How to Create Relevance at Scale on Social #smlondon

This is the sixth in a series of ten articles from our recent #smlondon LIVE! 2015 event. To read the rest of the series, click here.

O2 is the biggest telecoms company on social media, they get mentioned over 100,000 times per month and they have 10,000 conversations with customers every week. I wonder how many telecoms provider conversations have a positive sentiment? I only ever contact my mobile phone network when there is a problem (which unfortunately has happened a few times Vodafone). According to Rachel’s ‘Graph of Glory’, it appears that love is in the air for O2’s sentiment since 2012. You will recall that O2 had a massive blackout that year.

graph glory

Content is king, distribution is queen

Just like Steve Rayson said earlier in the day, content is only as good as the distribution strategy you have for it. O2 have plenty of content but also plenty of customers/potential customers who might not want to experience the exact same messages. As Rachel highlighted in her presentation:

78% of people express a desire for some type of personalised content, but only 37% of ads they see are relevant to them.

This implies that brands need to create content that customers actually care about, thus driving measurable results for the company. When you have millions of people to communicate you have to rely on a data driven approach to create this relevance at scale. To illustrate this, Rachel talked about a couple of campaigns.

Choose & Buy: #SkipWaiting

Did you know that you can skip waiting for 2 years and instead upgrade every year with O2? I certainly didn’t know and would seriously considering switching to O2 because of this. Rachel asked the audience if they had seen this particular campaign and very few had – so more work to be done here in terms of awareness for something most consumers would be very interested in.

Love – #WearTheRose

Now this might explain why the love sentiment is so high for O2. After being a main sponsor for England Rugby for years, for this year’s world cup they are no longer an official sponsor but still wanted to create a piece of content around customer’s love of rugby and the England team. This campaign had to be cut short due to a less-than-sterling performance by England on the pitch. I’m sure there is a telecoms provider in New Zealand who benefitted more instead.

O2’s approach is to ensure that their formats are right (Twitter video, Facebook adverts etc), they cut through with the unexpected (replies, offers) and above all they balance creativity and practicality with their ‘buy’ messages. O2’s social media presence is all about creating engagement, awareness and influencing people to pick them when the time comes to either renew or switch networks. It’s a long sales cycle (typically 2 years) so you can’t simply bang on about offers because people are only eligible to purchase at specific times.

Key takeaways:

Some of Rachel’s and O2’s takeaways included:

  • Don’t forget what you’re objectives are – make content which will eventually drive that
  • Keep the balance between what you want to say and what customers want to consume
  • Be brave – do things differently and keep people interested (Be More Dog is an example of this!)

You can see Rachel’s slides from the day below: