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?

Companies at digital age: be givers and give me five!

This short video really drove my attention this week. Between, dreams and hope, only a few steps can lead you to succeed to reach the most unexpected moments:

dreaming can be in line with reality

First, you are not dreaming! It is Tony Stark helping a little guy by providing him a bionic harm! This is not a movie! It’s real… with a little help of imagination and a lot of good will and collaborations! And apparently he seems to be really happy with that! 

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Even if, of course, the scenario, the comedian (Mr Robert “Iron” Downey Junior), this little boy, the music, create a full of emotions atmosphere, all this rely on a true commitment:

“We exist to change and improve lives through the use of advanced technology like 3D printing” This is what Limbitless claims! And they stick to it!

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But all this should be seen only as a single video posted on the web!

“Manero and the Limbitless team are featured in The Collective Project, a look at students working together to improve the world. Empowered by Microsoft’s OneNote, the project celebrates the journey of ideas into action, with ways for people to learn more and get involved”

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Ok, wait… Did I really understood correctly what I’ve just read? While I thought I was just in the middle of a non-profit organization campaign I understand that the “CollectiveProject” is a platform created by Microsoft in order to promote students initiatives to improve the world.

I’m really surprised because I did not notice at first glance that Microsoft was part of this campaign… and this is a pretty good news!

Finally, it is true that Robert Downey Jr may not have great powers… or a real Iron Man suit in order to protect the world. Yet he has great responsibilities (like Spiderman indeed!) and he seems to care for it! He’s dedicated to prolong the dream kids can have!

And it’s not the first time for him! This already happened to Robert: in 2013, he had to face a young boy in tears because Tony Stark was not wearing his Iron Man suit! He took the time to stay with the kid until he stopped crying… And this could be really inspirationnal for companies!

companies must commit!

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This is our link with brands! I truely think, whatever the intention of a brand can be, brands can give more nowadays.

Even if it is just a hand, and not money or more valuable resources in order to disseminate ideas or projects towards wider audience, this can proove to be higly beneficial for those who want to commit themselves.

This is what is happening with Microsoft with this video. I mean as you can see, all the social media accounts of OneNote are dedicated to share idea and initiatives features in the Collective Project!

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Yet I don’t necessarily think it has to be higly beneficial for the companies that get involve into it. Of course supporting such initiatives is also the opportunity to benefit from good content and to design a better content strategy that could help the company to reach other audiences and therefore to promote smoothly and delicately its products.

Yet I would finally say that it doesn’t really matter! I truly think companies, and not necessarily big ones, should be more engaged with some of the societal challenges people can face every day whatever the outcome might be!

In other terms, embrace the unexpected because this could be a good way to think outside of the box… and because the unexpected could also lead to unexpected and good results if you believe in it and stay honest regarding your intentions!

iron3But if you want to discover a little bit more of Albert’s commitment, what the following video starring… no, not Tony Stark 😉 But this little Alex! Of course the video shows the various extent of products and services displayed by Microsoft by the use of the OneNote app but… It’s really great to see that what matters most is still this commitment and the efforts of Albert and his lab!

 A really warm thanks to Albert, you really make my day you and your teams!

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Social web is the doorstep of customer care: open this door… and your arms!

Doors can be easily opened. Yet while you’re a guest you’re expecting for someone to open this door. If you invite your customers to be part of the party, then you can’t let them wait for a long time at the door, you need to invite them to come in. How a brand can do that?

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It is frequent to read that you need to think out of the box. Ok, but how can I be sure not to remain in the box while I’m thinking as a I do think (or at least hope to do so!) like any other days in my life?

OMG!!! This reminds of Kant and really conceptual philosophy courses during my studies… Or maybe The Matrix… The spoon doesn’t exist! 😉

Whatever, please, stay there, relax and keep reading: Kant might be helpful, but I consider of giving you a few pieces of advice. And to be honest I hope to be a little bit more pragmatical and less philosophical than Kant could have been (or at least what I can remind of his books!)

1/ Forget the concepts! Start by being pragmatic, opportunistic and be fantastic at that!

We all have heard of presentations within companies, made internally or by agencies starting by « here is the concept ». The concept is not an objective.

Hublot watches: simple but efficient!

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First, think of what you propose and try to be really critic towards what you usually create and do internally.

In other words, try to change what you do: either by creating something really new, either by doing something really improved compared to what it used to be

2/ Does it mean I necessarily have to create a buzz?

Personally I don’t think so. Buzz is something that can attract attention. But what seems to be really important is not attention but loyalty. And customer loyalty is what you should be looking for (through customer satisfaction of course).

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As a result, a buzz can be a good leverage in order to drive attention but you have to think of making something more! Something that makes a real difference!

Simplify things and especially, simplify you customer’s life. Be at their service by proposing the content they are waiting for!

What then? Once you have created this amazing Facebook page with great contest, what are you going to share with them? How are you going to interact with them?

3/ Be innovative considering your own starting point!

You’ve never really cared for your customers online? Then start by doing this!  (Don’t panic!  70% of customer service complaints on Twitter are never answered!) Isn’t it already innovative to change this? Remember the first point, be pragmatic and be fantastic at that.

 bigstock-First-Class-Service-23649035You‘ve decided to be present on social web, don’t be passive, act! Thank people for liking you page and sharing content! Be friendly with them, care for what they share with you, whatever it might be: from critics, to questions, remarks or even a simple “hello”. Welcome them! (all my apologies to the recent followers I did not thank or mentioned on Twitter by the way). Remember? You’ve opened a door to them!

This reminds me of something I heard during a conference in Asia. For Hyatt Asia: “treat people on the web as if they were customer waiting in your lobby”. You have to care for them: whoever they are!

I really appreciate this campaign by Dove: what a great and innovative idea to include men and their stories in their campaign!

And if your confident with these basics! Then you’ll become truly fantastic: by surprising them, giving them unforgettable (but really good!) experiences.

Social web is definitely the doorstep of customer care. Open this door, say hello to them, invite them to join your club, make sure they take a seat, relax and just enjoy what’s next! That’s to say, the great content and experiences you’ve designed for them!

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 dĂ©filĂ© 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?