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Social Media Public Relations for the Telecom Industry - How Social Media is Shaping Marketing Strategies for Telecom & Other Industries

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Author: Laura Borgstede

Social media marketing is an ideal tool for marketing in a broad range of industries, but nowhere is it more relevant than in the technology-driven, early adopter environment of the telecom industry. Leaders in the telecom sector succeed and thrive based on how innovative they are—not just in the technologies, applications and services they produce, but also in the tools they use to communicate that innovation to the world.

It is imperative that the companies redefining the way the world communicates fully embrace the latest social media tools that their own technology innovation is enabling.

Does Social Media Influence Buyers?

As progressive online marketers, companies in the telecom sector must use customer behavior to promote their brands to their target audiences, Telecom companies can no longer simply issue information to the media in hopes that their stories will be picked up. They also must work with communications experts who can help them tell their stories directly to the public to spark customer conversations.

A professional, comprehensive social media strategy for marketing and public relations should be shaped by the fact that a media revolution has already transformed the way people gather and consume information:

• Press releases are now being posted verbatim on search engine news sites as well as on customer blogs, becoming materials which are marketed directly to the customer.
• Marketing and public relations outlets are being used to communicate brand messages simultaneously to customers and media.
• People are often placing greater credibility on social media and user-generated content than professionally written editorial reviews and information.
• Peers are considered the most respected source of information, according to many studies.

The new approach is the simple concept of capturing your audience to tell them a compelling story about your brand and product that will fuel conversations long after an advertisement, event, press release or news story has appeared.

Social Media and Telecom
There are many social media platforms that telecom companies can leverage to get the word out about your product and influence what people think of it. Some of these include:

• LinkedIn
o A B2B Social media platform used by more than 30 million professionals in 150 industries, with an online network full of industry experts willing to share advice, and is an easy way for people to ask business questions, and for you to share your knowledge.

• Facebook
o Telecom industry businesses can create their own Facebook page and get a community of users who are interested in their products and services as well as provide feedback.

Worldwide, nearly 600 million people visited an online social network in June 2008, according to industry trackercomScore.,,24179201-11869,00.html The leading social networking sites are:
• Bebo
• Facebook
• Friendster
• Hi5
• MySpace
• Orkut
These social media sites added 88 million new visitors in the first half of the year and users keep coming back. 96% of online tweens and teens log onto a social network at least weekly.

Social Media Marketing & PR

In order to build awareness of your company's brand inside and outside of the telecom industry, you need to get volumes of conversations going online.

For example, many telecom-related blogs now generate so much reader feedback and commentary that traditional media are increasingly turning to them for insight and analysis. Social media is so effective because it is seen as a trusted resource with no stake in the outcome of people's decisions. In addition, the opportunity to get customer feedback as well as expert advice and support for free is incredibly valuable.

Social media is about getting involved in the "conversation". Online communities don't like the interference of advertising and may even ban users that post commercial messages. Social media PR done well allows you to intelligently market to customers without them realizing it.

The key to a successful social media public relations and marketing program in the telecom industry is developing content angles and pitches that will resonate with your targeted audiences. It's important to start conversations with customers and the media that influence those customers. By doing that, a company can capture and communicate relevant stories to the right audiences, making them brand enthusiasts.

Social Media Marketing & PR Campaign Goals

Your company should engage with an experienced marketing firm to help determine your goals for a social media program. They may vary from these goals and therefore so will the tactics.

The primary goal of a Social Media Marketing or PR campaign is the same as a traditional marketing or PR campaign - To deliver your company and product key messages to key audiences. Audiences that will influence purchase, investment and recruiting.

Secondary goals include:

• Generate awareness an buzz around your company and brand
• Influence sales by creating awareness
• Drive traffic to your company's website for more information
• Enhance brand equity and product awareness for new and existing customers
• Generate as much social media exposure as possible on high-traffic sites
• Identify influencers and power users in target customer social media sites
• Push linking to increase search engine optimization (SEO) results

Read a detailed version of the Social Media Public Relations and Marketing whitepaper.

About the author: Laura Borgstede is the CEO of Calysto Communications since its founding in 1999. As CEO of Calysto, she leads a team of more than 50 senior-level professionals who manage PR campaigns for b-to-b and b-to-c companies of all sizes in the broadcasting, telecommunications and wireless fields. She has successfully managed hundreds of company and product launches and public relations campaigns, beginning with the first digital network launch, the first commercial wireless phone and the first wireless data applications. Her expertise in the wireless and telecom markets allows her to have extremely close relationships with the editors and analysts in senior positions in these industries. She founded a conference/events trade newsletter called PR Vibes in 2000 to help busy executives keep up with the tradeshows, forums, expos and conferences in the communications technologies fields. Laura may be contacted at

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