That little blue check mark is a big deal.
Years ago, I worked at Dialog. At that point we were struggling to push a modern website through multiple stakeholders when management noticed that Dialog TV was getting hammered on blogs and ElaKiri. I started commenting as Indi, Dialog employee, which only went so far. Then Mili setup Dialog Blogs and we started interacting through there. Now Mili’s running a whole social media team and DialogLK was just verified on Twitter.
What this means is that Dialog is ‘official’, like Ashton Kutcher. I think it’s the first Sri Lankan Twitter account to be verified, meaning that they get a blue check mark by their name. They’ve essentially earned the only badge Twitter offers, and they offer it to very few. Twitter is only one part of the presence the social media team has setup, they also intelligently use Facebook, just ran a FourSquare promotion and just generally show up online.
Which is harder than it looks. Many management teams are either oblivious or overbearing, and Dr. Hans, Nushad and the whole marketing department (including Hetti of course) have let the team flourish and grow. When we started we were just putting out fires, then we were doing customer service, and now they’ve moved on to actual engagement and recognition.
The Social Media Team
This is all possible cause Mili set up a great team, comprising Nazly, Himal and Lenard that I know, and Anu as well. Mili was hired to do something else, I think that was print mag time, and Nazly we really pushed to hire as an open-source web developer, but they’ve all morphed into something much more adaptive. Mili and Nazly are geeks and pillars of the community, helping organize monthly Refresh meetings and using social media cause they like it, not cause it’s their job. Himal is a character from Community and a social media animal.
It’s also important to remember that the social media team isn’t just part of the marketing department, they also work closely with customer service and senior management to actually reflect and improve the character of the company. What I mean is that they’re not just doing PR for the company, they’ve actually changed the company, for the better. Today people are almost uniformly congratulating Dialog and taking pride that they’re the first Sri Lankan company to be verified.
Believe me, creating change within a big corporate is not easy and it’s rarely satisfying, so I hope that Mili and Nazly and the team can enjoy this moment. You’ve earned it.