Brand Stories from Engage 2013: Telstra and AO.com

Engage NYC 2013 was our biggest social media event of the year. We got to hear from leading brands and agencies in social care, and learned their stories and insights on creating some of the world’s best digital content and service. There were so many excellent presentations we couldn’t possibly pick a favorite, but here are two highlights we’d like to share. Look out for more Engage highlights coming soon!

Brand Stories from Engage 2013: Telstra and AO.com

Telstra: A Brand’s Evolution

Head of Social Media at Telstra Karen Le travelled 9,935 miles to New York City for Engage. Representing both Telstra and her native Australia, Karen got the audience into the “Aussie spirit” by teaching us an “Aussie catch call” leaning into her presentation.

“Think of [Telstra] as the AT&T of Australia,” Karen says. Telstra has been in business for over 100 years, and has a long standing cultural history in Australia, she goes on to explain. The telco has connected people to even the most isolated places in the country. Today, Telstra has over 15 million mobile customers in a country with a population of 22 million. With that kind of scale, Karen says, comes some great challenges in customer service.

In 2011, Telstra held a 66% satisfaction rating in customer service, below the industry average of 68%. Karen describes that brand mentions among the public were largely negative, and that much of this sentiment had to do with its customer service. Online, user experience was not a consideration, Karen says. That’s when Telstra began their digital journey.

Telstra has built what Karen calls a “social-care ecosystem” based on three imperatives: to increase engagement, grow visibility on social platforms, and provide exceptional social care.

In just the last two-and-a-half years Telstra has utilized Facebook and Twitter, and facilitated its own crowd-support, to not only change the public’s view of the brand, but has also achieved Socially Devoted status from Socialbakers. Telstra has become the No.1 Australian Brand on Facebook, and ranks in the top ten globally.

See Karen Le present Telstra’s story.

AO.com: The Marriage of Content and Data

Refrigerators and washing machines may not be the first things you think of when logging into Facebook, admits Yossi Erdman. But as Head of Brand and Social Media at AO.com (Appliances Online), the UK’s largest online white goods retailer, Yossi has used social to “talk and have fun” while promoting suppliers and providing customer care. On Facebook, the brand has attracted more than 1.35 million fans.

What’s Yossi’s secret?

Content and measuring, he explains. Using social media across the board, including Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Google+, Yossi says that all content—from promotions to customer service—all feed into brand awareness. In other words, everything you publish represents your brand. Having insights on which content is feeding business goals has made all the difference, toward not just keeping the fan count high—but keeping Fans engaged and anticipating the next post from AO.com.

Through contests, campaigns and fun videos, Yossi has changed the public perception of white goods and customer service. With AO.com, customers and Fans recognize the brand as fun and friendly. If it’s not guessing how many beers are in a fridge, it’s how long a man can balance a washing machine on his head, or winning a fridge full of hot dogs. AO.com even built an app which immersed users in a contest headed on Facebook.

Customer service and customer engagement are two major parts of AO.com’s brand awareness. Both teams are measuring for success, identifying metrics to watch and improve content with each new campaign. The numbers speak for themselves, AO.com was awarded Socially Devoted status in Q2 2013.

Watch Yossi Erdman tell AO.com Story.

More On Engage NYC 2013

This is just the tip of the Engage-berg. See a playlist of all presentations, including the keynote from Socialbakers CEO and Co-Founder Jan Rezab. See all the product announcements and predictions.

You can also see more about the event, including a gallery at engage2013.com.

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