The place of social media in companies
Isabelle Mathieu, social media consultant at Emarketinglicious, and Yann Dirheimer, Marketing Director at Hootsuite, are the speakers of this One-to-One Biarritz conference. Their exchange focuses on the strategy of influencers to be deployed by brands and companies on social media.
Update on Social Media
Today, social media is an essential channel for businesses wishing to converse with their community. Social networks are used at every stage of the customer journey (acquisition, customer service, advocacy phase). This implies that companies face several challenges:
- strategy and governance: who can speak on behalf of the brand on social media?
- data and ROI: how can we make the most of the wealth of customer data on social networks?
- resources: social media requires substantial budgets.
- visibility and credibility are becoming increasingly difficult to achieve (decreased organic reach).
How to define an influencer strategy?
Isabelle Mathieu is both an expert in social media and herself an influential B2B player. It defines the role of the influencer as “the ability to amplify a message or generate action within, or even outside of, the community.”
At the first stage it’s about commitment, and at the second stage it’s about purchasing. Very often, influencers are categorised by community size. At the top of the list, fame matters more than anything, but everyone is above all a regular content producer, on one or more platforms.
They are, more often than not, passionate people who seek to be useful to their community. Their authenticity guarantees them more success than the brands themselves, as well as an expert status with members of the community.
Warning: since 2018, fake influence is more and more rife on the Internet within dummy communities, by means of bots that allow to increase the number of followers in an artificial way.
How to identify the right product testers?
This is done via several methods:
- the “manual” method consists of studying subscriber growth curves on influencer accounts, which also makes it possible to identify the mass following and to check the relevance and quality of commitment.
- listening tools, including some which are dedicated to marketing influence, but whose market is saturated, which complicates the choice of brands, despite the multiplicity of business models offered (search engine, tender, campaign follow-up, metric reporting). Some niche tools will focus on micro, or even nano-influence.
How do we attract these influencers?
Many of them are starting out and want to make it their profession, hence an attraction for the monetisation of partnerships, especially since they are in high demand. Contact them directly, without going through an agency.
The campaign brief must present the company, the product or service, the intended purpose, the number of publications desired, on which platforms, their timing, as well as the campaign hashtag. The terms of payment and any confidentiality and exclusivity clauses must also be mentioned.
Isabelle Mathieu created her blog ten years ago. At the time, competition was quite weak. Now, thanks to her experience as an influencer, she is much more vigilant in her choices.
She also makes the most of of invitations from some of her advertisers to various events, including the #1to1Biarritz, which gives her access to premium content and allows her to make useful meetings.
She is now looking for content co-creation operations (as with Hootsuite). In addition, she prefers to be in direct communication with the brand, without the intermediary of an agency, and is not convinced by the progress of PR 2.0.
Marketing influence in France
For many years, French companies have been in a phase of experimentation or even transition for some. There is still no in-house marketing influence department. Very often, this highly strategic activity is outsourced by agencies, and by default of budget, some companies are forced to confine themselves to micro-influence.
Isabelle Mathieu adds that “companies that are more in the strategic phase of marketing influence also face problems when their middle influencers decide to create their own brand, which makes them potential competitors.”
In addition, French companies are still limited to the one-shot partnership, in the short term, and without exclusivity, which does not facilitate the prospect of being an influencer. Brands therefore need to grow and invest in marketinginfluence to truly mature.
From collaborator to ambassador
By contributing to influencers, the company’s direct employees are spontaneously credible, visible and accessible. They are often attached to the brand and ready to speak on its behalf if the messages are the right ones. There is therefore a real potential for companies, the possibility to gain both reach and commitment by switching from corporate channels to employee channels. This is also an important point in terms of internal communication.
The key success factors for employed programme ambassadors are:
- choosing the right ambassadors.
- giving them access to the right content.
- relying on the right device.
- with the right support.
Practical case : Crédit agricole
The programme was created in 2016, on a voluntary basis, within the Crédit Agricole assurances entity. Building on its success, it then spread throughout the Crédit Agricole Group. The idea is simple: give employees access to content that is easily shared with their community, of which we derive collective benefits as well as at the level of the ambassadors, used to beingdigital.
The selection of ambassadors was based on voluntary, connected and active employees on social networks (Linkedin in particular). The content must be appropriate and informative, the editorial line cannot be limited to advertising. The device must be simple, easy to identify and intuitive. Standby time is important. For support, the group decided to set up small corporate events, and submit content on Linkedin.
Yann Dirheimer, Head of Regional Marketing & Global Customer Advocacy - Hootsuite
Isabelle Mathieu, Fondatrice, Blogueuse, Influenceuse - Emarketinglicious.fr