The importance of a strong online presence

Companies around the world are waking up to the importance of building a successful online image. Building a large social media following, engaging with customers online and fostering a positive image can be more important than traditional forms of advertising and marketing in today’s world. Here we take a look at 4 large businesses that have taken the web and succeeded in in building a unique brand that appeals to customers.

General Electric

Transport, renewable energy and aviation aren’t the most exciting sectors, so you might think building an online presence would be difficult for a company such as General Electric. Well, you’re wrong, despite not having the most exciting of businesses, GE have created a huge online following.

In recent research work GE sent a team of researchers to install sensors into the ‘mouth of hell’, otherwise known as Nicaragua’s Masaya Volcano. The marketing team at GE grasped the nettle and used this as an opportunity to boost their online profile.

Filmmaker Sam Cossman was employed to document the research work and GE shared clips of the adventure on all of their social media channels. Not only did the exercise gain them more of a following online and boost their presence, but it also increased customers trust in GE.

The films were educational as well as interesting and that coupled with the renewable energy purpose of the research made them a trusted brand in consumer’s eyes. Previously GE had used now defunct social media site Vine to offer #6secondscience to followers, something which created a genuine interest in their brand.

BT

You might be surprised to see British Telecom on this list, but their use of social media has had a real impact on profits as well as customer satisfaction. As the UK’s biggest telecom provider, BT experience a high volume of customer queries and complaints, which are costly to the company and can often frustrate the customer.

Therefore BT took to social media to try and reduce the number of customer complaints to their call centre and help solve problems before they arise. If you head over to their YouTube page you’ll find a plethora of tutorial videos which have been designed to help customers trouble shoot instead of calling for advice.

Their dedicated Twitter account @BTCare is monitored throughout the day and helps direct customers to the relevant information to resolve their problem quickly and efficiently. Completely replacing the tedious process of an automated call centre and a lengthy wait to speak to an advisor.

In fact, in 2014 BT’s social media team managed to divert an estimated 600,000 queries from call centres resulting in an annual saving of over £2 million. Customer satisfaction rates have also risen as a result and more and more customers are choosing to remain with BT, whereas in the past, they may have been inclined to change supplier following a sapping call centre experience.

Domino’s

Everyone loves pizza, and most people love Domino’s too. So you’d think the company would have been happy to keep on doing what they were doing, but they weren’t. The pizza chain decided to push the boundaries of what they could do online and introduced pioneering technology to engage with customers.

One of Domino’s first social media wins came in 2014 when British comedian Chris Ramsay tweeted the company in jest asking for a pizza to be delivered to his train. His attempts to get his pizza fix went viral and resulted in #pizzaonatrain trending worldwide. 

Domino’s rose to the challenge and delivered pizza to the comedian and his fellow commuters in the brief few minutes that the train stopped at the platform in Doncaster. The story didn’t go unnoticed and was published in several leading papers across the UK, even featuring on TV channels such as ITV and BBC.

That’s exposure that a hefty marketing campaign could barely manage, and all for the price of a few pizzas.

A few years later Domino’s introduced the ‘Pizza Bot’, and interesting AI app that allowed customers to place an order remotely. It also popped up with the odd ‘funny’ too which led to conversations with the bot being shared again and again on social media. Yet more exposure, and all for a relatively low fee too.

888 Poker

 

The online poker branch of 888 holdings is an impressive outlet that more than holds its own in an industry dominated by the traditional gambling power houses. 888 Holdings was created in the late 90’s with a view to exploit the potential of a pretty new creation called the World Wide Web.

Things have gone from strength to strength for 888 since the turn of the Millennium and the poker subsidiary have made the most of online marketing to enhance their reputation. Their YouTube channel has well over 14,000 subscribers and marketing executives pulled of a major coup recently when Idris Elba voiced their latest promotion.

888 Poker have successfully targeted their key demographic as well with the inception of 888 live poker tournaments and the formation of Team 888. The newly formed team includes WSOPE Bracelet winner Jackie Glazier, German rising star Dominik Nitsche, and 2014 WSOP November Niner Bruno ‘Foster’ Politano.

888 Poker have ensured a constant brand presence through the poker world by through their sponsorship of major players. Also through sponsorship of famous poker players, 888 Poker have legitimised their brand and created a mental link amongst consumers who associate their company with integrity and poker.

The financial breakdown

Now for the nitty-gritty, the money spent on advertising and brand promotion. In the UK last year brand promotion spending totalled just over £22 billion, with one in four pounds being spent on digital campaigns.

Recent research has suggested that 80% of consumers automatically search for a brand they trust online rather than scouring the market. Showing that positive brand promotion is vital in driving online traffic.

Summary

  • Savvy brand promotion on social media can help to boost the profile of your business, and make you the first port of call for future customers.
  • Positive brand promotion on social media can, if harnessed correctly, reap larger rewards than expensive advertising campaigns.
  • Creativity and an ability to think outside the box is key, traditional forms of advertising are waning as customers seek for new content to excite them online.

 

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