Harnessing The Growth of Social Media in Southeast Asia

Social media has transitioned from a fad to a way of life since its advent in the early 2000’s. Many has since come and gone, and all have changed t…

Social media has transitioned from a fad to a way of life since its advent in the early 2000’s. Many has since come and gone, and all have changed the way we communicate and connect with each other.

There are currently over 1.8 billion users worldwide, a number which is still expected to grow in the following years. In Southeast Asia alone, there is a huge uptake in social media. This can be credited to the region’s culture which places a high premium on community ties.

This has huge implications for businesses. For one thing, more time being spent online means that the likelihood of e-commerce activities correspondingly increases. Ever since the concept of trade was invented, commerce followed wherever people collected. Right now, the new frontier is the Internet and Social Media is where people gather. It makes sense for businesses to bring their brands forward in various social networking platforms (regardless if they have an existing website or not) as that is where their customers hang out.

The Role of Social Media Specialists

Southeast Asia is fast becoming an attractive hotspot for various companies with online counterparts. Their demographic, as well as the economic growth backing their purchasing power makes them a perfect business prospect.

As more companies realize the potential of using social media to tap into markets, so increases the demand for people with the skillset to help them latch onto the digital market

Providing quality content for target market to follow is vital in order to attract and convince them to become customers. Specialists who can keep people’s interests piqued and who can establish the brand over competitors are what businesses call for. But, if these industries are keen on turning mere consumers to loyal brand advocates, social media specialists have to put in a little extra effort.

There are more than a million people online at any given time and they are talking: about what they like, what they don’t like, or maybe they could just be posting questions. Through the social media specialists, businesses now have the opportunity to engage in those conversations – an advantage unimaginable to them just a couple of decades ago.

Social media engagement in its most basic form is simply reaching out to people and letting them know that their opinions matter. It has made communication between consumers and businesses faster, easier, and more direct. And while it has proved its efficacy in other countries, the formula sits especially well in the Southeast Asian setting.

A social media specialist should be paying attention to what people are saying. Businesses can get unique insights which could be useful for developing and improving their products or services. Customers also love the attention given to them by their favourite brands, and the interaction shows them a human side of the business that they can relate to.

The improved offerings ensure satisfied customers, and the personal connection fosters brand loyalty – good-guy points equalling to faster ROI by way of customer recommendations, all made by happy clients.

Social media engagement doesn’t have to be a passive thing. Instead of just monitoring what people say and waiting for questions to answer, you can choose to start conversations. Get people talking. Ask for inputs about products and/or services. Whet the appetites of customers by posting previews of soon to be released offerings, or special behind-the-scenes shots. The trick is to be clever and creative, while being gracious to the audience.

Proactive social media engagement goes a long way, especially when given proper focus. And in light of the “Digital Wave” in Asia, it is where the future’s at.

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