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!
😉

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!

10 I’ll be back!

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!

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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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! 🙂

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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?

Reverse mentoring : this selfie might be a sign of your digital transformation!

Digital transformation has generated a whole new way of considering management and innovation within a company.

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In our world top down decisions or inspiration should not be the common rule: creating an open discussion between the eldest and millenials could proove to be highly beneficial. 

Reverse mentoring: you’ve certainly been saying prose without knowing it!

I recently read 2011, Lisa Quast from Forbes wrote an already highly accurate article that raise my awareness about this topic. Reverse monitoring is not a brand new concept.

Indeed, if you are concerned about educating your company, benefiting from millenials ideas and knowledge on technologies, expectations and habits to be melt with knowledge and company’s core culture could proove to be a real benefit.

You are a decision maker, worried about the futur of your company and aware of the major impacts of the digital on the world economy and want to benefit from it?

Have you hired young people or young experimented people? Then you might be on the path of reverse mentoring. (For my own psychological sake, I will not define “young” :-))

How can you do it?

It’s not only about hiring youg people with great ideas. It’s  not on ly about hiring young people!

When it comes to digital, it “doesn’t just mean increasing digital investments. It means thinking and acting digital first”

Reverse mentoring must be seen as a programme with clear objectives and expectations and dedicated resources.

garfieldscaleI would also add it requires a real agilty in terms of organization based upon trust and transparency between the stakeholders. Others can list also the need of pushing away the barrier of status also. And I agree with that!

Personally I would insist on the mutual listening. Because listening is important but understanding is too! It implies acceptation. Not only from the eldest. But also from the newcomers. Are they diplomatic enough, will they keep being motivated once they’ll be confronted to company’s constraints?

What are the benefits?

RenaultSelfie

All this for a selfie with the CEO? This selfie is not just a selfie. It’s a commitment and sign of trust.

This helps to increase the level of awareness of your company’s stakeholders on how it is important to embrace new technologies, new trends and be confident in the youngest workforce or newcomers who still have to progressively within the company.

It is also a sign of mutual assistance. Many CEOs might have simply rejected the idea of taking such a picture. But I think this gesture can directly help the digital teams to be seen as teams that matter and are key for the future of the company or at least for the future communications of the company! And it shows how important are digital transformation and young people for Renault.

It is also about giving confidence and depassionate worries about social networks.

Am I going to be followed as a CEO on Twitter? What can I share? How do I use it? Do i use it correctly? Do I have to answer to all the solicitations I receive on my Linkedin?

All this, through specific program can also help non tech savvy become more educated about it and more efficient as it is already done within Mastercard since 2011.

What are the risks?

It’s all about digital transformation! You can simply not make “as if” you were not aware of the situation. This transformation is happening whether you like it or not.

Being on social medias is not about taking risks, it’s about having the opporunity to engage directly with your customers, detractors, potential candidates. Besides, in case of crisis it is a sign of real transparencyby demionstrating that you are able to use all the available tools in order to disseminate your message.

A lot has till to be done, if you consider that only  68% of Fortune 500 CEOs did not have any social media presence (not even on LinkedIn!) How could other executives in these companies be really confident in opening their own social media presences? But of course things are changing!

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I focused a lot on technologies or digital transformation but do you think of other company’s challenges that could benefit from reverse mentoring?

Do you know or are part of reverse mentoring programme. If so, what are your main feedbacks?

What do you think are the challenges leadership has to face due to such change in companies behaviours?

Brands: what’s your (hi)story?

Social media are not only about stories: history matters too! Let’s have a look on some brands history on the web!

Museum Monday by Mercedes

This is a recent example launched by Mercedes on YouTube. I discovered by reading the following article on the LuxuryDaily

Among the traditional videos meant to detail new car models and bragging for innovation efforts and luxury options, Mercedes shows its history is a huge argument of its never ending will to progress, innovate and… go fast!

I really like these short videos with its main character that makes me think of Ben Stiller’s role in “A Night at the Museum”. It’s humoristic (in particular because of the difficulties Uke is experiencing in order to shot his videos) and sharing this visit with him makes you feel privileged ( or worried 😉 )

This brings me to ask myself… what are the companies that are currently using their history as a content in order to create links with customers?

Since history can be really visual and therefore contributes to the empathy and engagement with your customers… but not only!

history as a source of innovation

Google

I immediately think of a company that doesn’t have a long story but which is so innovative and useful everyday: Google.!

I finally got disappointed by their timeline on their website… not really designed!

 

 

But obviously who could argue that Google is not an innovation driven company? We’ll have to check this in a few decades!

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Then I randomly thought of companies with a longer history and seems to be there from the start in my own memories!

Within cinema and entertainment industry, I should find a few example to illustrate it!

Pathé and Disney use Facebook in order to enlighten some milestones of their history.

Ok, I must admit it,  this Disney movie is one of my favourite! 🙂

 

Disney also designed a YouTube channel in which you can find interviews but also highlights on some Disney’s innovation during their history:

 

 History is not boring… It’s about telling stories and this can be fun!

 Johnson

Not boring… By claiming your milestones like Johnson and Johnson and bringing valuable content to your visitors: this content is not only professional and trustworthy but educational too!

 

What if we would like to add  some fun? Think of Lego!

Lego Group has clearly understood how history is important for a company that would like to last for more decades. Have a look at the 17 minutes short animated to discover the really amazing, inspirational and emotional story of Lego!

 

And if you just want a shot of fun… Check this out! ( I remember how painful it was)

 

 

Companies caring for their history want to last

All this shows that it is not only about selling… but about being present even by claiming your past and being proud of it!

I would say that one of the aim for brands like this is also to be emotionally attached in their customers mind as a historical reference. A brand that matter not only because of its own story but because as a customer and may be a fan of this brand, would you have ever imagined to have grown up without it?

My Life Without Lego... Could you imagine?

Even if the current digital world got us used to be confronted with brands with short lifetime, other companies, historical, are using the digital to show how big they are in our hearts, minds and life!

I recently read this really an inspiring book by Jim Collins about companies with vision and I’m convinced that finding inspiration through their history and their identity also help to create long lasting perception and reputation.

Do you think of other companies histories that could be used as leverages for their employees to be more inspired than ever and for engaging their customers to be part of their history for a few more decades?