Whether it’s optimising website content, setting up microsites, launching email campaigns or using any combination of social media tools, the digital world is increasingly dominating the marketing strategies of most small businesses.

It can be a confusing picture which is why we’ve asked Hiscox’s Group Digital Manager – Ronnie Brown – to share the latest hints, tips and things you should know when it comes to your digital business life.

So, whether you’re a marketing agency putting together digital activity for a client, or whether you’re looking to use digital for your own promotions, ‘Three digital things’ is our new regular feature just for you.

This week in ‘Three digital things’…

#1: Promoting your business on Facebook just got cheaper
The good news is, Facebook has loosened up their restrictions on running promotions and competitions. Previously businesses had to create an app which was costly (in development) and time consuming – really only the preserve of those with bigger budgets.

You can now run promotions where the entry mechanism can be simply ‘liking’ a post, commenting, or using private message. This opens promotions up to a wider number of businesses by lowering the cost barrier to entry. You can find out more here.

#2: Are hashtags the answer to making money in the digital space?

Here’s an article from earlier this summer which explains the changing relationship between users, content and the ability to make money from both – or ‘monetising’ to use the jargon. The gist of it is that the increasingly unstructured nature of our social interactions online is making it harder for businesses and media owners to make money from their online activities, suggesting that the hashtag as a way of structuring content, is the new alternative to the more traditional algorithmic search techniques from Google et al. This piece raises some good questions but to say that the hashtag will solve all the ills is perhaps overly simplistic – who says Google won’t evolve its search further?

#3: Facebook – it’s bad for you (and that’s official)

Social media is still in its infancy (relative to other media) and its effects on human behaviour have not yet been thoroughly researched. But here’s a piece of research which attempts to measure the effect of Facebook use on your wellbeing. While it states that the social media networking site ‘provides an invaluable resource…by allowing people to instantly connect’ this could actually undermine wellbeing for young adults, concluding, ‘the more they used Facebook over two-weeks, the more their life satisfaction levels declined over time’. Everything in moderation perhaps!