Case Study: Bite Latvija pioneering in social media

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Application for Baltic PR Awards 2010
Category: Digital Communication

Agency: Hauska & Partner
Client: Bite Latvija

Published in: Education
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Case Study: Bite Latvija pioneering in social media

  1. 1. Baltic PR Awards 2010 Category: Digital communication Bite Latvija pioneering in social media Situation The third mobile operator Bite Latvija came into Latvian telco market in year 2005 when 2 leading mobile operators had already established their positions. In order to stand out among the competition, a positioning of innovative company with highly personal and tailor-made approach to each client was chosen. In order to communicate that, becoming pioneers of using social media in corporate communication was included in the PR strategy of the company in 2009. Consultancy and client quite simultaneously came with an idea to develop a help-line on Twitter for Bite clients and implement blogger engagement program. While the strategic guidelines of Twitter account usage were prepared and education activities for Bite staff carried out, a fake @Bitelv account appeared creating significant threat to the initial plan. Being a company that preaches honest and transparent communication, Bite mentored by Consultancy turned to Twitter administration and solved this problem official way providing a first case of Twitter account infringement in Latvia. Research A tailor-made Twitter educational seminar was prepared for Bite Latvia staff by Consultancy focusing on the research carried out on the state-of-the-art examples of corporate communication on social media, especially Twitter. A Do’s and Don’ts list was prepared after this seminar. Both Consultancy and Bite staff monitored on Twitter some corporate accounts that provide help-lines for their clients. Their style of communication and interaction with the existent clients, as well as way of handling negative feedback and technical problems was investigated. Different Twitter tools such as Tweetstats and Tweetreach were used to evaluate the effectiveness of communication of already existent Twitter accounts, to check their success factors. Twitter applications like Seesmich, Tweetdeck and others were tested to find the best solution for communication, when Twitter account is handled by 2 people simultaneously.
  2. 2. After start-up ongoing monitoring of Twitter carried out using RSS feed and Twitter keyword search, evaluating the communication with available online tools for Twitter, gaining new followers and also keeping track on the development of social media. As social media program involved not only Twitter account, but also building relationship with active bloggers, a research on most popular Latvian blogs on IT and gadget issues was carried out. Blogs were evaluated based on their subscribers, provided content and engagement in comments after posting. Strategy Target groups - Existent and potential Bite clients that actively use social media - Secondary stakeholders – media, PR, marketing and social media, professionals, bloggers Objectives - Bite recognized as social media pioneer and expert among opinion leaders, media - Bite mentioned as best-practice example in media if an article is on social media usage, Twitter - Twitter account as functional help-line – existent Bite clients chose to solve their problems or ask questions on Twitter, potential clients engage in discussion on cost-plans etc - Positive and active relationship established with at least 3 key bloggers and active Twitter users Strategy - Engage in Twitter communication by providing a functional help-line for Bite clients - Give a feeling there is a real person behind the Twitter account to symbolize the tailor-made and personal attitude of the client service of Bite - Combine help-line, marketing and lifestyle news to create a lively and interesting Twitter account - Treat key bloggers as prioritized audience providing fresh news and mobile phones for testing to them first Tactics - the infringement issue was solved officially and openly, it was used as a content for traditional media communication; - two employees of Bite Latvia were chosen for Twitter account operators – a client-service staff representative to deal with help-line issues and Bite PR
  3. 3. specialist to handle other topics, communicate corporate and marketing info. Both were thoroughly selected and educated on Twitter. - special emphasis was put on implementing active two-way communication – any complaints on Twitter answered timely and openly, new clients were greeted online, telco topics were monitored and proactive answers given when possible - bloggers and other opinion leaders were involved in the preparatory process of Twitter account In April a decision was taken to create a Twitter account for the company. However, few days after a fake @Bitelv Twitter profile appeared. Going the official way through Twitter administration, the takeover of the fake profile took more than 2 months and the company could recover the profile and start the communication on Twitter only in July. Meanwhile other activities linked to the strategic step of building relationship with key bloggers were carried out. Selected key bloggers were treated as prioritized stakeholders and were the first ones to receive phones and gadgets for testing (HTC and BlackBerry phones, as well as mobile internet device). Regular feed-back from them was asked in order to tailor any further information according to their needs and interests. Active communication with blogger Krizdabz grew into a joint project for promoting HTC mobile phones – a special blog platform for HTC phones was created, active internet users and gadget fans involved in content creation. Relationship building with bloggers brought not only blog posts even competition envied, but also lots of support in communication on Twitter. Results - @Bitelv Twitter account (in comparison – competitor LMT is not on Twitter at all, Tele2 has significantly less activity and not more than 300 followers):  1012 tweets and 463 direct messages  837 followers  On average 5 tweets per day  More than 70% communication is dialogue with people (@replies) - Well established relationship with 5 key bloggers and active Twitter users; - Regular mentions and quotes in business and professional media, on key blogs on Bite pioneering in social media; - Media proactively seek Bite Latvia expert commentaries on corporate communication in social media at least monthly;
  4. 4. - Social media seminar organized by Bite and Agency for the Association of PR Professionals in Latvia among more than 10 others voted the most valuable best-praxis event of the year by Association members; - Positive feedback from:  existent clients (commentary: “Respect to Bite for active Twitter usage. Had problems with connection – one Direct Message on Twitter and the problem was solved within half an hour”),  opinion leaders (Blogger Arturs Mednis: “The good thing about Bite Twitter account is that they’re really helping clients online”),  clients to be (a Twitter user: “wish my operator were on Twitter so I could solve the problem, Bite’s activities makes me think that maybe it’s time for a change”). - In independent and only research on Twitter usage in Latvia, Bite mentioned as one out of two best practices in active engagement in communication with followers and monitoring on the general trends and topics on Twitter. [Full research available online on: http://www.scribd.com/doc/28549025/Latvijas- Tviterverss]
  5. 5. BITE LATVIJA PIONEERING in SOCIAL MEDIA Ooops - and we're on Twitter already via @krizdabz and @marisrelins Bloggers invited to Bite birthday event Bite Twitter help-line: > 830 followers > 1000 tweets Blogger Arturs Mednis: “The good thing about Bite Twitter account is that they’re really helping clients online” Commentary from internet portal: Twitter user: “wish my operator were on Twitter so I could solve the problem, Bite’s activities makes me think that maybe it’s time for a change” “Respect to Bite for active Twitter usage. Had problems with connection – one Direct Message on Twitter and the problem was solved Enjoy the social media revolution! within half an hour”
  6. 6. Bite mentioned as one of best practices in using social media for corporate communication; business monthly “Kapitals” More than 70% of Bite communication on Twitter Bite Twitter account is a dialogue with people, infringement case covered in including existent clients business daily "Dienas Bizness" and bloggers PR professionals listen to Bite's experience on social media and ...and vote this seminar to be the best event of 2009 for PR Association

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