The great customer service delivered by first direct is based on the conversations it has with customers. Through the growth of social media, more and more of those conversations are happening online – via Facebook, Twitter etc – so understanding how people use social media is crucial if that engagement is to be effective. The aim of the PR and social media campaign was to directly associate first direct with online conversations among 25-34 year-old professionals and with social media influencers and commentators.
A three-pronged PR campaign was developed, culminating in a detailed report on consumer behaviours and personalities in social media. The report acted as a catalyst for comment and debate online about people’s attitudes to, and behaviours on, social networks. For the first part of the campaign we developed a month-long experiment with 40 volunteers, who were asked to change their Facebook and Twitter habits. We monitored their behaviours and responses on a daily basis, and via weekly diaries and video diaries. We then conducted a nationwide survey to get a broader insight into social media attitudes and behaviours, and then used all this research data to develop a new set of personality types in social media, which we communicated via an infographic.
By creating shareable content Aberfield encouraged widespread comment about the study. There was offline coverage in more than 25 national and regional newspapers, as well as 340+ websites and blogs, and the infographic was carried on 100+ websites and blogs. Through the PR campaign we directly reached more than 12.5 million people, and there were more than 1,200 tweets and re-tweets about the study. Almost 6,000 ‘shares’ were achieved in social media. The report will now be used by first direct to help influence its future social media communications strategies.