Businesses of all shapes and sizes, from the big players right down to one-man bands seem to feel the ever-mounting pressure of having a digital strategy in place. How to crack the social code, how to market to the masses, or how to simply make friends and collect followers?
At the private view of Hotshoe’s Other last week I was discussing the possibilities of ‘Social’ with a group of commercial photographers. Aidan McCarthy confessed the pressure he was feeling having not yet joined the global conversation and master minded a ‘digital strategy’. What was it that people online wanted from him he asked, how would Tweeting lead to more work?
Image by Aidan McCarthy
A few weeks ago The Telegraph had their inaugural Festival of Business in Manchester. An agony aunt panel, made up of representatives from Twitter, Spotify, Facebook and Dell, were on hand to answer questions about digital strategy. The major gripe that many businesses had was how could they push their online presence past a website and a Facebook page. Many businesses had set up Twitter accounts but didn’t know how best to attract more followers. Jessica Verrilli, Twitter’s Head of Business Development, rather honestly pointed out that sometimes it is not always necessary for a business to have a Twitter account or a Facebook page. Creating a notable presence online for your business requires daily dedication for an uncertain gain. When time and resources are limited it is not always possible for a business to maintain consistency online. Verrilli suggested it would be wiser for some businesses to explore new digital advertising opportunities rather than ticking digital boxes for the sake of it or leaving Twitter accounts blank and inactive.
These feelings of social inadequacies that UK businesses confessed to at the Festival should be rather comforting to hear for people like McCarthy. Creatives should also remember that they have access to something many businesses don’t and that is content. Good content is what successful strategies are made of. There are very few established rules when it comes to social networking and this is what can be rather unnerving for many. However, if there is one solid foundation that Social rests upon it is sharing. It is not necessarily what you have to say that gets the conversation going but what you have to share with others.
Tilley Harris is a recent Photojournalism graduate of the LCC