Do I follow the Best Practices?

When beginning to search for the best practices of Twitters and Blogs, it may be prudent to review the general rules of effective social media. Originality, authenticity, and being first to break the news in the market can create a legion of followers (University of Tennessee, 2013-21014). Objectively speaking, what is the incentive for someone to follow a source that is a copy of someone else’s work and is yesterday’s news?

For Twitter it is relevant to re-examine what Mark Schaefer espoused in creating a reasonable foundation to build from. To begin with the manager of the Twitter presence must be committed to building a following of around 200 people. In order to do this it requires the discipline and time to send Tweets several times a day. The drive to build quantity must be balanced with a commitment for quality. (Schaefer, 2014).

Tweeting can be a source of information or the driver of people to visit your blog. Consequently, there are many ways people can view your Tweets. For example, how might a hashtag or search influence who, how, and the frequency that your Tweet is seen. It is helpful to remember, that some times less of a message can be more impactful. Some experts suggest that your Tweet should only be 120 characters as that will provide others more room to do a Retweet. Use services like HootSuite, TweetDeck and Buffer to schedule and deploy Tweets on a regular basis during regular business hours. Also, be sensitive not to send Tweets during emergencies (Denovati Group, 2013-2014).

Blogging and Tweeting according to some experts are blurring in their respective abilities to deliver value/message to those using Social Media. For this portion of this manuscript, we will now focus on how a few of the best practices of blogging should be considered for implementation. It seems logically that a blog would have a broad policy or strategy that validates their purpose. One of the jobs a blog can do is help improve the search results. Besides compelling content, the blog needs to have a voice, in essence a voice that is desirable and identifiable. One of the jobs a blog can do is help improve the search results. Therefore, use of key words can help organically grow the search effort. Final item a list of expert suggestions is to link the blog from the company website.

Comcast is expanding its “See It” platform, which turns Twitter into a remote control, by adding a variety of networks (Ad Age, 2013). This technology is a tremendous step forward of combining social media and telecommunication to heighten the customer experience. If this is combination is successful, then the synergy from these entities will help to lengthen the product/industry life cycle for this sector of telecommunications.

One of the most visible and trusted aspects of blogs are the forums found through Broadband DSL Reports. A wide range of topics are explored across the spectrum of telecommunications (Broadband DSL Reports, 2014). However, there is a high presence of consumers doing blogs in order to vent their displeasure with the telecommunications industry. The telecommunications industry cannot turn their backs on this vocal segment of customers and non-customers.

In conclusion, Twitter and the telecommunications industry intersect at the crossroads of product delivery and customer care. Twitter as a remote control and the use of Apps help to make the core telecommunications services a more robust customer experience. As mentioned in a previous post, Comcast’s initial leadership in using Twitter to remedy high-profile customer complaints has brought attention to their customer service efforts, yet has not dampened the major issues that continue to plaque that company and the larger industry. I did not find a lot of evidence of the telecommunications using Blogs other than their company websites and the forums found on Broadband DSL Reports.

The realization of more meaningful innovation is dependent upon a multitude of factors including the finite trait of time. One would have to ask does the telecommunications industry have enough time to figure out how to best use Social Media?


Advertising Age. (2013, December 11). Twitter ‘See It’ Button Adds More TV Networks and Cable Companies. Retrieved from.

Broadband DSL Reports. (2014). Forum home page. Retrieved from.

Comcast. (2013, October 9). Comcast Corporation, NBCUniversal and Twitter Form Social TV Strategic Partnership. Retrieved from.

The Denovati Group. (2013-2014). Twitter Best Practices: 11+ Tips for Tweeting Well. Retrieved from

Social Media B2B. (2014, June 4). 10 Business Blogging Best Practices. Retrieved from

Schaefer, Mark W. The Tao of Twitter. 2nd ed. McGraw-Hill, 2014 Print.

The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. (2012-2014). Best Practices for a Successful Social Media Presence. Retrieved from


Will a New Mission Statement Avoid Marketing Myopia for the Telecommunications Industry

To put it mildly, the telecommunications industry is playing catch up in embracing Social Media. One could raise the question is it time to reject Marketing Myopia, and redefine its mission statement and restate its purpose for serving customers. Others may argue that this sentiment is too harsh, and the telecommunications industry is already in the process of finding its niche to compatible with Social Media.

Early in this blog, discussion centered on the value of “TV everywhere” product as an attempt to expand the customer by empower them to view their cable subscription beyond the cable outlet in their house’s living room. A more refined approach, the “Contour” app from Cox Communication facilitates the TV everywhere concept, helps to tailor potential future viewing options for up to 8 family members, and raises the bar by empowering the DVR to record more shows for later viewing (Cox, 1998-2014). This particular service can be accessed on mobile devices and leverages various technologies in order to remain relevant in the marketplace.

Directv is embracing Social Media by encouraging people not to simply watch their shows, but to connect with them through Social Media. Directv is affording the people to do that on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Google+, and many other options (Directv, 2014). For example, you can get the latest news and interact with other customers on DIRECTV’s Facebook, Twitter and YouTube pages.  This service encourages this Directv customer to interact with other Directv customers with various Social Media tools.

There are some practical business concerns that should be addressed. One is the particular mode of Social Media a preferred medium of communication for sizeable (profitable) of the telecommunication’s customer base? Two can this venture be cost-justified?

In accessing what is the best way of doing business with customers may be appropriate to review the actual makeup of the customer base. A criterion to examine the depth of the customer base is using the Pareto Principle (80/20 Rule) to help identify which customers are the largest users of their market offerings. Or stated another way, who are the customers that the telecommunications can least afford to lose. Therefore, they become the high priority for Social media (Customer Retention Management) to maintain customer lifetime value, and the development of more services.

Yet another review of the customer base may indicate that the least profitable customers may need to be pruned from the ranks. Yes, this could be justified to reduce and retrench the magnitude of who the telecommunications serves. This would allow this industry to focus its core energies on reinventing itself to appeal to more of a niche audience. Consequently, some products could be sold off and the proceeds used to fuel new ventures.

A more growth-oriented strategy maybe for a teleco to merge with an emerging Social Media company. This could facilitate the expansion and spread the financial risk into new venture.

Something needs to be done as more cord-cutters and never had Cable households are growing. In essence, that means fewer customers taking traditional telecommunication services.   HBO long associated with the cable tv industry has announced plans to bypass the telecommunications platform and offer HBO Online (Time, 2014). HBO is currently a pay service that is added on top of your basic cable service. This move to HBO online would allow the entity to sell directly to residential customers and not require basic cable TV subscription.

While the telecommunications industry is still generating positive cash flow, it is showing signs of retreating customer counts and declining dominance as the customers’ top communication choice.   This week’s blog post sheds additional light on the need for this industry to redefine itself.

Building a Smarter Planet. (2014, February 24). How Social Media is Recasting Telecommunications

Retrieved from

Cox Communications. (1998-2014).   Introducing ContourSM from Cox. Retrieved from

DIRECTV. (2014). Direct TV social Retrieved from

Time. (2014, October 15). It’s Not TV. And It’s Not Cable. It’s HBO, Online. Retrieved from

Apps Aren’t Saving the Telecommunications Industry

Through the first two blogs we have explored the relationship of social media and our particular sector of the telecommunications industry. Plus, a limited perspective of social media being used by the telecommunications industry. As of this writing, it appears as if social media is gaining the value-added, revenue winning side of the equation.

According to Alan Quayle, business and service expert, there are few apps made to feature or leverage the telecommunications industry. Unfortunately, there are the obvious apps for the mobile devices, and the apps for the over the top technology like Skype that are enjoying great success.   Over the top technologies and social media giants like Facebook glean significant revenue and further erode the audio staples of the telephone companies (Fortune, 2014). As mentioned in an earlier blog post, Social one, the app organizer of Time Warner Cable was gaining some visibility on Oceanic Time Warner Cable’s web site. As it is implied in some of the readings, for the right entrepreneur there may be opportunities for further app development in the telecommunications field.

Previously, we learned how Comcast was using Twitter to seek out and resolve customer issues. The mimicking of their competitors is illustrated by Cox having a gripe connection to allow greater access to upset customers through Twitter, Facebook, and even Google+ (GripeO, 2014). This particular customer service is not an inexpensive endeavor, therefore, the expansion of this type of service across the industry must now be the new threshold for taking care of customers.

One of the major shortcomings of the cable and satellite connections for their customers is being tied down to the customer’s residential dwelling. One of the bright spots of the cable business is a brand new concept called TV Everywhere, where the video can be enjoyed outside of the wired home. More specifically, the Oceanic Time Warner cable system provides a wide array of services that features apps to leverage the cable customers’ mobile device in attempt to provide video channel specific services outside of the home. Examples of apps include, but not limited to NBC Sports Live extension enabled an app for IOS and Android devices, HBO to Go, EPIX with over 3,000 Hollywood movies and originals (Oceanic Time Warner Cable, 2014). This portfolio of apps truly addresses a traditional weakness of the housebound cable service. Essentially, now a customer with the appropriate cable services, app, and compatible mobile device can enjoy a more seamless delivery system, when they opt to take their viewing outside of the house.

In addition, Oceanic Time Warner is one of many Telecommunications providers that offers Intelligent Home app that controls your home security system which is delivered over your cable connection.   This latter offering is a natural way for the telecommunication suppliers to gain synergy by delivering multiple products through the same connection. These multiple products, or bundling of services, is an example of an integrated horizontal growth strategy. This is a new twist on the traditional triple play of video, voice, and data plans.

The question remains are these new attempts at customer service, the new TV Everywhere service, and the new product offering of home security helping to improve the subscriber and profit potential of the telecommunications industry? The answer is a resounding no. In 2013, the Cable Television business had its first aggregate reduction in net customers’ year-over-year. Along with this reduction in patrons, the industry is realizing a growing number of households that never had cable, in spite of a greater and larger number of households viewing video online (Bloomberg, 2014). Further review of a recent Fortune article showed, the traditional telephone business in deep retreat with over the top providers, and other alternative providers, causing a tidal wave of billions in dollars in losses.   The one bright spot for the telecommunications industry is its broadband division. However, it is showing some stress as alternative providers are seeking greater market presence.

In closing, there appears to be clear evidence of the presence of social media and apps in this sector of the telecommunications business. Yet, it does seem as if these features are contributing to positive growth for the overall industry.

Alan Quayle. (2014). The Difference between Mobile App and Telecom App Developers Retrieved from

Bloomberg. (2014, March 19). TV Subscriptions Fall for First Time as Viewers Cut the Cord Retrieved from

Fortune. (2014, June 23). Telecom companies count $386 billion in lost revenue to Skype, WhatsApp, others. Retrieved from

GripeO. (2014). Cox Communications – Customer Service. Retrieved from

Oceanic Time Warner Cable. (1997-2014). TV everywhere. Retrieved from

A New Playing Field

When thinking about which one was first in our lives, the Internet (Super Information Highway) or Social Media, I am reminded of the proverbial theoretical question, “What came first? The chicken or the egg?”

Today’s popular belief is the early Internet provided the foundation for the recent rise of Social Media. Others argue a different paradigm, during the formative years of the Internet, primitive Social Media tools were also taking root. During the 1970’s and 1980’s, when the Internet was just beginning to be commercialized for public users, Social Media was present. For example, the Bulletin Board System (BBS), which allowed users to share information over telephone lines and cable modems; as well as CompuServe that permitted users to share files (Digital Trends, 2014). Please remember that personal computers and home access to narrowband Internet from 1975-1985 was emerging.

One could extrapolate from this beginning paragraph; what your definition of Internet or Social Media is may determine which came first.

A Vice President that I worked with in the telecommunications during the 1990’s and early 2000’s said, he did not understand why my department was advocating faster speeds for our residential broadband Internet service. We argued that it was a proactive way of gaining and retaining more narrowband Internet customers before they drifted to (telephone) DSL. He suggested that faster speeds made it easier for alternative video providers like Netflix to erode our core cable TV video service, and indirectly reduce the number of households that might see paid cable TV advertisements. Plus, better Internet speeds were enabling VOIP providers to accelerate the decline of landline phones. Consequently, his argument implied that the Cable pipe would become a “dumb” pipe and be little more than a commodity hauler of other people’s content.

Looking in the rear view mirror of life from the front seat of 2014, not only was he correct about those early identified competitors; but that same level of logic could be applied towards today’s conflict with Social Media.

How can there be conflict between Social Media and the telecommunication industry?

First, the volume of YouTube videos that are played on a daily basis over a broadband Internet connection. Plus, the viewership of the accompanying advertisements of those Internet videos will reduce the time available to view those same ads on cable/satellite channels like ESPN and M-TV. Thus, the growth of YouTube along with Netflix is further eroding cable/satellite’s subscriber base.

Services like Facebook riding on the telecommunications super information highway is in many ways giving people to a better of way communicating with people. Resulting in the loss of business for the United States Post Service, Telephone companies, and cable TV phone providers.

Cell phones not only exacerbated the decline of landline phones, but cell phones loaded with enabling apps are now driving Internet traffic away from the cable/satellite companies “dumb” pipe. This recent development is further reducing the need for these telecommunication providers.

The writer is not suggesting that we return to a simpler time without social media. Rather, the marketplace has shifted and the telecommunications industry needs to change in order to remain relevant. Here are two examples of how the telecommunications industry is reacting.

Comcast started in 2009 following up with select customers, who were openly upset with recent or current service problems using Twitter. Comcast began to interact in the customer’s domain, and quickly moved the discussion to a safer environment where more personal information needed to be shared (Bloomberg, 2009). The beauty of this initial overture by Comcast was to publicly acknowledge their shortcomings and demonstrate that they were taking action in front of a larger audience. The hope is that the now happy customer will return to that public forum and sing the praises of this telecommunication giant.

Late in 2012, Time Warner Cable recognized the reality that social media is more the norm, and decided to plunge into world of social media by contributing a free application. This app called “Social One” is a one-stop destination that allows customers to easily access social media platforms and instant messaging services, directly from their desktop, using an innovative and easy-to-follow layout. Supposedly, it works well with Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Foursquare, YouTube, AIM and more, so users can stay connected to all of their networks and friends from one place (Pivot Media, 2012).

One could conclude that both entities will continue for the near-term. However, it is a changing landscape; where the future looks bright for social media, and days of the “dumb” pipe appear more common for the telecommunications industry.

Bloomberg Business Week. (2009, January, 13). “Comcast’s Twitter Man.” Retrieved from

Digital Trends. (2014, August 5). “The history of social networking.” Retrieved from

Pivot Media. (201, October 25). Telecompetitor, “Time Warner Cable Launches Social Media Tool”

Retrieved from

Comparison of Social Media

How does one start a new and useful blog talking about some of the largest mainstream social media tools, and their possible connection to selected segments in the telecommunications industry? When you think about it, most people under 40 years of age use or have used these and other social media tools on a regular basis. For them, a world without relying on social media has not existed for some time.

Maybe the place to start is with level-setting on some fundamental assumptions on how these tools are used.

LinkedIn is currently the most significant tool for those pursuing professional careers. Job seekers know that once they submit an application for employment this social media tool along with their other Internet participation will come under scrutiny. Likewise, the power of this portfolio can be unleashed in the job search while one is gainfully employed, and seeking a new employment address. Some might suggest the latter effort is the more difficult journey and LinkedIn provides cover to this stealth like activity of when seeking a fresh start to work. Typically, it is thought of as “the” serious social media tool. It has been a decade plus since we have experienced a robust economy, I wonder if LinkedIn could become less relevant in a world filled with ample jobs?

Facebook is the fun or lighthearted way to keep connected with friends and family. Unfortunately, many people have chosen poorly on what they share. While others have used this tool to engage across generations and distance places to stay in touch with their own selected very important people (VIP). In some ways, it stays true to its roots of origin as its users strive to stay in touch with persons of interest. From another perspective, its average user is aging fast, and is losing some of its luster to the next wave of adopters. I have often thought that Facebook is too true to be good, and may go the way of Myspace in the coming years.

Twitter is the way to stay in touch, promote, and generally communicate with other using up to 140 characters. Surprisingly, more and more readings suggest that this can be a good tool for job seekers. While the other tools have a more clearly defined professional or personal track, Twitter is becoming accepted as a tool that can operate in both spheres of influence. Unfortunately, it is a tool that requires people to be active in the tool to stay interesting and cultivate a tribe of followers. In conclusion, critics might suggest it is a lot of work and is the reason that so many people fall into the category of formers.

I am curious if you feel it might be worth exploring in future blog posts a discussion on former social media users?

All three companies have scaled and are publicly traded companies. With that infusion of capital comes more resources and more pressures to grow and continue that growth. All three icons are often associated with worldwide product brands; which is one example that they are part of the larger mainstream of society, let alone the tools of acceptance in the Social Media world. Conversely, detractors might argue that because of this “main stream acceptance,” they are losing some of their competitive edge and appeal to some audience that want an edgier experience.

Please allow me to touch briefly on next week’s topic of how might these three social media entities be impacting the telecommunications industry? More specifically, the cable television and satellite dish for the purposes of our dialogue will be an initial subset of the telecommunication industry that will be examined.

From a relationship perspective, it might be helpful to understand that the cable television and satellite dish industries are much broader than their brand names might suggest. It is normal for the larger Multiple System Operators (MSO) in the cable television industry to have a triple or quad play of offerings of cable TV, landline phone, cell phone, and Internet. Likewise, Direct TV or Dish networks mostly like have working alliances with the telephone company and cell phone companies that allows them to also offer up their version of a quad play in most metropolitan markets in North America.

Therefore, when you realize a deeper understanding of the telecommunications industry it opens up a greater array of gateways for possible mutual need, conflict, and competition.

A thought to contemplate for next week is where would the Social Media tools of LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter be without the Super Information Highway that the telecommunications industry provides?

Comcast Communications. (2014). Retrieved from
Cox Communications. (1998-2014). Retrieved from
Direct TV. (2014). Retrieved from
Facebook. (2014). Retrieved from
LinkedIn. (2014). Retrieved from
Twitter. (2014). Retrieved from