An Interview with Brett Morris –Social Media and Digital Communications Manager at Telecom New Zealand

This is the second in a series of interviews with real life practitioners and leaders who are using social business and social media in their organisations to connect with customers.

Telecom New Zealand is the national telecom provider for New Zealand.

iGo2: Tell us a little background on Telecom New Zealand social business journey

Brett: I started working in the Digital Communications team 18 months ago and am now leading the Social Media and the Digital Communications portfolios at Telecom New Zealand.

Facebook pages we manage at Telecom New Zealand are:

1. http://www.facebook.com/BackingBlack - I launched this and worked on it closely last year – gaining around 40,000 fans in 4 months. It’s seen by many as the most successful Facebook brand in NZ currently.

2. http://www.facebook.com/telecomnz - Telecom New Zealand is the more challenging page that I am responsible and I’m reviewing the current strategy.  In the 2 months in my new role I’ve helped lift the base from 3000 fans to 27,000, increase engagement a thousand fold and create positive sentiment on the page.  We have many other initiatives in the pipeline.

We do use Twitter as a Customer Service channel and we have integration into our call centre team in which we have 10-15 people managing “social” service.

iGo2: What are your social business goals?

Brett: Clearly Brand amplification and Brand awareness are our primary drivers. Hence the importance of customer service channel (Twitter) and amplification of references. We try to steer customers to Twitter or our Website for Service and have done this by replicating our website help section into Facebook.

iGo2: How do you use Facebook?

Brett: We integrate our digital marketing campaigns into our Facebook channel. But in saying that we tailor the campaign to fit into the Facebook environment.  A classic example of this is the BackingBlack campaign. We are planning more gamification and customer generated content campaigns to support our engagement strategy.

iGo2: What about crisis management as you have had a fair share of challenges in New Zealand?

Brett:  Good point and we used the Twitter channel extensively during the earth quakes to assist in keeping our customers up to date on the latest situation

iGo2: What is your social strategy?

Brett: There are a few aspects to our Social Strategy, namely:

  1. We want to grow our engagement, relationships and customer value through the social channels
  2. We plan to implement best practice Social Listening and  Business Intelligence
  3. We must educate Business Executives as to the value of Social Business and manage the expectations across marketing, customer service, product development, and corporate communications. There are a lot of groups involved in social business and we need to improve the co ordination of this.
  4. Involving our customers is very important to us; we are trying to create a loyal and engaged customer community. So we are looking at a number of ways in which to increase the two way conversations in our communities
  5. Telecom New Zealand has a large partner network through our retail stores and integrating them into our Social Strategy is key to our Service and Sales success.

iGo2: What about your own private Social network/community?

Brett: We have communities like GeekZone in New Zealand that seem to have a good business model, however, we haven’t included private social customer networks into our strategy yet but are considering all options.

iGo2: What do you need to be successful?

Brett: Executive support and understanding is key. Social Media has the ability to cut across the entire organisation and we need to understand that. We need to integrate Social into our current business process; smartly! Finally, you must have a Social Policy that inspires your employees and partners to responsibly participate in Social.

iGo2: Do you think the All Blacks stand a chance in the Rugby World Cup

Brett: Backing Black mate!