Social media marketing in a competitive landscape

Social media marketing has always been crucial in expanding market reach on the year when we started utilizing the Internet for our website. It became more important when we discovered that we could sell through the Facebook platform, which gave birth to social media marketing.

IN a few clicks, grow a business. | PHOTOGRAPH COURTESY OF UNSPLASH/MAILCHIMP

In a landscape where competition thrives, and network drives your market reach, a succinct strategy allows you to focus on understanding your goals and fix on them.

“The digitization of the business landscape has made it imperative to adapt your marketing strategy that leverages technology,” said Miko David, president of the market research group David and Golyat. “The critical component of social media marketing is creating a solid strategy.”

In an interview on Daily Tribune’s digital show Usapang Business, David explained that without a detailed strategy, entrepreneurs could fall into the trap of posting on social media without a purpose.

He said that you will achieve your desired results on social media by understanding your goals and identifying your target audience and what they want.

“Social media marketing has always been crucial in expanding your market reached the year when we started utilizing the Internet for our website. It became more important when we discovered that we could sell through the Facebook platform, which gave birth to social media marketing,” David said.

MOBILE phones an empowering tool. | PHOTOGRAPH COURTESY OF UNSPLASH/sara kurfess

The Covid-19 pandemic accelerated social media marketing, with a marked increase beginning in July 2020 because of the strict mobility restriction when a considerable number of the population was confined to their homes with nothing to do except buy from online sources for their supplies.

Year-on-year, the data showed a steady rise of Filipinos shopping online, catapulting the importance of social media presence, David added.

Digital economy

According to social media management firm Hootsuite and We Are Social’s latest Digital 2022 report, more than half of the population, or 76.01 million Filipinos, are active Internet users. The figure showed a 2.1 million increase in users from 2021 to 2022.

Filipinos also spend long hours on the Internet, averaging 10 hours and 27 minutes per day compared with the global average of six hours and 58 minutes.

In addition, an estimated 43.31 million, or 62.5 percent of the population, purchased a product online. Filipinos spend at least $16.79 billion annually on online consumer purchases, with electronics as the highest $7.13 billion. That’s a 22 percent rise from 2021.

Independent data from the Department of Trade and Industry showed the number of online sellers rose significantly from 1,700 in March 2020 to 93,318 in January 2021. The government has also launched several initiatives to boost e-commerce sales.

Indeed, the e-commerce industry in the Philippines is showing steady growth in recent years, as reflected in its revenue in 2021. The country’s e-commerce market was valued at $12 billion last year and is forecasted to expand to $22 billion by 2025.

The Women Strong Network Hybrid Fair promotes the products of female-led MSMEs (medium, small, and micro enterprises) at the Event Area of SM Megamall A in Mandaluyong City last 29-31 July 2022. | PHOTOGRAPH BY RIO DELUVIO FOR THE DAILY TRIBUNE @tribunephl_riio

Empowering MSMEs

In the midst of the continued growth in the number of consumers utilizing social media platforms to buy products and discover new services from social networking sites, entrepreneurs, particularly micro, small, and medium enterprises, must harness the social commerce space to compete with their much bigger brick-and-mortar competitors.

With the amount of time Filipinos spend on the Internet, particularly the younger market, social networking platforms are making social commerce an emerging trend in the Philippines, David said.

“Keep in mind that there are thousands of products out there that we don’t know about, but we learn only through social media marketing,” David added. “Social media also makes certain products more enticing, particularly in food. If the image is visually appealing, and if you zoom on the picture, you can see the amount of beef in a hamburger or how crunchy a piece of chicken is, it will be easier for the consumers to click the purchase button.”

Social media allows entrepreneurs to humanize their businesses, according to David. More importantly, by making their customers’ active participants in their business, MSMEs can establish a stronger relationship with their customers.

Through social media, businesses can personalize their posts and profile and even interact with their customers, thus providing an opportunity to create a more approachable persona that their market could familiarize, connect with, and eventually trust.

“You can also reach out to your customers one-on-one, unlike before that you distribute posters or billboards that is only a one-way communication with your target audience and hope that they will call or patronize your business,” David said.

Social media commerce, he said, enables two-way communication through the comment button on your social media page or send you a direct private message, which is what a majority of businesses are doing to get valuable feedback.

That feedback will give MSMEs a ton of information they could use to profile their customers, including where they live, who are following their page, and how their interactions with the brand through the social media platform. This information can be processed to refine your strategy to reach your target market better.

Cost-efficient

A critical benefit of social media marketing is it offers the least expensive platform to advertise and raise brand awareness.

“Social media marketing will allow MSMEs to reach a wider market beyond their traditional community or environment. You can determine the reach of your advertising reach to certain communities or outside of your city,” David said.

The best thing he said about social media marketing is that entrepreneurs can use advertising tools or create ad copy to market their brand. A simple social media page can be expanded to reach social media networks by consistently creating and posting exciting content that your target audience can relate to.

“My wife has a coffee shop and asked me to find ways to expand her market reach. I was able to promote her shop using digital platforms with only P500,” David said.


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