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Less than 2% 'Like' mobile carriers despite millions spent on Facebook campaigns

Zach Epstein
May 22nd, 2012 at 11:20 AM

Less than 2% of mobile carriers’ subscribers “Like” them on Facebook despite the millions of dollars they collectively spend in an effort to promote their services on the world’s most popular social network. Facebook made its initial public offering on Friday and while the company’s stock price dipped below the IPO price of $38 on Monday and continued to slide on Tuesday, Facebook’s offering was the biggest Internet IPO of all time by nearly 10 times. There is no denying that Facebook and the 900 million people who use the social network are of tremendous value to businesses looking to promote their services, but mobile carriers have seemingly not found success thus far as they attempt to bolster Facebook fan counts.

According to a recent report from market research firm Strand Consult, mobile carriers are wasting millions trying to promote their services on Facebook. Following discussions with a number of carriers around the world as well as an extensive study, the firm found that an average of less than 2% of carriers’ customers are fans of them on Facebook despite substantial resource investments.

Internationally, Strand found that no network operator covered in its study was liked by more than 4% of its subscriber base. In the United States, the firm looked at Verizon Wireless, AT&T and Sprint, and found that none of the nation’s top-3 carriers even broke the 3% mark.

“We were especially surprised when we looked at the American operators, Verizon, AT&T and Sprint, operators that spend millions of dollars in marketing and have internal and external teams working on Facebook,” Strand analysts wrote in a research note discussing the study. “For all their work, they can’t budge much above 2%. Such small results hardly seem worth the effort.”

Strand Consult clarified that it does not believe wireless service providers should forgo a Facebook presence, but it says the benefits of companies’ efforts on Facebook are not yet clear. Companies focus on likes because results are easily measured, but true return may lie elsewhere.

“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,” Strand wrote. “For those tasks, we recommend social media. But we have yet to see Facebook as a solid driver for leads and sales.”

Zach Epstein

Zach Epstein has worked in and around ICT for more than 15 years, first in marketing and business development with two private telcos, then as a writer and editor covering business news, consumer electronics and telecommunications. Zach’s work has been quoted by countless top news publications in the US and around the world. He was also recently named one of the world's top-10 “power mobile influencers” by Forbes, as well as one of Inc. Magazine's top-30 Internet of Things experts.

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