A few months ago, I was tasked to build StarHub’s brand new social media advocacy programme. As with everyone who has to take on a new project, I tried googling, but nothing much came up, especially within Singapore. This led to a lot of soul searching about what it means to be a customer advocate and what a brand needs to do to build sincere relationships with their audiences.
As a community manager on social media, I knew that the secret sauce lay in our community managers being able to identify our customers who are active and helpful on social, loyal customers with constructive ideas to improve and who understood that a brand like Starhub is also made up of everyday people trying to do their best for the people they serve. However I also realized that most companies were engaging social media influencers to be the “voice of the everyday man”, a strategy I don’t completely agree with.
Social media is seen as the main platform where customers are interacting with brands. However it is increasingly challenging to create loyalty and rewards programs that cater to customers diverse interests. On the flipside, most social media activations via brands tend to be to influencer engagements and these can be increasingly impersonal.With recent news of local influencers faking their content and who seem to be chasing sponsorships and freebies, brands are starting to wonder if these individuals really represent the “voice of the everyday man”. Which raises the question, who should brands like StarHub count on to share their views on social media?
To answer this, let’s look at a few trends.
Globally, brands are moving away from advertising in all forms and towards using advocates to build a cohesive community around their, product, services and most importantly customer experience. Electronics, handsets and telcos register the highest amount of emotions from customers globally. Just think of how you react when the internet is down in the office or when your handphone registers 5% battery. 90% of customers also trust word of mouth recommendations from friends and family, a point which definitely holds true in Singapore more than ever. Every Singaporean has a friend in their network who is the “lobang” king or queen with everything from renovation contacts, best data plans, top char kway teow stalls.
This is where StarHub has decided to focus on building sincere and genuine relationships with our customers. Literally- one by one. We are also looking to create a two-way dialog with our customers where the conversations are happening- on social media. After all, StarHub's customers have a high degree of social media savviness and love to participate in our digital activities. For those of you who have been around on StarHub Community long enough, do you remember the Sparklers’ Club and All-Stars programme? In 2012, the Sparklers’ Club programme was launched to foster a community of active users on our StarHub Community platform with a main aim to help fellow users on the community. The programme saw people from all walks of life ,we even had seniors labeled the "Golden Gurus "on board too! In 2014, Sparklers’ Club was rebranded as StarHub Community All-Stars to better recognize the top contributors. With the growing proliferation of social media, the idea of extending the community of these active users onto platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Youtube was born in 2018 with HubSquad - refreshing our commitment to building sincere relationships with our customers.
Since our launch in April, we have steadily been growing and creating interesting content and gatherings together. Here’s a shot of us at the launch party- love the superhero cartoons of each of the members.
Which is where you, our loyal and treasured StarHub customers come in.
Do you ever wish you could share your ideas about improving Starhub with someone in the company who could make your voice heard?
Are you passionate about StarHub and the products and services we carry?
Do you love checking out the latest movies, concerts and events while sharing them on social media?
Did you want to write, create videos and take photos about things that interest you and your family?
Do you wish you could have a coffee with the key decision makers of StarHub and discuss new ideas?
If the answer was yes to the above questions, you might be a great fit for the HubSquad.
The Hub Squad acts as a community of advocates that shares StarHub’s happiness by: spreading positive brand sentiments, sharing StarHub deals, tips and tricks with peers, giving people different reasons to love StarHub, based on their individual passions. It is designed for the socially active, enthusiastic, and positive StarHub fans to spread their love for our brand while enjoying exclusive perks, like being part of the Marvel Movie Marathon and catching the premiere of Avengers before members of the public. Following a successful launch in April 2018, HubSquad has also organised various exciting and personalised meet-ups to engage with members, while gathering feedback and most importantly, growing a sincere relationship between StarHub and our customers.
With an increasing interest in joining the programme from the public, HubSquad is now expanding our community and I would like to invite YOU to become a part of our family.
If that sounds like you, or know a friend or family member who is, then wait no longer and register your interest with me, Mathilda Dsilva at firstname.lastname@example.org
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