The digital detox

'How to prepare your brand for the next stage of growth': Many of us have tried a digital detox for ourselves: whether we’re trying to get back to nature, not ignore our families, or just step away from the phone for more than an hour! It is often far harder than we think, no matter how many influencers go on about it - ironically, on social media.

But have you ever considered a digital detox for your brand?

It is not as backward as it may sound. A digital detox does not mean completing disappearing from the planet and deleting all the social media accounts that your brand has. It also doesn’t mean just leaving them up and running but with absolutely no content going out. 

Every company should have some sort of digital presence, because the way that people and businesses make decisions is completely different from how it was 20 years ago. Now, huge numbers of purchasing processes are completed online. 

However, you need to think of it more like when a young person graduates from university and starts their first job. They probably don’t regret much of what happened when they were a student, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that they want everyone at their new place of employment to know about it. 

In that situation, a young person is likely to review their digital footprint and ensure that it represents them as they are now, rather than who they were three or more years ago. That might include taking down photos from nights out that aren’t that flattering, to comments they may have made that no longer reflect their views. 

As your startup grows, you may decide to do a similar thing. This can ensure your investors, current customers, and potential customers see you for the business that you are today - and not the startup that you were five years ago. 

It all sounds like a lot of work, but here is your 6 step easy guide for a digital detox for brands accelerating into a new stage of growth. 

  1. Scroll aaaall the way back: until you revisit how you were at the very beginning of your digital footprint, you cannot see how much you’ve grown. Spend some time really looking at your earliest tweets and blogs, and consider the differences between then and now. 

  2. Look for the cringe: you won’t like it, but there will be cringe there somewhere. Keep an eye out for any bad jokes, memes that are now distasteful, or support for celebrities that in hindsight you probably don’t want to be associated with. That sort of thing can go. Remember that nothing is deleted from the internet, but you can at least make an effort. 

  3. Review your platforms: social channels and digital platforms advance and change every year, will different user groups and functionalities. Are you on the right ones? Where are your customers now? Do you need to leave one platform and join another? If it’s time to cut your losses, best to do it now.

  4. Review your tone of voice and messaging: this can be more challenging, but really allow yourself to be objective. Have your core values changed? Have your target industries? Have your customers - do they want different things now and have different expectations? Use the answers to these questions to review and revise your messaging.

  5. Craft the content: now that you know where your digital messaging needs to be, you need to create fresh content in your updated tone of voice and messaging. Ideally, you’ll create enough content to be drip fed over a period of 3 months, so that within weeks, the casual observer will only see the new messaging.

  6. Don’t get complacent! Just because you have completed this digital detox, that doesn’t mean you won’t need to do another one. Put in place a digital detox plan for every year so that as your business grows, so does your digital footprint.