Social Media in International context: what a challenge!

Insights FB Languages

Your company is on many different markets, with people speaking several languages?
This is a highly challenging situation faced by social media/communication/marketing – name them as you want – strategists.
If you add to this that you are a small company , aka with limited ressources, I bet that you have to be very creative to overcome some obstacles!
Let’s assume that the objectives have already been set (and shared), some of the challenges will be:

  • What kind of information for what market on what social platform?
  • Content production:
  • think languages/translations before creating content
  • Share and (try to) avoid redundance (between languages, personal and company’s profiles, for instance)
  • Centralized/decentralized content creation? Both? How? by whom? How to allocate resulting costs?
  • Who’ll be responsible? With what margin of freedom? (to be outlined in the guidelines)
  • Guidelines: anticipate a maximum of mistakes, unpleasant, akward things that might happen. Clearly set the objectives. Translate them. Yes, it might seem anecdotic, but to translate 10-15 pages PPT into at least 2 languages, is a bit of a pain (and a hidden cost)! Plenty of things don’t need to be translated, but the guidelines are strategical and must be understood. (in my opinion). How to give directions, instructions, balancing autonomy and restrictive input? Where to set the limits? What kind of control to apply?
  • Training: even if the guidelines are the most thorough possible, training people before they get into social media is necessary. To give them confidence, to help them dive into “it” and to guarantee as much as possible consistency throughout the different media.
  • Keep a track record of results, aggregation, re-distribute for sharing insights-> organize, plan
  • Monitoring: train – with no pain (?)! Control.

I stop here, my purpose wasn’t to do a how to or “do’s and don’t’s”, but it was just to share a challenging situation I’m facing right now.
If you already went through that kind of problems, I would love to know how you handled them, if you found some tricks to make it smoother, maybe?
If you faced unforeseen difficulties, or, on the contrary, good suprises or unexpected positive results, it would be great if you could share them :-)
For the fun, I share with you an extract of our guidelines (still in process), for our Italian partners: it’s in Italian, and you’ll understand why ;-)

What Can The Future Do For [You] Me? #lift11

As every year before the Lift Conference‘s kick off, I have a look back and a look forward, in order to assess where I hope and want Lift to lead me to.

Looking back from now on, I see lots of – personal – progress, human connections and new horizons made possible, as already largely evoked.
But at the same time, tools like Twitter and Facebook have become mainstream and play now a role of “talents discoverer”, trends detectors. You know the latest hype – product, platform, application, etc.., the latest success stories, case stories, and all other industry experts and reports. With good sources, you really are ahead of the wave. My favourite, as you surely already know, is Paper.li, a good curation tool. You can call yourself ” a trend watcher”, “trendhunter” or whatever trendexpert, following the maturing wave of “digital experts”.
In this context, answering to the question “What can the future do for you”, as promises the #lift11 theme is highly challenging. How to deliver a message different from what you can already find in your timeline? How to deliver added-value?

I see tracks of answers in the speakers, of course: not all of them are “mainstream” and they surely have specific angles for their presentations and outstanding qualities. Other tracks of possibilities could lie in the quantitiy and quality of “lifters” (yes, it has become an official term :-)), in the interactions arising during the workshops, in the Lift experience and other networking spaces, like the fondue.

In this context, what I expect from this promising Lift’s edition is: getting back in touch with people met at Lift, some becoming friends :-), catching up with them, getting true insights into future issues and opportunities – especially linked to marketing/social media/business model – being inspired, be it by people, Lift experience, speaches. I also set objectives for Sosoftware, having a couple of interesting meetings scheduled. I really hope to get means to cut down into the noise of some digital platforms and get true value.

Side considerations: some of friends met at Lift will be missing. I’ll regret them (you know who you are!).
I also have a special thought for a person met during my very first Lift, more precisely during the workshop where I opened this blog, with Stephanie Booth. That person was among the participants, we talked a bit and kept contact over the years. He very sadly passed away a couple of days ago, he was my age, I have a special thought for him, I know he was very respected.
Last but not least: I am looking forward to listening to @BrianSolis live tomorrow morning at a special presentation organized by Label.
I’m lifted! Follow me on Twitter with my brand new #lift11 avatar made by @nicktalop

Convergent Tracks in 2011: Marketing and Technology

As we’ve seen it in the past couple of years, the acceleration of technological innovations has been impacting many sectors, marketing included. Some disciplines like communication, PR, marketing, customer service have partially blended, technology contributing to “dis-cluster” them, bringing along in the same time new challenges.

As stated in this excellent article, “Social technology is permeating everything in our lives. It seems that every medium of media has integrated social into the message. The Facebook craze has pulled over 500 million people into use of social technology for multiple purposes. Humanity is experiencing connectivity to the human network like never before in history.

The influence of technology on humanity is affecting all market sectors whether private or public, on-line and off line. The intersection of technology and the human network is disrupting old business models, organizational theories and beliefs systems founded in old knowledge.

In this disruption context, question is: How to bridge the gap? How to leverage those (r)evolutions to empower your organization’s global efficiency?
It has become essential to understand new technologies, how they can augment your marketing’s objectives, impact your business results.

New kinds of jobs are emerging: community manager, chief marketing technologist, digital strategist, etc, that all have in common to mix combined skills in technology and communication, marketing.

Paradoxically, the more fragmented the world becomes, the more “convergent tracks” we’ll see, with an emphasis on the convergence of: mobile (highly fragmented)-social-local.

Here are some of the -new- challenges marketers are facing:

  • keeping track of new trends
  • understanding the mechanisms underlying the power of technologies
  • understanding how they can impact your product/price/communication/distribution/customer experience
  • figuring out strategies optimizing a mix of media according to the objectives (acquisitoin, loyalty, brand awareness, ..)
  • understanding key data factors: analytics, performance, ROI, social CRM, …
  • diving into social media…
  • And enjoying this high-pace evolving environment!

And, at the converging point between marketing and technology, connections and emotions, the lattest being the central linchpin to valuable connections.

That’s why you see those 2 signs on the image: <3 is the symbol of love in the digital media and the other one, on the right, is the symbol of sharing/connecting (via 2.0 technologies).
It is my personal way of wishing you all a happy 2011, under the sign of love and connections, all real, no matter the media!

If you’re interested in decryptering the discussed trends, you can focus on these 2 information sources:
Adage Digital
The Marketing & Innovation Daily

And for the upcoming months:
10 digital predictions for 2011
Top 10 Stories on AdAge.com in 2010
Social Media in 2011: Six Choices You Need to Make

PS: social media is implicitely included in the article, as being one of the most disrupting trends, mix of platforms, technologies, participation, interaction, crowdsourcing potential, etc, etc…
PS2: Focus. It’s getting more and more noisy out there.
PS3: Follow your own track

Image courtesy of a dear friend, Jacques-Antoine Besnard, quadruple airship world champion who’s leading the engine on the image. Official site of the last world championship. His official Fan Page (not regularly updated). A model of a focused mind. Merci Jacot :-)
Icons taken from The NounProject

The Dawn of the Social Consumer – Emotional Connection at its Heart #socialconsumer #digitalmarketing



Original article via briansolis.com
Emotional connection is at the heart of what makes social media in its whole so powerful and empowering.
The long-time readers of my blog know it represents one of the central pillars of my work, so central that I even state those values as core values in my posterous profile (and many others). Here, the inaugural article.
Valeria Maltoni, Conversation Agent, has – brilliantly – dug the phenomenon and implications for business, marketing, social media in numerous articles.
In this article, Brian Solis places and develops the idea around the concept of social consumer, social currency and I definitely agree upon the vision putting emotional connection at the center of the social commerce.
As for a brand, what are the direct implications of “creating emotional connections” with its stakeholders? Not only customers, but also employees, investors, potential investors, potential customers, potential employees, “friends”, depending on the proximity’s ring of the person? (see Jeremiah Owyang’s “Rings of Influence).

Going back to the values.

Company’s values, brand’s values need to be (re-) identified, stated, declined, shared inside the company, at all levels.
It is the pre-supposed condition upon which to build a long-term value-adding relationship. Values can be occasionnally translated into different shapes, through different media, devices, places, by different people and in many different ways. Each of these occasions being the touching point for an emotional connection, potentially leading to a further step.

Values are the continuous thread leading to added value in the long run.
Why? Because values contribute to create an overall perceived consistent image, experience of a brand, company.
Inlaid in the consistency, lays trust. In trust roots long-term mutual beneficial relationships.
In other words, we could say that well-identified and built upon values create in fine an increased perceived value (of the product/brand/company).
What is your take? Do you think that you can build long-term profitable business through marketing and social media without assessing first the core values ?Here, the inspirational Brian Solis’ article.

Read My #Paperli Daily News Rather Than My Twitter Account

A couple of months ago, during a lift@home event – Think Data, sitting among a couple of other “happy fews”, we assisted to the presentation of a brand new project, called “paper.li“, by Small Rivers. The idea? To create a new kind of “newspaper”, online, offering the quintessence of curated information through the lense of a person (until now, her or his Twitter account) by a subtle and complex aggregation between the shared tweets of that person and followers. The initial project has improved a lot, allowing for instance to create a newspaper based on a #hashtag or a Twitter list.
paperli claudiafalt ClaudiaFaltysBenassi Daily

One of the main benefits is to offer to a specific audience an “augmented information“: selected, curated, and augmented by the “curator” and her/his “followers”. The resulting aggregated information, displaying multi-media formats – videos, pictures, slideshare, tags, themes, real-time tweets, selected articles, links, ..- is a highly value-added information.

In these times where it is very challenging to sort the “good” information out of an ever-increasing “noise”, this Daily Newspaper is a breathe of fresh air… and a gain of time!

For your followers, for your company, for your customers, try to think of the best Paper.li that could offer them most of added-value? Think of a theme (a hashtag on Twitter), a Twitterlist?

For me, for you, I’m of the meaning that http://www.paper.li/claudiafalt, aka The ClaudiaFaltysBenassi Daily is of higher value than my Twitter account (@claudiafalt), if you want to have a “bigger picture” of the key trends and sectors I follow and share. Above all if your are NOT on Twitter.
Some great examples I like to follow:
The #etourisme Daily: a field I’m active and interested in (in French, here), gives me in a glimpse the major information of the latest 24 hours. Easy to stay up-to-date, easy to share!
The Musee de l’Elysee Daily : for personal interest in arts (in my region and wider)
The EdelmanDigital Daily: for same kind of things as on mine, but far more popular! (shared by @armano) (Note: I don’t publicize my Daily Paper.li on Twitter)
So many interesting newspapers out there!

Personnally, I decided to share this link as one of my major (most representative) digital accounts on my LinkedIn Status and added it to my other “websites”. Still thinking how to organize next steps, for example for the business card.

Since I’m committed to share information that 1. I read thoroughly 2. I think is worth to share, and since I decided to broadcast my daily Paper.li, I’ll be more restrictive with the people I follow, in order to offer a valuable information.

For the moment, as you cannot interact yet via paper.li, it’s still a restriction for a broader adoption (as of right now, but things seem to evolve very quickly).

But you can already import your Daily paper into a blog or site (click on “promote”), (not yet for wordpress.com..).

For more, up-to-date information, on Twitter, follow @SmallRivers

And you? Did you plan to integrate a Paper.li Daily on your blog? For your company?
Do you already follow some paper.li’s Daily News? Would you like to share them?
****************
Here’s a video of one of the co-founders explaining Paper.li during lift10Conference (via the article below)

Some more articles (French):
Paper.li: la veille sur Twitter
Le Temps: SmallRivers, de l’eau au moulin des média

Thank you #liftpeople #lift10

Once again, this edition of Lift Conference has been inspiring, at different levels. Inspiring, thought-provoking talks, format, overall design, experience area.

And people.

Short or longer exchanges, moments, with people (image) unlocked this last inner tiny resisting bolt.
Time for change.
I’ll remain engaged on the sides of Sosoftware, which I am member of the Board of, as a strategic and marketing advisor. Besides this, I would like to explore other tracks, bridging my interests, experience and skills to help other projects, companies, people in the vast field of #digital #marketing. To be specified, yet.

What do you think? Your take? Ideas, maybe?

The image speaks for me (thank you all).

Special thanks to Sevket, designer.

And to Bread-and-Butter for the original poster of Lift and for the overall lift’s design, part of Lift’s success, I am convinced.
(The role of art in interaction, events, has been discussed in René Paré’s workshop)