How brand leaders are using social channels to boost CX

CMO asks leading marketers: How are you using social channels to enhance your customer’s experience with your brand? ​

  • EatClub's Co-founder and CEO, Pan Koutlakis reveals why social strategy was integral to the brand's CX success
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Social media strategy is being increasingly listed by CMOs as integral to boosting customer experience and engagement.

In our latest series of debate on CX best practices, we ask leading marketers: How are you using social channels to enhance your customer’s experience with your brand?    

Seb Neylan
Online marketing director, Lonely Planet  

For customers who decide to buy a Lonely Planet product, we want them to feel part of a passionate, global travel community.  

This is why we celebrate them with our products out on the road, through recurring activities within our social calendar, tailored to each channel, such as our weekly #mylpguide regram on Instagram - a channel where we now have over 1.5 million keen travellers following the journey.  

Another example of social engagement is our long running #lpinthewild Facebook album posts - something that started originally by people physically mailing in photos to us over a decade ago. We picked up the idea and ran with it in the early days of Facebook, and as time went on we continued to grow the regularity of it, making it a key feature in our social content calendar. We now even print examples of these photos from real travellers, in the back of our guidebooks, to call out for more people to submit. So there’s a nice ‘full-circle’ relationship happening here with our customer.  

It’s also about letting these travellers feel more connected to our destination experts who are behind our titles, to help further build trust in the content we’re creating. Live video channels like Periscope, and Snapchat have helped with this as a means to introduce our writers and other guest contributors to the community.  

Beyond organic social, in the paid social space Facebook definitely reigns supreme, and it’s this channel that we think are coming out with the most engaging new ad formats. Facebook Canvas ads are a great example of this, being full-screen, immersive, and highly visual. These have been highly effective for us driving traffic to key campaigns online like Best in Travel.  

Pan Koutlakis
Co-founder and CEO, EatClub    

Social channels make up a large part of EatClub’s customer acquisition, education and retention strategies. Being a marketplace app, we do not sell a product but rather provide a platform, connecting great restaurants that have spare tables with hungry customers looking for a meal.  

EatClub's Co-founder and CEO, Pan Koutlakis reveals why social strategy was integral to the brand's CX success
EatClub's Co-founder and CEO, Pan Koutlakis reveals why social strategy was integral to the brand's CX success

The idea behind EatClub is that it incentivises restaurants to offer deals to customers for dining at off-peak or slower times during the day. With EatClub, restaurants with spare tables can push out live deals from their smartphone in only two seconds. Customers can then redeem those deals, in real-time, and eat out at a substantial discount.   

Because we offer an experience, communicating the customer experience through the right channels is important to us.  

Our app is different from others in the restaurant space in two main ways. Firstly, it is completely live and on-demand while all other platforms in the restaurant space are static.  This means our customers need to use our platform spontaneously, just before going out for a meal. The challenge here was educating our customers to use the app in this way. Social channels helped us in this education phase.  

Through a carefully curated posting calendar, we scheduled our posts and social ads to target customers around times when they are making decisions about what to eat for their next meal, scheduling content around times such as 11:30am - 12pm and 5:30pm - 6pm.  

Secondly, because EatClub is a live app, we have a much higher quality of restaurants on-board compared to other apps in the space. To differentiate ourselves successfully we need to communicate these unique selling propositions and our social channels are a key way to do this. Through our social platforms, we convey the high quality of our restaurants and focus on bringing to life the in-dining experience, through visually engaging photo and video content.  

Social channels also play a big role in educating consumers how to use the EatClub platform and experience all the offerings it opens for diners. To demonstrate how to redeem a great deal, we collaborated with trusted influencers in the foodie space.  We engaged these influencers to not only document how easy it is to use EatClub, but to communicate the amazing dining experience at some of our top restaurants.    

As a result of our engagement strategy, Eatclub is already taking Melbourne by storm, and has already secured over 130 restaurants in the first month of operation and approximately 10,000 downloads in the first two weeks of launch. We are now set for a Sydney launch January 2018.  

Pamela Webber
CMO, 99Designs  

As a graphic design marketplace that brings design experts and businesses together to have their design needs met, we enhance our customers’ experience by cultivating a sense of global community, and social media is integral to that.  

We became one of the first-known companies in this space for our ‘design contest model’, which allows the customer to come to our website, post the type of design they are looking for, many designers submit concepts and the customer chooses the concept they like the best. You can also choose a designer and work with them individually, but the experience of our contest model is our claim to fame.  

The primary ways we drive engagement on both the customer and designer sides of the marketplace is via email and social media. From the customer side, we find Twitter and Facebook brings us great engagement. Meanwhile we find Instagram generates a lot of designer activity and offers a great way to showcase our customer’s designs.  

We’ve tried everything, from campaigns, to promotions, to giveaways, we will even solicit deigns customers have brought to life, and help them market them. But one of our most successful recent campaigns was our Halloween ‘Monster Mash’ competition. It was seasonal, fun and really brought together the essence of the 99designs community.  

In that campaign, we invited our designers to create monsters and upload their designs onto Instagram with #99monstermash.The best images we shared onto Facebook and we used the platform’s polling feature for voting. The winning design was turned into a plush toy, which further added a fun and tactile element to the whole experience.  

On the flip side, we’ve done a few giveaways that didn’t generate as much engagement, because they were either a little too generic or focused only on our customers. For instance, while our ‘Appetizer Food Tours’ had over 1300 likes on Instagram, our ‘World Veg Day’ giveaway was targeted mainly to customers and published a little too late and missed the hype.    

Follow CMO on Twitter: @CMOAustralia, take part in the CMO conversation on LinkedIn: CMO ANZ, join us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CMOAustralia, or check us out on Google+:google.com/+CmoAu

 

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