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Filipinos Among the World’s Most Trusting of Brands on Social Media—Study

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Filipinos are among the world’s most trusting and accepting of brands on social media, a recent global market research found.

According to Kantar TNS’ 2017 Connected Life study, more than half or 59% of connected consumers in the Philippines were “happy to trust the information” they see on social media such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Globally, only 35% of 70,000 consumers in 56 countries trust the content on these channels.

But these findings do not mean local businesses can become complacent in their brand promotion efforts, Kantar noted. Although social media remains a credible venue for Filipinos to receive brand messages, brands have to maintain the trust and show their audience the value of their online interactions in the long run, said Nicco de Jesus, Kantar TNS’ Philippine digital director.

Aside from high levels of trust, another marketing opportunity for brands is that Filipinos spend an average of 4 hours and 17 minutes daily on social media—the longest in the world, according to the Digital in 2017 report.

Beyond social media likes and followers

Photo courtesy of FirmBee via Pixabay
Photo courtesy of FirmBee via Pixabay

The biggest mistake of brands in their social media marketing campaigns is using the number of likes and followers to measure success, said digital marketing expert Donald Lim. “Sales is the weakest area of social media. Nowhere does it say that it can increase sales,” he said.

In an interview with the Philippine Daily Inquirer, Lim pointed out that the power of social media is in brand engagement and building emotional connections between a brand and consumers.

In the Philippines, the most successful brand promotion campaigns on social media go beyond just collecting likes and followers. Here is a quick look on some of the most notable campaigns so far and how these brands have engaged their audience.

Combining online and offline marketing strategies

Promoting a brand through social media marketing does not have to be limited only to posting content on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or YouTube. For example, The North Face Philippines increased its Facebook page engagement rate by 4,000%, generating more than one million social interactions.

The outdoor apparel brand partnered with Propelrr, a digital marketing agency that implemented a nonlinear marketing campaign—using a combination of traditional and digital marketing strategies—for the company’s The North Face 100 event, an annual trail run in Asia. Participants were engaged through a variety of online and offline channels: social media, website, TV ads, billboard ads, and in-store ads.

Authenticity in storytelling

Using social media to showcase true stories of Pinoys gave Jollibee its recording-breaking digital engagement yet. In February 2017, the fast-food brand had the entire nation weeping and raving about its Kwentong Jollibee’s Valentine series composed of three videos depicting love in different forms.

“Social media gave us a new place to tell deeper, longer stories that were not possible in other marketing channels,” said Jollibee Chief Marketing Officer Francis Flores. The campaign offered authentic, relatable stories that evoke memories of Filipinos with the brand and its products.

To date, the viral videos collectively earned more than 50 million views on YouTube and Facebook, 7.5 million social interactions, 1.3 million shares, and countless memes all over social media sites. From January to June 2017, Jollibee also got the highest share of Facebook engagement rate (37%) among all fast-food brands in the Philippines.

The key takeaway? Tell great stories that the audience can easily relate to, and they will surely love the brand.

Offering personalization to consumers

What’s in a name? Everything—especially if a brand uses it to delight and engage customers.

Such was the appeal of personalization to consumers that Coca-Cola tapped it for its “Share a Coke” campaign. Teaming up with advertising agency McCann Worldgroup, the beverage brand’s product labels featured popular local names like Inday, Boy, Maria, and Junior, as well as Pinoy jargons like Barkada, Maganda, Gwapo, and more.

The personalized Coke bottles became an instant hit among social media-crazed Filipinos who shared photos of bottles with their names on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and more. Some of these social media posts got featured in Coca-Cola’s billboards and website. All these marketing activities helped raise awareness for the brand.

Giving social media users the control over brand promotion

Despite some minor kinks during its launch in 2012, the Department of Tourism’s “It’s More Fun in the Philippines” social media campaign proved to be among the most effective in the world, according to experts.

“It is social and viral enough: foreigners know about the campaign, it leveraged on Filipinos’ social nature to post and promote, and it got a lot of media attention around the world,” Lim said.

The tourism campaign used crowdsourcing as a strategy to generate buzz. The social media-savvy Pinoys were more than happy to promote the Philippines as a top tourist destination by sharing the campaign’s logo and memes online.

According to then Tourism Secretary Ramon Jimenez, using social media as the main medium for the campaign would give Filipinos power over the campaign rather than the government. “This is, in a very real sense, the people’s campaign,” he said.

The hashtag #ItsMoreFunInThePhilippines trended worldwide and gave birth to a lot of social media conversations up until today.

An Ipsos ASI Philippines survey conducted three months after the campaign launch reported a high overall likeability at 92%. The results proved that the tourism campaign succeeded in communicating its brand message, boosting Filipino pride, and increasing the desire to promote the Philippines to local and foreign travelers.

What do these social media marketing success stories mean to marketers and businesses in the Philippines?

Even if the Filipino audience is generally trusting and accepting of social media content, brands still need to work hard to gain and sustain their customers’ trust.

“Trust is fragile. Brands in emerging countries [like the Philippines] shouldn’t take it for granted,” said Michael Nicholas, Kantar TNS global lead of Connected Solutions. “To build and protect trust, brands need to put the customer first. That means understanding their motivations [and] the right moments to engage with them, respecting their time as valuable, and being more transparent about how and when they collect and use their personal data.”

By Jason Garcia.

Jason is a manager of a family enterprise, he writes articles about Digital Marketing, Businesses, investing and securing homes.

Main photo courtesy of Tracy Le Blanc via Pexels