Published on 11/27/2013
Published on 11/27/2013
Paul Cordina, a graduate of NEOMA BS (Sup de Co Reims 2010) has published his second book on Community Management, which is at the heart of new marketing strategies: “Community Management : Fédérer des communautés sur les médias sociaux,” published by Pearson. The book, co-written with David Fayon, Technology Watch Manager at the French Post Office, is not simply a theoretical presentation; it alternates analysis, interviews and concrete examples.
Paul CORDINA is CRM Product Manager and Digital Senior at Nestlé and Coordinator of the e-marketing elective for the Master 204 in Marketing at Paris Dauphine University. He is a graduate of NEOMA BS (Sup de Co Reims, 2010), and won the Prix du Cercle du Marketing Direct in 2011. He teaches at Grandes Ecoles and universities, notably on social media and e-marketing courses. He is also the author of the book Tout savoir sur... Les Marques et les Réseaux Sociaux (published by Kawa, 2012) [see our article from July 2012]
The social media have greatly evolved in recent years. You have already written one book about the social media, “Tout Savoir sur… Les Marques et les Réseaux Sociaux,” published by Kawa last year. Since then, more and more companies, and especially mature companies, have realised that simply pursuing communications objectives is not the best strategy. How do you analyse this move away from the age of Social Media to one of Social Business?
The most advanced companies in the field of social media have realised that a media strategy that only includes communication or presence does not work, and that the media has to be more closely linked to marketing or commercial issues. Thinking simply in terms of the number of fans or followers (which can be manipulated by buying or the use of robots), mentions, shares and engagements is by no means enough. Without analysis, utilization or segmentation, the interest of such figures is extremely limited. More and more organisations are realising that the figures corresponding to a target audience only have meaning if they are related to their sources or origins, to an activity and to the financial or human resources allocated to it.
Firms have to decide what they are going to do in the social media, how they are going to respond, what aims they hope to achieve and benefits they hope to gain: the generation of traffic on their websites (drive to web), in their stores (drive to store), the collection of customer information for their database (data capture), product or service purchases (on line or in store), the enhancement of their image, an increase in brand awareness (online visibility), loyalty, engagement etc. These objectives must be determined upstream, and not, as is often, the case, unfortunately, after the launch: without clear objectives it is difficult to measure the effectiveness of the results. The objectives will enable firms to define what indicators to monitor, so as to measure the results of their action, and justify their additional financial and human investment. This is a long-term process requiring constant and regular activity; being present in the social media only makes sense if it is a fully integrated part of the company’s strategy.
In your new book “Community Management: Fédérer des communautés sur les médias sociaux,” published by Pearson in September 2013, you take a detailed look at the job of a Community Manager and the activity involved. How do you consider the job has evolved in firms, and how will it change in the future in your opinion?
Again, firms often do not consider the function of the community manager as a fulltime occupation, even if not all organisations have the same attitude. It is often combined with other jobs, particularly in smaller organisations. Community managers tend to be young, but the average age is increasing over time.
The level of higher education required is high, generally in Communication and Marketing, which corresponds to the position of the job within organisational structures. Then come Humanities and Languages, and then IT. More generally, the job is linked to many different departments in the firm, and is carried out by former students of subjects related to the production of contents (Literature, Communication, Social Sciences, Political Sciences, Journalism). The scope of the activity depends on the senior management, together with the department to which the job is attached, and its position in the hierarchy. Community managers are most often employed in companies in the communication, media, commerce and retail, IT, telecommunications and multimedia sectors.
Community managers are highly committed: many work alone in their company, although this figure is falling over time. Temporary workers are not always used, which results in long hours and a blurring of the limits between professional and private life. Progress is required if the service is to achieve continuity.
Some companies are still trying to get an all-purpose worker on the cheap, for example by using trainees to save money, or by asking for in-depth knowledge of HTML, PHP or Photoshop as well as social media skills; in other words for combined community managers, webmasters and graphic designers. However, the job is evolving and becoming more professional. It is becoming more organised as a profession, and practices are becoming more mature. Community management training programmes are appearing to respond to new requirements (EEMI, Sup’Internet, Sup de Web etc.) and universities and business schools are also beginning to jump on the bandwagon. Similarly, short courses are appearing for professionals who want to progress or retrain. In every case, however, practical experience is more important than anything else. So, most community managers have followed an unusual career path.
Your book is based on the testimony of a number of specialised agencies and advertisers who seem to be quite advanced in the field. How did you choose the firms involved, and what struck you most during your discussions with these professionals?
Our aim was to make our book, with its preface by Loïc Le Meur and postscript by Cédric Deniaud, pragmatic and practical by interviewing the major French players in the social media: companies, agencies and the leading experts, so as to have as representative a range of viewpoints as possible. In particular there are interviews with Jérôme François (Nestlé), Aline Bonnet (Orangina Schweppes), Alexis Thobellem (Danone), Tanguy Moillard (Bouygues Telecom), Yaëlle Teicher (Galeries Lafayette), Patrice Hillaire (La Poste), Arnaud Bourge (Air France), Frédéric Cavazza (Ogilvy), Emmanuel Vivier (HUB Institute), Emmanuelle Pelloux (agence Revolvr) and many others.
The interviews reveal the pragmatic vision of these personalities, and what they see as being fundamental about using the social media. They give their point of view, describe how they work, give advice and suggestions, and warn about the pitfalls to avoid.