HOW LOVE BUILT A SOCIAL MEDIA MEGABRAND by Edelman Mumbai for Blackberry

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HOW LOVE BUILT A SOCIAL MEDIA MEGABRAND

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Industry Cell phones, Smartphones & Accessories
Media Promo & PR, Case study
Market India
Agency Edelman Mumbai
Released March 2011

Credits & Description

Category: Best Use of Social Media
Advertiser: RESEARCH IN MOTION, ASIA PACIFIC
Product/Service: BLACKBERRY SMARTPHONES AND PLAYBOOK
Agency: EDELMAN
Senior Digital Marketing Manager: Gerald Ang (Research In Motion)
Senior Digital Marketing Manager: Vikas Dadoo (Research In Motion)
Digital Marketing Manager: Jason Chua (Research In Motion)
Digital Marketing Manager: Sue-Anne Chng (Research In Motion)
Regional Director Digital/Asia Pacific: John Kerr (Edelman)
Senior Account Manager: Varun Gambhir (Edelman)
Digital Strategist: Matt Collette (Edelman)
Senior Client Executive: Yanni Yoong (Edelman)
Client Executive: Wi Nie Lee (Edelman)
Client Executive: Farhana Sidek (Edelman)
Client Executive: Cheryl Goh (Edelman)
Media placement: Online PR - Facebook and Social Media - Direct to Consumer - 1 March 2011

Summary of the Campaign

RIM set its sights on building a strong consumer business across APAC. Could social media become a strategic channel for direct business outcome? Given 88% people research which smartphone to buy online before stepping into a store, the answer seemed a clear ‘yes’!

RIM’s primary business objectives for social media were:
1. Drive sales by putting valuable product and application content in the hands of consumers, at the right time, on the right social platforms;
2. Grow brand loyalty by increasing and enhancing brand interaction with customers post purchase.

The goal was to build large, engaged online communities and driving a bias for action. With clear primary target audiences and informed key insights, the RIM APAC social strategy was: Build (a large audience), Engage, Influence (through trusted sources) and Convert.

The engagement and content strategy was brought to life via the social narrative - 'Show the Love (for What You Do), Share the Love (for BlackBerry)'.

A trans media calendar co-ordinated always-on communications across online channels, including; 17 RIM communities, top 80 influencers, 3rd party communities, BlackBerry websites and other portals - across 13 countries. The final results far surpassed all initial KPIs that were set – both locally and region-wide.

While much of the engagement and content was compelling, the true power of the RIM APAC program is sustainability. Rather than running for 3 weeks, or 3 months then disappearing, it is the sustained effort to build relationships that differentiates public relations – and social media.

The Situation
The BlackBerry brand has battled ingrained global perceptions that it is purely a business device. RIM set its sights on consumer brand-building across Asia, but knew it needed to be innovative with social media and creative in standing out.

Given competitors were focused on traditional above-the-line, could social media become a strategic channel to engage and sell to consumers? Given 88% of people research which smart phone to buy online before stepping into a store, the answer seemed a clear ‘yes’!

The Goal
RIM’s primary business objectives for social media were:
1. Drive sales by putting valuable product and application content in the hands of consumers, at the right time, on the right social platforms;
2. Grow brand loyalty by increasing and enhancing brand interaction with customers post purchase and ensuring BlackBerry was top of mind in renewal/upgrade;
3. Prove the value of digital marketing by creating a robust measurement framework.

The goal was to build large, engaged online communities and driving a bias for action. The primary target audiences were: millenials, early adopter road warriors (35 – 50) and current BlackBerry Users.

The Strategy
2 primary insights drove the strategy process, they were:
1. 9 in 10 Asian Millennials take action on behalf of brands, both online and offline.
2. Independence seekers are the largest global (21%) and APAC (27%) RIM target segment. How could we show BlackBerry as providing them with a means of escaping the stresses of everyday life to demonstrate their independence?

Informed by these insights, the RIM APAC social strategy for 2011 was:
• BUILD: large and highly- engaged BlackBerry-centric communities, via relevant social platforms
• ENGAGE: Drive valuable action, inspiring conversations around key BlackBerry devices and apps
• INFLUENCE: enhance relationships with key online influencers to become BlackBerry brand advocates
• CONVERT: drive high quality traffic to country-specific BlackBerry.com websites to aid conversion

The engagement and content strategy was brought to life via the social narrative - 'Show the Love (for What You Do), Share the Love (for BlackBerry)'.

Execution
A trans media calendar co-ordinated always-on communications across online channels, including: 17 RIM communities, top 80 influencers, 3rd party advocates, BlackBerry.com and other portals - across 13 countries. Crowdsourced ideas helped drive the calendar.

Stand-out content included;
• BlackBerry Live & Rockin - The world’s first totally socialised concert. Attended by 15,000 fans and promoted solely through social media, it led to a 37% increase in sales. It included Asia’s first custom FourSquare badge, driving over 31,000 check-ins - a world record!
• BBM Heroes – 14 crowdsourced videos, documenting interesting BlackBerry Messenger (BBM) users across the region, showcasing how BBM helps them do more of what they love.

The true power of the RIM APAC program is sustainability. Rather than running for 3 weeks, or 3 months, BlackBerry teams engage every day. It is the sustained effort to build relationships that differentiates public relations – and social media.

Documented Results
• Organically grew social communities from 1m to 4.5m in 12 months – only 20% via paid media;
• Generated over $80m in earned media value, with content seen over 850m times;
• Facebook: as people take action on pages, it drives brand preference. We generated nearly 5m 'likes' and comments and over 500,000 clicks from social to RIM conversion sites. This included 8% of the highest quality traffic to BlackBerry.com regional websites – which lead to the purchase of smart phones;
• Our research (e.g. Brandtology online intelligence) shows RIM social communities and influencer programs have helped increase overall positive online buzz, perception and sentiment.