It is almost impossible to say “social media” without “Philippines” included in the context. According to the study entitled “Power To The People – Wave3”, which was sponsored by the research firm Universal McCann, 83 per cent of the Philippine population are members of at least one social network and most of their time spend on the internet consist of engaging in social networking activities, such as connecting and engaging social network contacts, posting and viewing videos, photos, and blog posts. A significant fraction also goes to the Internet to shop online.
Results from the survey revealed that Filipinos are regarded as among the world’s top uploaders of photos and videos, as well as being top web video viewers in the world. The Philippines’ extensive use of social media networks and its undying love for social networking were quite evident when Friendster, then the world’s most popular social networking site, was introduced to Filipinos in the early 2000s.
David Jones, vice president for global marketing of Friendster, revealed that most of their traffic came from Southeast Asia, particularly from the Philippines and Indonesia. Visitors from the Philippines, said Jones, comprised a solid 39 per cent of the total visitors of Friendster during the site’s heydays.
Multiply, another big social networking site, mentioned Philippines as one of the website’s steady sources of heavy traffic. Approximately 2.2 million Multiply users are Filipinos, outnumbering some nationalities with bigger population bases such as United States, India, and Brazil. Peter Pezaris, president and founder of Multiply, added that Filipino members are responsible for uploading 1 million photographs on a daily basis.
The strong participation of Filipino internet users, which has grown immensely in the last couple of years, rightfully merited the moniker
“the social networking capital of the world,”
by Universal McCann. But from a business standpoint, what does this mean exactly for social media marketing and for businesses whose core strategies are built on social media?
As one analyst puts it,
“if almost everyone in the Philippine populace are so connected with the internet and are quite passionate about the social networking, then having them work in the field of social media marketing would be quite easy for them.”
Filipinos, they say, are very productive when they work on something they are very passionate about. That and the fact that Philippines boasts of one of the most highly skilled and qualified IT and BPO workforces in the world are some of the reasons why outsourcing social media-related work to the Philippines is a very brilliant idea.
What Social Media Marketing Means To Your Business
The age of the Internet and mobile communications has ushered a lot of things. One of them is enabling people to connect to one another regardless of time and distance. But the Internet does not only bring its advantages to the table – it is also responsible for displacing several traditions and systems that have been in place for decades and decades, and have served many people well.
For instance, the postal mail system is now a dying practice. Rarely do you see or hear people still writing each other letters and sending them via the post office. The advent of the internet brought with it a new way of communicating – emails, chat, and even voice calls from computer to computer. Another trend that stemmed from the internet is online commerce. People are no able to buy and sell anything and everything on the internet using the computers, laptops, even mobile phones.
The point being driven at here is that the Internet’s presence has brought changes on how people live their lives. And in more ways than one, the Internet has multiple effects on how businesses are being done today. Sure, you still see TV commercials day in and day out. There are still printed advertisements that appear on the pages of your favorite newspaper or magazine. But here’s the thing: everything, as far as business goes, is changing. Mega corporations and small to medium enterprises are now going to social media for exposure, brand recognition, and realization of their business goals. And if you want to keep your business alive and compete in this modern age, social media marketing should be a core variable in your business affairs.
It matters to have a business name people can easily relate to and rely upon. But if you still rely on old traditional methods of business marketing, then it won’t be long until the competition takes over your share of the market and your enterprise. Sure, placing a commercial in TV and putting your business in the Yellow Pages may still get you some customers. Social media marketing, on the other hand, can significantly widen your business’ range, attract potential customers, and establish more client bases and connections.
What Social Media Marketing Can Do For You
People are now hooked to Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, just some of the social networking sites popular today. And by popular, it means millions of people all over the world log on every single day, exchanging comments, posting videos, sharing photos, and preaching just about everything they want the rest of the world to know. What you need to understand is this:
They could be exchanging comments about your business, your product or service;
They could be posting videos that relate to what you do, what you sell or offer;
They could be sharing and spreading photos of your business establishment;
They could be spreading good things about you and your enterprise.
They could do all that. They could all be talking about your business, spreading a good word about your products and services, and instilling a bit of curiosity to others. With the right and sound social media networking strategy in place, your business can greatly benefit greatly. Social media networking does not just entails creating an online presence, building a Facebook profile or registering with Twitter. You need to interact with your existing clients, build ties with potential customers, and watch how your competition is doing.
How in the world can social networking sites serve your business, you ask? Facebook, for instance, have more than 500 million users all over the world. Facebook has allowed almost every one to talk about anything and everything, accompanied by images and videos. Imagine if you can tap into just 1 per cent of that figure, if you can male even the slightest fraction of that number into talking positively about your business, then it won’t be long before others follow suit.
When you provide content about what you sell or offer, assuming that the content is newsworthy, attractive, and appealing to internet users, there is a good chance that the content you share will go viral and reaches multitudes of people. This is very true especially if the content is so good that it encourages readers to spread the word further. The message becomes more trustworthy if it comes from someone readers trust, although it may come from the brand or the company itself.
As it always has been, word of mouth remains to be the best advertising method.
From a business viewpoint, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and other social networking sites are communities that represent potential markets for your products and services. Tap them right and you might just see your business boom exponentially.
But social media networking is not as easy as building a Facebook profile, according to Ramon Ray, founder of SmallBzTechnology.com and author of The Facebook Guide to Small Business Marketing. Most business owners fail to see that social media networking is a business strategy. If you are to drive your business to its corporate goals using social media networks, you have to do more than just post your products in your Facebook page.
How Facebook Becomes An Essential Tool in the Social Media Business
As mentioned earlier, Facebook has over 500 million members from all over the world. In an instant, Facebook can be an effective business marketing tool. But do not think for one second that you should use Facebook to sell whatever it is that you are selling. Says Ramon Ray, author of the book The Facebook Guide to Small Business Marketing and founder of SmallBzTechnology.com, it is unwise to launch a Facebook profile page for your business if you do not have a functional website, appealing and relevant content, and email marketing mechanisms in place.
“It’s a waste of time to spend hours posting on Facebook if your site sucks,”
Ray highlights in an interview with Forbes Magazine.
Most people sell stuff through Facebook and admittedly, many of them have found relative success. That being said, Ray highly suggests using Facebook as a means to connect and interact with potential customers and existing clients rather than sell stuff. Having good quality content posted in a well-designed and completely significant website is the best way to connect with people aside from interacting with them via Facebook.
Interaction with customers and probable clients does not only mean letting them know where you eat or where are planning to go on a vacation. Rather, you use Facebook to introduce what you offer, get them an insight to your business’s products, and get them to know how your services can improve their lives.
“The key to Facebook is getting people to know, like, and trust you,”
says Ray. Once you get them to do just that, they are likely to sell whatever stuff you are peddling.
Aside from online interaction, one can also use Facebook to gather data such as trends, mentions, analytics and other critical information a business owner can use to analyze the performance of his enterprise as well as provide him input about the movement of his competitors. You can start by studying how many “Likes” your business receives on a regular basis and compare it to your competition.
A tool called Facebook Insights enables you to trace your incoming traffic. You will get to know important details such as the demographics of your visitors, like their age, gender, ad where they come from among other things. And there’s more. Facebook Insights is free for every user.
A number of Facebook applications, or apps, are now becoming the new best friends for online entrepreneurs. There are quite a few of them created specifically to help online businesses in so many levels. For example, the app “Fan of The Week”, which is developed by Facebook, allows you to point out fans from your list of contacts. Simply put, you are putting them on the spotlight, which in turn, encourages them to create buzz for you and your business.
Another popular Facebook app for business is the Facebook Check In Deals. This app is specially engineered to attract customers by parading your store’s promos.
Ray urges business owners to post in Facebook frequently with updates and relevant information, as this proves to be very beneficial from a business perspective. And it is free. That said, Ray says that shelling out money is not a bad idea at all.
“Pay a few extra bucks to have sponsored posts amplify your message,”
Ray advises, referring to Facebook Promoted Posts. These paid posts are very visible, strategically placed in the upper portion of your contacts’ news feeds. Each post has a flat fee. Once the fee is paid, you can specify a limited number of users who will receive the update.
The important thing when you want to use Facebook apps for your social media marketing strategy is to define first your goals. According to Ray, establishing your goals will help you lay out your plans on how to use Facebook effectively. Are you looking to use Facebook to introduce your products and services? Do you want to utilize Facebook to increase your sales? Or do you just plan to establish and increase your business presence in the World Wide Web?
Being specific with your business goals will narrow down the Facebook apps you might need to help you get things done. Bear in mind that you need to do this prior to the start of your Facebook marketing endeavors and not during the implementation of your marketing drive. Otherwise, you might end up wasting time and effort in your Facebook marketing offense.
Want to know the trends in social media marketing this year? Check it out here.