1&1 Internet AG is a major German Internet Service Provider with a broad range of internet products and services offered worldwide. Founded in 1988, the company now has numerous branch offices in Europe and North America, with 6,800 employees serving more than 14 million consumer and corporate customers in 11 countries.
1&1 Internet wanted to actively participate in online conversations taking place around the brand. Today, 16 teams across eight countries actively communicate with online customers using Hootsuite Enterprise.
- increase in social mentions
- increase in brand sentiment
- share of voice established
What they did
Working together to effectively serve over 14 million customers
1&1 Internet’s customers often used social media to express dissatisfaction and service issues. Instead of suppressing these messages, the organisation decided to turn them into a positive dialogue. The goal was to participate in all conversations around 1&1 Internet and its products, and to use social media to offer a solution channel for customers. These conversations give the brand an essential opportunity to improve customer loyalty, service, and sales.
Joining so many brand-related conversations proved a huge challenge because it required social media to be scaled across the entire international organisation. 1&1 Internet found success once teams from different departments and countries were integrated into a central organisational structure all within Hootsuite. Only then could they collaborate effectively to communicate with over 14 million customers across all major social networks.
How they did it
6 steps to scaling social media across the organisation
At first, teams and departments tested social media on a selective basis. But to scale successfully, the company needed to transform itself into a social organisation through strategic deployment across all of its social media activities.
1&1 Internet worked with Hootsuite to develop and implement various new processes. Management was involved from the start to ensure success. In addition, all relevant departments, from Marketing and Customer Service to Product Management and HR, were gradually introduced into the organisation’s new strategy; with Customer Care and Public Relations being the most prominent.
There aren’t many solutions that can support the level of social media expansion we experienced, going from eight to 50 team members in Hootsuite.
The 6 steps 1&1 Internet’s took to become a social organisation:
1. Listen: To learn what the public was saying about the company and its products and services, Hootsuite Enterprise helped monitor and identify topics, keywords, and conversations of existing and potential customers and source opinion leaders.
2. Plan: 1&1 Internet identified relevant channels and strategised ways to improve its presence. The overall goal was to strengthen and improve online reputation by focusing on increasing customer satisfaction.
3. Train: To educate employees and share expertise on best practices and guidelines, 1&1 Internet kicked off internal coaching through Hootsuite University. They also determined which responses customer service agents should apply to given scenarios and at which escalation level other departments need to get involved.
4. Implement: 1&1 Internet extended their communication plan to Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, and public message boards. Eventually, the company expanded to include their own message boards, Google+, and other business networks such as LinkedIn and XING to interact with its customers.
5. Scale and secure: With Hootsuite’s help, they established a secure, unified, and centralised infrastructure. Hootsuite allowed for seamless scaling across platforms, countries, and departments. To achieve global collaboration, the organisation allocated permission levels for each social media user based on the member’s level of expertise.
6. Measure success: To gauge the impact of their activities, the communications team used Hootsuite Analytics to manage and monitor social media activity, allowing them to identify key changes and metrics. Now they can detect problems and sentiment in real time, which is especially useful for corporate communications and public relations.
With Hootsuite’s help, we established a secure, unified, and centralised infrastructure. Hootsuite allowed for seamless scaling across platforms, countries, and departments.
By increasing engagement on social media, 1&1 Internet creates positive conversations with customers, solves potential issues in real time, and improves customer satisfaction in an active and measurable way.
Within a year, positive sentiment increased by 20%. In fact, a Facebook community of brand advocates formed where users help each other answer questions. Those users with highly positive brand sentiment are then asked to join 1&1 Internet’s brand ambassador program.
Social media conversations around the brand, products, and related topics increased by 35%—from approximately 12,000 to 16,250 during the same period. They also achieved a 40% share of voice related to 1&1 Internet’s hosting business. Real-time monitoring allows them to detect potential issues before they escalate. Coupled with Hootsuite Teams, the company can now easily escalate and answer a great number of customer queries across all networks at any time.
Hootsuite is also an early warning system: I have a big screen TV in my office that displays the Hootsuite dashboard. Thanks to the analytics, I can quickly detect any urgent issue out there.
Checklist: What you can learn from 1&1 Internet
✔ Determine the social media channels that are relevant for you
✔ Listen to and analyse ongoing discussions
✔ Clearly defined roles and responsibilities in your company
✔ Involve the company management and the relevant departments at an early stage
✔ Define clear, comprehensible targets
✔ Ensure that there is an internal flow of expertise
✔ Work with realistic budget plans
✔ Develop scenarios and escalation plans
✔ Strive for a structured “social organisation”
✔ Explore extended social media possibilitiesLooking to take this case study on the go? Download PDF