In a world where social media users are now measured in billions, and smartphone access to the Internet is ever-increasing, you may wonder if anyone uses a telephone to actually call people anymore. Rebtel, a digital telecommunications company based in Stockholm, Sweden, definitely says “Yes” to this question. Its mission is to allow people all over the world to call their loved ones reliably and affordably using — among other devices — a traditional phone.

Despite its bread and butter being made on phone calls, Rebtel relies heavily on social media marketing to get the word out about its services, and to provide support and interaction with its existing base of over 20 million users, worldwide. We spoke to Rebtel’s online community manager, Dennis Engkvist, about how big a role social media plays in Rebtel’s marketing strategy, some of the differences in social media platforms and activity in his part of the world, and how his company uses Sprout Social to be more effective in reaching its customers.

Enterprise Social Media Involves Multiple Teams

Engkvist says that as the online community manager, his job is to build a strong community with Rebtel’s user base through “social media, events, and even traditional media platforms.” Like other community managers we’ve featured on Sprout Insights, Engkvist is part of his company’s PR department but works with cross-functional teams across the entire company; 11 different teams in Rebtel’s case. “Establishing and nurturing good relationships with our users,” and his other team members, “is the main core of my job function,” he says.

Rebtel uses Sprout Social to manage a number of its social media platforms — and many of the people who work on them — all from one central hub. “This year, one of our goals is to integrate even more platforms into our social media mix, since it’s a very fast-paced landscape” and you have to be able to keep up, according to Engkvist.

Interacting With Multiple Target Audiences

Being a global company, with users from just about every country in the world and every walk of life, it can be difficult to define a precise target audience for Rebtel’s services. “We need to be on many different platforms and engage in many different ways, because our customers are all so different,” says Engkvist.

He cites the fact that in Sweden, visual, image-based social media platforms are really taking off right now. “Instagram, and Snapchat are very popular; it’s what many people in Sweden use now to interact socially on a daily basis.” Because popular social media platforms in North America may be different than those in Sweden, and different again from those in countries like South America, Rebtel has to keep a close watch on the social media pulse of the entire world.

“Our growth has been very much tied to word-of-mouth and recommendations, so keeping track of these types of interactions on social media is vital for us. Our users are very active on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn and we use Sprout Social heavily to make sure we don’t miss any interactions or mentions of our brand on these platforms”, says Engkvist.

Making the Case for Social Media ROI

“When we looked around for a social media management platform for Rebtel, to be honest, we were initially skeptical that Sprout Social could offer so many features at its price point,” says Engkvist. He notes the plethora of social media management tools available today, and says he’s used many of them himself, but that Sprout Social is “among the best.”

In addition to its multi-platform management capabilities, Engkvist uses Sprout Social’s robust reporting tools to make the case for social media to senior executives at Rebtel. “With Sprout Social, I can create very intuitive, visual, reports that can be easily presented and explained to our management”, says Engkvist. “I can put vital statistics in a report, and print it off via a .pdf file. The whole thing is very easy.”

Rebtel intends to continue pushing the envelope in regards to the platforms and the content it uses to communicate with its customers. “Video will likely be very big for us in the near future,” says Engkvist, noting that more and more customers expect pre-sales and support functions to be supported by visually-based media. Whatever platforms its customers are using (or that they demand), Rebtel has concluded that social media marketing, and its professional management and analysis, will be key factors in its growth moving forward.

[Image credits: Rebtel (FB), Wikimedia Commons]