“Listening to the Twitterverse is a great way for Gumtree to help connect buyers and sellers. myclever™ Agency leave no stone unturned to extend our reach, spread some love, and to bring people to the site.”Sam Diamond, Head of Brand, Gumtree
Our Social Outreach Strategy, managing Gumtree’s social media channels, earned a nomination in the 2014 Social Buzz Awards for Best Use of Insight/Monitoring.
The biggest online classified advert website in the UK, Gumtree attracts around 8 million monthly unique users; around 17.9% of the UK’s online audience. The online noticeboard hosts over 2 million ads on the site at any one time. Not bad for a site started in 2000 to help Antipodeans to settle in London.
Taking over management of Gumtree’s accounts Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and blog, we’ve worked to increase brand awareness to first-time users on social, as well as driving traffic to the website, without pushing sales messages to the consumer. One of the main brand objectives, is to ‘get Gumtree in the front of mind for people who need to buy or sell’.
In building faith in their brand, we are making Gumtree synonymous with everyday objects, making it front-of-mind, increasing the brand's prominence in the Jobs and the Property Market categories. Monthly themes with accompanying infographics characterize the more hands-on approach Gumtree has compared to their competitors; a much more personal service with a consistently friendly style that audiences can identify with.
myclever™ Agency have capitalised on the number of conversations that are occurring on social platforms as well as discovering new ones.
Our approach has been to proactively start conversations with people looking to buy or sell, gain information about their Gumtree needs and direct them to the web page of specific categories or the user area.
Our strategy is three-pronged; proactive outreach, customer service queries and crisis management – emphasising outreach and customer service. Initially, we listened to a handful conversations, engaging some to test the public reaction to Gumtree getting involved. A positive reception led to significantly more engagements per day. Through this, we gained insights into the mind-set of potential customers, allowing Gumtree to advise and help thousands of users.
Using Brandwatch tools, we developed an initial set of keywords for various topics, depending on the brand’s seasonal marketing strategy as well as high traffic categories. This ongoing daily task monitors hundreds of conversations across five separate search queries. Starting with motors, we expanded to phrases like “For Sale”, “Property” and “Jobs” – key pillars for website traffic. This filtering evolved to reflect what trends on Gumtree, to capture as many conversations as possible.
Although we focus on Twitter, we also utilised the brand’s Facebook Wall, encouraging fans to list items and guiding them through the process where possible, turning conversation into website visits. By showing Gumtree as helpful and proactive, we developed a great reputation in Customer Service.
Social listening allows myclever™ Agency and Gumtree to know when people are having problems without needing initial direct contact. By actually building relationships, offering a positive customer service experience through social media, we’ve been able to double the number of positive mentions online about the brand, changing the customer perspective of Gumtree and increasing brand affinity. Gumtree answers questions posed by their community quickly and effectively. We aim to resolve questions about adverts or problems with site in 30 minutes or less.
Another aspect of this customer service involves “bumping up” listings; putting a listing at the top of a search, making the user more likely to experience success selling. We offer this to loyal members of the community to increase brand advocacy; something we can see from our continued monitoring.
Our outreach and engagement has been well received by Gumtree’s community, many expressing gratitude online. We were able to push branded video testimonials to a wider audience through optimised meta-tags and descriptions. These videos have now been viewed nearly 7,000 times.
Crisis management has rarely been required – due in no small part to our positive outreach. Using different keyword searches, we monitor 2,500 conversations per day for negative press, scams or fraud on the website. Word-of-mouth monitoring allows us to predict and prepare for any situation, step in and prevent bad publicity.
Our results speak for themselves. Gumtree’s Facebook page now has 800% more fans. Posts on this platform peaked at a reach of 150,000 users with one organic post. Brand mentions online have increased by 160%. Since we started monitoring Gumtree’s brand online, 18.5 million impressions have been achieved, there has been an increase of 116% in positive brand sentiment, while 50% of negative sentiment is converted to positive. Overall, 40% of brand outreach is responded to by the target audience, providing thousands of website referrals.
Gumtree’s customer service upcycle
Gumtree’s early 2016 rebrand provided an opportunity for the online classified specialists to reinforce and improve the interaction they shared with customers. They wanted to shorten the customer journey by extending the smooth, responsive service they’re known for to their social channels.
Gumtree already had an experienced, qualified customer service team who were adept at traditional email, live chat and calls, but whose expertise in social was limited. Our brief was to train a specially selected team and empower them to deal with queries on Twitter and other channels. As managers of Gumtree’s social feeds, we removed the middle man so they could directly tackle and resolve any issues that arose on social with our support.
We designed a bespoke training programme to introduce the principles of social conduct to the team and give them all the tools they needed to master the Gumtree voice on social. It assumed the audience knew nothing about social, ensuring they received a complete briefing on the new environment they were entering. It was a consultative approach that allowed them to filter their customer service knowledge and audience insight through our social expertise.
The Gumtree team enthusiastically bought into the two-day programme, which gave an overview of what social media is, its channels, customer service importance, crisis management and escalation procedures. It featured heavy audience participation sections and as-real workshops to test the team’s knowledge and familiarity with tone of voice. We included our support into the “go-live” day, and continue to provide remote support to a newly empowered customer service team.
- Virtual shadowing – monitoring what the team are doing and providing feedback to team leaders Live chat during office hours – 1-to-1 support following initial training 2-and-a-half month programme utilising the seminar, launch and ongoing live support
The training we received from myclever ™ was nothing short of invaluable. They covered everything we needed, and not only gave us a new appreciation for the power of social media, but completely set us up to be a well oiled, social-savvy machine to make the most of the new brand launch and 24/7 twitter customer service channel.Luke Todd, Customer Operations