As Africa’s leading entertainment company, MultiChoice creates and secures the rights to content from all over the world. Their entertainment platforms available via satellite or streaming including – DStv, Gotv and Showmax– are a hub for approximately 20 million people across 50 countries! Through Irdeto, MultiChoice is a world leader in digital platform security for video entertainment, video games, connected transport and IoT connected industries.
Manage crisis communication
Advance transformation efforts
As MultiChoice Group Executive for Corporate Affairs, Jabavu (Joe) Heshu has a string of vital responsibilities including stakeholder engagement and reputation management. But like with most Corporate Affairs professionals, social media has changed the dynamic of the job quite significantly.
One important shift is how news now breaks. “The way the newsroom operates has changed; suddenly journalists are reporting on what’s happening on social media! As a result, the story could be formulated well before a company, has said anything.” This has reduced control and “increased the need to be very engaged in conversations if you want to shape news.” He adds, “Now community engagement becomes more important – and this means understanding the tonality of how your messages are landing, as well as having an up to the minute view on that.” Since MultiChoice receives thousands of mentions across the group, it’s impossible for the team to understand the context of conversation without the support of a social listening tool.
Unfortunately, most brands will at some point experience negative social media comments – and MultiChoice isn’t exempt. After running a promotion lowering some subscription prices across a number of African countries other than in South Africa, unhappy South African Twitter users caused the hashtag 'DStv must fall’ to trend as they too wanted pricing relief during the pandemic.
MultiChoice needed a solution that allowed them to keep up with adverse social media chatter and have a better sense of what’s not working so they could improve customer experience and achieve their business goal of ‘being Africa's most loved storyteller’. “Our core product is the content that we create, so it’s important for us to measure what people are saying about our company.”
“Now community engagement becomes more important – and this means understanding the tonality of how your messages are landing, as well as having an up to the minute view on that.”
Jabavu (Joe) Heshu, Group Executive for Corporate Affairs
Meltwater acts as MultiChoice’s eyes and ears, scanning thousands of online conversations in real time and providing clarity on what’s being said. “We went from tracking what has happened to what is happening - and that’s where the tools Meltwater has helped us build come in handy.” Luckily, when the damaging hashtag 'DStv must fall’ started to trend on Twitter, Multichoice had Meltwater analytics in place to track the conversation and fully understand the impact of the crisis. Joe explains, “During the crisis, we used Meltwater to track where the conversation was happening, the volume of it, who was driving it, tonality and how it was shifting.” Through Meltwater insights, the team was able to provide updates that were able to distinguish between related versus unrelated conversations. For example, a number of people had hijacked the hashtag to advertise their wares, such as second-hand sneakers. Armed with this data, MultiChoice quickly understood that not all conversations were really from angry customers, a high number of them were from people trying to ride the wave on Twitter.
Social media data helped MultiChoice understand the types of complaints and demands their customers had, the team used their findings to fine tune communication for different segments of their audience. By having access to this data, MultiChoice was able to resolve the wants/ needs/ complaints of their customers, as well as personalise their content marketing and build deeper relationships.
Becoming more targeted and relevant with messaging through social media listening and audience segmentation had direct impact on Multichoice’s bottom line. “What we've realized after crafting the messaging, putting it out there in a targeted fashion and tracking it, is that our content discovery sentiment increased - and that's also positively influencing views and subscribers.” He further adds, “Nothing gives a Public Affairs professional more satisfaction than their ability to prove that their work made a difference. And that’s another thing Meltwater does really well – helping us show the analytics against the metrics.”
“During the crisis, we used Meltwater to track where the conversation was happening, the volume of it, who was driving it, tonality and how it was shifting. Meltwater enabled us to report to the business; they could see the numbers and how conversation went up this day and it came down on this day. We were able to demonstrate that it wasn’t as bad as we initially thought it was and that sometimes negative conversations feel louder than they really are.”
“What we've realized after crafting the messaging, putting it out there in a targeted fashion and tracking it, is that our content discovery sentiment increased - and that's also positively influencing viewers and subscribers.”
“Where Meltwater have been rock stars is their ability to understand that transformation is an iterative process. The Meltwater team have made the changes that we need, understanding the specific nuances that are applicable to our sector. The training doesn't stop. You start first by learning how to use the tool. Then you have to experiment ‘What if I do this? What happens if I do this? What happens there?’, and then you learn more things... Up until now, the people at Meltwater are outstanding.”