Can social selling help telcos win the acquisition war?

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150 years after the American Civil War, there’s another showdown brewing in the US of A. But this time, it’s not being fought with bowie knives and Colt revolvers, it’s being fought with tweets and hashtags.

“#Jerks”, says John Legere, CEO of T-Mobile - firing a broadside at AT&T. “We’re coming for your spot,” he snarls, menacing top dogs, Verizon. “Crap network,” he sneers, lobbing a hand grenade at Sprint.

So far, his opposite numbers have largely remained above the fray. But this response - and its accompanying image - from Sprint’s newbie CEO, Marcelo Claure, is more than telling:

“I just finished my second week as CEO of @sprint and all these were my assignments. All completed!!!”

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Which referral gimmicks does he mean? I’m pretty sure he’s talking about T-Mo’s “Refer-a-Friend” programme, which offers unlimited 4G data plus a $25 voucher to anyone recruiting a pal.

Now, there’s nothing unusual about the campaign - referral programmes are ten a penny - but the tone is unapologetically aggressive. And Legere’s rhetoric which surrounded its launch was doubly so. Having previously accused his rivals of “raping” their customers (casually


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Who are your Facebook neighbours?

Who are your social neighbours?

Community. Peers. Group. Network. Friends and followers and contacts. There's almost as many terms for 'them people wot you know' in social media as there are social networks. But you know and I know that lots of the people you 'know' are, in fact, complete and utter strangers. Maybe you met them at a conference for three-and-a-half seconds. Maybe you liked their avatar. Maybe they're a friend of a friend of someone you met at a conference who had a nice avatar.

Which got me thinking: do I actually have as much in common with the next person along in Facebook's random ID numbering as I do with some of the people I'm supposedly 'friends' with? Well, let's take a look...

First, I need to find my Facebook ID number. That's easily done by visiting http://findmyfacebookid.com and popping in the URL of my Facebook profile.

Next I need to add and subtract 'one' from that number and visit the neighbouring profiles by appending them to "www.facebook.com/". And here they are (pixellated somewhat to protect the innocent... and me):

facebook neighbours

I was hoping for Barack Obama and Lady Gaga, but no - to the left, there's the lovely


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