Léauthier on Presence Strategy vs. Flow Strategy

"What matters is not to be present on a particular medium (because everyone can do it), but to be inserted in dynamic and existing flows." Sylvain Léauthier (translated from French)

A digital strategy blogger to follow is Sylvain Léauthier. In his recent post, "Communication digitale : d’une stratégie de présence à une stratégie de flux” (quotes in this article are translated from French), he illuminates a flaw in what he calls presence-based strategy by playing out a scenario: “We launched a website, we created an Instagram account. It’s good, it’s done. We move on. Oh… a new social network. Great, another tool to add to our presence strategy.” 

Presence Strategy

When a business creates a presence-based strategy, it focuses on being everywhere. Therefore, its key indicators are metrics like number of followers, volume of engagement, number of visitors to their site. Never mind if it's the right audience; it’s a constant race to get a presence on as many social networks as possible. 

Flow Strategy

Another issue is the way the Internet is changing. The home page of a website is no longer its “home page,” because the importance of landing pages have made every page on your website a home page – the introduction to your website. “Given this situation,” Léauthier says, “the challenge today is probably to move from a presence strategy to a flow strategy.” The necessary change “will doubtless involve the abandonment of a self-centered vision of our tools (including our website, the keystone of digital strategy) and our brand, to a stream- and product-based approach.” 

Léauthier suggests that the ineffectiveness of certain content and tools can be overcome by removing those that are least efficient. “In our business when the economy of attention is key, remove content or tools to enhance those that remain.” 

His continues, “In other words, what matters is not to be present on a particular medium (because everyone can do it), but to be inserted in dynamic and existing flows.” Léauthier says this means moving from an architect mentality (of building sites and social media accounts like houses) to an engineer mentality: “…identify flows and try to channel them into conversion tunnels and roads. This is probably less glamorous and more technical, but perhaps more interesting.” 

A social media account, such as a Facebook Page, isn’t meant to be another broadcast medium that acts as a satellite landing page of the business’ website. Social media is meant to be user-centric. Moving focus from presence to flow requires thinking about the way conversations and conversions happen for the benefit of the business within the paradigm of user flow along “conversion tunnels and roads.” 

Stephanie Leishman