Business

Social Media: What’s in it for a Pinoy Start-Up like yours?

Say the words “social media” and the first thing that comes to mind is Facebook not unless you are in China and in that case it will be Weibo. If “social media” was a strange phrase, try “Facebook” and surely bulbs will light up even in the far corners of the rice terraces.

If you’re a start-up owner, let me say congratulations first for being so bold to take the less traveled Filipino path. And now that you have figured out the product you want to create, it’s time to get to business and see how you can spread the word and sell to the Pinoys using social media.

 

5 Reasons Why Social Media is worth your time and effort

  1. High Volume of Pinoy Users
  2. Long Hours of Use via Multiple Devices
  3. Minimal Time & Effort Required to Set Up
  4. Easy & Affordable Maintenance
  5. Low Cost Market Targeting

 

1. High Volume of Pinoy Users

Our country might not be in the Top 10 Richest Countries in the World but you might be more hopeful of a brighter future to know that Philippines ranks 8th in the world for having the most Facebook users.

Top 10 Countries Using Facebook 2013

That’s good news because that means you can reach ~30 million of the Pinoys just by Facebook. Isn’t that awesome?

Although, identifying how much of this population is your target market and how to effectively and efficiently reach them is another story for another post.

Nescafe is one of the top brands that successfully uses Facebook to engage their customers. Their Philippine fan page has around 15 million fans and approximately 350,000 of their fans actively talk about their products. It is particularly endearing to see this multinational brand blending in the local scene as it posts messages in both English and Tagalog.

Nescafe Philippines' February FB post which got 24,000 likes and 500+ positive comments

 

2. Long Hours of Use via Multiple Devices

Check your Facebook Wall and tell me you didn’t notice how your friends have been updating the world about their lives from their waking moment which happened to be earlier than yours. Whether you like it or not you now know what they had for breakfast, morning merienda, lunch, afternoon merienda, dinner, and heck midnight snack. The only thing missing now is verifying if indeed they brushed their teeth. So I won’t be surprised if the

average time of 5.4 hours a day on social media for 2013

is actually understated. The Telcos further promoted this addiction by offering their subscribers Facebook access even at “zero load” (0 phone credit).

Pinoys use their mobile phones in the morning to access social media. During working hours they use their office desktops if their companies have not restricted access. In the evenings is when they use their tablets.

 

3. Minimal Time & Effort Required to Set Up

What makes Facebook Fan Pages so attractive for start-ups is how easy it is to set up. Taking only 10 minutes if you already have your own personal Facebook account, or 25 if not, unlike a website which would be 3-months at the very least for a basic one.

Setting up your Startup’s Facebook Fan page will not even cost you a dime nor require technical skills unlike putting up your own official website. Need tutorials on how to? Click here.

For starting a website, the basics require buying a domain name and hosting.

namecheap investment

Finding a specialized team that could provide you with a solid online strategy, web design and development, and search engine optimization is worth the investment.

 

4. Easy & Affordable Maintenance

There are many aspects of the business that needs to be addressed either by you or your team. It is understandable that during your initial months or a year of operations, you might not have had the time and manpower to invest in building and maintaining your own official website. Resources might have been invested on product development, supply chain, initial human resource and business registration.

Let’s look at one of my favorite Pinoy startups, Katipunan Craft Ale, a company so bold to challenge a long time monopoly armed with a promising product worthy of Pinoy Pride.

Busy with perfecting their brews to bring delight to the Manilenos, they were resourceful enough to buy a domain name that reflects their brand and set up a splash page that invites website visitors to their Facebook Page. Their Facebook Page acts as their main communication platform where they inform their customers where they can grab a bottle of their brew. Kudos to that!

Katipunan Craft Beer Website Homepage

 

That shouldn’t end there. This year is a good time for them to further invest on their website to strengthen their brand.The boys started fermenting their website back in 2012. Some ideas they can do to attract visitors and enhance customer experience are to:

Add website pages that inform customers about your business’

  • WHAT – your brews are made of and your business story and values
  • WHY – your brews are worth buying, drinking, sharing (customer testimonials & media coverage)
  • WHERE – to find your beer (restaurants & stores) including google map links for each
  • HOW – customers and the media can contact you and how they can further enhance their experience of your product

Make the website responsive to multiple devices

so that visitors will have a pleasant experience whether they are using mobile phones, desktops, laptops, or tablets

Give incentives to them to tell families and friends about your craft beer

Renting at first when buying is still to expensive is a reasonable strategy. Facebook is a rented platform where in you are a tenant at the mercy of your landlord. As you scale up, you should dream on investing in your own home, or your high-traffic user-friendly website. In your website, you are the boss. Furthermore, a business with an awesome official website give a more professional and credible impression.

 

5. Low Cost Market Targeting

Uploading your video on Facebook entails no monetary costs. You can share your video to friends, networks, and fans for FREE. You can promote your video to your target market with a minimal investment of which depends on your product, audience type, and budget.

TV Commercial Costs

tv ads cost

If Katipunan Craft  advertised through ABSCBN and GMA, they would also paying for unnecessary TV exposure of viewers outside Metro Manila. Their beer is commercially sold in Metro Manila only at least at this time so it is a waste to spend on non-primary markets or regional viewers in this case. Facebook marketing gives us the ability to drill-down and target only your primary customers to make your peso work harder. TV and newspapers cannot offer that.

Actionable Insights

You’ve gone this far reading this post so you might as well do as recommended.

Build your start-up’s online brand presence no matter how little time, money, technical skills, or resources you have as this will be helpful in growing your business.

  1. Start with the easy one, in this case, a Facebook Fan Page.
  2. Pick a domain name already that reflects your brand.
  3. Purchase this and leave it parked but only temporarily
  4. Do it right by finding a team to help you set this up
  5. Invest on building your own website to create a more professional image
Question:

Are you a startup owner, too? What is your experience in using social media? Are the business gains you’re experiencing justify the time and effort of using social media?

That’s it for now. Stay curious and experiment more!

Chris