It’s vital to take a strategic approach to digital media

The UK is fast becoming a digital nation. A recent survey on digital habits by Fujitsu revealed that 67% of the population are ‘highly comfortable’ using digital services such as online shopping and banking.

In business, becoming more digitally literate provides a significant operational commercial advantage. Martin Thomas of the IOD says: “What we are starting to see now is a demand that all directors need a basic level of digital literacy. This is largely because digital is becoming so important to every kind of business in every walk of life. If you want to thrive in the business world over the forthcoming years, it’s essential that you have a level of digital literacy. “

Martin believes that ex-military do start with an advantage in this area: “From a day to day perspective most people in the military spend a lot of time on social media filling their down times. Most are digitally literate from a personal perceptive; they are comfortable using some of the standard social media platforms, possibly more so than typical directors.”

Technical skills offer the biggest challenge as there is so much to know and so much to learn. “The tip is to achieve a level of literacy first rather than expertise, then you’ll be so interested in the technology and after that you’ll be quite happy becoming an expert.”

Martin recommends that you mastermind these three areas when it comes to digital literacy:

Understanding of basic concepts and terminology

Be able to anticipate areas of potential risk

Gain familiarity about emerging technology

Once you have mastered the basics, it’s important to focus on the things that will digitally drive a business:

Reach – Measured by the number of individual visits to a website or followers or fans you attract on Facebook. This decides whether you have an audience for the digital content that you are producing.

Engagement – This can be measured by the amount of people that are opening the emails you send out or the number of likes or comments you receive on a digital channel such as LinkedIn. Is the content you are serving relevant to your audience?

Advocacy – This is measured by the shares and retweet you receive on a platform such as Twitter. Is the content you are producing valued or useful?

Action – Measured by sales leads or call-back requests. Has your digital activity resulted in commercially relevant action?

Listen to the webinar – Digital Literacy: Top tips to put you ahead of the competition