Christina Gilibert

5 R’s of digital for 2012

Welcome to 2012 – the year of digital.
We saw a great many progressions in digital marketing in 2011, but 2012 is about to raise the bar – digital budgets are increasing, businesses are continually looking for innovative ways to connect via digital, application providers are pushing their products and social media is still growing and responding to technical developments.
If you haven’t already jumped on the digital bandwagon or need a few hints and tips to progress with it this year, then read my 5 R’s of digital for 2012 and immerse yourself in the world of digital.
1) Read and Request
I won’t lie; following digital trends is a bit like riding the express train, but thankfully you can keep up (just) by selecting your weekly (or daily) reads. My personal favourites are Mashable, Social Media Examiner, Bloggertone, Biz Sugar, Simply Zesty and Clickz.
You can also follow your best sources on Facebook and Twitter or via RSS feeds. Using Google alerts and the blog finder are handy tools. The creme de la creme of posts and articles are shared across networks, so you tend to pick these up without too much searching.
Request apps to boost your online experience – I’ve discovered RDP and Fing this week. RDP allows you to connect to your home computer via your mobile device and Keynote for presentations (Thanks to this Sage blog post by Beatrice Whelan)
2) Remember
The best titbit of advice I can give you for 2012 is to remember what you read and practice it. Never be afraid to test out what you read or ask someone to support you and help you out. This year could be your year to shape up that Facebook business page with a custom designed Welcome page and a few apps to ramp up engagement levels. It could be the year you venture into WordPress (a website platform) and learn the art of updating, adding apps and organising content. You may even read about some specialty sites like Instagram, Delicious, Twitpic and Foursquare.
3) Respect and Respond
As you’ve gone to all that trouble researching sites to connect with and read posts on, it makes sense to stop a little while longer and leave your own comment. Not only does this open up a communication channel, but it also gives you a chance to comment with your own thoughts and deepen your understanding and knowledge-base. Bloggers (for the most part) are happy to indulge you and relish the chance to impart a few additional pearls of wizdom or completely argue the point – either way, it makes for excellent communication and learning.
In the interests of online etiquette, be respectful of the blog author and commenters. You can make an army of friends online and you can lose them in an instant with a bad attitude. Opposing ideas are ok if well-reasoned, fair and delivered minus name-calling and belittling comments.
4) Re-tweet (Share)
Arguably the most awesome feature of a post, is the ability to share it. All’s fair in love and share(ing) as they say and it’s fair to say that should you like something, someone (or many someones) will like it too. Sharing smashed the social world in 2011 and 2012 will surely take it to the next level. So, the mantra is – You like it – you share it! And we know that you like all of of your own posts – amplify your efforts by sharing with interested parties and who knows, you could produce a dedicated following.
5) Re-invent
Innovation and creativity are the buzzwords of 2012 (so says us) and 2012 could be your year to re-invent your business online. It’s time to watch the marketplace and assess your business. Draw yourself up a strategy and stylise your online offerings. Apply some ‘punch’ and ‘vigor’, inspire others and concentrate on your unique selling point. The options are endless and all that limits you in your creative quest, is YOU. Don’t let that happen this year – become a star online.

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3 Comments

  1. 1.

    Alan Fagan

    Great article! Really insightful. I’d throw ‘Repeat’ in at the end because it’s so important to remind ourselves that effective digital marketing is an ongoing process. It’s not something you can simply tick on your to do list in January. You need to make it a big part of your day-to-day activity…

    Tuesday 10th January 2012, 12:19 pm

  2. 2.

    Darren

    I’d add one more: be selective.

    There are so many new and newish technologies, web services and ways of connecting with people online, and the number grows every few months. 2012 is bound to throw up another couple we haven’t heard of yet and everyone will leap onto the bandwagon in some mad dash because they think they have to.

    They don’t.

    Not all technologies or means of communication suit all business, so you shouldn’t be afraid to say no to some of them. Maybe Twitter doesn’t suit your business, maybe your customers don’t want to read your blog, or follow you on Facebook for all the world to see, or connect to you on Linkedin, etc.

    You need to be choosy, otherwise you’ll find yourself doing a little of everything and doing nothing particularly well.

    We’re on the brink of shutting down our business Facebook page. Why? Because our customers won’t follow us. Why won’t they follow us? Because we’re a wholesaler, and they don’t want anyone to know which wholesaler they buy from, so they hesitate to make any sort of public link between us and them.

    When it comes to social media and your business, you should be saying no as often as you say yes. Like all other aspects of your business, you should build a business case for using technology or service X before investing the time and energy. Don’t jump on board because of the hype.

    Thursday 12th January 2012, 2:35 pm

  3. 3.

    Christina giliberti

    Hi Alan, ahh the repeat word. It’s surprising how
    Many businesses feel that once is enough, like SEO for example. With communications, it is important to build a presence online by continuing your effects and strengthening your channels. this is how you create relationships and loyalty.
    Thanks for commenting!

    Hi Darren- its true, businesses are under pressure to compete and adopt popular SM channels like Facebook. You make a valid point about finding a match for audience and not using the channel for the sake of it. I tell my clients to consider their audience and ways of opening up a dialogue (will a view to a connection, sale, referral, goal), and to select channels which support their business and that they are comfortable with. The lack of success is’nt always down to non engagement, it’s down to an ill thought out strategy and lack of understanding of the channel. As you say, not every channel is for every business. Great comment, thanks!

    Saturday 14th January 2012, 3:49 pm

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