The world is going social. People and businesses are now using social media as a key conduit for interaction, collaboration, and commerce. And telecom service providers have been instrumental in promoting this global social revolution. But where are they in their own adoption of social media and integrating it within their own core systems?
A recent study by Lithium Technologies found that telcos globally still view social media as new and challenging, especially in the APAC region: they have not yet fully implemented it or enjoyed its potential benefits.
So what are the benefits a typical telco could realize by fully adopting and implementing effective social media practices throughout its enterprise? The positive impact would be felt in three broad categories:
Given the many benefits of using social media, what’s the best way for telcos to transform social media efforts into quantifiable business benefits? Social media adoption goes beyond regularly posting on your Facebook page or Twitter—it involves listening to customers on the social sites and responding quickly to their comments and concerns.
Many telcos like Bharti Airtel, Telecom Italia, AT&T and Verizon are doing a fabulous job engaging customers on social sites, with an average response time of 1-4 hours. Others, like China Telecom are effectively collecting feedback, such as new ideas, from customers frequenting the social sites.
The next step is to create self-sustaining social hubs that enable people to interact with and support each other on these platforms. While companies like Apple and NSN are doing an excellent job creating self-sustaining social hubs, telcos have yet to leverage social platforms for internal use to transform the way people work and collaborate.
We believe telcos have to adopt social media as a new way of operating rather than just a technology intervention. Telco social media efforts should include:
When telcos look at social media as a transformative new way of working, that's when they'll begin to reap its true benefits and rewards.