Research Notes

Strand Consult identifies 5 Good aspects of Facebook for mobile operators

Strand Consult has just published the results of its global investigation of mobile operators worldwide and their use of Facebook.  While our analysis pointed out more negatives than positives for operators, we found 5 ways which operators can benefit from Facebook.  Mobile operators want a big win from Facebook, such as the creation of a new sales channel or the ability to turn advertising into earned media. The reality of the benefits are more modest.  We caution operators about the risks of Facebook, but we don’t tell them to avoid the platform. 
Here are the 5 good things about Facebook for operators:

1. Facebook has value for mobile operators in customer support. For companies with high support costs, tapping the power of customers to help other customers can be important.  However, Facebook should be just one part of an operator’s customer support strategy, not the entirety.

2. People like to talk about their favorite movies, music, celebrities, sports and games on Facebook. To the extent that an operator has entertainment related products and services, Facebook can be a place to communicate with users. It is important however to maintain proprietary websites, email and other digital properties associated with the marketing so that conversations are not entirely on Facebook.

3. A number of operators use Facebook to encourage customers to top up their pre-paid mobile accounts.  Facebook is by no means the main channel for auto top up (it provides about 10% of operators traffic for auto top up), but it can be helpful.

4. Virtual operators tend to do better than network operators in Facebook, partly owning to the fact that MNVOs born digital have more digital savvy.  Compared to network operators, MNVOs have more followers as a portion of their subscriber base, and they have a sense of solidarity with their customers. Network operators can study their digital competitors for inspiration on Facebook and other marketing channels. 

5. Operators in emerging markets may do better in Facebook where there is a higher proportion of under 30 users on the internet, especially with entertainment marketing.  Also the leading Western consumer products brands may be less established in emerging countries on Facebook, creating a small window for operators to win mindshare and visibility on the platform. Mature markets in the West have a higher percentage of middle-aged and senior users. These use are on Facebook primarily to communicate with family and friends, not to engage with mobile operators.
You can read more about the 5 good things about Facebook as well as the Bad and Ugly threats and trends in our report The good, the bad and the ugly side of Facebook – A report that describes how Facebook affects the mobile industry strategically, operationally and financially  We discuss the opportunities and challenges of Facebook and suggest ways for mobile operators to respond.  Already a number of the world’s leading operators have purchased this report
Receive more information about this unique new report by simply sending us an e-mailIf you purchase the report, it can be on your desk immediately, giving you quality information about your Facebook strategy and evidence about operators’ challenges with Facebook.
More information: 

The good, the bad and the ugly side of Facebook – A report that describes how Facebook affects the mobile industry strategically, operationally and financially

Digital strategy for Telecom and Media industry

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