"The Digital Dollar is a unique phrase that is used in the title of, and throughout, this book. The digital dollar, in the context of this book, defines all references to our unique perspective of the relationship between your money and the online world."
Our lives, for better or worse, are shifting to the virtual world – the internet. Joe Wozny’s book The Digital Dollar offers some insight into how we can transform this “new” way of doing business into dollars. He offers some good tips for the business person who is looking for an online presence for their business – a must have.
Wozny describes the sections of the book as “puzzle pieces” that you can put together to create and lay out a Digital Roadmap that can be used for defining online strategies. He offers insights, tips, and advice at the end of each chapter that reflect on what we just read.
It's My Name, Not Your Name: Making Advanced Reservations
"In the bricks-and-mortar world, individuals and companies are investing a lot of time and money generating the best name and brand for their business. In the online world, it’s just as important to reserve a name for your product, brand and/or business across multiple channels."
I was so happy to read this chapter as it reflected what I have been doing for a couple of years now. Who doesn’t like positive reinforcement?!
We see it almost monthly now where the “next-big-thing” launches online. Facebook and Twitter several years ago. Instagram and Pinterest recently (recently is an extremely subjective term when describing online) and RebelMouse and Vine this year. Typically, it’s first come, first served when reserving usernames or sub-domains on these sites. You need to make sure that you register your brand name for these services as soon as you can. Unless your company has a unique name that is truly yours (Nike, Starbucks, Costco, etc.) there is a chance that someone else that has the same company name will get it before you.
I have been successful at this with my company, with one exception – Twitter. You can find us everywhere at …../BetterBeer. Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, Foursquare, you name it, but not on Twitter where I was too slow, so we are BetterBeerCom. Does it confuse people? Maybe not. But having one uniform user name on all sites is so consistent and easy to communicate – think of business cards and brochures. We have all the icons listed with “BetterBeer” and a Twitter handle all by itself. It’s a real pet peeve, to be honest.
Please, Please Create a Content Plan
"Content plans are never a static document. They must change with the availability of information and as timing and priorities change within an organization. It is, therefore, advisable to have a single command-and-control point for content planning."
Many people just bang out a blog or a social media post without giving it much thought. With a detailed plan that has content scheduled, you will make sure to hit each topic correctly. It also alleviates writer’s block – for those times when you know that you should post something, but don’t know what.
Content plans should contain the following:
- What will be published
- Which internet channels will be employed and in which locations
- When will it be published
- Who is responsible for publishing it
- Deadlines and lead times required for drafts and reviews – the whole publishing process
- Major technical events such as an upgrade to the home page of a website which could assist or interrupt goals outlined in the content plan
Make sure that it is posted on a wall so everyone can see it. They should also include marketing and promotional campaigns, news releases, and public appearances.
You can see an example of a Content Plan here.
Building a Roadmap
"Online success is also defined in terms of your intent, and means different things based on your business. For many businesses, this means profits and returns on digital dollar investments from internet and social media activities."
As you make your way through the book, Wozny outlines the many strategies that you need to use to help your online presence. He puts them all together in the last few chapters in what he calls a Roadmap. This is your plan/document for your internet and social media strategies. Recommended roadmap must haves include the following:
1. An articulated vision, business plan or a list of goals you wish to accomplish. Deployment of internet and social programs is an enabler for organizational activities, not a business driver; so without business goals and objectives, a roadmap has nothing to enable. (Big Point!)
2. The ability to culture and factually audit your existing internet and social programs and their performance. Take a hard look at what is working and what is not. Why isn’t it working? How are you measuring it?
3. In general terms, a practical and clear idea of the human and budget resources available to allocate to any plans made, so the planning process can make realistic recommendations.
4. Not absolutely necessary, but Wozny highly recommends having access to a trusted, knowledgeable, neutral source of information to help answer any questions that may arise around the internet and social media.
I can completely see the value of the content plan and am in the process of building one for all of our social media profiles. I can’t begin to tell you how many times I have thought that I really needed to post an update, but nothing has come to mind. The pressure of feeling the need to post probably didn’t help so I see the value of having content laid out in advance. Once that is nailed down, the Roadmap begins.
Do you have a plan for your online presence?