Upon entering the media and PR department at Wataniya Telecom’s headquarters, also deemed the IT floor of the building, the atmosphere is palpable with excitement. While some employees are busy speaking to customers online via facebook and twitter, others are having fun playing foosball (yes, the staff have their very own foosball table to de-stress). That’s the beauty of working at a ‘corporation’ that continues to challenge the regular and create the unexpected: work is actually fun!
“This new era of blogs, twitter, and facebook has exceeded the popularity of websites.” States Riham Al-Ayyar, Senior Director, Communications and Customer Experience-Wataniya Telecom. Her words ring true, as customers nowadays don’t need to wait long to voice a complaint or ask a question, they simply go online. Instead of hiding behind the power of the corporate shield, Wataniya Telecom has chosen otherwise, engaging customers online through continued displays of innovative social marketing campaigns, and even an exclusive deal with HTC for the first Facebook phone.
Hi, so what’s going on with Wataniya and Social media?
Wataniya is a dynamic company that wants to adopt the communication channels which the youth of Kuwait love.
With millions of users in Kuwait on social media channels, what is your goal?
We want to focus on improving relationships with our customers. Given the immense popularity of these channels, we want to ensure that we listen and talk to our customers via the channels they are most comfortable with.
What made you come out with the first telecom blog in Kuwait?
We would love to give a sneak preview to our customers. The idea is to create channels that would allow our customers to express themselves as well as participate in our contests, and let us know how we can improve our services to serve them better.
Wataniya had the biggest social media campaign of its kind last year called GiveKuwait, are there any plans this year to have something similar?
We love to surprise, and we promise to come out with something that Kuwait will love!
As the communications expert, what advice do you have for the youth who would want to grow their business using social media channels?
Anyone who wants to establish a presence via social media needs to understand their audience, their consumer. Relationships can only begin once you get to know a person and listen to them in order to effectively communicate.
Please share with us your views on Android-powered phones? What’s up with the Cha Cha campaign?
Oh sure! Android technology is already making waves abroad and Wataniya is proud to have launched Android-powered phones. For instance, the HTC Cha Cha is a special phone made for Facebook. You should definitely get one to see its cool features! You can visit our blog for a video about the HTC Cha Cha. Stay tuned for more surprises from Wataniya!
What are some of the main tenets or goals of Wataniya’s approach to social media?
At Wataniya, we have a dedicated team doing its best to both, post and tweet, about Wataniya every day. This information is based on topics, sentiment, a shared voice, geography, and trends. The goal is to track and understand the largest possible number of conversations, good and bad, across the web. Using this information, we are able to quickly answer customer questions, address their concerns, build better products, and improve the overall customer experience.
Are there any social media dos and don’ts that you tell your team to follow?
Yes for sure. For example, through a robust training program, we encourage all employees at every level to engage in Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, blogs, and more on the company’s behalf. Some of our key rules:
o Be authentic and don’t try to be something
you are not.
o Be completely transparent about who you are
and the fact that you are a representative of Wataniya.
Do you follow blogs? If yes, which blogs do you love the most?
I love following some Art blogs in Kuwait, as I find them to be as very insightful and give a quick update on all the exhibitions happening around Kuwait.
Do you think the number of followers or fans of your Facebook page make you the best telecom company in Kuwait?
Wataniya believes in giving the best to its existing customers, not in acquiring large numbers without catering to their needs. The number of fans or followers doesn’t determine who is best, it’s the quality of engagement that matters the most.
Wataniya has been in the spotlight for a while now; your events and campaigns are a big success in Kuwait, what’s the secret?
At Wataniya, we all work hard as a team and we like having some fun along the way, actually let me correct that…we have loads of fun. Our people are passionate about their jobs. They are extremely dedicated! They work enthusiastically and that’s why it’s easy for us to be creative because we believe in what we do and that is our success formula.