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 🙂

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 😉

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?

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”! 🙂

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!

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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! 🙂

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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!

Social media: be open minded as a brand, break down the barriers!

“Do you think this new Facebook campaign is gonna be good or bad for us?”

In spite of having run several social media campaign in your company, you’re still facing people explaining that you will sooner or later learn how bad could social media be for a brand.

It is a risk of course, but a risk which is worth it for many reasons. One of the most important to me is that you’re finally meeting your customers, the general public who can also even not know your brand but can be mooved by your brand!

Then, what are the challenges you have to face daily to create your audience satisfaction?

Create content you’re proud of!

“Good content always has an objective; it’s created with intent. It therefore carries triggers to action.” Ann Handley.

I really like this campaign. #LikeaGirl is no more something that must be seen as insultant, it is something that matters, it’s about respect and confidence! This video is really great because it shows how child are confident and reluctant to accept social determinism.

Besides Always had the good idea to create use this hashtag as a way to compliment someone.

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It also about saying that sex equality is already there, of course not everywhere but signs of it are there and should not be forgotten; if you think that only huge muscle guys can play football in the US… Then I think Always can proove you that you’re wrong!

Always has even become one of the official sponsor of the Superbowlalways2

If this tiny little voice in your head is saying, “are you sure you want to do it like that” it migth be a sign of the potential difficulties you might be facing.

Still, at some point you’ll have to jump in, and experience in the reality if you concerns or expectations where right or not. But you’ll necessarily discover new ones and already have to accept it!

Accept criticism…

You’ve worked a lot on that campaign but people don’t like it. Worse you have to face a lot of criticisms…

Critics are not necessarily dramatic if you seize it as a good leverage to change things … and if you have the ability to change things!

It becomes a little bit more dramatic when you’ve created something that you thought could be fun… but is outrageous for your audience. Take a look at what happen to this cute dog in Go Daddy’s commercial that was initially planned to be broadcasted during the Super Bowl final!

I’m a really cute dog but Go Daddy was not very cool to me in their advertising (He’s too cute, I’m gonna rescue him and we’ll become best friends forever:-) )

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Do you even imagine if they have decided to keep this  advertising programmed for the most viewed sports event in the year in the US?

In France, the 3 Suisses a online shop was accused of having used the wave of emotion generated by the #JeSuisCharlie on its twitter account.

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Some of the web users decided to answer by creating sarcastic content like the following:

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All these examples show how much it is still important today to be priorly worried of what emotions brand messages can create nowadays. And since an emotion is created by the brand, internet users also have the power to answer to it and create another kind of emotion: indignation that could lead to boycott or massive critics online.

Answer to your critics!

Critics might no be easy to handle and sometimes you can only apologize and moove on. US Airways didn’t have anymore things to do when they accidentally posted an obscene picture on their Twitter!

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In many cases, critics are not directly linked to controversial actions or communications from a brand.

Therefore critics must be seen as a good opportunity. In a way, they can show that people are caring for what you’ve said. Maybe you have just mistaken in the way you express yourself. Such feedbacks are valuable in order to wonder if the content you’ve designed is really accurate or not.

And may be it’s the time for you to apologize and correct things, not necessarily within your campaign or your communications, but sometimes directly regarding the quality of the products or services you’re proposing.

It can also reveal a lack of organization and resources diretcly in the structure of the company. And if you don’t want such situation to happen, you have to do something!

What if we don’t have any answers to bring, either in terms of communications or organization?

Let go… if you are convinced you’ve done your best!

trollYou can’t manage everything. At some point you just have to let things go. because in today economy, things no more belong to you.

Communities and customers own your brand and you owe them to be good in what you do and what you bring to them!

But remember that some people might be just excellent at trolling your feeds:  if you are facing obvious and inflammatory statements that are meant to bait people into reacting. ..Welcome! You’re not watching at the Lord of The Ring yet, you’re facing a troll! Whatever upsetting it might be, be reasonnable, don’t think that answering must be systematic: do not feed the troll!

What about you, what are the best campaigns you have in mind, the worst, what are the lessons you’ve learned from it?