BTC yesterday celebrated its growing social media footprint after having surpassed 90,000 Facebook fans and 10,000 Twitter subscribers.
With an expanding profile on Instagram, YouTube, FourSquare, Google+, LinkedIn and its own Tech Blog, BTC said it is among the first large local companies to engage a full time social media co-ordinator who directly interfaces with customers on a daily basis.
The company reasons that on a per-capita basis, it has one of the largest Facebook followings in the world, with an estimated one in three adult Bahamians following BTC on its Facebook page.
On Twitter, although not the national leader, the company’s @BTC242 handle is among the most followed nationwide.
Moreover, BTC said it is one of the first Bahamian companies to also launch a Help line on Twitter.
The @BTCHelp twitter feed provides direct feedback to customers from 9am to 9pm every day on any BTC question or issue.
Marlon Johnson, BTCs senior vice president of marketing and communications, was an early advocate of using the digital telecom age for digital marketing.
“I recognised early on that print marketing would no longer be enough for us once I saw the societal impact of Facebook on a particular segment of our target market,” said the VP. “I realised the internet provided a new marketing tool that we could fashion to reach specific demographics and I embraced the idea that we could now utilize a very different and versatile marketing vehicle across a broader spectrum of communication platforms.
“It was exciting for me as I believe that the basic human need to discover and share information of any kind is in our DNA, and instigating and meeting this need is exactly what drives successful internet sites, weather purely social, business-based or a blend of the two.
“Our SM team hones messaging and promotions across many SM platforms to directly inspire fans and subscribers to log onto our sites to check out friends, the daily prize winning puzzles and games, chat topics, events and promotions.
“We also have a strong and dedicated Customer Care team, who we hired directly off our BTC Facebook page, answering and solving queries as they come in – instant, live help across many platforms. Our intensive social media marketing is working for us and the feedback we get makes us all very proud of the online communities BTC has helped develop and serves.
“We have recently had the opportunity to attend a worldwide conference on social media in Orange County, California where some of the world’s leading brands presented – brands well known to us like Addidas, Pepsi and Taco Bell.
“We were impressed to see that we were pretty much in step with world-wide best practices. And we were able to take away some important learnings that we are now incorporating into our Social Media platforms”.
Senior associate Cara Douglas has been managing BTC’s social media marketing for a year and has by all accounts expanded the reach and uptake of the company’s SMM footprint.
“BTC’s social media team is charged with developing, engaging and involving our online communities in BTC activities, products and services,” said Ms Douglas. I like to reach and meet people where they feel comfortable engaging, weather Facebook, Google+ or one of the other sites where we have daily activity. We have a weekly schedule highlighting major events, upcoming campaigns, and on-going service prompts currently focusing on Facebook primarily, with secondary focus on Twitter, YouTube, FourSquare, LinkedIn, Tech Blog and Instagram. We encourage the use of the latest SM platforms by publicising our weekly challenges and spot promotions across all of our activity sites. The goal is to have an engaged and participatory online community, and to do it successfully we set specific functions for each platform, an example being our Tech Blog and the LinkedIn company page. This ensures a customised experience that fits the sites profile and its BTC customer visitors.”
Ms Douglas said her team strives to boost public awareness; give customer care and engagement around all products, services and events; and nurture the development of a caring and engaged profile for the company.
Working with Ms Douglas are three BTC Facebook fans who were hired right off the site as a direct result of BTC’s social media marketing.
Michael Armogan, Melissa Miller and Maurissa Davis make up the BTC customer care team and primarily manage queries and help requests.
“We manage customer queries on our Facebook page and Twitter, via emails, and call backs. For Twitter, we monitor both @btc242 and @btchelp for queries and assist customers via replies or direct messaging. Queries range from questions about prices to troubleshooting devices, explaining our network/data packages, providing billing information, et cetera,” explained Michael Armogan. “Most of what is handled in store for customer service can be done online as well.”
Although primarily engaged in customer service, the three also post product information and fun trivia on the various BTC SM sites and host contests, mostly recently on Twitter, Foursquare and Instagram where prizes included an iPhone 4S and 5.
“When we need to handle complaints,” said Michael, “we often find that problems resolved via the BTC SM sites end up with the customer visiting our sites again because they like the activities. It’s not rare to see a commendation by a customer for our online help team or an in-store agent noting that we went above and beyond for a customer.”