Yossi Erdman is the head of brand and social media at Appliances Online (ao.com).
Yossi highlights AO’s challenge is to take their boring grey products and make them interesting. For example appliance vendors seem tot think everyone understands what a 10kg load looks like, when in reality it’s just a number. In a traditional retail environment, customers can’t even see a washing machine or a fridge in action, so they end up buying on looks. The sector needs a creative approach to marketing them to customers.
He continues to highlight why social media is their main channel for reaching out to customers. AO uses social media as the company finds it fast-paced and a great medium to try ideas and gain immediate feedback – and, of course, it involves a low budget.
AO has had great success in putting its products in the context of interesting and relatable scenarios to its customer base. Social media is an essential part of the brand mix which has support from PR, TV advertising and online video. With these efforts AO has gained a high following across their social channels.
Yossi goes onto to show how AO has used fun approaches to deliver its business messages across social channels. In return for its quirky approaches, AO has received great responses and engagement with its campaigns.
Yossi highlights that as well as social media driven campaigns, AO has invested time in producing videos to create unique content that isn’t pushing their product – its an exciting piece of content for the company’s customers to watch. AO has seen great results in users clicking these videos and viewing them for longer than Facebook’s predicted viewing time.
The main message we are being shown by Yossi and AO’s success with social media is putting their products in fun campaigns and scenarios that involve having its customer base to interact back. AO avoids boring customers to death by not pushing the technical aspects of their appliances, which is a waste of effort anyway. The team go beyond social engagements on Facebook posts or tweets and actually ask their customer base to generate their own content with AO products. The benefits of this have been that AO has gained a huge increase in Facebook fans which in turn has increased weekly traffic directly or through online searches for the brand. Successful results have followed, such as increasing consistent brand awareness and doubling the rate of conversions.
Yossi continues to demonstrate how AO’s site hosts user generated as they ask their customers to produce images of themselves with their product through Facebook. This has spiraled out into TV ads and fantastic awareness online.
Moving on to customer service it is highlighted that customers are driving the marketing by giving great or bad feedback on a brand’s Facebook page. AO has harnessed this by introducing a call centre service to react and respond to customers’ comments in great strategies to maintain trust in its customer community.
AO has continued to succeed with customer service on Facebook by getting its CEO and founder to respond to positive and negative feedback with personal letters. This in turn gains AO free content as customers are gratefully posting their letters back on Facebook, ensuring and boosting brand awareness.