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USB2U News

The Photographer’s Guide To Instagram Hashtags

Posted by USB2U on 16th March 2017 | Permalink

As a photographer, having an Instagram account and updating it regularly is pretty important. We touched on some ways to grow your Instagram following last month, but this month we’re focussing on the world of hashtags and how you can use them to boost your following, increase engagement, and get your photos in front of the right audience.

Instagram feed of photography packaging
 

With 600 million active Instagram users per month it’s easy to get lost in a sea of beautifully filtered snaps. Without Hashtags, your photos are only going to be seen by your current followers, and even then, you might be buried so low in their feed that they don’t even manage to scroll to them.

Instagram changed their algorithm a while back, it now shows your feed in the order it thinks you want to see it, rather than being chronological. But Hashtags are still shown in chronological order, making them the ideal way to get your photos noticed. In a nutshell, hashtags are a way to tag your photo to make it appear in a pocket of other photos that have used the same tag, so it’s easy for other users to find images of a similar interest.

For example, if you’re a wedding photographer based in the UK and you’ve taken a snap of our gorgeous photography packaging, you can tag your photos with #ukwedding – by clicking that hashtag you’ll then be able to see all the other photos in the same group.

You’re allowed up to 30 hashtags per photo, so we thought we’d group together some of the best and most popular hashtags for you to try on your next post!

Best Wedding Hashtags

#wedding #weddings #weddingphotographer #weddingphotography #weddingplans #weddingplanning #weddinginspiration #ukwedding #weddingidea #weddingideas #weddingphoto #weddingday #weddingfun #justmarried

 

Best Travel Hashtags

#travel #travelling #travelgram #travelphotography #travelblogger #travelersnotebook #travels #travelpic #travelics #travelbug #travelmore #holiday #travelblog #travellife #traveldiary #travelphoto #travelstagram

 

Best Pet Hashtags

#pets #petsofinstagram #petsagram #petstagram #petsofinsta #catsofinstagram #catstagram #catslover #catsagram #catsanddogs #cats #cat #dogs #dog #dogsofinstagram #dogsofinsta #dogstagram #dogsandpals #dogslover #dogselfie

 

Best Food Hashtags

#food #foodie #foodstyle #foodnetwork #foodprep #foodblogger #foodbloggers #foodstagram #foodbeast #foodandwine #foodforlife #foodinspo #foodstyling #foodshare #foodphoto #foodpassion #eatclean #instafeast #whatiate

 

Best Home Hashtags

#home #homedecor #homesweethome #homegoods #homestyling #homestyle #homeinspiration #homeinspo #homeliving #homeidea #homeideas #interior #interiordesign #interiors #interiordetails #interiorstyling #interior4all

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Could This Be The Most Popular Promotional Item?

Posted by USB2U on 27th February 2017 | Permalink

usb pen

According to a study conducted by the British Promotional Merchandise Association back in 2012, the most popular promotional items amongst all customers are the handy USB drive and the traditional yet extremely useful pen.

We can see why. If we asked you the last time you actually purchased a pack of pens could you remember? Neither can we, our drawers are filled with freebies from various companies and events! Despite technology advancing, promotional pens have stood the test of time because we all need to use one near enough every day.

So with promotional USB drives now just as popular, we’ve incorporated the two with the super practical and innovative USB pen. They’re a great gift to add to goodie bags or to give out at conferences as they combine the two most popular items!

Not only that, you can pre-load data onto our stylish USB pens free of charge, which means as soon as your attendees or customers get home, they can plug the USB drive straight into their PC or Mac and be given brochures, presentations, or information on your company

We have a great range of USB pens on offer, from the classic corporate USB pen to the more premium executive USB Stylus, there’s something to suit all needs – we even have pens with a laser pointer incorporated into them!

Another great thing about the USB pen is that you can have your logo either printed or engraved onto them, and for that extra professional feel we can also supply you with tin boxes that can be branded too.

So if you’re looking to amalgamate the two most popular products into something great, why not contact us for a quote? We hold UK stock so can supply the USB pens straight to you (with data-loaded) in as little as 24 hours!

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3 New Designs Added To The Iron USB Range

Posted by USB2U on 22nd February 2017 | Permalink

The Iron USB sticks are a great choice if you’re looking for a sleek USB flash drive with a minimal design and we’ve added three new innovative styles to this ever popular range!

Iron Hook Colour

iron hook colour USB
We’ve injected colour into the popular Iron USB with 7 bright new shades to choose from! So whatever your brand colour, there’s bound to be something that matches. We also offer full colour printing and engraving on the Iron Hook Colour – the options are endless!

Iron 2 Hook


Minimal and innovative with no cap, the iron 2 hook is shock proof, dust proof, and even splash proof! It will attach to any keyring with the easy-to-use Snaplink key chain so you’ll never use your files, and it’s available in six different memory sizes from 1GB to 32GB.

 

Iron Silicone

iron silicon USB
The Iron Silicone is convenient for day to day use and includes 3 handy rings and a removable micro USB drive. It comes in 7 eye-catching colours to match your brand, and features a super rigid alloy shell that can be stylishly engraved with your company logo.

 

Each USB is large enough to be easily attached to a keyring or lanyard for practicality, and the contemporary design ensures they won’t weaken or fall off when attached! They’re the perfect choice for any campaign and can be branded on both the front and back. Each USB has a read speed of 18 MB/s and a write speed of up to 5MB/s.

 

Contact us today for a quote! We’ve got some great offers and there’s even a preferential discounted rate for trade resellers!

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Metal USB engraving on our Express Service

Posted by USB2U on 3rd January 2017 | Permalink

We are excited to share the news with you that we now offer metal USB engraving for our customers on a UK express service.

At USB2U we are regularly developing our products and service offering for our customers. As part of this we have recently invested in new machinery that will enable us to offer a wider range of products on a shorter lead time and to control the production time and quality here in house at USB2U.

Our new engraving machine was purpose built for USB2U to ensure faster and sharper engraving results.

This new machine extends and complements our extensive finishing equipment. The method of finishing offers our customers a premium look and feel USBs, and a log lasting branding finish. And most importantly, it allows metal USBs engraved on express service!

Want to learn more?

Please contact our team: [email protected]

usb2u_celebrity_15_l

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Create a Long lasting Impression with Laser Engraved Promotional USB Memory Sticks

Posted by USB2U on 4th November 2015 | Permalink

Do you print or do you engrave your promotional USB memory sticks. Before you place any order please take time to at least ponder the question because the default option for most of our customers is to print them without giving a second thought to the engraving option. We try to stay agnostic over the “engrave versus print” debate and let our customers make the choice but there are times when we see a job and think you know what that’d look so much better engraved. Perhaps it’s out fault; perhaps we should be more forthright in our opinions and try to encourage our customers to consider engraving their design or logo. It’s never easy getting the balance right between gently coaxing and encouragement and just candidly saying you’re wrong.

Printed USB sticks do look absolutely fantastic; there’s a wide range of USB sticks that you can print on print on (compared to those that you can engrave on) and there is a growing range that allow you to pint on them in full colour with a print bleed right the edge of the flash drive. There is a “but” though and that is that over time the print will begin to chip, scuff and wear away leaving behind a logo or design that is barely legible. How long the print will last on a USB stick depends on what it’s made from and the printing process used to apply the design.

Engraved USB Memory Sticks

Engraved USB Memory Sticks

Printing onto metal USB sticks can be challenging because the metal surface needs to be cleaned and primed before any ink can be applied to them and then, ideally, they need to be baked in a commercial print oven to get the print to adhere properly. This obviously takes place before the USB sticks are assembled otherwise the memory and flash module would be “cooked” during the drying process.

No matter how meticulously you clean the metal, or how well your prime them before you print them they are particularly susceptible because when the edge of the printed logo is chipped the tension is compromised the rest of the print tends to flake away pretty quickly.

Digital printing or screen printing onto a plastic surface tends to offer a more robust solution but even these techniques won’t guarantee the print eventually failing.

By contrast laser engraving as the name suggests “etches” the surface leaving a high precision finish that is permanent and won’t rub or scratch off. It’s a popular technique on a wide range of promotional products (including USB flash drives) but it’s a technique that is also widely used in industry to permanently mark medical devices, instruments, buttons, tags, car parts, bar codes and lots ore besides.

With engraving you will have to compromise on the colour the logo is produced in (but you can select a range of different coloured USB flash drives) but at least you’ll know the logo will be produced to a high level of accuracy and more fundamentally that it will last the test of time.

In many cases engraving is not only a better and longer lasting solution but aesthetically it looks better which is why many wedding photographers are opting for engraved wooden USB memory sticks in preference to printed options. Our wooden versions are particularly attractive and incredibly tactile and when combined with our engraved gift boxes they make a killer package.

USB Flash Drives for Professional Photographers

USB Flash Drives for Professional Photographers

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At USB2U we’ve got your number – Serial Numbered USB Memory Sticks

Posted by USB2U on 13th July 2015 | Permalink

There are lots of reasons why you might want to put a unique serial number on each of the branded USB memory sticks you hand out. Some companies we supply have them etched onto each USB sticks so that they can “bind” a specific stick to a specific person. We assume they’re putting sensitive information on every USB stick and want to make sure if the stick is a) given out to the right person in the first place and b) are able to re-unite it with the designated owner should it get lost (and subsequently turn up).

Sensitive data that’s pre-loaded onto one of our USB sticks might for example include confidential product pricing or perhaps embargoed press release information that can’t fall into the wrong hands. Putting a serial number on them is not an infallible method but at least it demonstrates you are aware of the issues and that you’re trying to do something to deal with them. As well as putting a serial number on the physical stick don’t forget it’s also possible to protect access to the data stored on the flash drive as well – just ask if this is something you’d be interested in.

Flash Drive Serial Numbers and Bar Code Printing

Flash Drive Serial Numbers and Bar Code Printing

School and universities often get their USB sticks marked (engraved or etched) with a serial number so they can “link” them to a student – at least this way if the USB stick is lost (and subsequently found) it can be repatriated to the student who lost it. There’s nothing worse than losing precious coursework stored on a USB memory sticks particularly when it’s not been backed up to a cloud based solution like Dropbox!

We always recommend engraving or etching a serial number onto a USB sticks rather than printing it because printed numbers can be scratched off. The engraving costs pennies or nothing depending on how many sticks you buy and it is a simple but effective solution. Don’t worry about the numbers having a negative effect on the branding of the sticks because if you don’t want them on the body of the stick they can be etched onto the connector that plugs into the PC or on the side of the stick.

If you know in advance the names of the recipients of the USB sticks then we can personalise each one and print (or engrave) their names on the sticks instead of numbers – it really depends what you’re trying to achieve and how discrete the “binding” of the USB stick to a particular person needs to be.

If in doubt just call us and we’ll talk you through the options and lead times.

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Promotional USB Sticks with a logo that will last a lifetime

Posted by USB2U on 15th June 2015 | Permalink

If you’re buying USB memory sticks with your logo on then one of the primary reasons for buying them will be to promote your company and your brand – if all you wanted to do was hand out USB sticks then you could just as easily buy them without your logo on. Arguably it would be easier (and cheaper) to buy them this way but what would be the point!

Let’s face it if you’re going to spend a minimum of several hundreds of pounds on giveaways (like USB sticks) then you absolutely must get your them branded with your logo. Yes there is a small overhead to arrange this (versus buying blank) and you will pay marginally more for the finished product but promotional gifts like USB sticks are all about brand development and without a brand on them you fail at the first hurdle.

BUT one of the things you will need to consider when you buy promotional USB memory sticks with your logo on is exactly how the logo is applied. Do you opt to have the logo printed or is it better to get the logo engraved or embossed on the sticks.

Printing is usually done in one of two ways:

  • Silk Screen printing – using this technique each colour of your logo will be printed individually onto the case of the USB stick (onto which the logo is being applied) with the case often being baked in a small print oven between colours. The baking process tends to be used when metal surfaces are printed on because it hardens and toughens the print and protects it against chipping and scratching. On plastics its typical for a primer or bonding agent to be used.
  • Digital UV Print – UV printing is relatively new but its very popular because its allows full colour printing (photo quality) in a single pass using the latest UV printers. There’s a bit like a large photo printer you might use at home but with special UV inks that are dried and hardened by a UV lamp built into the printer. In many cases it’s still necessary to prime and thoroughly clean the USB sticks before they are printed but with care and an experienced operator the results can be stunning.

Whichever method is used the fundamental problem with printing is that over time the image printed will chip and scratch. Once the “bond” the ink forms during the print process is broken then it’s just a matter of time until the complete logo disappears.

Given the primary objective for buying USB sticks with your logo on is the on-going brand exposure you get from them then the quality of the print is a key consideration. Ink almost wiping straight off metal USB sticks is not unheard of!

An alternative is to choose a USB stick that can be engraved or embossed. OK, you’ll lose the ability to have your logo printed in full colour but the logo will last forever!

On the right model of USB stick, engraving looks brilliant. It’s tactile and the amount of detail you can get may surprise you. Both branding options (printing or engraving) have their merits but if you want longevity then it has to be engraving. Still not sure, then just ask for samples before you place any order.

Engraved Twisters By USB2U

Engraved USB Memory Sticks

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USB Sticks and Keepsake Boxes fit for a Princess

Posted by USB2U on 6th May 2015 | Permalink

Fantastic news about the birth of the latest Royal baby on Saturday! Her Royal Highness Princess Charlotte of Cambridge (Charlotte Elizabeth Diana) arrived at 8:34am on Saturday and the announcement has provided a welcome respite to all of the political debate in the lead up to the General Election on Thursday.

Whilst there’s been masses of media coverage and loads of photos of Princess Charlotte it’s unlikely we’re going to see any “official” photos released by the Palace for at least another 3-4 weeks. Her brother (Prince George) was a couple of days short of being a month old before the first official image was released and even then these were a few snapshots taken by Kate’s father.

It’ll be interesting to see if this time around Kate and William use the services of a professional photographer or whether they elect (again) to keep the whole thing “in the family”. It’s a commission that most professional photographers would give their right arm to get albeit it won’t come without lots of pressure, scrutiny not to mention the demands (and intrusion) of the press!

If they do commission a professional photographer Kate and William won’t be alone because these days the newborn baby photography sector is growing fast and there are some brilliant pros that specialise in nothing but baby photography. Of course as a market grows and brings more competition into it one of the challenges is to make sure you differentiate your service so photographers are now using things like engraved USB memory sticks and matching engraved keepsake boxes to store digital copies of the baby photos on and in!

But, a pretty keepsake box and cute engraved USB memory stick is just a great “value add” and nothing more. Fundamentally it has to be about the quality of the photography and how the photographer engages with their client and the baby.

If you are an established baby photographer then, irrespective of whether you get the “gig” at the Palace you might want to think about offering digital copies of your shots to your clients on an engraved or printed USB memory stick. It’s the way the market is moving and there are now several specialist companies (including USB2U) that not only offer these types of products but have also invested in dedicated websites aimed at the Pro-Photography sector.

If you are think that you’re on the short list of possibles for the first official photographs of Her Royal Highness Princess Charlotte of Cambridge then good luck!

Tasmin Holland

Tasmin Holland – Professional Photography – USB Sticks and Boxes

 

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Laser Engraved USB Memory Sticks Create a Lasting Impression

Posted by USB2U on 3rd July 2014 | Permalink

If you’re the market for some promotional USB memory sticks and you’re thinking of ordering them with your logo printed on them then before you place the order you might just want to take a few minutes to consider getting your logo laser engraved rather than printed.

We understand that for some customers printing is the only option because they have to have their logo reproduced in full colour and of course we understand that printed logos and designs look great.  After all the majority of our USB sticks are printed and all of our USB sticks can be printed on!  But there is one obvious downside with printing and we’d be failing in our responsibility to our customers if we didn’t point it out.

Engraved USB Memory Sticks

Engraved USB Memory Sticks

The downside with printing is that over time the print will begin to chip and wear away leaving behind a logo that might not be legible.  It doesn’t matter what printing process is use, what primer is applied to the sticks and how long they are baked for to harden the ink after being printed because at some point ink and its adhesion will “give” and chip away or simply fade.

Of course the resilience of the print will vary depending on the material that the USB stick is made from and how well they are printed in the first place.  Equally the environment they are used in can have a major bearing as can the way in which they are carried –  if printed USB memory sticks are attached to a bunch of keys (on a key ring) then the constant chaffing of the stick against the keys will accelerate the erosion of the print.

If you really do want your logo to last and for your promotional USB memory sticks to look as good after a few months as they did on the day they were supplied then you ought to consider getting them laser engraved.

Laser engraving “etches” the surface of the USB stick leaving a high precision finish that is permanent and won’t rub or scratch off. It’s a very popular technique that is used on a wide range of promotional products.

Of course you won’t get the option of full colour but at least you’ll know the logo will be produced to a high level of accuracy and more fundamentally that the design engraved onto them will last the test of time.

Engraved USB - Iron Stick

Engraved USB - Iron Stick

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Supplying Engraved Wooden USB Memory Sticks to Professional Photographers

Posted by USB2U on 6th May 2014 | Permalink

Since exhibiting The  Photography Show earlier this year our feet have barely touched the ground and it’d be fair to say it’s all been a little bit manic – but in a good way. The feedback from the photographers we met at the show was amazing and the level of interest shown in our range of USB packages since the show has blown us away.

As we committed to the show weren’t 100% sure if now was the right time to be exhibiting. Our nervousness stemmed from concerns about whether Professional Photographers were ready to take the plunge and move CD’s and DVD’s to USB memory sticks. Equally we knew it was down to us to inform and educate about the differing quality of “promotional” USB sticks that are readily available and to get across the message that most are simply not suitable for photographers because a “promotional” USB sticks is a very different beast to a High Spec USB stick put together specifically for the photography sector – these have upgraded memory, upgraded controller chips and an upgraded capacitor.

Inevitably “High Spec” USB sticks cost a little more than standard promotional USB sticks so our challenge was helping photographers understand why we felt it was important that they bought these more expensive sticks in preference to the cheaper promotional models we sell.

Wendy Grant Wooden USB Sticks and Boxes from USB2U

Wendy Grant Wooden USB Sticks and Boxes from USB2U

Coupled with this we knew we had to do something special in terms of branding and packaging which is why we’ve invested so heavily in this aspect over the last year. The “bundles” we now sell on our dedicated Photographer WebSite are all put together using High Specification USB sticks but they also include a range of fantastic packaging options.

The most popular “bundle” has been our engraved Woodland USB sticks coupled with our engraved wooden slide gift box. We fill the wooden box with Coconut Coir (it’s a very fine, natural fibre) that works really and reinforces the “eco-friendly” message the package sends out. Although we can print the wooden sticks and boxes most photographers are opting to get them engraved – the level of detail we can achieve with the engraving is amazing and of course the engraving mellows and matures with the wood. The results are a great looking and incredibly tactile package that is incomparable to a CD or DVD and as such they have very quickly become a vehicle to generate additional sales and additional revenue for the professional photographers that are using them.

Prices for our bundles are shown on the USB2U Photography Web Site but if you can’t see exactly what you want just give us a call – mock-ups and dummy samples are all supplied free of charge.

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