Welcome to Social Media from the Frontline. Today we’re talking all things social media with Andrew Stevenson-Thorpe, Head of Communities & Social Media at BSkyB.
COMPANY WEBSITE: www.sky.com
TWITTER PERSONAL HANDLE: @stevensonthorpe
TWITTER WORK HANDLE: @skyhelpteam
COMPANY FACEBOOK: www.facebook.com/sky
Tell us about yourself.
I have been at the heart of our e-revolution at Sky for over three years now. My background is in delivering tangible business value from technology investments and after all these years in the industry I still get a tremendous buzz working in such a fast-paced sector. I am currently responsible for our communities, social media strategy and delivery within Sky’s Customer Service Group. It is a challenging role, not least because of the massive growth we have seen in customers wanting to use social as a customer service channel, but also because of the exciting innovative developments we are working on to enhance the social experience for our customers and make it easier for them to discover and share content.
How do BSkyB approach social media?
We have a multi-faceted approach covering promotion of our brand, product and services, but are also leading the way in customer service and investing in social intelligence. It is customer service and social intelligence which are my priority right now. We want to offer the easiest, best and most compelling e-Service in the country. In order to achieve that we have been thinking long and hard about what works on social and what doesn’t. We have spent loads of time listening to customers about what they expect and take their feedback very seriously and try to build it into everything we do.
Using social intelligence to gather insight on what customers are saying to spot trends and risks to the brand is likewise at the top of the agenda. This is not just about listening tools and analysis but about building an escalation network across the business, in product development, in PR and service that take the insight we gather and do something tangible about it for the wider good of customers.
What social media platforms work best for BSkyB?
Our main platforms right now are Twitter, Facebook and our own community forum, community.sky.com. We have seen massive growth in Twitter over the last twelve months and the community.sky.com gives us the ability to build sub-communities based on interest domains that we can use to test ideas and beta products directly with customers.
Do you have any social media tips you’d like to pass on to our readers?
Be clear about your business model and why you’re using social and what the return on investment is. Often companies step into the social space without the full backing of Senior Execs and as it scales find they are under resourced because they can’t articulate clearly enough what the benefits are to get the appropriate investment they need.
Let the voice of the customer be your guide – stop guessing about what to say or do, use social intelligence to glean insight and most important of all take action!
Where do you think social media is going? Do you have any predictions?
I try really hard not to make predictions, but as your pushing me for an answer……personalisation of services based on a individual’s social profile and networks is going to be big. I truly believe we are only on day one of the social intelligence journey and it will be interesting to see how large corporates change to be agile enough to respond to what customers are telling them.
Would you like to be part of our next Frontline?
Drop us a Tweet at @mycleveragency and we’ll get right back to you.