Trending: Digital Media Do’s and Don’ts

By Manseen Logan

Pockets of colorful pods accented with chalkboard walls line the new VaynerMedia office in Chattanooga. Within these multicolored sectionals, team members gather around tables to execute media plans for an array of client companies. "We have the account strategy folks working with the clients to understand their business objective, and then we have the creative team working to develop the content and campaign ideas," says VaynerMedia Vice President Mickey Cloud.

Cloud leads the new office of account strategists, copywriters, designers, art directors, project managers and community managers working together to tell the right stories on the right digital media platform. Cloud, a North Carolina native, leapt at the opportunity to leave New York, return to the South and participate in the enthusiastic entrepreneurial boom of Chattanooga.

"It's a city where everyone is rooting for everyone to succeed," Cloud says. "And we want to be a part of that."

Like Chattanooga, VaynerMedia's new office is a community of people rooting for each other to succeed both within and beyond the workplace. On a large blackboard wall at the rear of the office, each employee has their name and three personal goals scrawled in chalk. From project manager Danni, who aims to rejoin a rowing team, to Cory, who hopes to run a half-marathon in under two hours, aspirations sprawl across the board.

In the spirit of cheering on the success of others, Cloud shares some current do's and don'ts for businesses to consider when using social media, but stresses the ever-changing nature of such tips.

" DO create content unique to each platform.

VaynerMedia CEO and cofounder Gary Vaynerchuk shouts loud about creating "native" content. Both Cloud and Vaynerchuk stress the importance of viewing each platform as its own language and creating appropriate content for each. After all, the "Do It Yourself" aspirational images from Pinterest might not work on Twitter's fast-paced social feed.

" DON'T focus on the wrong metrics.

With more than 1 billion worldwide users on social media, it's easy to get bogged down by the wrong numbers. Cloud cautions companies about paying too much attention to the number of followers, likes or shares. While reach and scale are important, Cloud encourages businesses to focus on deep consumer connections. A post will not reach every follower, but good content can create a deeper connection with your audience.

" DO manage your resources.

Time may be the most important resource of any company. Take the necessary time to craft a strong message for your business and consider the best way to distribute it. Much of this depends on your product or service, and what you hope to achieve.

" DON'T be afraid to try new platforms.

When Snapchat, a mobile app allowing users to send videos and pictures that disappear after 10 seconds, first entered the market, many businesses disregarded it. But two years later, businesses that embraced the new media are far ahead of businesses just getting on board. Cloud supports trying new platforms 30 VaynerMedia clients jumped onto Vine when it launched in 2013 and have benefited from the tool.

" DO collaborate with other businesses to reach new customers.

Perhaps the oldest and best advice for new businesses with small advertising dollars is to collaborate, partner and even barter with others to provide value. In the digital world, this means joining forces with other businesses to promote your product or service to one another's audience. Cloud suggests finding businesses whose consumers might like what you're offering, and cross-promoting deals or offers for one another via your online and social media channels. This exchange has the potential to create lots of exposure at little cost, bringing new consumers word of what you're offering through a channel the other business that they know and like, without having to make a costly spend on advertising.

Visit VaynerMedia at vaynermedia.com.


Chamber Member Digital Do’s and Don’ts

DO take advantage of free analytics.

Analytics is an industry that medium-sized business just cannot ignore anymore. Collecting data and actually using it to make informed decisions about how you’ll interact with your customers is the smart thing to do. Large companies have been doing it for years, and small- and medium-sized companies can get in the game too with the data they can access for free from their social media accounts, Google analytics accounts and email marketing tools.

— Jenny Hill, Papercut Interactive

DON’T ignore social media advertising options.

Instagram and Pinterest are well known, but many businesses don’t know that both of these platforms are adding advertising options, and Pinterest is adding the option to purchase directly from a pin. With the amount of traffic and users these sites have, these new features are sure to increase the need for businesses to have a strong presence on both.

— Mike McDowell, Social Joey

DO take risks.

Don’t be afraid to test out new ideas, whether it be for certain posts, social media campaigns or a whole new platform. Not every idea will take off - and that’s okay. It’s important to stay curious and try things to figure out what works.

— Maggie Hodges, Full Media

DON’T limit yourself.

If you have a strong following, you can sell through social, you can build relationships through social, you can build a base of influencers and brand advocates, you can push out blogs and newsletters, you can even raise money. I think the payoff is only limited by what you invest in money and time.

— Kelley Nave, United Way of Greater Chattanooga


DO make the most of your Chamber membership

Your Chattanooga Area Chamber of Commerce wants to engage with you via social media. We want to snap you and your business in action at one of our events – we convene more than 200 a year.

But we can’t be everywhere all the time – and we count on our members to post photos and news and our team looks for these to share. See a helpful article all Chamber members might like to read? Chime in and share on the Chamber’s LinkedIn discussion page.

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