Thursday, February 16, 2012

Do I build digital strategies? Or strategies that can go viral?

Sometimes clients ask me if I do digital strategy, and it always confuses me. Every strategy – digital or “traditional” – must come from the same source, right?

My main job is to find insights about the brand, the consumer and their relationship with each other, to be able to find keys on how to make people attracted to and eager to purchase a product or service. I will recommend messages, tone of voice, visuals and channels. 

Sometimes the way into a person´s heart is social media. Sometimes an app will make the target go nuts. Sometimes it´s a DM campaign that will lead to sales. To me, “digital” is a channel, a place where people hang out, and that doesn´t need a “digital strategy” of its own.
What agencies really are asking me, is if I know what kind of tools to use. They want me to act like a media agency, having insights on how people feel on various platforms, what demographics are using which sites, and what´s the etiquette on each of them?

I don´t know... but when going through the Facebook sites of different brands I can´t stop yawning. Whoever built them is probably a tech-savvy gen Z intern at the agency, but there are very rarely any deep insights to be spotted behind the strategy, the idea and the actions taken... It is like they don´t respect the target, but rather shout out a message (win, win, win, look at me). Perhaps I´m just too old... 

For fun I googled "digital strategy" and checked out Images... OMG, there are a lot of infographics to be used - and we all love smart art on Power Point, don´t we? Haha. Here is one example. Get it?

Here are some tips on how to create a social media strategy from Nick Shin: (, from an article on Social Media Examiner (I´ve shortened the tips) Makes sense. But it´s not rocket science :)

#1: Determine Your Goals and Objectives
Understand your social media goals and objectives and how they tie into your overall company goals. Keep it Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic/Relevant, and Timely (aka be SMART!).

#2: Research, Research, and Research Some More
Rather than jumping into the social media pool with both feet, do the equivalent of the “splash-water-on-self” maneuver so you know what to expect. Develop a list of social media sites where you can potentially engage with people. The list will most likely start off with Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and a few select blogs and forums. Check out each of the social media sites on your list and do additional research to determine relevancy by searching for your brand name, your competitors, and your target keywords.  Listen to what’s out there, identify, and understand your target audience.

#3: Create a Digital Rolodex of Contacts and Content
When social media is done correctly, relationships will build naturally Begin making connections by following the conversation.  You can do this by subscribing to blogs in your industry and by making a list of influencers who are relevant to your business.

#4: Join the Conversation to Develop Relationships
Now it’s time to start making use of all the research you’ve done.  You can start joining the conversation by posting comments on blogs and forums, answering questions on Yahoo! and LinkedIn, joining groups related to your industry. Begin developing relationships by following and friending influencers and those in your industry. 

#5: Strengthen Relationships
It’s easy to hide behind your avatar or profile picture, but face-to-face is incredibly powerful.  Attend offline events related to your industry—not only to strengthen your knowledge base but also to network and strengthen relationships with those you might have conversed with via social media but never met in person. 

#6: Measure Results
  • Improve brand presence across social channels—The measurement goal here is an increase in the number of followers on Twitter, number of fans on Facebook, number of comments, number of times your brand is mentioned in blogs and forums and so on.
  • Increase positive sentiment about your brand—The goal here is to convert the number of positive mentions while taking note of negative mentions.  Has the ratio of positive to negative comments improved?  With the good comes the bad in social media. Get used to it!
  • Develop relationships for future partnership opportunities—This goal is to keep track of those with whom you’ve connected.  For example, if you met a potential speaker for your webinar, include that person into your digital Rolodex.  If a vendor contacts you through your blog, capture that lead and take note.
  • Increase traffic to your website—Keep track of visitors to your website who come from each of your social media sites.  If you’re promoting an event using social media, consider using a unique code to track the campaign.

Measuring social media is a never-ending debate.  What metrics do you use to measure social media?  What objective are you measuring those metrics for?

#7: Analyze, Adapt, and Improve
Your social media strategy doesn’t end with measurement; it goes beyond that.  You need to analyze your social media campaigns, adapt any new findings into your current processes, and improve your efforts. Testing and experimentation will perfect your social media efforts.

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