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Seven Tips To Ace Social Media

The standout metrics to focus on are the growth rates. Internet access, active social usage and active users of social via mobile devices grew by double digits in 2015

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How are digital, social and mobile changing people’s behaviour and expectation today? How will these changes impact marketing communications in 2016? And most importantly what you could do in the coming days and months to embrace and navigate these changes for your brands...

First off, hat tip to We Are Social for the rich information it shares generously. In its latest South East Asia Report, you would notice the biggest social platforms in SEA and Asia; Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and Twitter compete with messaging apps such as WhatsApp, Line, Messenger, QQ, and WeChat for time and attention. No surprises here. The social channel adoption patterns in SE Asia mirror that of most markets, without firewalls or censorships.

The standout metrics to focus on are the growth rates. Internet access, active social usage and active users of social via mobile devices grew by double digits in 2015. If this rapid growth and exposure continue, rapid maturity of the audience will follow. It will be a matter of time, before the majority in Asia expect, and behave like the digital natives of today.

To better engage this changing Asian audience in 2016 and beyond, brands could consider the following tweaks and checks in their social efforts:

* Define/revisit plan: Uber, Netflix, Google Maps, etc., are conditioning people to believe that the world revolves around them, on their terms. Brands should acknowledge this change, but stay true to what drives them. Data, insights and past learning should lead your plans. Finally, ensure your plan has a solid tracking, measurement, and course correction plan in place.
* Pick core channels: Vine never took off. Periscope fizzled out after SWSX. Secret came and went. As a rule of thumb, choose your core social channels based on: reach amongst your core audience and receptivity to your proposition within the culture of the channel.
* Add premium: Move away from creating mundane content calendars to creating social content that is worthy of sharing, and right for the channel.
* Plan media budgets: Pay-to-reach is the new norm. Before you create social content, make sure you have enough budgets to drive reach, and support creative wear-in frequency.
* Don’t compete with news: News jacking is difficult and expensive. Your participation may come across as lame if your brand has no right in a trending topic or you turn up late. It may even backfire.
* Staff for a dialogue: When you open a social channel, prepare to respond. Ensure you have a response plan, with workflow and processes aligned across departments in place, to moderate and manage two-way conversations with speed.
* Get experts: Hire a small expert team on tap for counsel. It can advice on strategy, measurement, tools & platforms, changes in the social landscape and percolate implications /recommendations to the trenches.

Lastly, data proves social strategies are more effective when they take a long-term view.

The author is digital lead SEA at Grey Group

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house. Unless otherwise noted, the author is writing in his/her personal capacity. They are not intended and should not be thought to represent official ideas, attitudes, or policies of any agency or institution.

Suresh Ramaswamy

The author is digital lead SEA at Grey Group

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