Globalive builds pre-launch buzz with social media effort

TORONTO: Globalive has launched a Web site, Wirelesssoapbox.com where disgruntled wireless customers can post their grievances about cellular service.

TORONTO: Globalive has launched a Web site, Wirelesssoapbox.com where disgruntled wireless customers can post their grievances about cellular service.

Globalive paid $442 million* for wireless spectrum nation-wide in a recent federal auction, which will see new players take on market leaders Rogers, Bell, and Telus. It plans to launch its “no contracts, no gimmicks” wireless service in early 2009.

In a short online video on Wirelesssoapbox.com, Globalive CEO Tony Lacavera says the company launched the site so visitors could share their ideas about what they'd like to see from a wireless carrier. Lacavera is a regular blogger on the site, and Globalive has a dedicated staffer who monitors and collects the data on the site.

Since the site went live September 2nd, it has attracted 15,000 unique visitors and 3,001 “unique ideas”—meaning 20% of all visitors to the site contributed an idea, said Corby Fine, group account director of Mighty, the interactive division of Toronto ad agency Bensimon Byrne. “On top of that, there have been a thousand comments users have written about other users' ideas, so it really has become a dialogue rather than just a forum to vent or tell.”

The site was promoted entirely through PR, said Lindsay Mattick Davidson, director of PR for Narrative Advocacy Group, also a division of Bensimon Byrne. A media launch on September 4th resulted in 74 media stories across Canada. Wirelesssoapbox.com was also promoted on social networks including Facebook and Twitter. That has resulted in 35% of all Wirelesssoapbox.com traffic originating from those linking from other sites.

The team was aware of the risks of launching this kind of social media site, given the consequences should Globalive fail to deliver on consumer expectations.

“That is something we talked quite a bit about in terms of going forward with this site, because we wanted there to be a lot of integrity to it,” said Mattick Davidson. “Globalive needed to make sure that if it put itself out there, that it was listening to people. And that is, in fact, what they are doing.”

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