Harness Facebook, Twitter, Pinoy entrepreneurs urged

With the country’s high rank in Facebook and Twitter penetration, Philippine businesses should look into opportunities to harness social networking sites and tools in their marketing, promotion and customer-relation efforts.

The Philippines is No. 1 and No. 9 in Facebook and Twitter penetration, respectively, among all countries of the world.  This implies that many Filipinos are present and can be reached through these social networking sites.  The conclusion is that a business can communicate and interact with their customers and prospective customers online if it too, has a presence there.

This was the message of IBM Corporation vice president and social business guru Sandy Carter during her recent visit here.

Among the potential gains for businesses harnessing the power of Web technologies and social networking are:  higher revenues, accelerated time to market for products and services, and faster access to qualified talents and experts.

She calls these businesses who have blog sites, Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, and other such accounts  and use these to interact with customers, suppliers, employees, business associates, and other  publics “social businesses.”

Ms.  Carter relates that social businesses  experienced an average growth of 15 percent on their revenues as a result of more customer-targeted sales and marketing efforts.

Used on the research and development aspect of the organization, social businesses were also able to roll out new products and services 20 percent faster, on average, she says.

Such businesses were also 30 percent faster in acquiring knowledge and experts when it came to human resource and talent management.

“You can use (social networking) to make your company more enjoyable, transparent, and nimble,”  she adds.

“You cannot opt out of social. Even if you’re not out there, people will still be talking about you, or your competitors can leverage on your absence (to gain traction in the market). You have to have a plan and a team, be proactive and fast, and be transparent in two-way dialogue. Don’t try to manipulate,’’ Carter explains.

Businesses should also focus on analytics and analyze their data.

Photo: “Facebook” by Urs Steiner, c/o Flickr. Some Rights Reserved


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