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Facebook Campaigns a Waste of Money for Telecoms

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NO LOVE LOST
DailyFeed

You hate to kick someone when they’re down. Plagued by a botched IPO and an incredibly shrinking stock price, Facebook (FB) has seen every media outlet hitch its wagon to the Schadenfreude train. One site has even launched an interactive graphic that allows us to watch Mark Zuckerberg’s pain build, minute-by-minute.

Well, now, the pot shots may start coming from the social network’s business members. Trying to tap into the enormous market of 900 million users, companies have invested countless sums and hired entire teams of experts to launch and manage Facebook promotional campaigns. But, as far as the cell phone industry is concerned, it’s not easy making friends online.  

Despite the millions of collective dollars mobile carriers have spent in an attempt to leverage Facebook for new customers, an overwhelming majority of these companies have found very little success. A comprehensive study conducted by market research firm Strand Consult found that less than two percent of subscribers “Like” their network operator on Facebook.  

Overseas companies had slightly more luck getting fans on their Facebook pages. The leading telecommunications in Turkey and Norway -- Turkcell (TKC) and Telenor (TELNF), respectively -- maxed out at less than four percent. In the US, none of the top-three carriers -- Verizon (VZ), AT&T (T), and Sprint (S) -- broke three percent.

Strand Consult, whose aim it is to make these companies more profitable, is now questioning whether all the resources spent on getting that elusive thumbs-up is worth it.

“This is not to say that operators should not have a Facebook presence,” reads the report. “Indeed, we have seen solid evidence from around the world that social media -- operators’ own support websites, Facebook, Twitter, and other user-driven tools -- can help reduce support costs. For those tasks, we recommend social media. But we have yet to see Facebook as a solid driver for leads and sales.”

Wait until Facebook installs a “Dislike” button and we’ll really see corporate America run for the hills.
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