Social marketing agency Viral Effect hitting the heights for customer service

Tees Business Digital Media Pack

Viral Effect is certainly putting Teesside on the world map.

The Boho Four-based social marketing agency is celebrating a record turnover and an incredible milestone of three months at the top of the Global Food Index through their support of key client Domino’s Pizza.

The company also recently celebrated a week in the lofty position of third in the world for customer service, according to the Customer Service Index on Twitter – no mean feat for an eight-year-old business.

It was a significant achievement for both the company and their biggest client, Domino’s Pizza. This ranking came through their role running the national Twitter account for Domino’s UK, and Viral Effect MD James Pennington and his team are thrilled to be in this position.

“Being number three on the Customer Service Index means we overtook the likes of Microsoft, which is incredible,” says James. “The index is judged on a company’s response rate, response time and sentiment.

“We have one of the fastest response rates anywhere – 85 per cent in under five minutes. This comes down to the type of inbounds we get.

Of course, you occasionally receive complaints from disgruntled customers, but it’s all about turning the negatives into positives, which we do really well.

“You also get 11-to-15 per cent of people who just want to have light-hearted interaction with the brand and we encourage that because we work for iconic brands who should have a better presence on social.”

To capitalise on their current success, the Viral Effect team was confident of pulling in a handful of major international clients at a conference in Las Vegas before the event fell victim to the current world health situation.

But that doesn’t mean James has rested on his laurels. Instead, he has taken the unique step of employing a full-time dedicated meme and GIF manager, Aimee Franks.

“I’m confident in saying that Aimee’s position is the first of its kind here on Teesside,” says James.

“Her role is to help us diversify the content we put out for our clients. She will find out which memes and GIFs are trending and which categories are trending in terms of what movies are coming out or what’s coming out on Netflix, for example.

“That is going to drive conversation on our pages. People may be discussing the latest episode of Stranger Things and Aimee and our copy team will already be lining up the content – the answers and comments to go back with about the show.

“Or it could be a conversation about the next Love Island or Katy Perry’s pregnancy. Aimee jumps on things like that to help us create content and keep it current.”

Having the facility to keep on top of current trends means Viral is one step ahead with engaging social media content that clients’ consumers are interested in talking about.

Keeping content current is vital to make them stand out from competitors and deliver an exceptional service in the ever-changing and ever-growing world of social media and digital marketing.

Aimee is also on hand to help respond to celebrities and influencers who interact with Viral Effect’s main client.

“It’s a vitally important role because when you’re engaging with VIPs on Instagram – guys with more than a quarter of a million followers – you need to have something witty to go back with, so it goes into the copy team and they will construct something epic.”

As well as Aimee and an increase in the number of Viral Effect weekend warriors – the social team who work out of hours responding to people on various platforms – the firm has a new head of business development in the shape of well-known Middlesbrough long distance runner Matty Hynes, who has competed with Mo Farah at the highest level.

With such a young and dynamic team around him, James can only see more success.

“As long as we continue to create more wow opportunities, there’s no stopping us,” he smiles.


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