Feb 24, 2011

Canada’s Top 5 Telecom Companies Social Media Report

Posted in Social Media Experts on 24/Feb/2011

Canada's Top 5 Telecom Companies Social Media Report

Canada's Top 5 Telecom Companies Social Media Report

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Home Page > Marketing > Social Marketing > Canada's Top 5 Telecom Companies Social Media Report

Canada's Top 5 Telecom Companies Social Media Report

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Posted: Nov 04, 2010 |Comments: 0
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But first, let's define our terms and provide some background.  For those non technical readers, Twitter and Facebook are Internet-based applications that have set the stage for the stampede of companies seeking marketing success with this new fangled advertising medium called social media marketing.

How big is use of social media as an advertising medium? Analysts predict that by 2013 the US alone will spend billion on this juggernaut-advertising vehicle. Out of this social media fury emerge the SEO consultants, architects of disappointment for corporate social media campaigns.  They are increasingly guiding their victim clients to adopt Facebook and Twitter, but not helping them implement these applications properly.

Classic victims of the SEO snake oil consultants appear to be Canada's five mobile service giants Bell Canada, Rogers, Virgin Mobility, Telus and Fido. Or the Corporate look the other way issue. Others are doing this Social Media Marketing, so we need it. "HIRE someone to deal with this".

Our techno crew had a field day investigating and analyzing the Canadian Telecom pratfalls in adapting Facebook and Twitter for their social media outreach.   Our long-suffering word nerd has tried to put this into English for the non-tech crowd.  The following is a synopsis of our research on the big five, mixing English with accessible tech talk.  Unlike SEO consultants, we want you to understand what we are saying.

The findings we share here are more than surprising to us.  It's important to appreciate that these intertwined telcos are the ones providing networks and Internet connections that platform social media applications in Canada. You would think they would be experts in wielding the social media sword.  Shockingly, that is far from the case.

One of the basic rules of good Social Media practice is to make sure you have icons on your web site that let readers jump from your site to Facebook and Twitter and other social media applications.

Virgin got a passing grade because its site had Twitter, Facebook and YouTube icons on each page.  At least Virgin understands that such effort shows current and potential customers that this company is in the social media game.  The rest of the telcos did not have a single social media icon on their sites, leaving consumers to find their own path to Facebook and Twitter.  A sucker punch if I ever saw one.  Left to find their own way, to these applications what do consumers find?  Almost nothing but complaints about the telecom companies, making them easy targets for the torrent of rabid protests about their unsatisfactory service and poor business practices.   My imagination is limited in helping me understanding this reverse marketing technique.

Let's look now at how these telcos handled their Twitter accounts.   Rogers and Bell have shut down their Twitter accounts because consumers were using this application to talk almost exclusively about how bad these companies are.  Obviously, when they had Twitter accounts they have no icon button on their web sites, but let's not flog a dead horse.   Bell never really used the Twitter account, garnering only 341 followers and a meager 25 updates.   Rogers closed one of its Twitter accounts, Rogers Buzz, because the company is basically rethinking its overall social media plan.  A bad social media plan, coupled with a recent internal horseplay disaster, has resulted in mass firings of their tech team.  Have a look at the number of job postings Rogers have online for social media positions.  The last two have Twitter accounts, but again, no icons on their web sites directing readers to this application.  And, they continue to use their Twitter accounts to convey purely promotional tweets, numbing their intended audiences with their repetitive messages.

Next, we looked at Facebook accounts.  Virgin, Telus and Fido have okay Facebook accounts. These three are promoting awareness of social issues, not just pummeling their audience with messages about their products and services. Bell and Rogers' Facebook use is a PR disaster. Exponentially more wall posts and sites are loud vehicles for consumer anger about Bell and Rogers service and false promises.  No one is touting the virtues of these two giants.

Aside from faulty Facebook and Twitter application, we found other perplexing lapses in basic Social Media good practice. "Search Engine Optimization" In any social media exercise, the game is getting the search engines to love your content and send it to first-page status.   For this to happen, the company web site must be registered with search engines.  Again, this is Social Marketing 101.  We found only Bell Canada had done the technical job correctly. So why is this a big deal? According to Internet World Stats, 84 percent of Canadians use the Internet (the highest Internet usage per capita in the world). These web users perform more than 85 million searches a day.  If your web site is not registered with the search engines, these consumer searchers will not easily find your site.

Here's another blunder.  The entire idea of social media is to share content about your interests and those of others. All of these companies failed to do this on their web sites. Not one of these sites included RSS buttons on their fancy web sites.  Including a RSS button is Social Media 101. Even my grandmother has one on her blog. Also, none of them had share buttons, thus starving and isolating the site from users, who, in a knee-jerk fashion, are happy to pass your information and content on to the social media stratosphere.  Instead of helping to build more followers for these companies' content, users find a dead end on these sites.

The other basics you would implement as part of a social media strategy include an External blog.  None had one.

They didn't use news distribution sites.  Digg, Mixx, Reddit, Newsvine are all free but were not resourced by the big five.  Social media book marking advantages also went unheeded by the telcos. Bell had a few bookmarks in Yahoo about 1,300 links of more bad news about Bell Customers.

The truly unbelievable aspect of all this is they meant to get in the social marketing game.  Much of the social marketing paraphernalia are there.  It's obvious they have spent millions on research reports, studies, consultants and staff, who have, for the most part, failed.

For those readers interested in delving deeper into this quagmire of miscues and bad social media management, I invite you to have a look at the statistics and analysis we have provided to back up our observations and which are available in this article.

In upcoming articles we will take our lens to the social media gaffes of newspapers, government, banks, retailers, restaurants, advertising agencies and SEO consultants.

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canada, facebook, canada social media, twitter, canada social media news, website, bell canada, telus, mobile phone

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