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?

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?

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! 😉

Social media content: exclusive doesn’t mean to exclude

I discovered this morning a briliant video posted on the Nike’s YouTube channel. I was recently attending to Azur Digital Day in Nice French Riviera (actually last week… and time flies I don’t have yet made a short digest of this conference on my blog… soon, soon!) during which  vice president of TBWA’s Europe explained that exclusivity was a good leverage to create shareable content (along with ego and experience).

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This video of Nike is really interesting and seems to use a good angle to create differenciated content. What if we decide to speak to all the people who are not sports stars? Those who are not the front runners? Have a look at it!

 

In other words, there is only one winner… But what about all the followers? We’ve all seen videos form sports brands claiming how unique was the brand in helping sports stars to achieve their goals, or to overcome their defeats and losses…

 

This video doesn’t focus on the winners. We are not all front runners. So are we doomed and must be exclusively seen as loosers? Are we exluded from this feeling of having the power to overcome some difficulties? No because, finally, you just have to do it because you want to do it, even if it is a matter of resitance and pain while you’re running. You are somone, entitled to enjoy your own moment of satisfaction and therefore, being a finisher or a “doer” are thinks that make you part of this exclusivity! This content has been design to target exclusively those who are not the most accomplished participants… and naturally speaks to our ego and is definitely about experience.

Because competition implies there is a ranking… But when it comes to the field of running, we are not speaking of loosers, but the last to arrive is also the one who is the last one standing! You become exclusive because the brand cares for you and your efforts no matter what is your ranking… “just do it” 😉

PS: I just came back from a difficult run when I saw this video. Thanks Nike for reminding me that the most important is to participate 😉

10 take aways about the Corporate Social Media Summit in NYC #CSMNY

I landed a few days ago from my flight back home from New York and decided to wrap up some of the main take aways I had after this conference.
No offense with the participants I would not mention in this short post but you’ll find in this short article a subjective vision of some points that really made an echo for me due to my own previous experiences, convictions, etc…

1/ Infobesity… Always!

Not my favorite moment of the conference, yet people among the attendees seemed very moved by this concept. This concept has long been shared in Europe as one of the constraints that impose the companies to find the needle in the stack. Yet here, it’s interesting to see that this concept is not just a concept. Infobesity is not a danger, it’s a warning about your need to look at the accurate information, metrics and remind us that we have to be agile in our social media monitoring or strategies. Always adapt, refine, change. In my opinion, in a way, I would say that dealing with infobesity as an asset is a key to success.

2/ Customers’ delight in the end

Customer relationship is a big challenge. But it’s not the end of the journey! Being able to answer with the same tone and with a propos brings more that satisfaction. You can now impress your customers like NBC who designed specific content during the Superbowl for instance.

3/ Agility helps to reach your goals

To me a value which is directly linked to customers delight. If you want to achieve this customers delight then it is required to be flexible: not only in terms of organisations and processes, but your team members must be creative… and fun! Spotify is a refence when it comes to answer to their customers by designing spotify playlists as answers!

4/ Customer relationship can (must?) be cool

Social media listening used as a way to understand customers expectations and create adequate content is key. You have to understand your context and your customers expectations. In other words, people want answers. But who said that you have to use a bored tone to express it? Dollar Shave club shared a few examples sometimes… explicit!

5/ SoMe is not PR

Obviously! Customers care for valuable information. You have to craft your messages and contents and not csocial networks a another way to push your PR contents.

6/ B2B can use SoMe

Of course, I work for a company also focused on B2B customers. Interesting to see that when it comes to B2B, SoMe is also seen as an efficient tool. Zoetis (veterinarian products) use the power of tools like facebook to target their priority target (veterinarians) and feed them with valuable content to sustain their activity.
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7/Don’t underestimate your customers’ power

Crowdsourcing is definitely one of the best leverage available nowadays if you want to create things and be in line with your customers expectations. Yet every companies are not comparable to Lego.

8/ If you’ve read so far…

It is actually a fake 10 points… I will only have 9 but… Thanks for having read so far!
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9/ What about the others?

Periscope, Reddit ( I mean THE front page of the web), Snapchat, the importance of the search through Search Engines and their impact on reputation were not mentioned a lot… but well, choices must be made! And social media are under a constant evolution. Let’s learn a few years more about it!

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Panelists were great with full of insights and experiences to share, the red velvet cupcake was awesome, location… perfect! I mean… NYC! Brooklyn! You see what I mean right? People as a whole, friendly..
For sure one of the most interesting social media conference I had the opportunity to attend to over these past two years!

Corporate Social Media Summit 2015: see you there!

After a short digital detox in Portugal lately, I’ll be happy to be part of the delegates of this event Big Apple!

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Feel free to get in touch with me through Twitter, LinkedIn and directly in New York Next week while attending to some of these participants sessions

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See you on Monday then! By the way, If I have this face on Monday, it’s not because of Monday, it qwill be because of the jet lag! Still, get in touch and connect, I don’t bite! 😉

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Digital strategy: rich content is not a luxury!

We have been talking several times of content strategy among my previous posts on this blog. This reminds me of how necessary it is to insist on what content can be created nowadays. And how it is important to be sufficiently efficient in order to be properly assimilated by your audience.

In other words, if “content is king”, it is absolutely necessary to understand that content deserves its crown: and to do so it has to be adapted to your audiences to fit their expectations… and you have only 15 seconds to catch their attention!

Therefore, using rich content is also key! If you want to attract your customers and maintain them, treat theme like kings and start by sharing valuable content with them!

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Tell your story:

This will also allow you to go a deep further by taking real engagements as well as creating your own legend.

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I really like the Chipotle’s campaign: the scarecrow represents the abnormality, the exception. But finally, it will manage to propose something new and with real benefit for the others. Between Don Quichote and Batman, this scarecrow it is no more a “IT”, but becomes a he with personality and ability to improve others life and satisfy their expectancies by being committed with what he prepares

Prolong the experience

Chipotle’s strategy is very interesting because they have understand how critical it is to have a multi channel approach in order to enhance the experience and also make sute this experience will be a long term strategy that will help to create a real saga with a hero!

With Chipotle’s Scarecrow, you’ll have the opportunity to download a videogame where you’ll be able to play with this character:

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Use your audience

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As Coca-Cola has recently begun to do it in France by mobilizing key instagramers users and conciliating this with a huge advertising campaign.

By using instagramers, Coca Cola France aims at creating user generated content through other instagramers

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Keep writing… but aim at engaging with them!

Because writing is also a good way to improve your seo. Because some of your audience wants to read. But also because it shows how real you are! How to do that?

To my mind, I think, one of the best ways to do it is by:

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  • Asking questions: what do they want, how do they feel… example: “is that me or this bird seems to have been eating to much seeds or ice creams?”
  • Illustrating with key facts!
  • Providing them with synthesis or reports: due to infobesity, we are surrounded by content, charts and figures… Let’s try to digest them in order they could be more easily digested by your audience…

Do you have any other ideas to catch this attention? What would be your advice to create this content?

Social media engagement: do not think your community exists, you have to create it!

I’ve been writing a few times that content has to be designed according to the expectations of your customers. Easy to say no? I must admit we need to go a little deeper in this!

Share content expected by your community… once you know your community! What all this imply for someone who wants to take the leap of social media engagement on behalf of his company?

Identify your potential community…

It’s not only about gathering and getting new followers. You have to engage with them if you want to reach them. But before that you have to think of what people can really be valuable for your business… and as a result think of what valuable information you can bring to them.

Creating a contest with great prizes is generally used to do so. Yet people might want to win the contest because of the prize, not because it is you or your company that is giving the prize. In other words, you’ll have a huge amount of people who could connect with your social media account, with no future intentions of receiving any other things from you except this super travel you want to offer to them at the moment!

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Finally, If of course I can be really interested in travelling to South Africa, it is required to consider to what extent the community created around this event is really valuable or not. Of course, some will definitely go to South Africa one day, but the rest of it might be more opportunistic and would just have traveled there because they have won the price, not because they dream of it.

Speaking of dreams, it shows how important are emotions on social media as soon as you want to create a community. Sharing pictures on behalf of a company aims at creating emotions. Amex for instance shares pictures from concerts, fashion défilé etc…:

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Amex strategy is interesting because it its instagram account shows also events in which some of its customers are invited. So if you want to be part of the club, think of Amex! 🙂

Because in the end if you for instance intend to raise the awareness of your customers or of potential customers about your brand, the message can’t be only reduced to the products you are selling. You have to think for your community, before your own interest!

then you create your community!

Once you have defined a few ideas about what you think your community can be. You’ll create it: by sharing, listening, engaging, answering to their remarks, expectations, will, etc…

By doing it frequently but above all, accurately this will show you are committed to bring valuable information and discussions to these people. Since sharing content and information is key in every single content strategy you might design. You can’t afford to only fire and forgot a content when it suits you once in a while.

You have to be active, not only because algorithm are what they are, but above all because your community exists around the information you share and the interactions (RTs and favs for Twitter, Likes and share on Facebook, etc…) discussions that are linked to it. You create something with them, there must be a reaction. Like in this video for instance:

Accurately also means that you know when this activity happens!  I usually escape every article claiming that the key in terms of digital brand strategy is key moments to post. Of course there are some moments during which your community might be more connected. It implies that you know your community first! And then you might be able to determine what are the best moments to post your content.

As a conclusion I would add that again, all this implies that you are able to listen (see one of my previous post on that topic), understand, accept and react to your community comments and expectations. But relax, isn’t it what we do in real life?

Is my content strategy really worth it?

You have decided to invest in content creation but you don’t succeed in measuring its ROI… Are your efforts still worth it? Should you continue? I should say yes for the following reasons

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1/ It’s a long term strategy to learn: because you will!

I recently started learning chinese. The path seems a long path before being able to speak chinese (I don’t even say fluently). Content creation and content management can be the same for companies. Especially for companies that are accepting social media changes because social media is there and you can’t do without them today. It might be a little be easier for companies eager to use it for identified reasons

I think content creation is legitimate as soon as it can help you to improve your SEO and therefore your visibility.

It helps you to learn about this new challenges: in terms of organization, procedures, resources required to to do. Knowledge is still power, and it’s only by experimenting that you can learn easily.

I really like the example of Gibson. Because learning how to play guitar is definitely a long term strategy. But when you think that you can find on Gibson’s website lessons on how to play guitar! That’s a real valuable content for customers even if Gibson’s reputation might not require that!

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Gibsons has even pushed the boundaries a little bit further: you can even benefit of live guitar classes once a week via Ustream… This is really an effective content strategy!

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2/ If you don’t have set proper goals.. then you will

You can easily find articles claiming that you have to set proper goals. Yet, in real life, due to lack of knowledge, fear of novelty, companies can be reluctant to set specific goals on such topics: improve reputation, create awareness are the most common goals. What if you start to think of really specific goals, linked to your business objectives?

It might be difficult sometimes to find it internally due to reluctancy to change. Nevertheless you can also decide to be opportunistic. Have a look at what people are posting when they mention you. Instagram, PInterest or Tumblr are really worth it!

It can help you to identify and target third party content creators. Then you’ll have the ability to repost best pictures you’ve found on such social networks in order to promote your our business or interests

You’ll see what you can do with this content and how you can reach some customers you might have not think about… And on top of that you’ll have partially solved the question about: how am I going to create content related to my business?

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3/ And what if you can’t measure it… then you will!

All companies are not entitled to be seen because of a videos buzz. Some does yet! Nevertheless these kind of metrics are really worth it. Maybe your customers community on the web is made of 2000 people. If only 200 of them have like your page or better, your most recent post, then you are already in contact 10% of them. 10% matter, don’t they?

Snapchat continues to be seen as full of potential social network but brands are still reluctant to use it. nevertheless it could be interesting to use it as a sneak peak to new collections, initiatives, hidden moment from companies. Imagine using Snapchat as a way to share with connections pictures from the backstage. Companies, organizations are frequently criticized for not being enough transparent.

Of course it would answer to a communication strategy. Yet, it could give a specific highlight that customers might be waiting for I really like the campaign of Free People (textile industry):

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Then what? How could I assess the ROI of this use. The following video could help you:

All this shows how important it is to set accurate goals and to dare to set them. This is a on-going process on which you’ll learn a lot for sur and this will cost you money. But at the end creating a community dedicated and ready to learn and to interact with you is the first objective to seek. Because this community might become your next customers… or simply decide to be your best advocates!