Digital marketing insight | Design Commerce Agency

Minding your P’s, Q’s and #’s

July 27, 2015
How Design Commerce Agency thinks about digital marketing opportunities.

Where is Miss Manners when you need her? We wish she was paying more attention to this whole digital media-marketing thing. Most of us get that there’s a big difference in social media and, well, unsocial media (which is really all the other media most of us have long known and loved). But how does that really change the marketing mission?

There’s still an appropriate role for that other stuff. To us, traditional media and marketing is sort of like having a dinner party. It works predictably well with advance planning, firm schedules and a well-constructed guest list. Traditional advertising and public relations specialists excel at this. A good menu, plenty to drink, suitable music, friendly lighting and beautiful flowers – do it right, everyone remembers, and you get a lot of buzz from it.

Minding your hashtags | Design Commerce Agency

These people definitely rang the front doorbell

Online marketing is different. It’s more like keeping your back door open all the time, for anyone to just wander into your kitchen and say hi. But how many of us keep our kitchen presentable 24 hours a day?

That sort of sums up the challenge. At Design Commerce Agency, we believe a well-groomed and vital online presence unlocks unprecedented growth opportunity for designers with clear points of view and great stories to tell. We’re lucky to be working already with some of the best in the business. We are in their kitchens every day, learning ever more with them about how all this works.

Miss Manners aside, you can find plenty of online advice about how to do all this. But a lot of what’s out there is not really right for the image-heavy, trade-focused design business. Here are some things we think matter:

Look your best. All of us sell a look. Technology gives us more tools than ever to get that look in front of more people than ever. But too often the imagery being channeled out tilts a little too casual to really do justice to the brand, the talent and the work it’s associated with. Upgrade your smartphone. Compose your photos. And pay attention to the variations in how major social platforms treat pictures.

Use words well. A picture is worth a thousand words, at least. But it almost always helps to explain the picture. Captions that are a hodgepodge of links, URLs and strange typographical symbols (such as that “#” sign, used on Twitter to denote a discussion topic) are just one more lost communications opportunity. There’s more room to explain things than you might think, and more value in doing so.

Sound like yourself. Obviously, designers and executives are busy people and may have to delegate. But be sure to hand your voice off to someone who gets you, and can make sure that all your outbound posts and communications are in tune, clear, consistent and authentic.

Mix it up. Your work is gorgeous. Everyone wants to see it. But they are also curious to know more about you. What are you thinking about? What was the last amazing restaurant you found? Did a book inspire you? Did you meet someone else who’s amazing?

Respond. Like someone’s comment. Favorite a Tweet. Answer a question. It’s courteous. It’s easy.

Invest. When so much is free, you definitely get what you pay for. Spend to be sure pictures, words, messages are well-crafted and frequently refreshed. Hire the right help.

Measure. It’s very easy to drown in data, and it’s very easy to focus on the wrong things. But it’s all the same important to be sure things are moving in the right direction, and learn more from the numbers about what excites your audiences and your peers and friends.

We’d love to hear what you think works for you. And we’d love to discuss how we can help. Call us at +1 (415) 485-6012 or email our VP of Digital Marketing, Mark McDonough, and we’ll do our best to respond quickly and graciously.

We hope Miss Manners would agree with our advice

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