Over the past few years, the word “digital” has gone from merely denoting a replica of a print magazine to just about anything you do electronically. Engaging people through the various means we have available to us takes time, effort and, dare I say it, some money, as well. It also needs another thing that many do not currently have—a strategy.
Whether you engage people via a Web site, an iPad or smart phone app, through email or via any other platform, you need to have a strategy in place to make sure your customers or prospects engage with you for a long time to come—wherever they are. Assuming you plan to reach people through more than one platform, you’ll need a strategy to integrate all of them.
How frequently you need to engage with people really depends on what you’re trying to achieve. A newsletter, a tweet or an updated RSS feed certainly works on a daily basis. You can update your Facebook page or make an entry on LinkedIn to keep people involved, too. Whatever it is, you just need a plan to reach your entire market.
Newsletters are a good way to engage people and keep them involved, but your strategy must make sure your newsletter carries information people are going to benefit. This is where some spare cash may come in useful. Do not overwhelm people with content. You are more likely to drive them off a cliff rather than toward your product.
Some say sending an email first thing in the morning, so it appears at the top of the recipient’s inbox, is a good thing. Others claim sending email after 10:00 A.M. is better. All this really proves is we don’t always know what works and what doesn’t. I would venture to suggest it depends a great deal on the market with which you are dealing. After all, a night worker’s shift ends when most others’ start and an email at the end of their shift may indeed work very well early in the morning.
If you are going to engage via social media, make sure your strategy details when you plan to do this. You should add content on a regular basis and testing should determine the optimum frequency. You should also add content when the situation demands like with hot news or a special story. Don’t forget that this content should always be worth sharing.
Wherever you post content, keep an eye on it to make sure people don’t abuse your efforts. Check Facebook and other (anti) social media at least once day. When people ask to be removed from lists, remove them—no muss, no fuss. Just say “thanks” and move on.
More and more, digital is part of our world. Whether this is a good thing or a bad thing, I have yet to figure out. For now, it is here and we need to embrace it—not willy-nilly—but in a well-ordered manner so we can take maximum advantage whilst we may.