Freeman Cebu Business

Choosing your social media partner

TRADE FORUM - Chris Malazarte - The Freeman

As I have mentioned in my previous column, everybody is getting into social media. And for companies who think that jumping into social media is as easy as opening a Facebook page, they are dead wrong. A lot of companies believe that they can run their own social media campaign on their own thinking that it’s just really a matter of signing up in Facebook or Twitter and post their wares there and they’re okay. They are the type who thinks that it’s enough to have a social media presence just to let their customers know that “We’re here.”

The reason why a lot of companies, especially the small ones, do not benefit from their online presence is not because they cannot afford to run a good campaign. It has something to do with the way they think of such campaigns believing that they can do much better their way without those campaigns. They are so laidback and utterly indifferent towards what’s going on in the internet and how they can benefit from it. And it’s been like this since the start of the internet here in the Philippines during the era of exporting.

I was among the few pioneering internet marketers back then who actively invited companies to start their own website because many of us already foresaw that marketing will be much different in the coming years. And it did. So by the time these obstinate and arrogant companies started to make their presence online, they were coming in too late already. And the problem with these companies is that, they are the most complaining. They blame the government for their failures -- for lack of marketing support and raise other issues for losing out in the competition.

Small companies or those that are starting out should be a hundred times more aggressive and proactive than the big ones. The government can only do so much and cannot be relied upon apart from the fact that it cannot be trusted.  We are seeing a different ballgame now in the way marketing is done -- social media. But the question is, will these small companies be willing to invest in a social media campaign? I just hope so.

If giant conglomerates are using social media to gain customer foothold, there is no reason for small companies to shut their doors on social media. But we have to abandon the notion that online campaigns are an expense – they are real investments that can potentially yield real returns to a company. I’ve seen them happen and you too can make it happen.

But as I have said, a social media campaign is not just about being on Facebook, Twitter or Google+. It’s a game of strategy and a combination of all other issues like good content, and the way you connect with your audience. Thus, you need a social media advisor who does not only possess the knowledge on how to use the tools but someone with great talent in getting and engaging people in your Facebook or Twitter page. 

Your social media expert should also be someone who is not lazy to cull and analyze your social media performance. Intel is one of those parts in social media that’s usually ignored or not properly consumed by people who provide such service. For most of the time, many social media service providers take page or traffic insights merely as a performance report not really as a basis to test-and-innovate campaigns.  Thus, a social media specialist should be someone who can do campaigns based on heuristics than just the perfunctory of posting or sharing content.

And more than anything else, your social media expert should have the track record to show not only the number of sites he has held but the number of followers those sites have to date. It is therefore imperative that you know who is going to take charge of your social media on the account of performance, knowledge and skill, and history of success.

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