When and how the transition happened no one can tell. One day, social media was regarded as nothing but a time-suck, the next, a lean, mean marketing machine.
One day, I looked down at the business card I was handed, and beheld Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn contact details alongside the standard business phone and address. Just as rapidly, businesses went from hopping on the social media bandwagon with platforms like MySpace, to ruing the day they ever heard of social apps, after one little tweak rendered all previous efforts moot. (In the case of MySpace it was an anti-spam buffer.)
Then again, so many companies are still clueless and never notice that their social media efforts no longer work. Some firms spam their clients, partners, and even casual acquaintances several times a week. They clog up, not only the office e-mail server, but also employees’ Facebook pages.
(If your company does this, know that this kind of insensitive relentlessness will make your good intentions land in spam folders all over your client universe— left to silently die after 30 days, along with your marketing efforts.)
Be that as it may, social media is proving to be the best way to roll out and generate instant buzz for a campaign or product. But since everyone and their uncle know that, you end up with more competitors. The best way to win the social media game is to ride the crest of a previous trend, preferable negative. A great example is the PH Department of Tourism campaign. #ItsMoreFunInThePhilippines became the top-trending GLOBAL topic within 60 minutes of Secretary (and adman) Mon Jimenez announcing that “It’s More Fun in the Philippines.” It is no surprise that the top favorite among the slides presented read “Status updates. More fun in the Philippines.”
Jimenez’s social media success comes close on the heels of the nightmare that was the campaign called “Pilipinas Kay Ganda,” which drew flack from all corners for its lack or creativity and similarity to a porn website. (The bright minds behind the campaign that bombed even before it could take off subsequently resigned.)
The overall vision has been set amid a cacophony of dissenters and optimistic voices, and the world is watching. How the Philippines parlays that into promoting myriad efforts that appear to be going in different directions—from the entertainment megapolis being planned (and planned, and planned) by Pagcor to the successful Megaworld phenom that is Resorts World Manila to the various pockets of gambling that are attracting hoards of mainland Chinese and Taiwanese tourists to the shabbily maintained Philippine World Heritage Sites (the Philippines has 5, Malaysia, 3, Korea, 1)—the social universe can hardly wait to see.
We have the world’s attention. Let’s not blow it.
Print ed: 02/12