When was the last time someone asked you “do you use social media?” Ages ago? Thought so. In 2017 that question is irrelevant as wireless retailers (also some of the first Internet providers) have been leveraging the platform for customer care and marketing success since the beginning.
Hootsuite and We are Social’s Digital in 2017 Global Overview report revealed that more than half the world’s population (3.77 billion) now uses the internet and of that number, 2.80 billion are social media users.
With numbers like that, it’s clear why you’d be hard-pressed to find a wireless retailer with no social presence. Pop the popcorn; this is about to get interesting. The fiercely competitive market (that even feuds on social) is not only ‘using’ social media, they are owning, transforming, and influencing it.
The bid for consumer attention in 2017 can be likened to the effort to get a kid to clean their room at their mom’s first order – an uphill battle. Brands and their social strategies must be clever, quick, and captivating to succeed and see an ROI. Fact: some are just better at this than others.
It’s certainly not easy. So, who’s killing it at social? Time to pay homage to the leaders:
Crafty Social Customer Care
It’s unacceptable these days for a consumer-facing brand not to have some form of a social media customer service team. It’s become increasingly evident social customer care drives revenue, according to Bain & Company, when companies engage and respond to customers over social, those customers spend 20-40% more with them. Research also shows that answering a complaint on social media increases customer advocacy by as much as 25%. Social customer care and messaging channels are revolutionizing the customer experience, offering in-the-moment resolution with a human touch that has been lost in the script of the traditional call center.
TELUS, a telecommunications provider based in Canada, is a leader in customer service in general, but their social media customer care is top notch. Their dedicated handle, @TELUSSupport, makes it quick and easy for anyone to figure out how to reach them and when to expect a response. They have their customer service hours conveniently posted in their Twitter bio, and post a sign-off Tweet every evening to let their customers know that they will be offline until the following day.
Tom’s Guide recently rated Verizon as the number one carrier for all-over customer service. The carrier received a 9/10 rating for its swift and professional social media support. The reviewer was particularly impressed with their 2-minute response time on both Twitter and Facebook, as well as Verizon’s elimination of unnecessary verification steps previously required on the networks.
Savvy Social Media Marketing
Social media is paramount to the success of a wireless retailer’s marketing plan. Although 75% of customers who purchase through the top 4 American wireless carriers prefer to buy in person, 90% of wireless shoppers research online or on mobile. Obviously, wireless retailers must be there when consumers go looking, but beyond that, the competition is fierce, and their campaigns must be timely, compelling, and boundary-pushing to even reach the cusp of viral. It’s no easy feat, but it can be done.
Cricket Wireless, a prepaid wireless service provider and subsidiary of AT&T, has done an exceptional job of overhauling their social strategy and capitalizing on buzzworthy social trends like video content. Take their wildly successful (30 million+ viewers) "Unexpected John Cena" stunt, for example. In this campaign, Cricket brought a popular internet meme to life by surprising WWE star John Cena’s fans with him erupting from behind a picture of himself. Instant viral success – trust me when I say hitting numbers like this is the social media marketer’s version of climbing Everest. It’s pure gold, and so is their hilarious Mother’s Day campaign video ‘Photo Mombing.’
In recent years, T-Mobile USA has rebounded from being the fastest-shrinking wireless company to dominating the news and disrupting the industry, and social media has played a significant role. It all started with the addition of their social media savvy CEO, John Legere, who from the beginning was unafraid to ‘tell it like it is.’ Their transparent, rebellious, and customer-centric ‘uncarrier’ movement and approach to marketing is reflected consistently from their playful brand voice right down to their bold and colorful social campaigns. Their latest #TMobileTuesdays campaign is a brilliantly executed example of leveraging social media to build brand loyalty.
The above are just a few of the brands nailing their social strategies, but of course, there are a lot more. If I listed off all of the campaigns that impress me, we'd be here all day. All of these companies are very different, but they all have one thing in common: the above examples each do a great job of showcasing the brand's unique personality. How can you use social media to be authentic with your customers?
Searching for more social media tips? Learn how to plan your back-to-school social media campaign in our blog titled, 5 Ways to Slay Your Back-to-School Social Media Strategy.