Is it time to ditch digital?


We live in a very connected world. Or so we think… Smart phones and social media have made it easier than ever to grow our networks and broadcast our achievements and yet somehow, amidst all the noise, many people are struggling to make an impact. A quick review of my iPhone apps today revealed that I have 704 Facebook Friends, 1040 Twitter Followers and 1106 LinkedIn Connections. That’s a lot of people and I love the interaction that I have with them. However, as the world becomes more digital it is more important than ever that we can create meaningful human connection and don’t over rely on technology to do the job for us.
If you want to create more impact and have more influence at work try ditching your email and picking up the phone instead. Better yet, walk across the office and speak to colleagues face to face. “Compliance culture” has created the proliferation of massive email chains where people are more interested in covering their backs by documenting their interactions than they are in effectively and efficiently solving the problems at hand. What would happen if you got into the habit of pausing before you hit reply to the latest thing in your inbox? Would a more personal response get you a better outcome? How much time could you save if you cut out the email back-and-forth and discussed the issue instead?

In the moment digital can feel like the easiest and quickest option, yet often it simply delays an inevitable human interaction. To really solve meaningful problems we have to connect, to build trust and develop relationships. Verbal conversations whether on the phone or in person allow us to do this. You can’t fully read body language or decipher tone in an email or an instant message, no matter how many emojis you use!

Yet the solution can’t simply be more face-to-face time. In fact, the research suggests that the average employee spends 31 hours a month in meetings they consider a waste of time! Instead we need to think about the quality of our interactions. Do we have a clear intention for the meeting or call, a tangible objective that we can measure success against? Does everyone present need to be there? Is the agenda clearly defined? Two of the most successful strategies we’ve found for increasing productivity are making meetings shorter – 15 minutes or 45 minutes work well instead of the traditional 30 minutes or an hour – and conducting meetings and conference calls standing up . When people know that time is of the essence and they can’t slump in a comfy chair and zone out, it’s amazing how much more energised and driven people become.

In reality digital is here to stay. Whilst ditching our smartphones might seem appealing, they actually bring us major benefits when used in the right way. The most important thing then is for us to stay in control of our tools rather than allowing our tools to dictate our performance. Being a great communicator is all about self-awareness and being strategic. Instead of reacting immediately to a stimulus, pause and make your response a conscious one. However you choose to respond, the more you truly connect the more effective you’ll become.

The Dos and Don'ts of Social Media - Finding the Digital Voice of your Brand


A guest post from social media expert Jonny Ross
Social media can provide your business with many benefits if used correctly. It can drive traffic to your website, provide your business with an online identity, ensure your business becomes a ‘go-to’ within your industry sector and really allow you to find the digital voice for your brand. However, it can be extremely easy to misuse social media by posting content that does not truly represent your business or by simply posting content merely to seem active and this can cause your business serious damage. Therefore, it is vitally important that when using social media for your business, it is done correctly. This blog will take you through the dos and don’ts of social media, which if followed correctly, will ensure that you are able to find and project the digital voice of your brand.

Do – Create a detailed social media campaign plan

It can often be extremely easy to forget about social media when putting together a marketing campaign, however, it is one platform that when used correctly can be vitally important and can play a key role in any campaign. Therefore, using social media as one of the key platforms when putting together a campaign plan can ensure that it is not simply forgotten about.

Planning or scheduling your posts is a great way to ensure that the content can be prepared weeks, if not months in advance, making posting an extremely easy process. Don’t have a campaign coming up? Don’t worry – you can still treat social media as a campaign in itself. Try creating a content calendar, including seasons or key industry events to plan out your posts ensuring your social media platforms always remain a key part of your online campaigns.

Don’t – Simply post on your social media platforms to fill space

Social media is a platform that can easily become forgotten about when used for business. But when this happens and posts are published simply to fill space or to ensure you still remain active, you are actually doing your business more harm than good. We have all been there, when we have so much to do, regularly posting on social media platforms often gets moved to the bottom of the to do list. However, planning your posts in advanced is a great way to do this, it also ensures your business stays authentic. Also, remember – the reason why you use social media for business is to create engagement and to do this, audiences need to connect with your digital voice. So investing some time and energy into planning your posts can really ensure that social media doesn’t get forgotten about, your voice is heard and your business is able to show personality.

Do – Make sure you use the same voice for all of your posts

It can be easy to see something on the internet and immediately want to share it with your audience, however, before you post the funny picture of the cat wearing a hat ask yourself – is this really portraying the businesses digital voice? If the answer is no, then don’t post it. Keeping your posts consistent with the same tone will really ensure audiences are able to engage with the content you are posting and will more likely engage with your business.

Don’t – Forget that anything you post can be viewed by anyone

The importance of this cannot be stressed enough. It is so easy to simply post something that catches your eye simply to ensure you are posting regularly. But don’t! Remember, whenever you post anything onto a social media platform it is very difficult to remove. Your social media platforms are an extension of the business; they are simply another platform for your audience to connect with you on. Therefore you want to ensure that your digital voice is heard. Do your posts represent your business? Do they deliver the digital voice of your business? Do they follow on from your previous posts? These are all questions that you should be asking yourself when creating content or before you post anything.

Do – Make sure the platforms you choose are right for your business

As I mentioned before, don’t simply post content just to fill a gap or to seem active. This is simply a waste of time for you and your audiences. So in line with this, take the time to look at your online platforms and make sure you are using the right ones. Does Facebook work for your business? Do you use more written content or images? Would your images be much better suited to Instagram? Posting the right content on the right platforms is the key to gaining engagement, something that can provide your business with many benefits. So don’t be afraid to take the time to look at your business, look at your competitors and really work out which social media platforms are right for you. This is a great way of ensuring that your digital voice will be heard.

Don’t – Ignore comments or feedback, whether it is negative or positive

It can be very hard to deal with negative feedback or comments, especially when they are made publicly on social media platforms. However, it is important that you reply to these comments in order to really establish that your business has a digital voice that is willing to listen. If someone has left a negative comment with regards to your products or services then diffuse the situation and try to resolve the issue. Whether this is asking the customer to contact you directly so that you can solve the issue or simply posting to apologise, acknowledge their feedback and demonstrate empathy. If the issue has been raised before by other customers, then be helpful by offering solutions to common problems. Establishing your businesses digital voice as an authoritative but approachable one is key to ensuring that your audience knows you take on-board their feedback.

So now you know the dos and don’ts of social media for business – your digital voice should be heard loud and clear by all! These top tips are ones that should be kept in mind whenever you use social media for business. But remember, that it may take time before you are able to see the benefits. This isn’t a quick fix, but ensuring your audience are able to hear your digital voice will encourage them to engage with your business. Do you agree? Or do you think there is a crucial point that has been forgotten?

About Jonny Ross Consultancy
With over 15 years experience working with small businesses, Jonny Ross specialises in digital marketing campaigns, social media campaigns and online engagement strategies for both B2B and B2C businesses. Jonny has a proven track record in the e-commerce field and everything SEO related, including social media and website design.