A short description of how and why you got started in social media

I don’t think I can say I started Social Media, Social Media started me in fact. I first went online in 1994 to connect to BBS which were the ancestors of forums. Since then this capacity to gather people, create conversations and share stuff at scale only became bigger and bigger. The first milestone was when I started to work at Fullsix agency in Paris. I started my own blog on Digital Marketing (2004) and we were only a few at that time. It gave me opportunities to meet with fantastic people and exchange on many topics I felt limited with at work. The second milestone is obviously the rise of social networks where it broke borders, especially in France, and allowed worldwide communities to rise. It was and still is fascinating.

What do you believe are the benefits of using social media for business?

It’s large as Social Media is integrating the notions of owned, earned and paid to the same core. It’s actually the most complex universe, it constantly juggles between these 3 levers. Mostly you can use social media to listen and connect with consumers, and it’s fundamentally changing consumers’ insight. It also brings the former B2B2C companies in front of their end consumers.

Starting from there you can generate leads to either engage more deeply with your brand and/or drive people to commit a transaction (money or data).

What do you think are common mistakes business owners make when building brand awareness on social media?

4 words : P-U-S-H. A common quote is “Build it and they will come” – No they won’t. It has to be a full commitment to understand who you’re talking with, what they’re expecting and the value you can bring. It doesn’t have to be branded. It has to be authentic and should respect the consumer satisfaction trilogy: entertaining, useful or informative.

What qualities do you think social media managers should have?

Curiosity is definitely key to make the most of conversations and stay on top of what’s happening.

Organisation is another quality as they have to manage more and more touch points and content.

Authenticity as well, if they are not engaged in their mission, it will be felt right away.

How do Business owners know if their social media campaign is working?

If they know why they’re here and have setup clear expectations, they will know what to expect and assess the success or failure. But most importantly, by doing this they allow themselves to understand what works and what doesn’t, to just do more and get better as they move forward.

How do you see social media evolving over the next 5 years …what do you hope to see?

More purpose – I definitely want to see added value on both sides, business and consumers.

The rise of 1 to 1/groups to groups social media is already huge and with the addition of payment. For brands it’s going to be key to build reactivity and added value experiences for these new modes of interaction. On top, the blurring between online and reality is going to be bigger if you look at what Microsoft or Facebook are building (hololens and Occulus Rift).

If you could share one best practice about using social media to grow a business, what would it be?  

Start small, get involved, stay true.

What are your favourite platforms for social media marketing?

Let’s face it, Facebook is a cornerstone and their acquisition and product strategy has proven to be right. They are also becoming a key paid media platform.

Periscope is opening a whole new world for social broadcasting and it’s exciting.

Quora is definitely underestimated but brings a lot of value when you want to get involved in vertical topics and get recognition.

What tools do you use to manage these platforms? What are the limitations for these tools?

We mainly use Sprinklr as our Social Experience platform. What we loved is their vision to manage not only social but custom community platforms and your website. On top they built super strong features to make it a one stop shop for the organization. It’s an agent of change as much as a technological enabler.

Name 5 tools that you can’t live without?       

Linkedin, Whatsapp, Sprinklr, Salesforce Chatter (our internal social network), Basecamp

Describe one of your social media campaigns that went really well.

I always have in mind the Jameson happening in our market team in Israel organized for the top model Bar Refaeli. They knew she was fan of surfing and of Jameson so when her birthday arrived, they simply sent her a Jameson branded surfboard with a nice message. Nothing else. Then she republished it to all her followers on all her social accounts and it got huge traction. It just worked because we cared and waited for nothing in return.

How is your social media strategy adapted to your industry?

We have clear constraints and guidelines when it comes to alcohol brands and marketing. Pernod Ricard has always been committed to follow the rules. It makes our job a little bit more difficult as it varies per country but because our industry is very much anchored in people’s cultures, it opens up a lot of opportunities to tap into what we call their moments of convivialité (French word). Our DNA is social, our business started with our people talking to all people in bars, cafés and restaurants. Social Media is just an extension of this at a much wider level. Same rules, bigger crowd. We love this but I must admit, it’s complex so it requires our organization to adapt and involve everybody.

Manal Bouchacra

Manal is interested in social media and is working on her creative writing skills. Outside of work she enjoys the gym and hanging out with friends and family.

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