Telecoms Push Customer Service On Social Networks, Engagement Still Lags

Competition breeds innovation, and few markets are more cutthroat than telecommunications. As a result, phone carriers like Verizon and T-Mobile are setting a new standard for customer service, or at least on social channels like Facebook.
 
In February, the four most “socially devoted Facebook brands” were all phone carriers, according to new data from social analytics firm Socialbakers.
 
Measured in terms of response times and response rates, T-Mobile led the pack last month, followed by Straight Talk, Verizon Wireless, and U.S. Cellular.
 
“The brands with the highest fan count aren’t necessarily the ones that are engaging the most with their fans,” Michaela Bránová, data analyst at Socialbakers, said on Tuesday.
 
“Traditionally, there is a high social-care demand for brands in the telecommunications industry -- they receive a high volume of fan questions and in-bound requests on social media channels,” Bránová explained. “It’s interesting to see that these brands are beginning to meet this demand, as all the top U.S. brands in social care are from the telecom industry.”
 
Engaging consumers on social channels is another story, however.
 
In February, Starbucks’ Evolution Fresh juice brand saw the highest engagement rates on Facebook, followed by Sheraton Waikiki, the spirits specialists at DeKuyper USA and Patrón XO Café, and Ameriprise Financial.
 
Measured by followers alone, the most popular brands on Facebook remained Walmart (with over 32 million fans), Amazon (with nearly 22 million fans) and Target (with north of 21 million fans).
 
Overall, “the biggest industries we’re seeing by sum of fans on social-media pages are in the consumer-goods space,” Bránová said on Tuesday. “We see this reflected by the top Facebook brands by followers.”
 
Among media companies, Disney held onto the top spot on Facebook (with nearly 12 million fans), followed by MTV (with about 9 million fans), and ESPN (with over 6 million fans).

In February, no single post received more attention than CVS’ decision to stop selling tobacco in all of its 7,600 stores by Oct. 1, 2014.
 
During the month, the post racked up more than half-a-million interactions -- including about 350,000 “likes,” 29,000 comments and 153,000 shares. It resulted in a staggering engagement rate of 41.5%.
 
Bud Light’s picture of a digital clock that reads, “BEER:30” did pretty well, too -- and likely attracted a far more possible response that CVS’ announcement. During February, the post drew 360,000 interactions -- including 246,000 likes, more than 5,000 comments and about 100,000 shares -- which equated to an engagement rate of nearly 5%.

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