So What Do You Mean When You Say “Digital”

When you think of the term “digital,” you automatically think “digital = social media.” You’re off to a great start but there is a little more to it. A few things I wanted to break down about the digital sphere is what does it really mean and what should you know about it?

It’s crazy to think that the apps we are so familiar with now: Instagram, Snapchat, and Facebook, will be completely different in 3, 5, and 10 years. Think about when we are older and see our kids on their iPhones, will we be able to comprehend what ever their newest obsession is on social media? I hope so. *GASP* As I think about not being able to keep up with social media someday.

SO WHAT DOES DIGITAL MEAN?

In today’s day and age, brands cannot thrive if they don’t have a digital presence. It is one thing having a Twitter account on behalf of a brand but what is the strategy behind it? What is the voice/ tone of the brand? Is it playful? Serious? Goofy? A combination? Having a digital presence on behalf of a brand means being up to speed with day to day news stories, and engaging yourself into conversation when appropriate. If an alarming dairy study came out and had the possibility to negatively effect the dairy industry, brands like Horizon Valley and Darigold might make a statement via social media channels where they see fit. A cereal brand MAY be able to enter the conversation because milk + cereal are essential to one another (obvi), but it might be trying a bit too hard if a poultry or chip brand tried to enter the conversation. Milk is to cereal as chips is to guac. Chips to milk? Mission abort.

Digital takeaways that I think are important may be different than someone who doesn’t have a background in public relations. In fact, someone who has been in public relations for 10+ years might have a different outlook on all things digital and where it is going. But, as far as my millennial self goes, here are a few key takeaways.

  1. Digital is always changing.

    And with that, it’s a marathon and not a sprint. Take the realm of social media with a grain of salt. We as millennials can adapt to just about anything and if one thing is for certain, we can quickly adapt to digital change and transformation. Just last week, Facebook launched it’s rendition of Facebook Stories, which is similar to SnapChat and Instagram features. “How will we keep up with all of our stories?” is a question I think many of us have along with how will our phone batteries withstand all of the different networks. I am curious to hear people’s feedback at the very least. And in case you were wondering, Facebook creeping is no longer anonymous when it comes to FB Story.

  2. Brands are creating “influencer programs” for just about anything.

    If you have a passion for financial planning, colorful floors, or new and inventive cocktails, there is most likely someone out there who has worked with a brand who’s core values match that of the brands. Amazon just had a soft launch of an influencer program into beta where the new program will offer influencers commission on products sold, but is not open to the public. So in short, if you consider yourself an influencer, there is most likely a brand that fits your image and what you like to write about. And in case you were wondering, Amazon influencers must submit an application to be included.

  3. Digital platforms can tell a story from beginning to end.

    It is one thing to read a blog post about someone’s travel experience. But what was the actual story of it? Brands are continuing to work with the customer and not just for the customer, which is well stated in HBR. The customer continues to be kept top of mind and at the forefront of conversations. What are the consumer’s tastes changing to and how can brands quickly adapt? Digital strategy is essential to story telling and paralleling with the mind sets of consumers.

  4. Ways to measure a digital campaign is essential to success.

    You would not believe the tools companies use on the back end to measure success, especially for digital campaigns. Facebook ads are measured in so many ways (think engagement, click throughs, point of sale). It is every brand’s dream to be on the front page of the New York Times, and can you guess why? It has the ability to reach so many people. As of 2016, the NY Times has 72.9MM unique monthly viewers. Where do you even begin to measure the success of this kind of placement? Different measuring tools help answer different questions: How many people viewed the article, how many shared it, commented on it, how was SEO involved. One tool I recently learned about can track who viewed a certain page, clicked on the “donate now” hyperlink on the page, and then actually donated! 50% incredible and 50% creepy. I think you get the point.

What do you think is the next turning point in the digital space? I am curious to hear from my millennial pals and digital experts as well! Hope this helped clear up any questions you might have had about all things social media/ digital!

XO.

Lex

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