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From the 6th Annual Shorty Awards

PayPal: From Faceless to Friendly. Increasing Brand Engagement

Finalist in Financial Services


In early 2013 PayPal had its share of challenges to address. Their social channels were overtaken by complaints about customer service and overall negative chatter. Customers didn't understand the value of PayPal or even how to use it. Furthermore, their social presence was fragmented with low engagement. With the reputation of being a “faceless" financial company, it was impossible for them to tell their brand story in any meaningful way. PayPal joined forces with Edelman to tackle these challenges and transform not only its social presence, but also its brand.A transformation had to happen before we could even begin to have a meaningful conversation with our audience. Customer service quickly became a known presence on our social channels, with the creation of the @AskPayPal handle. PayPal’s competing brand pages and handles were consolidated. Content shifted to a cohesive PayPal customer benefits story; plus channels including Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram and more, were utilized to engage with celebrities and other brands in real-time. A strategic presence on YouTube and LinkedIn was launched, fueled heavily by thought leadership being published on the new PayPal Forward innovation blog. So, how well can a once faceless tech brand succeed at this? The numbers speak for themselves: 327% increase in engagement, 207% improvement to sentiment (positive to negative ratio), 329K new fans and expansion into 5 additional social platforms for a total of 8. But the numbers only tell half the story. Brand advocates now come to PayPal’s defense when openly attacked, and they proactively promote the brand and how easy it is to #paypalit. A qualitative assessment of all social chatter shows a better understanding of the value PayPal delivers. Even the social channels are impressed. Pinterest, Instagram and The Huffington Post have all applauded PayPal’s progressive approach to social media. As a result, PayPal was selected by Instagram as the only tech brand among lifestyle icons like Levis, Adidas, Burberry & Michael Kors to launch their ad platform. In summary, we quieted the noise and began telling the PayPal brand story in a meaningful way that successfully engaged the existing fan base, while also attracting new fans to the PayPal community.

Strategy and Execution

Brand campaign: Facebook: Instagram: Pinterest:


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