Why blogging is a must: 3 powerful outcomes

Writing has always been seen as a catharsis. Of course you might not be pretending to be the next Plato or Jules Vernes (neither do I), yet writing stories has some powerful outcomes.

1/ It Brings You To Reflect

What is the story that I want to share with others? How can I bring them value by sharing my own experiences. Human beings are made of experiences. Of course, at some point you’ll have to take action and write… But before that comes a moment of worriens, lack of self esteem during which you are not sure you can make it. if so consider this before going on a blog: do you have an expertise? (For instance I started this blog considering my social media expertise)

Do you have a passion for something? (Personally, soccer and european comics are among my passions). and I’m sure that as anyone who is passionate by a specific topic, you could talk about during hours.

2/ It Develops Your Ability To Tell Stories

This one is very important to me. Indeed, it helps you to express not only ideas but to organize them in a way that matters to your audience. It is a real benefit because it will give you some habits that are not only useful for crafting speeches, pitches or any other writing materials (e-mails of course!), but also for expressing yourself in public.

In other words, you will be really aware of the necessity to adapt to your audiences. Of course, it’s not the only benefit: Finding information, organizing this collect of information are also key assets to develop when it comes to blogging. As well as using online publishing tools, from Pulse to WordPress, or analytics to track your performances.

3/ Help You To Connect

What you have to target is not only to be read. But try to connect with your readers. Either for business interests (creating leads etc…). But not only (again!) Because writing articles or stories must lead to create new contacts: around your passion or expertise in order to feed you with impressions, feelings, expectations.

Instagram is meant for you: find out how!

Many articles are claiming that Instagram is being killed with the recent changes made on the social network over the past few weeks.Posts will no longer appear in chronological order and instead be sorted “based on the likelihood you’ll be interested in the content, your relationship with the person posting, and the timeliness of the post.”

It shows how much Instagram is relying on storytelling… and of course that fans acquisition is no more a pure matter of organic reach. In other terms you have to dedicate resources to gain followers. But regarding Storytelling, it is far more than a buzz word. It has a become a key tool to market yourself or your brand. Instagram, a social network you might think is just used for selfies or posting sexy pictures but it is more than that. And you business can find a place there, even if your competitors could be already there!

1/ Find and create your story

It is all the more key on Instagram than on any major social network. You have to know what your are going to share as a company to the audiences you are targeting. To do so, the second step could help you. Yet your firstly have to find what is your ultimate goal by being visible on Instagram. Do you want to look cool? Do you want to be seen as an expert? Do you want to be considered as a creative company? All these questions are in your mind so take a break, think of it and then decide what story you want to share and where you want to go!

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2/ Focus on what really matters

In other words: you have to find what has a direct impact on your activities. As a company, it can be really easy to consider that you have to share a lot of pictures about a lot of topics. You have to stick to your activities. What do they bring to your customers? How can you bring your customers to express their needs for you?

Imagine you are the owner of a Gym Club. You can of course share pictures of your place, your users (with their consent) but you could also give regular training plans to be followed in your Clubor advice for having a good meal before coming to your place

3/ Enjoy!

Because creating content is also really beneficial in order to receive feedbacks… But also because a good picture is worth a thousand words. You might spend less time than thinking of creating a post or an article. But you have to share you passion for what you are doing otherwise, the magic will not appear!

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4/ Be patient… but active

Creating a community as in any kind of social networks is not a costless effort. It will require time in order to see real people following you and interacting with you.

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Oh… By the way, you can follow me on Instagram by clicking here

Employee advocacy has a value, use it!

As a brand, you can count on many leverages in order to promote your products and your company values. Over the past few years, I’ve been in touch with many companies that were really afraid of their own employees.

Obviously, it is legitimate for a company to be vigilant regarding confidentiality matters, regulation constraints due to specific market requirements (Pharmaceutical or Food Industry for instance) or considering potential communications crisis. Some don’t fear for it!

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Don’t neglect word to mouth importance

Yet, word to mouth is still key when it comes to reputation and gaining new grounds or markets therefore you can rely on your own customers… But not only, your brand image as a company is also an important value that can be really important in buyers decisions… as well as to potential candidates.

My few advice in order to have a good overview on how you can leverage a real employee advocacy program would be the following:

1/ Rely on true social media policy

It requires time and resources but it’s worth it! Otherwise, how would you want to be clear in terms of expectations? You have to define, communicate , explain and sustain your own guidelines in order to raise your employee awareness regarding the benefits and the risks associated to such communications.

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2/ Identify your first champions…

And challenge them (if you can!). Feed them with these guidelines, make regular meetings with them in order to feed them with key elements to share (information, infographics, etc…) or to be fed by them (I must confess I’m a big fan of AS Monaco… Congrats to AS Monaco who surprised be yesterday night against PSG… who are the league 1 champions!)

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3/ Unleash the beast!

At some point, you’ll have to trust them (which does not exclude to control what they do) but the tone requires to be authentic. And you require to have some doers in your teams. Otherwise, you’ll be engaged in long time running talks that would turn to be less productive than the experience it self!

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What about you, how would you proceed to do so? Are you part of an employee advocacy program in your day to day job? Would you like to?

Monday! Cheers it’s social media week #SMW16

From February 22th to 26th, If you don’t have your ticket I can only invite you to join the event by following the live tweet you can follow on Twitter through #SMW16 (but I’m pretty sure some tweets will be using the hashtag #SMW.

I don’t have the opportunity to attend to it in one of the city in which this events will happen this year (Jakarta, Hamburg, Lagos, and New York).

But before going on Twitter, you are interested in knowing which are the topics that will be addressed?

Following this link, you could find a very detail abstract of the content to be shared during the coming days!

Among the topic I’ll be interested in and might be live tweeting about I picked the following ones (as detailed in the article available through the link above):

SMW New York

imgres-1Facebook’s Head of Marketing for North America outlines the future of communications: The shift to mobile has already happened, and it’s radically changing the way businesses and people connect. Facebook’s Head of North America Marketing,Michelle Klein, joins SMW New York for a discussion on the new kinds of tools and groundbreaking innovations completely transforming the way we communicate.

BuzzFeed will explain their unconventional lessons to growing social audiences: In an interactive presentation, BuzzFeed’s social experts will discuss how they helped successfully build the largest social audiences in media by rethinking the way the industry sees social media editors, content, and distribution. They’ll cover how BuzzFeed stuck to scrappy and unconventional ways of thinking to create content for every social platforms, and how they used data to inform their strategies.

SMW Lagos

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The challenges that publishers face for building engaged audiences: The Future Of Africa’s Media In A Platform-Agnostic Age” hosted by Quartz is an intimate panel discussion exploring the unique challenges publishers face in delivering on the promise of being all things to all audiences in this still relatively early stage of building digital platforms in Africa.

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How augmented reality is changing the physical world around us. There will be a talk on augmented reality’s potential to change the way we see the world around us, and which smartphone apps are using AR to seamlessly integrate into our daily decisions.

How social data can help take the guesswork out of planning and community management: Roy Simangunsong (Country Head, Twitter Indonesia) will present “The Rise Of Social Data – Planning Winning Engagement Strategy” for attendees to learn how social data can help take the guesswork out of planning and engagement efforts in today’s social world with brands and agencies pushing out content every moment of the day.

What about you? What are the sessions you are interested in or want to attend to?

Snapchat: brands, ready to get naked?

In response to my previous post, you’ll find within this article a few arguments in favor of the use of Snapchat for business purposes. Stating that Snapchat is trendy and that politicians or institutional actors take this leap of faith nowadays isn’t enough to consider if snapchat should be integrated to your communications efforts…

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Indeed, as in any communications plans you design you’ll have of course to determine if your target audiences use it or could be willing to use it before launching it… Yet, once you’ve done your homework, if you’re looking for the following effects within your audience, then it my be really useful!

Create more proximity with you customers

I think one of the main aspect to consider with Snapchat is the big opportunity to create more proximity and even some intimacy. Think of all these people sharing pictures of them on Snapchat. I would say that bands have to keep in mind this kind of mood. You can’t replicate what you do on other social networks. You have to adapt. In other words, I’m not saying that you should share nude pictures of your CEO but you have to give pictures of your company or your products that are not seen anywhere else.

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Backstage pictures are typically a good and valuable content to be shared on Snapchat. In France the famous L’Equipe, a sports daily newspaper signed an exclusivity contract with the Ballon d’Or organization in order to provide its followers with backstage pictures of this ceremony.

In other words: try to surprise them!

Snapchat is definitely the place to make surprise announcement. It strengthens the proximity you can have with your customers or readers by giving them preview or teasers from your future services and offers or during special events (Miss Universe 2015 ceremony below)

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You have to surprise them, and the best surprise I know is the gift you can give them! You have to create some content which is really original, genuine and unexpected. You ability to design unexpected communications will encourage people to follow you in order not to miss it!

In order to facilitate the success of your call to actions!

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Through reminders, you’ll give them more chance not to miss your content. think for example of HBO sending snaps before some of their tv shows, making sure their audience will not forget to watch live their latest favorite show.

Propose special promotions and operations: converting your audiences into customers should be your prior target like MacDonald’s did during 2015 Superbowl.

They reminded their customers that they were able to pay with Lovin during a short period: Mac Donald’s U.S. restaurants have been letting some customers pay for orders during the past two weeks with fist bumps, kind words, and other behavior qualifying as—per the official rules—”a random act of Lovin’. OK, I admit, Mac Donald’s didn’t use it genuinely as a particular way to create a reaction towards its community but the idea was there. Why not asking people to send their snaps of having a Mac Donal meal in front of the match in order to benefit a special discount even gift in their Mac Donald for example… Plenty of call to actions could be designed… Costly or not, but at least with considering of making it happen differently and again create real interactions with the customers!

But we could simply imagine to use Snapchat as a way to give your customers special fares and gifts only available through this channel (exclusivity again!). What about you, what would you expect from a brand you’re following on Snapchat?

Snapchat… just for kids? Really?

I recently had the opportunity to welcome a few kids around 12 years old who where visiting my previous company during one of the training sessions I used to animate. I don’t think I was boring during these sessions and I always tried to do my best to provide a vivid presentation. Yet… How could I be able to maintain them in the loop? Snapchat came to my mind!

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And after having realized my short introduction during which these kids where stuck on their mobile phone, I asked to the participants: “What social network, do you use? Facebook? Raise your hand please? – no sign about these teenagers…” Twitter? – are they still awaken?.. Snapchat? YESSS!!!”. They did it, they can answer to simple question… But they were not the only one to answer! (Indeed Barney!!!)

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The point is a few other people raised their hands too… And they were over 35 years old… Of course, in the field of social media strategy, when it comes to studies about social networks adoption, we can have in mind some shortcuts, sometimes useful in the short terms… But when it comes to plan the future, you still need to be more open minded. This short experience helped me to understand that. I was quite surprised of these outcome but it made an echo with a real challenge for Snapchat!

Snapchat is trying to have their network used more and more by other population and to increase their user base. And it seems to be already the case: last year in the U.S., Snapchat added 25-to-34-year-old users (103%) and older-than-35 users (84%) faster than 18-to-24-year-old users (56%) as we can read in the LA times article. Obviously, older people don’t want to be outpaced by the younger and therefore people try to catch up… Well I guess I have to finally use this network too as a personal interest and find some friends and brands to follow.

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We’ll see in a other article how brand try to target this older users… But think of how much proximity it can bring during special events…  (sports team have understood it)

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At least, Snapchat gave me the opportunity to create a discussion with these teenagers… Finally the tool is really able to gather different generations🙂

2016 has arrived! Let’s get social and enjoy!

Dear readers,

I’ve been quite busy since my last post in late November 2015. I gave my resignation a few months ago in order to be released from my professional duties and be able to start a new job in the coming months.

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Currently based in France, initially based in Nice – French Riviera, I decided to relocate to Paris in order to face new challenges. How exciting it is! As 2016 is just beginning, I’m very excited by this white sheet I have to complete and hope to be able to write this story with you.

Therefore I hope 2016 will be as enjoyable as excited it is to me today for all of you!

Since digital jobs require open-mindedness, feel free to connect with me in order to discuss content management, social media crisis or digital marketing, wherever you might be located from the US to Asia and who knows, may be we will be able to meet IRL soon

May 2016 will bring you everything you need, want, desire and above all, may the force be with you (and… don’t blink! Sorry, I wanted to make a mention to Dr Who, I’m a big fan!)

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Your clients are social! Will you get engaged (and how)?

I recently went through an interesting article on Social Media Today compiling some interesting data and statistics about customer service and social media I would sum up one ot these statistics in a simple manner: people have an important use of the web. OK, I agree, nothing to be surprised about but…

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… when you consider that they can spend a significant amount of their time on internet, then you have to face that reality: your customers have a great chance to be on social media. So if you have something wrong to apologize for… You can be pretty sure that they’ll have something to tell about it… or they already did!  Are you ready to live a great love affair with them or not? What can you do to deal with it?

#1 Be present!

Even if you don’t have the dreamt resources to do it, you have to be out there. Otherwise, your reputation will be on hold by a few customers you might have apologized to, helped if you’re lucky and creative… And you even might might benefit from something unexpected: an angry customer becoming a thanking and faithful customer!

Customer relationship is a relationship. It’s not a one night stand! You have to be commited, take care of your customers, make them feel important and unique (see below a few examples of engagement). In other words, love and cherish them for what they are: your most important stakeholders to make a living… and the ambassadors that can help you to attract new ones!

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Then you easily understand that when I say be present… it’s also to be in the present! you can’t afford to let people posting things and considering that it has not yet reached a level that requires action. You have to do something, from the moment you sold them something or you plan to do it!

Have a look at what Michel et Augustin a Paris based brand organizes on regular basis: meetings with its customers in their headquarter (named La Bananeraie) in order to taste their cookies. Not only it is important to be in real-time, but also to be in real world and create connections!

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But how can you proceed in order to develop such connection between your brand and services and your customers and create this possibility of a great customer experience… even when you’re facing difficulties?

#2 Monitor and listen

One of the best way to do it is to monitor what can be said on your brand. There are a lot of solutions nowadays; Personnally I’ve been using quite a few for big companies with budget to do so: Synthesio, Digimind, Meltwater of course are really interesting tools. Of course the list can be more detailed: from Sprinklr, to Falcon Social, Radian 6 or Sysomos… I’m sure I’m forgetting a lot of such tools and services providers… But what to do when you don’t have a budget? Stop trying to collect information and data about your brand or products?

Many platforms can be used for free. From the traditionnal Google Alerts, to Tweetdeck… But at some point, you will require to use more “systematic” tools that allow you not only to collect information but also to analyze it at one glance…

All this of course depending on what you are looking and what you are expecting… Is you priority only to be a fireman when something goes wrong? Or do you want to embrace the full opportunities that social media can bring to you like: analyzing your competitors moves (and sometimes difficulties), understanding other topics in which your customers are interested, finding new ways through best practices…

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But if monitoring and social media listening are to me the cornestone of your plan, you can’t reduce your commitment to this “back office plan”. At some point you have to go public and confront with your customers.

#3 Engage with them!

I’m not going to detail all the possible rules of engagement or ways to engage with your customers. But when it comes to what you define as customer service, don’t forget that for your customers it goes beyond the service! They are willing to have a good service… because they are living their own customer experience!

In other words what you think is just a service with dedicated procedures and actions is far more than that. You create what your customers will remember from you.

So if you want to engage… Do it like a pro! Ask for the information you don’t have in order to really solve their problems!

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Apologize, correct what’s going wrong and let people know you’ve done your part!

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Share the feedbacks if you have some!

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And then… repeat!🙂

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And you, how do you deal with your customers satisfaction?

Last Week Topic: is the latest Facebook search showing my posts?

Among the really huge amount of information around social medias last week, i could have spoken of YouTube Red, Back To The Future Day for instance, but Facebook’s announcement was really important too….

Indeed, I’ve been training employees for 4 years about social media stakes and challenges and I often use some time to remind them how important it is to be really careful on Facebook when it comes to privacy settings.

A new kind of Facebook search

This is all the more accurate that Facebook recently announced that the search on facebook will be extended to a certain amount of Facebook posts ( almost 2 trillion… what a big figure!). You are legitimately wondering if you should be concerned about your online reputation?

Of course, such search will bring the ability to find new content that really matters to you and your connections and brings even more instantaneity and localized content, yet when it comes to Facebook it is very natural to wonder if our data and more precisely our older posts wil not appear without our “consent” in the search results…

What is the current situation?

Until now, these updates are rolling out in US English on iPhone, Android and desktop but it is of course very likely to have it implemented progressively in other languages.

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Of course, facebook reminds us that “search results are personalized and unique to you and, as always, you can only see things that have been shared with you” In other words, once you’ve decided to share something publicly, it will appear in the results… even if today, you can manually check each of your post and manage its visibility.

What can I do?

As a result with sometimes a decade of older posts indexed on the site, it is possible that you may not remember what privacy settings you attributed to which post and this, could lead to some posts unexpected to resurface.

Therefore, only your own management and regular checks on your settings can prevent you to have some content to be one day indexed and surprisingly appearing in the future. it would be also accurate to check regularly as you might already do it in Google what can be suggested to you through the facebook search.

Whatever, feel free in case you have any doubt to visit the Facebook support center here. I think It is indeed quite a challenge for Facebook to reassure its customers and users and therefore we can expect to have access to more details or settings in the future in order to manage this kind of situations.

If you need any additionnal information on online reputation management, please connect with me, either for advice, audit or training, i’ll be happy to help!

Content strategy: what is a sticky content? Rugby!

A very good friend of mine shared this impressive video which is part of a campaign launched by Beats By Dree during the Rugby World Cup.

This brand has been used to be associated to sports professionals from Lebron James to Serena Williams and soccer stars  yet, we can’t deny that this video with rugby living legend Richie Mc Caw is quite astonishing and is a great example of a sticky content.

Let’s see what are the key elements in this video if we compare it to a few points summed up in the famous book from Peter C. Brown  ”Making it Stick

1/ Stick to a plan: let’s tell a story then!

How do we get people to act on our ideas? We tell stories”. And this story starts simply with Richie McCaw starting his day, having a coffee… like anyone else!

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“Wake up Richie, you have a world cup to prepare!”

2/ Stick to simplicity

“Saying something short is not the mission—sound bites are not the ideal. Proverbs are the ideal” Then… In this case… What about a legend? Legend are embedded in the deep souls of everyone… As a result The video is rythmed by the famous known Haka of the blacks

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3/ Stick to your audience: surprise it!

“How do we get our audience to pay attention to our ideas, and how do we maintain their interest when we need time to get the ideas across? We need to violate people’s expectations”

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Me: ok this again the story of a sport professionnal fighting against the elements while training… Of course it is but… wait a minute, is it still the same movie? What are these fishermen doing in it? (they appear really quickly in the beginning of the film)…

The truth is, it is the story of a new zealander among others, within his country, belonging to this country made of mountains and boarded all along by the sea. But underlying these natural elements, you have the people, the ancestors, their culture and… rugby of course!

4/ Stick to concrete things

entrainementNaturally sticky ideas are full of concrete images” I think it’s pretty obvious. Richy is getting fit for the Rugby World Cup and apparently ready for the fight against the French Team tomorrow

5/ Stick to your credentials

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Sticky ideas have to carry their own credentials” I think Richie seems quite credible isn’t he? Preparing like a boxer, the confrontation is almost there, is focused, determined…

6/ Stick to your emotions, above all!

Last but not least, these aspect is one of the most important to me. I agree, all this is a cricle. A good story is necessarily made of emotions. But don’t neglect it. Here again everything is made to reach this goal. The music, the landscapes, the meaning of the Haka. the introduction scene with Richie Mc Caw shutting off the television and having a coffee… Until the end with this breathtaking view… Mission accomplished for this point: How do we get people to care about our ideas? We make them feel somethingMcCaw

To conclude, I would say this video is all the more exctiting when you check out the other stories made by this company regarding other teams including the French Squad… which is a pity when you are French and support your own team… But could our sense of humour make us win?

No matter, how difficult it can be for France tomorrow, “allez les bleus” let’s have a Kiwi smoothie!😉