Facebook Marketing and The Philippines
Filipinos have this natural talent of being to socialize and mingle with almost anyone. If you walk the streets of the Philippines, it is impossible for you not to see two or more Filipinos talking, laughing or even shouting (in a good way) with each other. Filipinos always want to know what is happening with their neighbor or what the current status of the love life of some famous soap opera actress.
The need of Filipinos to talk with the people they know and to get updates about certain someone has eased thanks to the advent of the internet and Facebook.
Socializing has never been easier and more convenient. Getting access to the internet in the Philippines is cheap and easy. Internet cafes can be found every five hundred meters on average. The average cost of an internet connection in a Philippine internet café is 15 PHP per hour, that's roughly 0.3 USD per hour. Internet connection is cheaper if you subscribe yourself with local internet service providers.
Around 50 million Filipinos use Facebook everyday. They use the social networking site to talk with their relatives and friends, find updates on their acquaintances, play games or even to know more about their favorite brands and check if they have some promo of some sort.
Facebook has already more reach than Philippine television, yet it is still technically an untouched advertising medium. Local brands tend to stay away from online advertising in the Philippines because they claim that Facebook marketing still does not have a stable and concrete metric to measure success. Marketers still do not have a benchmark on how to know whether a Facebook advertising campaign has been a success or not.
Brands also stay away from doing promos in Facebook fan pages. Correspondingly, the mechanisms related to promos in Facebook tend to be easily manipulated or cheated by individuals who have a large network of friends. There are also some companies who offer help to those who want to win in Facebook promos and contests.
Most brands in the Philippines have Facebook fan pages. The problem is, these fan pages most of the time serves as the venue for unsatisfied customers of the brand to vent their frustrations on the product. These fan pages are filled with vulgar slurs by unsatisfied customers claiming that their product did not work or did not deliver what it promised. There are a lot of brands in the Philippines which Facebook fan page caused more negative pr than increasing the awareness of the brand.
Using Facebook to promote a brand or a product in the Philippines is still young and mostly untapped. It is not easy to create an advertising campaign using this medium alone. You need experts on the field. Luckily there exist companies that specialize on this. There are a lot of social media marketing agencies in the Philippines, but please be wary since not all of them are experts. Before turning over your Facebook marketing campaign to a third party make sure you researched their credibility and make sure they have a portfolio of their past campaigns. If possible ask testimonials from the brand managers of their past clients.