agency.