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! ūüėČ

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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‚Äôs 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 d√©fil√© 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! ūüôā

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?

Love and brands: an ideal marriage?

Happy Valentines Day to everyone! World can be really crazy, all the more when you think of emotions generated by brands.

But how can a brand react to passionnate customers ? Can a brand be passionate or inspire love?

Do we have to tatoo our best customers?

brandIf you consider that web users can switch from a website to another in a few seconds just because you did not catch his/her attention, people taking time to have theimselves tatooed is an amazing!

These guys, they just want to hear about you. You already have their attention. So you have to keep it!

As a result, it’s not about how you can generate things to them but how you can understand their needs and take care of them!

Don’t yield to the temptation of infobesity and opportunism

Infobesity is a huge risk. What if tomorrow every single brand decides to communicate about Valentine’s day?

Over communicating, or beeing too opportunistic can create at the end, unsatisfaction by communicating without having a clear vision of whhy they communicate.

Valentine’s day during the week-end has been an important moment for brands in order to be more promotionnal… maybe too much?

I was really amused by this¬†Twitter account proposing to replace the gifts received during the day by goodies with the club’s logo. I must confess I’m a big fan of this soccer team but…¬†eriously??? It’s Valentine’s day not Christmas!

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Quality and relevance are essential

Time has come to create qualitative content that really matters and not only take the opportunities of some moments during the year in order to create a communication plan.

Of course these moments can be good levererages in order to gain some exposition¬†but if you are part of it, I reasonnably think it’s better for your image. Sorry but your brand may not be Godiva… and you’ll have top accept it!

If you cannot be clearly linked to that special event, then you must be really good if you want to be visible and if you want that visibility prooves to be really valuable for your customers! Because what matters most is to create enough engagement with your customers for giving them a good reason to come back on your Page or Website!

My favourite brand must be a partner

forrestOf course, you definitely have to think outside of the box in order to be creative and efficient.

And sometimes you also have to try because it is how you can learn things and improve it!

And finally it’s all about undertstanding that communicating on social media is not only about selling. But raising awereness, improove your brand recognition and to manage to create a relationship that matters to your customer.

The brand becomes a partner. And this is this partnership that create the will to come back at your shop .

Have a look a Topshop and Topman, it’s not only about saying that you’ll find the perfect outfit for your date, it’s also saying we understand you and can be with you in some of your moments in life:

But if you went through the all video, you’ll understand that now Topshop and Topman should invest in a “cat rental service”! ūüôā

Listening before engaging for brands: what does it mean? Be emotional!

Social media listening and brand engagement are fundamental when it comes to increase your customer satisfaction. 

Customer satisfaction is frequently assimilated to unsatisfaction or customers nightmares. Many brands have understood they have to do their best in order to give and create better customer experience. (all the more if you consider that 64% of marketers value existing customers over new ones)

Nevertheless social media listening is not only a procedure with tools and resources to display it… It is above all a mindset!

Firt try to understand

An unsatisfied customer wants in priority to complain about your product or its experience. Wherever this complaint is visible, your customer wants it to be visible. Try first not to delete/suppress the content he posted and try to accept it.

Only by respecting this, you’ll be able to understand what he might have felt. Because all these complaints from emotions generated by: disastisfaction (I payed for it but I didn’t receive what I paid for!), concerns (Where is the gift I bought to my wife for Valentine’s day) or anger (“I was treated bad by your customer service” or “the flight attendants did not help me with my trolley and my 2 kids”…)…

It is clearly a matter of emotions and claiming that something went wrong for one of your customer might be his/her last resort!

The ultimate last resort: mentionning that your exeperience was even worst than flying with Ryan Air! ūüôā

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Be emotionnal

As a result a brand has to raise its level of empathy and communicate as an individual with feelings and emotions

But what could be the emotions of a Chanel or IKEA? It is too easy to consider that brands are not meant to express emotions!¬†They are and always have been doing it! From the famous Enjoy by Coca Cola or Mac Donald “Lovin it”, these famous brands are deeply commited to create emotions. Let’s have a look at The North Face for example:

But being emotional is not necessarily to create emotions by reaching the sky and stars! But of course, in a certain way you’ll have to push your own limits. And that means to receive the messsage above all and accept it: this will allow you to understand it and react properly to it. In other words, if you’ve failed a simple “sorry”, “my apologies” will be expected by your customers and with no doubt really welcome.

Zappos is a good example for that:

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Take the leap… You can’t escape

greatpowerSocial media has nevertheless brought huge changes. These brands have now the power to listen. With such great power¬†comes great responsibilities…¬†Social media moniroring and social media listening are¬†valuable assets. It helps detecting potential crisis communications but I would prefer to underline that instead of worrying about crisis, companies should worry about their customer satisfaction. Because these customers believe in you, invest in you and become naturally part of your own community

Would you abandon a member of your family on the side of the road? Social media works the same! So if you consider that customers are not only “customers complaint”, think of the potential for companies to create long term relationship with their customers: thnik of the following example.

Northface’s community manager seems to have totally change the mood of the customer. Not only can Northface produce great ads full of emotions, but by answering properly, by apologizing and adding concrete actions North Face could have secured this customer for a long time!

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By being reactive and careful with its community a brand can definitely win the challenges imposed by social media changes. I really like the following 2014 example of Jet Blue I recently discovered, which is their answer to a tweet which was not even a complaint against the company!

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It shows that once you have decided to be in the business at the social media age you have to take care of every member and potential member of your community. This is a pretty difficult challenge for every company, but it is quite a commitment for companies who try to do it and could be proud of!

Online reputation: how to be more visible on LinkedIn?

You have decided to be more visible on LinkedIn?

Either for preparing a near future made of applications to new jobs?Either to be more influential and create new contacts for your business?

Here are a few ideas of interactions that can lead to more visibility to do so!

1/ Optimize your profile regularly

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Optimizing your profile is key on LinkedIn. Having a good looking and adequate picture is the first thing you need to improve, check and things to be proud of. Many articles deal with that, but still today, many people have not yet understood that your profile picture is the first thing people seen on LinkedIn… and sometimes are even looking for! (Just in case… it is not a dating site!)

Having a cover picture that could reflect your business but why not using it as way to express your creativity too or something you are attached too?

Nevertheless, written content is also dramatic! By adding new competencies¬†or by adding details to your profile you become more visible: every content you write on your profile is SEO sensitive which means that a search through LinkedIn or Google can show it! Elementary my dear Watson! ūüôā

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2/ Share articles with you community

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Second major step to be considered. OK, you’ve done great things in your life, nevertheless it would be inappropriate¬†to change your profile picture every week (even if I think that it could be interesting if you are a travel photographer for instance…)

Therefore another interesting feature on LinkedIn is the possibility to share articles or content like infographics, or presentations. By becoming a regular poster on LinkedIn, and necessarily by posting interesting content in order to nourish your community, your profile will be more frequently visited  and these will help you to create new connections.

Once you feel really confident with what you posted and how to react others comments then you could consider of enter in the discussion with other influencers!

3/ Interact with others activities

readenoughBy liking the content shared influencers: simple but efficient! Do it wisely by selecting the content you like. it’s really frequent to have connections that publish real valuable information but no one interact with it. By doing it you will give your connections more confidence and create a link with him/her.

Or by commenting it: someone is publishing an article or infographics. If you are familiar with this topic an think you can enrich this content by giving your own insights, do it. People generally appreciate it, can even thank you for that which is finally a recommendation that really matters and allow to be noticed by people who are not yet in your network.

But being visible on LinkedIn is not only a matter of being active on LinkedIn.

4/ Connect your profile with you other social media presences

follow-me-murad-osmann-20You have to try to drive attention to what you do and who you are.

To do so, you whole online presence and e-reputation will become a fishnet in which you want to attract new fishes, i.e. new contacts.

For instance,if you are blogging or using a Twitter profile to tweet regularly, use is! By mentioning your LinkedIn profile, what you post and create will be directly linked.

As a result, being active on various social media assets increase your potential to be seen!

Nevertheless these assets require time to use them, optimize them and monitor them frequently.

Nevertheless it can be really valuable in order to create new connections… of course. But is is also the first step to manage your own personal branding!

Have a quick explanation of what personal branding is!

By the way, don’t forget to connect with me, follow me or like my blog, and who knows, we might have the chance one day to share our opinions regarding these topics ūüôā