Time for another amazing interview with one of the women in the FrenchTech community! Emmanuelle Coulon worked for 3 years in Singapore and was an very active member of the community, and she moved to Hong-Kong two months ago. Read on to learn a bit of her story, her new podcast “En Eclaireur”, and get a few social media tips!
Hi Emmanuelle, so what do you do and how did you come to Asia?
Hi! I am passionate about digital and innovation and Asia is a very exciting region for this fast-paced industry. Singapore is an amazing playground for new technologies! This is why I decided to move to Singapore in 2016. I did learn a lot there. Then, I realized it was time to embark on a new adventure and just moved to Hong Kong two months ago. Different city, different energy, but same eager to experiment.
I have a background in consulting and I am now a solution consultant at Hootsuite, a social media management software provider. My mission is to help brands better leverage social media to achieve their business objectives. Asia social media scene is fascinating as Asian giants such as WeChat are highly successful and innovative.
What are the main trends in social media in Asia?
First, social media does not mean social networks anymore… in Asia, it’s now all about social messaging. People are getting more and more used to instant, personalized interactions with brands on WeChat or LINE. This is a huge opportunity for brands to engage in high-value conversations with customers. But brands also have to adapt to new rules: messaging is part of the customers’ retreat to their private spaces, which means no ads!
Second trend for 2019 is social commerce that is growing massively. Asian consumers have already embraced the use of social commerce like crazy: in China,70 percent of Generation Z is now opting to buy direct from social, mostly from WeChat. Facebook is launching new technologies but the seller experience is not optimized yet. Instagram shoppable posts and checkout functions were released a few week ago only, for US merchants only…
Last key trend to highlight: mobile is eating social! Social media is now pivoting from text-based platforms originally designed for desktops to truly mobile-only networks that allow people to capture in-the-moment experiences. This is a real shift in social media: Stories are expected to overtake newsfeed by the end of 2019.
What are some best practices for a good social communication plan?
Defining your objectives should always be your starting point. Do you want to raise awareness, attract new customers, or promote a new product? Your objectives must be aligned with specific KPIs that define what success looks like. Then, it’s fun time: content creation! I recommend to follow the rule of thirds:
- ⅓ of your social content promotes your business and drives conversion
- ⅓ of your social content should surface and share ideas and stories from thought leaders in your industry
- ⅓ of your social content should be based on human interactions and humanise your brand
Last thing is to test and learn. Testing is critical to understand what type of content is resonating the best with your audience and to inform your content strategy accordingly.
You have worked between Hong Kong and Singapore for more than 3 years as a social media consultant and as part of the French Tech community. What are the main differences between the two cities in the digital space?
Hong Kong and Singapore are involved in a healthy competition to become the most attractive digital hub in Southeast Asia. But both ecosystems are pretty different!
Singapore has won the startup battle. It is an amazing place for entrepreneurs, with a highly efficient administration, more financial support and incentives for technology companies. But larger corporates are struggling to drive innovation internally and tend to be more risk adverse. In Singapore, most of my mission is to help corporations go through transformation and change management.
In Hong Kong, I have been impressed by the eagerness to turn social marketing into social experience. For example, let’s look at Hong Kong Airlines with who I have worked closely. Last year, they faced a terrible issue: a technical bug made them offer round-trip business class tickets for $600… Word went out fast on social and many people jumped on it! It may have been a tough financial loss, but Hong Kong Airlines finally decided to honor the fare and announced it on social. The result? Amazing brand love and an improved reputation as a digital-savvy airline.
And what about your initiative “En Eclaireur”, could you tell us more about it?
Last year, my LinkedIn inbox was full of messages from people who wanted to better understand what life in Asia looks like and get some advice. I realized that what had helped me the most when moving to Singapore was simply to meet people, ask questions and learn from their experiences.
This is exactly why I launched En Eclaireur: I wanted to inform and inspire people with true stories of expatriates from all around the world. Singapore, São Paulo, Shanghai, Casablanca… my guests share their adventures abroad, their mistakes and successes, their tips and recommendations. It’s all in French, but it’s definitely worth listening to it to learn French too! You can find these beautiful stories on Instagram.
The best recognition is when I get messages from people who have found the energy to jump on a new opportunity abroad thanks to the podcast!
How to empower women in tech and entrepreneurship?
“If you don’t risk anything, you risk even more” This is my motto. And I strongly believe in role models to get the power to take risks. This is part of the reasons why I launched my podcast: I wanted to spotlight powerful women around the world because their stories can help other women believe in themselves. I interviewed Chiara Condi, founder of Led By Her, the first French social incubator turning vulnerable women into entrepreneurs ; a business woman who lives with her husband and two daughters in Saudi Arabia ; a fitness influencer who started from scratch in Singapore. I am open to any suggestions of inspiring women who would be open to share their stories on my podcast!