Arriva UK Bus has continued its strategic drive to deliver more effective customer relations online, by facilitating a professional qualification in social media for 14 members of its customer service and marketing teams.
The Level 3 BTEC Award in Social Media, believed to be the first qualification of its kind, was specifically designed to develop the robust strategic thinking required to deliver social media campaigns, as well as allowing students to better understand how social channels can operate as part of the overall marketing function.
The five month course, delivered by Zest Communications, saw the candidates undertake three full days of formal tuition, before putting their learnings into action by developing, monitoring and evaluating a live social media campaign run across Arriva’s regional Facebook and Twitter pages.
Libby Langley, director of Zest Communications, explained: “This course is incredibly practical and very much prepares people for the realities of planning a structured and effective social campaign. Undertaking these kinds of projects can often be a challenge in a large organisation with a more rigid structure, but Arriva allows its staff sufficient flexibility to be able to use social media in an effective and creative way.
“I am extremely proud of all the Arriva learners who have undertaken and passed their BTEC. It’s a pleasure to work with such a progressive company, who support and develop their staff through qualifications, and I have very much enjoyed watching their progress from the start of the qualification to now.”
Key elements of the course included the analysis behind the behaviour of customers who use social media, assessment of brand requirements, and an overview of the different range of social media networks and tools.
Nick Gordon, senior marketing and communications manager, added: “Everything the team has learnt during this course will influence their use of social media moving forwards. From knowing who their customers are and how to talk to them, to what information they need, response times, and expectations – it will all help to ensure that we continue to deliver cohesive, structured communications to our customers.
“Training remains an incredibly important part of our professional development at Arriva, and I know that by having completed this qualification, our marketing and customer service professionals will now have the confidence to move forward and create campaigns that will really engage and delight our social media followers.”
Arriva UK Bus was the first national bus group to introduce social media across all its operational businesses, allowing greater marketing opportunities and a direct communication channel for customers to comment and contact the business. More than 90,000 customers now follow Arriva in the UK via social media networks.