2017 digital planHere we are in the second week of 2017, have you hashed out your digital plan yet?  If you value your business or want to take your personal brand seriously you really need to take some time and focus your digital efforts.  I am not talking about advertising, but actually having a plan for ‘organic’ content.  Also, this plan doesn’t just cover social.  To truly have an impact on your digital footprint you need to consider it all; social, web, apps, blogs, other commerce sites and what I like to consider ‘other’.  ‘Other’ is a big list and we will get into that in future posts.

Your first step to laying out your ‘digital plan’ or actually a ‘digital strategy’ is to identify ‘who?’ are you talking to.  If you do not know who your target customer, reader, listener, or viewer is, then how can you ‘talk’ to them?  By talking I mean, how can you get them into your store, onto your website or listen to your show.  Once you identify ‘who’ then you need to decide ‘how?’.

How will you reach your target? I don’t necessarily mean going by the list above of web, social, etc.  I mean looking at all the ways available and deciding out of those, what is best for you.  Let’s take social for example: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Snapchat, Instagram, Reddit, Pinterest, YouTube, Periscope, Tumblr, Nextdoor and on and on and on.  Do you need to be on all of those?  That’s just social, you need to flush out if you need a website or can use something else.  Will you blog? Create an app?  Again, the list goes on, but you need to identify in what ways do you want to reach your consumer and how.  That leads me to ‘why?’!

Why do you need to be on all of those social medias?  Or why do you need to create your own website?  Next to each choice you made you should list why you feel you should be on that particular platform and more importantly, what will you gain from it.  An answer of ‘because’ may be ok.  If you’re targeting teens or 18-34 year olds and you feel you need to be on Snapchat ‘because’ that’s where the audience is, that’s ok.  It is ok, but takes us to ‘what?’.

What will you be saying to the folks on the channels above?  If you decide you will be using 6 different social media points, what will you say to those folks individually on each of those channels?  You don’t need to have specifics, just an idea of why someone should follow you on each platform.  Example, maybe you own a bakery and Instagram will have pictures of the food.  Twitter could be used to talk about daily specials available now.  On Facebook, do a Facebook Live of the process of making some of your more popular items or talk a little more in-depth on which cake is best for which event.  Whatever the case is, give each social media a purpose.  Give the consumer a REASON to follow your platforms.  Every time I see or hear ‘Like our Facebook page’ with no explanation, I often yell back ‘WHY!?!?!’  You have given me no reason to like or follow anything of yours.

Ok, now it’s time to identify resources. Do you have a website?  If so, who is responsible for updating it? If not, who’s creating it, how much and do you have the money?  How often will your site be updated? What about social, who’s posting? Is someone blogging?  Who makes sure that business hours or the event calendars are updated?  Who is the backup for each of these people?  All of these things need to be thought about and documented.

There is a lot more to get into and we will in future posts.  Important thing to remember is this is a living document.  You should be reviewing your digital plan at least quarterly if not monthly.  You can add, remove and edit things to make sure you’re doing what’s best for your business and your brand.