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Social media is huge in the Philippines—a reality that’s too hard to ignore if you’re looking for ways to grow your business faster.
With a strong social media presence, your brand gets exposed to a wider audience. You can build relationships with existing and potential customers. It helps you stay a step ahead of the competition.
Social media also levels the playing field for small businesses with low marketing budgets, allowing them to compete with bigger companies for consumers’ attention.
Looking to launch successful social media marketing campaigns but don’t know how to start? Here’s a beginner’s guide to help you market your business effectively on social media.
Understanding Social Media Usage in the Philippines
Before we dive into the nitty-gritty of social media marketing, it’s worth knowing its value in promoting your brand. The latest We Are Social Report and other studies reveal the massive role of social media in the lives of Filipino consumers.
1. Filipinos are the world’s most active social media users
- The Philippines has 73 million social media users as of January 2020, comprising 67% of its total population. This means more than six in every 10 Filipinos use social media.
- The 67% social media penetration rate in the Philippines is higher than the global average of 49%.
- Social media users in the Philippines spend the most time on social media every day at an average of 3 hours and 53 minutes. This is higher than the global average of 2 hours and 24 minutes.
- Filipinos spend nearly as much time browsing their social media feeds as watching TV (daily average of 3 hours and 49 minutes).
2. Facebook and YouTube are the most popular social networks in the Philippines
- Facebook currently tops Similarweb’s list of most visited websites in the Philippines. YouTube ranks third, while Twitter takes the fourth spot.
- Facebook is the most used social network in the Philippines, with 96% of people aged 16 to 64 using the platform. YouTube comes second (95%), followed by Facebook Messenger (89%), Instagram (64%), and Twitter (56%).
- Facebook and YouTube are the most searched terms on Google in 2019.
3. Social media has a huge influence on buying decisions
- Social media advertisements share the top spot with TV ads as sources of new brand discovery for Filipino consumers.
- Social media is the primary source of online information for consumers in the Philippines.
- The majority of Filipinos (95%) use social media to guide their retail purchases, found a Boston Consulting Group survey.
What is Social Media Marketing?
Social media marketing is the process of promoting a business and its products or services on social networks such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
Using social media platforms for marketing your business is not just about posting updates. It involves different strategies and activities to engage your audience and maximize your sales.
Benefits of Social Media Marketing for Businesses
Why is social media marketing important for every business? Social media can help you grow your business in different ways. Here are some benefits to gain from marketing your brand on social media.
1. Better brand awareness
Social media marketing can help your business reach a wider audience. People are likely to see your brand while scrolling through their social media feeds.
You’ll have a higher chance of gaining followers who could be interested in your product and eventually become your customers.
Aside from letting people know that your brand exists, social media can be used to interact with your followers through posts, likes, comments, shares, and direct messages. Such interactions are visible not only to your followers but also to their friends, so more people can discover your business.
2. Increased website traffic
With the sheer number of people browsing their news feeds daily, you can drive more visitors to your website or e-commerce store by posting content on social with a link leading to your site.
Your social media pages and posts may also appear on top of search engine results when people search for a certain product or service.
3. Customer feedback
What do customers think of your products? Are they happy with your service?
It’s easy to get feedback from your customers through your social media pages. They can leave a comment or review even without being asked. Whether positive or negative, customer feedback lets you know what your business should continue and what to improve on.
Also, your social media interactions with your followers provide you with insights into your target customers’ buying behaviors, preferences, dislikes, pain points, and more.
4. Providing customer service
Businesses in the Philippines—even micro and small-scale enterprises—are using social media platforms for customer inquiries and after-sales support.
Customers find it more convenient to reach businesses through social media than through phone calls or emails. This is an opportunity for you to build your customers’ trust and loyalty.
If customers are satisfied with the speed and quality of your customer service, they’re motivated to do business with you again.
5. Low-cost marketing
Social media is a more cost-efficient marketing channel than traditional media such as TV, print, and radio, which require millions of pesos in advertising budgets. This makes social media marketing ideal for micro and small-scale businesses with zero to low budgets for brand promotion.
You can create social media accounts and share content on social at no cost. If you want to reach more people, you’ll be spending only a minimal amount for running ads or posting sponsored content.
6. 24/7 marketing
You’re not limited to a certain time slot when you promote your business on social media. Social media marketing campaigns run for 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. You can reach audiences locally and globally (regardless of time differences) even while you sleep.
Because social media posts and ads are accessible to social media users anytime, your potential customers can take a look at your product or service offerings at their most convenient time.
7. Increased sales
A Boston Consulting Group survey found that in emerging markets like the Philippines, direct e-commerce through a brand’s social media account is prevalent.
The more people see your brand on social media as a result of your marketing efforts, the higher your chance of getting direct buyers and increasing sales.
Customers who find your brand on Facebook, for instance, can simply send you a private message to place an order.
Organic vs. Paid Social Media Marketing
Organic and paid social are two types of social media marketing campaigns that businesses use today.
Which of the two strategies is more suitable for your business, you might wonder. It’s important to understand first how organic and paid social campaigns work, as well as their differences, so you can decide which one is better to use.
What is the difference between organic and paid social?
Organic social campaigns involve sharing content on social media absent ad spending. When you post organically, you allow social platforms’ algorithm to decide how your content appears in the feeds of your followers. Typically, as your followers engage with it through likes, comments, and shares, more people will see your post.
As its name suggests, paid social campaigns involve paying social networks to get your ads or sponsored content seen by a broader audience, including non-followers. Ads can be in the form of a text, image, video, or carousel (consisting of multiple text and images under a single ad).
Investing in paid social can greatly benefit your business in terms of social media reach. Take a look at the latest social media advertising statistics in the Philippines.
|Social Network||Number of People That Can be Reached with Ads||Advertising Reach (Compared to total population aged 13+)|
Source: We Are Social Report 2020
Why use organic social media marketing?
- Engage existing customers who are already following your brand on social.
- Build and manage your social community.
- Promote an existing product or service.
- Share updates on your company/product/service, blog posts, and industry news.
- Provide instructions on how to use your new product or avail of your new service.
- Encourage people to visit your website or online store.
- Invite followers to your events (e.g., product launch, sale, anniversary promo, etc.).
Why use paid social media marketing?
- Get your new brand discovered by more people.
- Attract potential customers.
- Reach people who showed interest in your product but are still undecided, have forgotten to buy, or have become uninterested.
- Reinforce messages shared through organic posts.
- Encourage people to visit your website or online store.
- Increase sales.
Should you use organic or paid social?
To enjoy the full benefits of social media marketing, you should use both. A combination of organic and paid social makes for stronger social media campaigns that boost brand awareness, customer loyalty, and sales, while continually building your community.
Types of Social Media Marketing Campaigns
You’re competing with other brands for the audience’s limited attention span. Simply posting product details and images just won’t cut it.
If you’re going to market your brand on social media, you have to do it really well.
Looking for ideas to get started? Here are some of the most effective types of social media campaigns that many local businesses use. You can easily implement them without spending a fortune.
Creating and leveraging highly-engaging content assets (that are relevant to a business’s products, services, and/or its intended audience’s needs and interests) for social sharing.
The content types that usually work for social media campaigns are:
- How-to guides and extensive tutorials
- Comic strips
Contests and promos
What better way to keep your followers engaged and gain new potential customers than running a contest or promo on social media?
People love receiving rewards regardless of value. Any social media campaign that could win them a prize or give them discounts, rebates, or freebies encourages participation.
The more people join your contest or avail of your promo, the higher your reach and engagement become. So think of ways to capture your audience’s interest through social media contests and promos. Raffle contests, photo contests, quizzes, and buy-one-take-one offers are some campaigns you may want to consider.
To increase your followers, you can announce your contest through a social media ad and require participants to like your social media page.
In simple terms, user-generated content (UGC) is anything that people create and share on social media—such as photos, videos, reviews, testimonials, and memes—that brands repost on their own social media channels.
You can run a hashtag campaign around a topic that’s related to your business or an upcoming occasion like Christmas or Mother’s Day. Ask your followers to post their stories or pictures with your hashtag. Then choose the best entries and repost them on your social media accounts.
What’s great about using UGC in your social media campaigns is that you get content for free while encouraging interactions from your audience. People are happy and proud just having their photo or story submissions featured on a brand’s Facebook and Instagram profiles.
Polls are fun and interactive, making them great for engaging people on social media. Run polls in your social campaigns, and you’ll not just see your engagement rates rising but also understand your customers’ needs and preferences.
You can use polls on Instagram Stories, Facebook, and Twitter to ask your followers about the product features they prefer, their thoughts on a trending topic, the topics they want to see in your next posts, the contest prize they’d be interested in winning, or any question that people would love to answer.
Partnerships with influencers and other brands
Take your social media marketing game a notch higher. Collaborate with influencers such as bloggers, vloggers, and other content creators with large social media followings.
It’s also a good idea to partner with other brands, too (except for your competitors). This will help promote your brand to their audiences and vice versa.
Building partnerships can increase your exposure and reach on social media, as long as you choose the right influencers and brands that complement yours.
How to Create a Social Media Marketing Strategy
Social media marketing isn’t something you do on a whim. You need an effective strategy for it to work.
A social media marketing strategy is a detailed plan of everything you’ll do to promote your business on social media.
Take these essential steps to develop your own social media strategy.
1. Identify your goals
Begin with your end-game in mind. What exactly do you want to achieve from your social media marketing campaign?
Your social media marketing goals could be any of the following:
- Increase your social media followers
- Boost community engagement (in terms of reach, impressions, likes/reactions/favorites, shares/reposts/retweets, comments/replies, etc.)
- Raise brand awareness
- Grow online sales
- Provide or improve customer support
- Drive visitors to your website
When setting your social media goals, make sure that they’re SMART (specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound) and aligned with your business goals.
2. Know your audience
A social marketing strategy will be effective if it’s based on the interests and needs of a brand’s target audience. If you know who you’re talking to and what they want to seeon social media, you can create brand messages that can resonate with them.
Who is your audience on social media? Create your audience personas that will guide how you craft your brand messaging on social. It’s easier than it sounds—think about your target audience and ask yourself these 5 Ws and 1 H:
- Who are the people you’re trying to reach? (based on age, gender, location, income, job title, etc.)
- What types of content do they want to see? (e.g., human-interest stories, humorous posts, helpful information, etc.)
- When do they access social media? (e.g., lunchtime, weeknights, weekends, during commutes, etc.)
- Where do they spend the most time online? (e.g., Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, TikTok, etc.)
- Why do they view a specific type of content? (e.g., to earn extra income, to learn/improve a skill, to perform better at work, to stay healthy and safe, to be entertained, etc.)
- How do they use social media content? (e.g., read posts, view photos, watch videos, etc.)
3. Choose the right social media platforms
A critical part of your social media strategy is picking the social network/s you’ll focus your marketing efforts on.
There are several factors to consider when deciding which social platforms to use.
Social platforms your audience uses the most
Don’t waste your time and other resources building a presence on a platform that your target audience isn’t using. For your marketing campaigns, focus on the social networks where your audience spends the most time on.
|Social Networks||Primary Audiences|
|Baby boomers/Senior citizens (age 60 and above)Generation X (age 39 to 59)Millennials (age 25 to 38)|
|YouTube||Millennials (age 25 to 38)Generation Z (age 24 and below)|
|Instagram and Twitter||Millennials (age 25 to 29)Generation Z (age 18 to 24)|
|Baby boomersGeneration XMillennials (age 30 to 38)|
Your social marketing goals
Some social media channels are better at helping achieve a certain purpose than others, mostly because of their features and audience demographics.
|Purpose||Best Social Networks to Use|
|Brand awareness; reaching a wider audience||Facebook and YouTube|
|Building relationships with target customers||Facebook and Instagram|
|Advertising||Facebook and Instagram|
|Lead generation (attracting potential customers)||Instagram and Pinterest|
|Customer service||Facebook and Twitter|
|Sharing educational, instructional, entertaining, and product review videos||YouTube|
|Public relations; sharing news and articles||Twitter and LinkedIn|
|Business development and employment marketing|
Your industry and the type of customers you serve
The right social media channels to use for your marketing campaigns also depend on the industry your business belongs to and whether you sell to consumers (business to consumer or B2C) or to other businesses (business to business or B2B).
|Social Network||Industry Impact|
|YouTube||B2C; service industry|
|B2C; food, retail, art, beauty, and fitness businesses|
|B2B and B2C|
|B2C; fashion, food, art, and home improvement businesses|
4. Analyze your competitors’ social strategies
Search your competition online and analyze their approach—not to copy exactly what they’re doing but rather to learn from their strengths and weaknesses. Understanding your competitors gives you an idea of what is expected in your industry in terms of social media marketing.
When doing a competitive analysis, pay attention to what your competitors are sharing, what their customers are saying about them (e.g., what they like and don’t like about the business), and how they’re positioning their brand on social media. This helps you find opportunities to do better and stand out.
5. Come up with content ideas
Content—which includes text, images, graphics, and videos—is the heart and soul of a social media marketing strategy. It won’t serve its purpose of engaging your audience if it’s not interesting or helpful enough.
This is why it’s crucial to have a well-thought-out plan for what content to share and when to post it on social media.
Start with listing down topic ideas for your social media platforms. Although your ultimate goal is to promote your business, you don’t have to share sales-driven content all the time. From time to time, you can post something funny, useful, or educational to capture your audience’s attention.
Here are some content ideas you may try for your social campaigns. Choose the ones applicable to your business and will likely make your audience tick.
- How-to guides and tutorials, whether related to your product or not
- Product announcements and updates
- Behind-the-scenes photos or videos of how your product is made
- Customer stories and reviews about your business or product/service
- A question asking for feedback or suggestions
- Industry-related news and articles from different sources
- Employee stories and photos
- New and old posts from your blog or website
6. Develop your social media content calendar
Once you’ve finalized your list of content ideas, plot them on a calendar to set the schedule for publishing content on each social media platform. Your content calendar includes your daily posts and content for social media marketing campaigns.
For efficiency, schedule your social media posting a few months in advance. But for more flexibility, avoid planning too far ahead. Fortunately, there are a number of scheduling tools that can automate this task for you.
7. Assess and optimize your strategy
Building your social media strategy isn’t a one-off thing. As you implement your strategy, it’s important to continuously track and analyze your results.
This way, you can evaluate what works, what doesn’t, and how your strategy stacks up against the competition. Only then can you start thinking about how to improve your social media marketing strategy.
To make an objective and data-driven assessment, review your social media performance metrics. You can find such information through the built-in analytics tool of each social platform you’re using, such as Facebook Analytics, Instagram Insights, and Twitter Analytics.
Using polls or surveys is another way to find out if your social media strategy is up to par.
Ask your followers questions to determine how effective your campaigns are and what types of content they’d want to see more.
5 Social Media Marketing Tips for Philippine Businesses
Ready to plan your campaigns on social? Reinforce your social media strategy with these practical tips.
1. Share more video content
Social media users love watching, sharing, and commenting on videos. In fact, video posts on Facebook pages have the highest average engagement rate (9.26%) in the Philippines, according to We Are Social Report 2020.
Never settle for just text and images for your social media content. If you aren’t doing it already, share more video posts such as tutorials, behind the scenes, interviews, and FAQs.
Even better, host live videos to share exciting product announcements or company updates in real-time.
2. Make your social media posts mobile-friendly
Nearly all active social media users (98%) in the Philippines access social networks on their mobile devices, based on We Are Social 2020 data. This means most of your followers see your posts on their mobile devices with smaller screen sizes than laptops and PCs.
Here are a few ways to improve your social media audience’s mobile experience:
- Keep your text or ad copies short and simple to avoid hidden text.
- Choose your best images and crop them properly to avoid blurry photos.
- Shorten any URL in your text (using URL shorteners like Bitly and TinyURL).
- Keep your videos short (up to 60 seconds for Facebook, 2 minutes for YouTube, 30 seconds for Instagram, and 45 seconds for Twitter).
3. Hit the perfect timing for your social marketing activities
Filipinos use social media to research products and take a while before deciding what to buy. Marketers should keep this fact in mind while scheduling their social media posts.
For example, the ideal time to promote products for the Christmas season is around the start of the “ber” months, when people have received their 13th-month pay and are starting to make their shopping lists.
4. Consider adding TikTok to your social media strategy
TikTok, an app for sharing short videos, has suddenly become a household name during the COVID-19 pandemic, with a record-setting two billion downloads on both Android and iOS devices.
While most TikTok videos are entertaining in nature, the social networking app is slowly being used as a platform for other purposes. Case in point: the World Health Organization and the Department of Health have used TikTok to spread awareness about the coronavirus disease.
Businesses can tap this video-sharing app as a marketing platform. You can run hashtag, UGC, and influencer campaigns to reach consumers, particularly Pinoy millennials and Gen Zers who are addicted to TikTok.
5. Tap your brand advocates
The best people to help with your marketing efforts are those who love your brand.
Your brand advocates are your most valuable asset for word-of-mouth marketing. They can be your customers, employees, and suppliers who leave favorable reviews about your business and recommend you to other people.
Identify your brand advocates and incentivize them for sharing on social media their experience using your product, working for you, or doing business with you.
When they post positive feedback on your brand, repost it on your social media channels. You may also want to feature interesting stories of your brand advocates on your social media posts.