10 tips for building a digital strategy

In der jüngsten Vorhersage der National Restaurant Association von USA für das Jahr 2011 wird Social Media und digitale Markenentwicklung als Mega-Wachstumsweg definiert. Und zwar nicht nur für 2011, für die nächsten Jahre überhaupt.

Und dazu heißt es: Die große Frage lautet, wie kommt man zu einer guten digitalen Strategie? Hier die Originalantwort für jene, die mit Facebook, twitter & Co. noch nicht wirklich gut unterwegs sind:

  1. Get a real digital strategy in place with real talent that can help make a difference. This is not an intern handling your Twitter account. It requires the combination of a full understanding of the technology being used and the business impact it can have as well.
  2. Get positioned in mobile quickly. This is the reality of how consumers will engage with you for location, referral, menu, ordering, loyalty and best of all repeat business. Embracing mobile should be your No. 1 consumer engagement plan right now.
  3. 3. Social CRM (customer relationship management) is the next phase. Work fast on targeted audience acquisition. Don’t leave out integrating your e-mail as a crucial priority in an overall social CRM strategy as well.
  4. 4. Start year-round engagement campaigns. Start with digital strategies that can be integrated into all of your marketing on a year-round basis and not just here and there. Digital should be the first plan in every marketing and consumer engagement calendar.
  5. 5. Bring in your franchise and management teams. Educate them so they understand the overall digital impact on the business. Best of all, this can help with idea generation. Remember, this is not the era of “Spray and Pray” marketing anymore. That is the first thing you will have to teach your team. The game has truly changed.
  6. 6. Get digital quick. Every major platform should have your brand represented. Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Quora, FourSquare and the emerging ones as well. Test often and deploy in the ones that rise to the top.
  7. 7. Build your digital content plan. You have to become a publisher now instead of a marketer. In the past you published marketing material like mad, right? Now you will need to shift to content that makes sense to your customers. The competition noise is really loud and customers won’t listen to old standard marketing messages, they are looking for a new voice. It might as well be yours.
  8. 8. Analyze your digital competition. Now with open access, you can see the plans of your competition being executed right in front of you. The successes and failures are also transparent, but with the right strategy and tools, you can start to evaluate trends. This evaluation can teach you a ton in how your business needs to compete. Trends and tactics are the key to directing where your business goes.
  9. 9. Work on many fronts at once. This will require some heavy lifting and shifting of marketing, operations and even HR budgets, but you must shift your plan into all aspects of your business. Get your suppliers involved. If those suppliers don’t have a digital and social strategy, it’s time to change suppliers.
  10. 10. Listen. Yes, I know that is a simple tip but in reality it’s the hardest thing to do. We know our own businesses better than anyone but we must listen to our guests and our staff to really understand the opportunities that lie before us. Social media and digital branding is not just an outward persona. It is a revitalization of your entire organization. Analyze your customer’s tweets, posts, and videos. Empower your employees because today there are hundreds or even thousands of brand ambassadors, and though it’s hard to hear and especially listen to them all, you will find the ones who rise to the top are worthy of your attention.

By Paul Barron, founder Fastcasual.com.

Blogs at www.socialcoco.com