Source: The Hindu Business Line, Oct 03, 2012
New Delhi: Operating on razor-thin margins in cut-throat environments, telecom brands around the world are looking to social media to win the hearts and minds of their young customers.
This is a take-no-prisoners battle and the Indian telecom brands have emerged global pioneers when it comes to engaging their respective communities.
Simply put, Indian telecom brands are showing the world how social media is done.
In the first report of its type, Unmetric, the social media benchmarking company based in New York, released a study of top six Indian and US telecom brands on Facebook and Twitter today.
According to the Unmetric Score, Tata DoCoMo is the global leader in the telecom sector on Facebook. It scored 77 in August and has consistently topped the rankings since records began in June 2011. Idea was the second best performing telecom brand in the world on Facebook with a score of 58. Aircel, India’s seventh largest carrier, was the third best performing brand with a score of 53.
In the US, AT&T, Verizon and T-Mobile scored 55, 54 and 51, respectively, for their Facebook performance in August 2012.
Underlying the report is the Unmetric Score, a unique sector-based measurement scored between 0 and 100. A score is generated for the brands’ Facebook, Twitter and YouTube presence and factors in multiple quantitative and qualitative metrics, scientifically blended and weighted together to produce a single benchmarkable score.
“A key part of the success of Indian telecom brands on Facebook comes down to the way they are engaging their community. On average, nearly four per cent of the fans of Indian brands are engaging in some way with the page whereas only 3 per cent of fans engage with the US brands,” Unmetric said.
This can also be seen in the Unmetric Engagement Score, where each post by an Indian telecom company scored an average of 99 compared to the US telecom companies that scored an average Engagement Score of 66 for each post.
As the most engaging telecom brand in the world, analysis of Tata DoCoMo’s content strategy revealed that its “Win a HTC Desire VC” contest generated a huge amount of engagement.
Airtel focused on its current ‘Friendship’ campaign with most posts revolving in some way around this theme.
However, when brands stop talking about themselves, they saw the best levels of engagement. Aircel saw higher than normal levels of engagement when it discussed sports and festivals such as Onam and Janmashtami.
On Twitter, the Indian telecom brands proved to be remarkably adept at leveraging the platform as a customer support channel.
In August 2012, Indian telecom brands replied to over 9,100 tweets compared with US brands which replied to just over 2,000 tweets.
Airtel is the leading telecom brand on Twitter, replying to over 5,130 tweets in an average of 58 minutes per tweet. Vodafone India also uses its Twitter account for customer service, replying to nearly 3,000 tweets but takes over 11 hours to reply to tweets.
Sprint, the No.3 telecom brand in the US, replied to tweets marginally quicker, in an average of 57 minutes but only replied a total of 1,006 times.