Brands and institutions spend tens of thousands or even millions on publicity campaigns and charitable initiatives every year to earn consumers’ trust and favour.
Not that these do not work (if they don’t, we would have been out of business), they do. However, as time passes, the society expects more than the occasional rah-rah of clichéd airport flashmobs or overplayed charity runs; a brand’s attention is the price for the society’s devotion. Like any interpersonal relationship, winning hearts of the society starts with active listening and proving the brand’s commitment and dedication with the right action.
Here are our top picks for their excellent grasp and use of social listening.
Gaming hardware company, Razer Inc, has established itself as one of the most prominent brands in the booming multimillion dollars esports industry. Equally as recognisable is the company’s co-founder and CEO, Mr. Tan Min-Liang. The 40-year-old Singaporean entrepreneur, as expected from the spokesperson of a tech company, heavily invests in an active presence on social media. Topping his earlier Twitter exchange with the Prime Minister of Singapore is perhaps how he saved Christmas for an Australian child with a single tweet.
Anyone in Australia can get me in touch with the author of the article or the family? I’d like to make sure the Callum gets his @Razer keyboard for Christmas. Kids’ Christmas presents stolen https://t.co/mc6OW6S9ux
— Min-Liang Tan (@minliangtan) December 23, 2017
Read the Razer Christmas story in detail here.
In short, Tan found out from the news that a family’s Christmas gifts have been stolen just days before Christmas, one of which includes their son’s Razer gaming keyboard and decided to reach out to the family via Twitter to save the day. While some may be fixated on the brand-new gaming suit the boy got for Christmas, the rest of us are fully aware that the CEO has just scored another brownie point with the public.
Yishun, a notorious neighbourhood in Singapore known for a list of disturbing occurrences and Voldemort impersonator has made multiple national headlines over recent years. As such, it came as no surprise when Singaporeans were alerted with the news of three break-in attempts in a single night by the same perpetrator, on the same house. Now that is perseverance.
Recognising the opportunity to join in the conversation, local interior design and renovation firm, U-Gate Design swooped in to provide Molly’s (the victim) house with a new set of their patented burglar-proof grilles, free of charge. While we can’t say the same for the burglar, U-Gate Design could not have picked a better time to show up at the victim’s doorstep. The incident, along with U-Gate’s goodwill was published in numerous news portals and shared across social media.
Read more about the break-in here.
In May 2017, Channel News Asia aired a series of short documentaries on Singapore’s elderly poor. An episode featured Mr. Ng Teak-Boon, an octogenarian who could barely make ends meet selling ice-cream on his bicycle push cart. People sympathised with the elderly man but it’s the Singapore office of the U.S. mattress brand, King Coil, that took a step further.
Quick to pick up on the mention that old man Ng did not have a mattress and pillow to sleep on, they proceeded to locate him and offered him bedding free-of-charge. Being one of the firsts to reach out and provide assistance to an elderly in need, King Coil definitely deserve a bonus point from us!
Read more about the ice-cream uncle here.
In short, a model corporate citizen operates not only by the books but is flexible to the changes in societal expectations and needs. Active social listening enables brand to not only grasp the community’s sentiments on current affairs but also provide opportunities for them to contribute to and be integrated into the conversation. While people of altruistic nature may frown upon John D. Rockefeller’s famous quote on “publicising good works”, publicists with the interests of both the client and stakeholders at heart may not always feel the same way.