[Photo By Yoni Gill]

The digital world has taken over our lives, and are we upset about it? I’d say no. It’s an addiction, a thirst for up-and-coming information, an imaginary finger print. Everyone can present their own individuality through social media, which is a pretty cool phenomenon.

Social media, like anything else is imperfect. It can either keep us in the loop or turn us into cell-phone-zombies who never look up to see the world while they are walking. (I’m guilty of this sometimes.) Users will try to portray perfection on their profiles which is an unrealistic expectation. Especially if you see your Timehop from 3 years ago. That’s scary stuff. Having a digital presence may sometimes seem as if you are way too exposed.

There are pros to this culture, however, and that is the market it has created for brands – personal and organizational.

Digital is a way to develop who you are in a more intellectual way. (At least it should be, party pics are a no-go people.)

So, how does the digital world affect the brands that you have come to adore? Well, that’s simple; you might not currently adore them if it wasn’t for their digital fingerprint.

That adoration does not come easily, I have seen it first-hand. There is a right way to be a digital inspiration, and there is a wrong way.

Strategy is necessary.

To the readers who love to connect/follow their favorite brands, this is how you should and should not be treated. (I’m here for you.) I can’t hand you tissues of course, because this is strictly a digital relationship. That might be another con of the digital world…

To the digital master-minds of organizations or start-ups wanting to develop a social media presence, I say to you…*cue the dramatic music*

Do this:

  • An equal balance of thought leadership and fun.
  • Less in-your-face brand promotion, more company culture. Sell your company not the product.
  • Don’t be a robot, be a person. No one speaks beedooo beedoo.
  • Develop a Brand Personality that is unique and admirable.
  • Be attentive to users who follow you. (Yes, you can reply to them. They won’t bite.)
  • Branded hashtags #rock.
  • Post different content to different platforms. Every platform has a different potential.
  • For the sake of my sanity, please blog at least a little bit. Owned content is a key player in this equation.

Don’t do this:

  • Promote your brand product/website in every post.
  • Take yourself too seriously digitally. You should space out your thought leadership articles.
  • Repeat the same message too many times. Your audience is smart and attentive. If you act like they aren’t, then they will act like you aren’t.
  • Ignore your audience. Your audience is like a spouse, hopeful for attention and respect. *Love you honey*
  • Use discriminatory language.
  • Fail to update sites/social platforms when necessary. Digital is always changing, you have to keep up. It’s a race.

Digital is about being you. We all know cat-fishing never works out, so why would brands want to do that to their users?

Be hopelessly you, and the right connections will come along. #SeeForYourself. #HashtagsRock.




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