David Blecken
Sep 16, 2013

Empowered, content-focused teams make the difference on social: SingTel's Miguel Bernas

SPIKES ASIA 2013 - Through smarter organisation, brands using social media have ample opportunity to create connections with people despite little financial investment, Miguel Bernas, director of digital marketing for SingTel, said in his presentation at Spikes Asia today.

Miguel Bernas
Miguel Bernas

The session, which included an introduction by Aliza Knox, MD of online sales for Asia-Pacific at Twitter, pointed to statistics from Nielsen that showed brand preference increased 30 per cent among Twitter users that had been engaged by a particular brand, while purchase intent rose by 53 per cent.

“Each moment is an opportunity to engage,” Knox said, presenting an example in which the low-cost airline Jetstar had successfully inserted itself into a conversation about the brand, in which competitors such as Air Asia were noticeably absent.

Bernas went on to explain SingTel’s strategy. Being a large corporation, he admitted the brand typically lacked warmth and wanted to be “more loved”. Approaching Twitter as a joined up team (incorporating the marketing, corporate communications and management divisions) has already contributed to that, he said. “Social media is a place where we can make ourselves more approachable to customers.”


He cited an example of a conversation in which a Twitter user complained of problems with SingTel that was subsequently reversed as a result of SingTel becoming involved and offering a customer-service solution.

In another example, a customer who had recently switched to SingTel from another provider posted an image of their pet cat, which found the SingTel set-top box too small to rest on. SingTel took advantage of this to build rapport and draw wider attention by sending a cat bed to the customer as a surprise gift.

Lastly, he presented an initiative in which SingTel reeled off a total of 23 short, humorous videos on short notice via the platform to build engagement around its 4G service. Featuring Singaporean comedian Hossan Leong, the films generated “a lot of awareness around a not very exciting topic,” Bernas said.

In conclusion, Bernas said, impromptu success on social platforms and the ability to take advantage of unexpected everyday opportunities is only possible with careful investment in a broader content strategy, and a team that is “empowered and fast thinking on its feet”.

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