Page 1

AdNews: Telstra adopts social networking strategy

Page 1 of 1

Telstra adopts social networking strategy 17 Aug 2011 By Erin Smith (

In a push to engage with customers online, Telstra has teamed with Facebook to provide a new online chat service for customers with queries or who are looking to set up new accounts. The live chat function will enable customers to have access to the company outside of business hours and 24 hours a day. Telstra already has a twitter account which it set up in 2009 and 20% of tweets to @telstra are after hours. This new social networking tool is in response to changing consumer patterns. Telstra will actively approach its customers, rather than having customers approach them. According to Tesltra's head of digital, Gerd Schenkel: “It seems natural that we are there when we’re needed by our customers, which is why our social media support team is now available 24/7. “Facebook is one of the largest destinations of the internet that consumers are using today and we would like to give access to Telstra's products and services where customers already are. We want a presence in an online world where people are already comfortable. Our customers don't have to leave the Facebook environment to enter the Telstra environment to ask questions, we are going to them. This will avoid unanswered questions building up over time and will increase customer satisfaction.” This move comes at a competitive time. Google's recent move to acquire Motorola Mobility for $US12.5 billion is an obvious concern for Telstra. Google will run Motorola as a separate business, continuing to use Google's Android operating system. Telstra also uses this same operating system and will now compete with Google as a manufacturer. But according to Telstra's chief David Thodey: ‘‘One of the things I think Google has realised is that ... to make a very good user experience, the operating system on the phone and the hardware really need a deeper level of integration.’’ ‘‘For us, having local content [and] local capability is enormously important to someone like Google. For example, in the small business area they don’t have people going out talking to small business every day — we do.’’ Telstra believes its advantage is in its customer service. According to Schenkel: “Customer service is becoming more important for every industry and in particular Telstra which is becoming increasingly focused on sales and marketing, while, of course, not losing its core trait of network engineering.”



17/08/2011 ‘‘For us, having local content [and] local capability is...