Our Analysis of BSNL’s Social Media Efforts on Twitter – Huge Improvements Necessary

Given the importance of BSNL as India’s national telecom operator we had taken to writing about BSNL. Others don’t get us wrong when we brand BSNL as India’s national telecom operator – they are owned by Govt. of India and still offer unmatched services throughout India. In the recent months we made few stories on BSNL where the opinions we expressed were widely hailed by our readers, many of them BSNL users. In one of our stories, we had analyzed BSNL’s drawbacks and suggested how they can improve, particularly in supporting customers. Since then BSNL has taken to twitter and facebook to publicize their offerings and provide support.

BSNL’s Twitter Presence

BSNL has been on twitter since long. However in the recent past many new identities have popped up. While the new identities are set up attractively in a modern way (read background pictures etc.), the interaction they generate is really poor. BSNL probably mandated all circle’s to log on to twitter but many handles have gone dead after a brief period of activity. It’s due to this very reason that we had been emphasizing about having a single national level handle for a company of BSNL’s size. Let’s now delve deeper and analyze few twitter handles from BSNL.

@BSNLCorporate: This account is managed by a small Digital Media Consulting company, Golden Phoenix which came into existence in 2010.

What is Wrong Here?

  1. Though the twitter bio says @BSNLCorporate is the official page of BSNL there is no mention of this handle in BSNL’s Corporate website. A consulting company must advise a client to do this first. How do you expect customers to find the twitter handle or verify its veracity if it is not even mentioned in official website?bsnl_home
  2. Till last week one or two tweets used to come out from @BSNLCorporate every day. It increased last week just due to a contest organized which we would term as a desperate bid to earn some followers.
  3. @BSNLCorporate even seems to have made a vain bid to buy followers, a rampant malpractice on social media where follower count matters. The tweet has since been deleted!buy_foll
  4. Poor hashtag usage: Hashtags on social media are used to keep track of things in a better way. @BSNLCorporate used to come up with new hashtag everyday. Why not have a consistent hashtag – at least #BSNL. A search on twitter with #BSNL any time brings complaints from harrowed customers.random_hash

Golden Phoenix Expertise

This is their team (or no team??):gphoen_team

  1. They showcase just over 40 clients in their website and BSNL is by far their biggest client.
  2. Golden Phoenix themselves don’t tweet. Their twitter handle contains automatic posts from their facebook wall (notice fb.me URLs) and have barely 8 followers.gphoen_twgphoen_fb
  3. This is @BSNLCorporate’s first tweet. Would women like to comment on this?first_tweet


Other prominent twitter handles are @bsnlmobileindia, @BSNLLive3G (both linked on BSNL Corporate website’s homepage), @bsnl_karnataka and @BSNLKERALA. As per the information we have, BSNL circle social media presence is handled by designated BSNL employees and not by Golden Phoenix. They are doing a better job!

  1. @BSNLiVE3G has 2.5k followers with 299 tweets. @bsnlmobileindia has 1000+ followers with just 23 tweets! Again both these handles are not interactive. Only one way tweeting!Selection_069Selection_070
  2. I have got some of issues resolved through BSNL Karnataka and they are doing a wonderful job. They even respond after office hours and on holidays!
  3. @BSNLKERALA which was active in the initial days was offline for over a month’s period. Did this happen because a single person who handled the account went on leave? We don’t know! The account is active as of now.bsnl_kl

Ultimately all this will cause BSNL to draw a conclusion that social experiments were a big fail after investing huge amounts of time and money! 

BSNL according to us must make honest efforts to observe private players like Airtel, Vodafone, Tata Docomo who provide reasonable quality of support to customers. BSNL can’t afford to waste time here thinking of way ahead.

What Should have been Done?

  1. Instead of building new identities from scratch, old accounts could have been revived. If all you need is a new name, twitter allows you to rename accounts. This move could have brought in over a thousand followers at one go.
  2. Given the facts about Golden Phoenix highlighted above, they seem to have questionable expertise in building a brand’s social media presence. A larger and professional agency should have been hired.
  3. Corporate website and several circle websites do not have a twitter logo linking to their twitter presence. This makes it incredibly hard for anyone to find their twitter identity naturally leading to little or no interactions. This must change and all websites must have the right links prominently displayed.
  4. BSNL could easily send out emails and SMS to let customers know about twitter presence apart from putting up links on own websites.

It all boils down to experience and strategy when it comes to marketing a big brand. Let’s keep the facebook presence analysis for another day!

Readers, our questions to you are:

  1. Were you aware of BSNL’s twitter presence?
  2. Did you approach BSNL through twitter and get your problem solved? How does it compare to that of private operators?

Let us know your experience.

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  • Dushyant February 24, 2014 2:04 pm

    For online recharge kindly use bsnl site ” portal.bsnl.in/”. Do not recharge with any other Internet sites. I am sure online recharge complaints will be sort out. I have tried this and its amazing.
    Earlier I used other private service providers but atlast I found BSNL is better than all other and hence I switched again to it.

  • Manish February 23, 2014 11:28 pm

    Cracking news from Delhi:-

    Please don’t recharge from Airtel website. As most of the tariffs has been changed and is still not updated on it’s website. lots of complaints already flows on airtel facebook page. Even local local vendors also don’t get updated. i.e., web exclusive recharge from airtel shows 300MB 3G data on Rs. 102/- whereas this facility is actually available now on Rs. 101/-. There are also many blunder mistakes on their regular tariffs.

    Please consult Customer care before recharging.

    Thank you!!!

  • susanta February 23, 2014 10:50 pm

    What the f*** hell r they doing since last two days? Broadband, 3G, 2G totally down in approx entire north bengal.. cyber cafe out of order.. easy recharge out of order.. online recharge takes too much time or failed… customer care busy…

  • sam alex February 23, 2014 9:55 pm

    In facebook BSNL have two active accounts 1)BSNL India
    2)BSNL kottayam
    both are quite useful especially customers from Keralam.

  • S.Sudhakar February 23, 2014 7:31 pm

    Already the private operators themselves are not responding properly in social media and BSNL is one step behind the private operators.

    • Neha Chockalingam February 23, 2014 7:54 pm

      In which world are you living ?

      BSNL is no where near private operators they are following all dirty tactics and you say BSNL is behind private operators ?

      • Jerry Paul February 23, 2014 10:03 pm

        BSNL ahead AVOID is right statement dude.

      • S.Sudhakar February 24, 2014 1:32 am

        I hope you have eyes. I said that BSNL is behind the private operators (who are already worst according to me) in social media response.

  • AsitPaul February 23, 2014 6:27 pm

    Although @BSNLNE1 active on Twitter, I must say, Fb group named BSNL NE1: Mizoram: Meghalaya: Tripura, managed by Bsnl Ne1 officials are very active and helpful to Ne1.

  • Khurshid Alam February 23, 2014 4:37 pm

    Is there any online complaint portal for BSNL-EVDO (CDMA)?

    • pradeep February 23, 2014 7:48 pm

      Their is but
      no complaints are resolved
      it will be unresolved ever :) :)

  • Yogesh February 23, 2014 1:52 pm

    Many of my friends use BSNL 3G : 139rs/1GB n they r happy : they get speed of 2Mbps n so. Also here in Maharashtra : BSNL HAS a scheme name Krishi (KISAN, AGRI) card : Monthly rent 104 : n my friends get 1GB 2G/3G , 400 sms , Free group call , 400 local/std min. N they use this offer for last year n still get those benefits. Also many of my friends use BSNL broadband : 650 unlimited , rate may ve change now . N they use /download some 60 GB/month. N BSNL allow to use internet on roaming , n data tethering : using in modem , dongle, is allowed , while tata , reliance dont allow this. One problem is bsnl customer care service. N I am unable to open BSNL official website on android phone.I use tata / idea sim 2g prepaid.

    • sugu February 23, 2014 4:15 pm

      Do you use Opera? It changes the IP to a non Indian one…

      • sandeep February 23, 2014 8:42 pm

        Does it????

      • digs February 23, 2014 9:07 pm

        Seriously dude!! you download 60gb/month in 650 plan… @25kbps… Lol

        • Yogesh February 23, 2014 9:43 pm

          U ve not read it right : I clearly written : My friend , not me use 60 GB/month @ bsnl unlimited broadband plan. He use router : n use net in his PC, laptop , n 3 smartphones . May be @ ur place speed is less ,but here @ my Aurangabad city , Maharashtra BSNL is good.