How Fake News Promoted Positive Change

‘Post-truth’ might have been 2016’s Oxford Dictionaries Word of the Year but given its ubiquity, many people will probably be more familiar with the phrase ‘fake news’. Acknowledging its role in media, Facebook has announced the Facebook Journalism Project, one of the main purposes of which is to deprioritise fake news on the platform and to restore trust in the most-seen content.

Details of the project are of great interest to communications and marketing professionals in a number of ways. Firstly, from the perspective of fake news and a world of post-truth communication. The former leverages the latter, taking advantage of “circumstances in which objective facts are less influential in shaping public opinion than appeals to emotion and personal belief” (Oxford Dictionaries). Facebook has reinforced its desire to curb news hoaxes by introducing new measures for users to report them. It is also working to promote news literacy and the understanding of trustworthy sources by committing to financial investment, working with third party fact checkers and increasing commitment to establish a virtual verification community for ‘eyewitness’ content as part of the First Draft Partner Network.

Hopefully these moves will bring an end to death hoaxes and pluralistic political events defined by mud-slinging rather than policies. That said, while some individuals and media outlets (if one can call a proprietor of false information a media outlet) are focused on, at best, misinforming, we can still learn from the manner in which they create content: stories that have an emotional appeal will shape opinion. In a world where, despite the plethora of platforms, it is more difficult to generate earned media coverage and penetrate the artificial echo chambers we create, we must harness customer insight and emotional storytelling to have an impact.

Secondly, tied to the emotional context of content, is the desire to be topical and leverage trends. As part of the project, Facebook has made this easier. It has acquired Crowd Tangle – a platform which aids in content discovery, benchmarking performance and identifying who is sharing content – and is making it more widely available to publishers. Facebook’s move reinforces the need to actively track conversations, not only in terms of trends, but also in terms of brand and product mentions. They can understand where and how conversations are taking place, giving them an opportunity to amplify impactful earned coverage and engineer casual encounters with key stakeholders.

Finally, and perhaps most importantly, the project gives communicators an indication of how journalists – a major group of stakeholders in shaping public opinion – are utilising media platforms. Stories In Motion research conducted by WE shows that earned media is the biggest driver of sentiment but that, in a world of multiple devices and multiple platforms, it must be shared across channels to be truly impactful. Facebook’s broadening of tools available to journalists and publishers reinforces these findings. Tools to display multiple instant articles in one post – creating a smoother browsing and discovery experience for the reader – have been launched, integrations with publisher business models – such as free trials for engaged readers – are being explored and journalists will now be able to broadcast live on their publisher’s page, via their own profile, to aid real-time reporting. It is essential to consider how a story will look in multiple channels. Simply pitching a story to media is unlikely to be effective; rather, communicators need to create content packages which enable media to tell stories in multiple channels, on their site, on Facebook and beyond.

Journalists and publishers continue to be the most influential of opinion-shapers, but the use of social media is essential to them reaching the public. The two must work hand-in-hand and the Facebook Journalism Project is an industry-leading initiative taken to ensure Facebook remains the partner of choice for journalists.


Leave a comment

Filed under Journalism, News, Social media

Can you have too much content?

Are consumers content with content, or can you have too much of a good thing?
Are consumers content with content, or can you have too much of a good thing?
Digital content work is booming for Asia’s PR agencies, but several fundamental challenges exist to boost consumer engagement.

But as more brands seek to push their own content, across an ever-increasing number of platforms, there was one question we had to ask our industry experts: Is there such a thing as too much content?

Peter McFeely, deputy general manager and digital lead, Singapore, Waggener Edstrom: “No – not as long as you have something intelligent, interesting, funny or relevant to say. If you don’t… As Thumper’s mum would have said if she worked in comms, ‘If you can’t say something that will make your brand look better, don’t say nothin’ at all.'”

Extracted from PR Week

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

If Asia’s digital content business is booming, why aren’t consumers captivated?

I recently contributed comments to articles which appeared in PR Week – abridged quotes but my face takes up a pretty serious part of the article ha! I will share the original content i submitted in an expanded post.

Agencies are continuing to expand their digital content operations, but is there consumer demand for such offerings from brands?
Agencies are continuing to expand their digital content operations, but is there consumer demand for such offerings from brands?
If I had five bucks for every time I heard the line ‘content is king’, I wouldn’t need to write about it, I’d be sunning myself on a Bali beach reading some of it.

It’s a cliche that gets trotted out all the time – and is frequently followed with the sentence ‘but delivery is queen’.

In addition to ticking a box on our buzzword-bingo cards, it reflects the ongoing demand from brands and organizations to develop their voice, especially across digital and social channels.

The problem is, the statement makes no reference to the quality of a brand’s digital content, which, without wishing to start a royal rumble, is sometimes more court jester than crown jewels.

From talking to many of Asia’s leading PR agencies, it’s clear almost all brands want to say something, even if they are not sure about the best way to do it.

At Edelman, digital content is now responsible for 15 percent of revenue across APAC and is growing at around 30 percent a year. MSL says its digital work is up by 50 percent year-on-year for the first six months of 2015. And Strategic Public Relations Group (SPRG) adds it currently accounts for 20 percent of work in Singapore, a figure that will rise to closer to 40 percent over the next 12 months.

Burson-Marsteller, Ruder Finn, Cohn & Wolfe, Waggener Edstrom, Ketchum, The Hoffman Agency and Text100 all say digital content work is quickly growing but decline to provide figures.

While nicely boosting the coffers, the increasing focus and workload around digital content is also continuing to create challenges, especially around skillsets, integration into broader campaigns and agency organization.

“Let’s tackle the elephant in the room,” says SPRG’s general manager in Singapore Edwin Yeo. “In Asia, PR is still pretty much seen as media relations…but the essence of content…is speaking directly to consumers. Sadly, the role of PR agencies is often reduced to trying to get bloggers or online platforms to spread the reach of digital content, which is usually created by someone else. To my mind, that isn’t integration.”

The $64 million question: Can you have too much content?

Gavin Coombes, president of Edelman Digital Asia-Pacific and EMEA, strikes a more positive tone about its integration model, but agrees the main challenge is to adopt a consumer mindset. “In essence, we are moving from B2B or B2C for individual campaigns to B2C2B for every campaign,” he says.

This requires the effective management of a brand’s social-media channels, something Ruder Finn APAC chairman Jean-Michel Dumont, Cohn & Wolfe’s Asia president Angelina Ong and Text100’s managing director of integrated strategy, Asia-Pacific, Paul Mottram, say can be tricky.

“Some clients have not internally consolidated ownership of social media. This often results in different approval systems and inconsistency of messages,” adds Dumont.

It is this inconsistency that can thwart agencies’ attempts to craft credible and compelling digital content for brands.

As Peter McFeely (pictured above), Waggener Edstrom’s deputy general manager and digital lead in Singapore, says: “We can and should tell the same story in different channels. What is important is driving the same outcome.” It is a view shared by Daylight Partnership CEO David Ko, who adds: “Ideas need to be germinated together. You can’t take a press release and paste it to Facebook.”

For integration to be effective across digital platforms, a fundamental shift in mindset is required, argues Cassandra Cheong, The Hoffman Agency’s managing director, Asia-Pacific. She says digital content needs to be liberated from “key messages”, which have little appeal to audiences online.

“Audiences on digital platforms are looking for exciting content with a personal, humanized touch, instead of pristine messages that communications professionals spend days and days crafting, but no one cares about.”

PR pros are not only grappling every day with structural challenges as the volume of digital work swells, but also face obstacles once the content has been pushed out.

Several surveys in recent months have shown how engagement with branded content online, especially in Southeast Asia, is pretty weak.

Operating in a vacuum

Clearly, operating across multiple markets at varying levels of economic and digital development is never going to be easy. But is there a danger that much of the work being undertaken is simply disappearing into the online wilderness?

According to Mottram at Text100, the answer is a resounding ‘yes’.

“Far too much content in Asia is churned out without data or insight into what the customer is interested in,” he says. “Far too much talks down to the customer and far too much content is oriented toward converting the relatively small percentage of the audience that’s ready to buy, rather than the much larger percentage that’s still forming a brand perception. We see pockets of resistance and pockets of brilliance, but there’s still a huge risk in Asia that clumsy content marketing will further damage the Asian consumer’s already tenuous respect for what brands have to say.”

Ong at Cohn & Wolfe, meanwhile, believes consumers are not necessarily desensitized to branded content, particularly images and video, which continue to receive the highest levels of engagement.

“However, if a brand is unable to adapt its story to feel like a relevant part of the conversation in an online community, engagement will be weak,” she warns.

Industry experts also pointed to a raft of other reasons to explain why engagement in the region is often unimpressive.

Ko at Daylight Partnership says too much digital content is repackaged advertising and argues bosses is Asia are watering down content as it moves through the approval chain.

“There should be an arms race for intelligent, grab-you-by-the-neck-and-won’t-let-go content, but a lot of what we see is forgettable,” he says.

Others point out that low levels of engagement are due to global brands failing to understand regional nuances.

“I have seen global brands failing to adapt to Asian audiences,” says Vivien Teo, Ketchum’s vice president and director of digital strategy for Greater China. “For example, an English-language global Facebook feed managed out of the US is not going to get as much traction in Asia as a local-language feed with local real-time content.”

Meanwhile Narenda Nag (pictured above), regional director of integrated planning and digital at MSLGROUP in Asia, queried the validity of Western measurement tools for engagement.

“A large part of the problem with measuring engagement around branded content in Asia is that we are trying to import models from the west,” he says. Those models do not successfully take into account the role of mobile-messaging apps like Line, WhatsApp and WeChat that form a huge portion of social-media share in this part of the world.”

The way forward

But if these are the problems facing the PR industry as it strives to embrace and produce captivating content, what are the solutions?

One answer that frequently crops up is the delivery of content, both planned and real-time, through newsrooms or content hubs.

“Newsrooms are definitely the future of PR and the nexus where PR and more general lead-agency business meets,” says Coombes at Edelman. “As the mainstream media shrinks and more people use social media as their main point of access for news and information, it follows that more clients will need newsroom-type functions even just to tread water on media presence, let alone drive new levels of awareness.”

Nag at MSL agrees, and the firm has specialists who focus on real-time monitoring, content creation and distribution at scale for several clients.

“However, we also find that it’s important that clients understand that newsroom aren’t a physical space or a collection of people only, but a shift in thinking on their parts as well as ours,” he adds.

Thomas Tang, Burson-Marsteller’s digital lead for APAC, is also a fan of the newsroom approach, pointing to the agency’s capabilities in Gurgaon, India, where monitors display real-time conversations, trends and stories on its clients. Phase two will see the programme rolled out across India, although not in a physical form.

“As long as our teams have a computer and access to the Internet, they can see the same dashboards and information as if they were sitting in Gurgaon,” he says. “The next phase will include a mobile app so our consultants have access to real-time intelligence while on the road.”

While newsrooms are proving popular, they only provide an organizational or structural solution to content formulation and delivery.

The success of such an approach, however, depends very much on the nature of the content and its local suitability.

“Centralized content creation is great in two ways: firstly, it ensures a level of brand and messaging consistency, while secondly and probably more importantly, it maximizes resources,” says McFeely at Waggener Edstrom.

“That said, the same piece of content isn’t going to resonate across all markets in Asia,” he adds. “There has to be both freedom and ability to develop local content.”

It’s a point reinforced by Ong at Cohn & Wolfe who says that a “one-size fits all” approach will always reduce impact.

“Online and social newsrooms continue to be a trend, but effectiveness and engagement require a sensitivity to cultural nuance, language and local vernacular in social media,” she adds.

Real-time content is also frequently highlighted as a strategy to improve engagement with consumers.

Mottram at Text100 says timeliness is huge. “If you are first, you get disproportionate interest and attention,” he says.

For Cheong (pictured above) at The Hoffman Agency, perfecting real-time content can be the make-or-break of a brand.

“Whether you are managing a crisis or parodying current affairs, it shows people that you are funny, witty, responsive and approachable—everything opposite to the bureaucracies people hate,” she says, before advising, “not all trending topics are relevant to your brand; it takes a clever eye to spot those that matter to your audience.”

Others agree that real-time content has its pitfalls. Coombes at Edelman says it does not negate the need for planned content, while Tang at Burson-Marsteller and MSL’s Nag say “right-time” content is often better than real-time.

Yeo at SPRG also questions how effective many agencies and brands are at implementing real-time content.

“Real-time content is extremely important because attention spans are shortening and the news cycle is counted in hours rather than days. Take the US legislation on same-sex marriage. By the time traditional media reported it on their print and broadcast platforms, half of social media already rainbow-ed their profile pictures,” he says. “But can marketers and agencies adapt their processes to this sort of timeline? My guess is not anytime soon. To be fair, you do see many brands turning around content within 24 hours, but that’s really a small number and even those brands do not do it consistently.”

It is obvious from these responses that challenges still abound as brands and their agencies seek to find the digital content sweet spot. As the number of platforms continues to increase, these pitfalls are not going to disappear anytime soon.

In Asia in particular, it is apparent that different content strategies are required depending on the audience, the location and the brand.

One factor that remains consistent, however, is that the quality of the story will always determine the success of the content.

And it is clear that PR industry is adamant that it is the best-equipped communications sector to deliver it.

“You have to be able to find the story,” insists Coombes at Edelman. “If you are looking to maintain any sort of long-term publishing model then this becomes the essential component. And you won’t find this in most advertising firms.”

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized


Check out our update on the newest evolution of Facebook – as it innovates to stay relevant to its vast userbase, and especially younger users (the prize-catch of all big-time marketers).

Facebook released a new iPhone app in the US earlier this week:

Facebook Paper Waggener Edstrom Social Innovation

It is a new, cooler way to use the channel – I can only imagine that it has been released as a new app rather than an update to avoid a flood of complaints. Every time Facebook updates its newsfeed, timeline or whatever, there is ardent support for the former incarnation. I think they are trialing Paper and, in time, it will replace the existing newsfeed (at least on mobile and tablet).

The app includes your newsfeed but you can also select topics (headlines, sport, humour etc.). It looks and feels like Flipboard. Users can then browse between themed feeds, much like they can browse boards on Pinterest. If you have a US iTunes account then you can download the app and start using it now.

I love it – the UI/UX is awesome and it’s a great way to filter content. From a user perspective it is really cool and Facebook are smart in that it means people are more likely to stay within their platform to consume content (not just their own newsfeeds, but other curated feeds). Also, though I am sure it will change, Paper currently does not have ads which makes for a much more pleasant experience!

So what does Facebook’s latest reinvention mean for  communications and marketing agencies?

Unlike other Facebook changes, the introduction of Paper will not have a huge impact immediately (even if it were available outside the US). However, it could make a major difference to how brands communicate via social in two key ways:

  1. It is yet another indicator of the shift to mobile consumption and the need to be aware how the content you create, whether it is pitching a newstory or creating a video, will ultimately be consumed by your audience.
  2. The curated feeds on Paper seem to be based on sharing/interaction etc. (though right now they are obviously US-centric) so driving redistribution becomes even more important (if that’s even possible) – if you don’t want to pay a fortune to get a lot of views, you no longer have to rely on your audience hearing about your content from a friend. Now, with curated feeds, popular and highly-shared content goes straight to users irrespective of who they know.

Content is truly taking centre stage on Paper and, through this latest reinvention, Facebook is transforming itself into a fully-fledged media company.

The key takeaway is that we need to tell stories by creating content which travel easily, across today’s prevalent communications devices. In a nutshell, communicators need to make mobile content that people want to share.

Leave a comment

Filed under Content marketing, News, Social media


Previously I wrote a blog post about a viral marketing video by Cadbury. Marketing asked me to re-imagine it for their publication – below is the updated version. The original post can be found here.

viral video, content marketing, social media, virality, singapore, peter mcfeely

Content marketing is probably the most discussed topic in communications at the moment. Brands and agencies are, rightly, putting a lot of effort into creating content which will engage audiences and be shared digitally. However, in chasing the viral effect, many content creators are overlooking their primary objective of creating a business impact.

In the past month, there have been several high-profile videos which have achieved widespread online exposure. The most recent example is the Carrie telekinesis prank in a New York coffee shop. Others in the past few weeks include The Beer Factory’s angry customer stunt, NTUC Fairprice’s offer of a home cooked dinner, and Bourneville’s failed wedding proposal in a shopping mall.

These videos have achieved very different degrees of success, from consumer backlash and a negative impact for The Beer Factory and NTUC, virality but negligible business impact for Bourneville, to expected commercial success for Carrie. Here’s the verdict: ‘going viral’ is not, in itself, a true indication of success or substantial ROI.

Measuring ROI

On first viewing many of these videos appear to have been created on the cheap by the man-in-the-street, with a smartphone. Thousands of views + low production costs = High ROI – Right? Wrong. In reality these videos are carefully coordinated and incorporate costs across logistics, branding, and venue/talent hire. More important is how the content is distributed – Bourneville admitted that its video was seeded and distributed to bloggers, which means media fees. Before measuring the ROI we need to objectively assess what the actual investment was.

In any case, measuring success goes well beyond simply counting the number of video views. In terms of business impact, success can only be achieved if the viewer knows what product is being marketed. Both NTUC Fairprice and The Beer Factory made entirely unbranded videos which deceived the viewer and resulted in negative sentiment. Bourneville’s branding was too subtle and the focus of the video was on the scenario rather than the brand proposition.

Ultimately, success can only come from creating a desire for the product. NTUC Fairprice came across as disingenuous, The Beer Factory made drinking beer look unappealing, and Bourneville’s ‘clever’ depiction of the not so sweet messaging didn’t translate into an appetite for a bar of chocolate. Only the Carrie team successfully created a desire amongst its audiences – they tapped into the fact that certain movie-goers want to be scared and translated it into a real-life scenario which is likely to drive people into a cinema.

So what are the lessons we should learn from these examples?

Creating shareable content

1.       When we create content we should focus on solving a business problem – for instance, selling more chocolate. Part of that is about having ownership. Unbranded candid videos just don’t work – they are created to try to engineer a viral effect but getting eyeballs that don’t understand your message doesn’t mean much. It’s like having 100,000 Facebook fans in the wrong demographic or getting coverage in the wrong language in the wrong newspaper. The scene created must be recognisable (like Carrie) or contain overt branding.

2.      While the video needs to be fun, creative, and worthy of sharing, the message needs to be clearly communicated. The general online audience is not one of marketers and film students – people don’t analyse a video after they see it or try to pick out the subtext. There’s a small window to make an impact and if your message isn’t clear it’s a missed opportunity. Marketers need to think like consumers and create content for them, not for their professional peers.

3.       Nothing goes viral on its own anymore. From a marketing perspective, there is always a big spend involved, either in production or promotion (or both), so it is not enough just to make a video and put it out there. Marketers need to make strong, intelligent content and have an integrated amplification plan to drive viewership and, more importantly, sustained conversations – preferably on owned platforms – around the value proposition and product features. Virality should not be the endgame – business impact must be.

Though content marketing is the current craze, the fundamentals of communication are still the most important factors. There is no point in producing and promoting content if it doesn’t convey a clear message and actually achieve impactful business-focused objectives.

Leave a comment

Filed under Content marketing


Originally posted on

In recent weeks, one of the most talked about pieces of online content was a failed wedding proposal video in a mall. While there were a lot of shares and comments sympathising with or mocking the would-be groom, many people figured out the video wasn’t real. Some even correctly surmised it was created by Cadbury for their Bourneville brand (the miniature train in the clip carries branding).

Cadbury have since publicly claimed responsibility in the hope of riding the crest of the wave. According to an article in Marketing, they’re estimating the video has been viewed 7-8 million times across all platforms. Impressive numbers, but it would seem to me that the video was created purely with the objective of going ‘viral’ and the actual ROI may not be as great as initially perceived.


1.       On first viewing, the video is a cheapo production on a handheld camera or smartphone. Guerilla content at its best you might think. In reality, it’s a carefully rehearsed stunt which will have cost a pretty penny to coordinate in terms of props, branding and location. More importantly, reading between the lines of the statement, significant money was invested in driving initial views. The video was ‘seeded’ (i.e. distributed via paid syndication advertising) and pushed through (paid) bloggers. There may be millions of views but I’d love to know the actual investment in production and promotion – the theoretical cost per view might not actually be that low.

2.       The video might get views and align with the Bourneville proposition of ‘not so sweet’ but the branding is too subtle and most people didn’t know it was intended to sell chocolate. It’s great that the video has been viewed so many times but has it had any real impact on Cadbury? Most of the people who saw the video, via a friend’s Facebook post or such like, didn’t realise it was for Bourneville and will never see the news article revealing Cadbury created it.

3.       Even for those people who are aware of the connection, the scenario in the video doesn’t create a desire for the product. It aligns to a proposition or brand value but does seeing a failed wedding proposal in a mall make you want to buy a bar of chocolate? I’m guessing at no… and that would be supported by the fact the Cadbury spokesperson won’t reveal sales impact. Reading between the lines again, it has been negligible at best.

Viral Video Asia Content Marketing YouTube

So what has the video ultimately achieved for Cadbury? I’d say not a lot –it would appear they’ve spent quite a bit of money on something which hasn’t driven a big impact on sales and beyond being mildly clever is unlikely to change people’s opinions on the product or make them want to sample it.

So what are the lessons we should learn?


1.       First of all, when we create content we should focus on solving a business problem – for instance, selling more chocolate. Part of that is about having ownership. I’m not a fan of these unbranded candid videos – they are created to try to engineer a viral effect but getting eyeballs that don’t understand your message doesn’t mean much. It’s like having 100,000 Facebook fans in the wrong demographic or getting coverage in the wrong language in the wrong newspaper.

2.      Secondly, while the video needs to be fun, creative and worthy of sharing, the message needs to be clearly communicated. The general online audience is not one of marketers and film students – people don’t analyse a video after they see it or try to pick out the subtext. There’s a small window to make an impact and if your message isn’t clear it’s a missed opportunity. Marketers need to think like consumers and create content for them, not for their professional peers.

3.       Finally, nothing goes viral on its own (OK not nothing, but very little). From a marketing perspective, there is always a big spend involved either in production or promotion (or both) so it is not enough just to make a video and put it out there. Marketers need to make strong, intelligent content and have an integrated amplification plan to drive viewership and, more importantly, sustained conversations – preferably on owned platforms – around the value proposition and product features. Virality should not be the endgame – business impact must be. 

‘Content marketing’ are the current industry buzzwords but the fundamentals of communication are still the most important factors. There is no point in producing and promoting content if it doesn’t convey a clear message and actually achieve impactful business-focused objectives.

Leave a comment

Filed under Content marketing, Social media


Originally posted on the Waggener Edstrom blog

Recently I presented at Social Media Week in Singapore, on the topic of ‘Where Should You Be Social?’ The session proved very fruitful with more than 60 attendees taking part in an active discussion on how best to rationalize a personal or professional social presence.

The rapid rise of social media has left us with dozens of mainstream options for creating a social media profile, but it’s difficult to maintain a social life if all you do is manage social media all day. We talked about the need to concentrate efforts, either as an individual or a company, in the platforms that really matter. In short, the way to do this is to have clearly defined objectives, identify where the target audience is already active, and understand their motivations for using each platform.

The crux of the argument is that splitting a social presence across too many platforms is not only time consuming, but also ineffective and potentially damaging to one’s reputation or brand. We had all attendees complete a simple survey which backs up this hypothesis – the more platforms created, the lower the proportion actively managed.

  • Everyone’s Everywhere: From a personal perspective, the vast majority (46%) have a presence on 6-10 platforms. A further 23% have a concentrated presence on 0-5 platforms, while as many as 17% have 16 or more profiles.
  • More Presence, Less Activity People using 10 or less platforms tend to use 66% of their profiles on a very frequent basis (at least once every two days) with only 23% logged-into infrequently (less than once a fortnight). However, as more platforms are added, the usage becomes lower – those with more than 16 platforms use just 30% frequently while 57% are infrequent. Of these, a large amount of profiles are completely inactive, but still publicly discoverable.
  • Conservative Professionals People are more conservative when it comes to business – 84% of respondents use 0-10 platforms professionally. Again, the utilization of platforms drops dramatically as volume increases. Users with 0-5 platforms access 48% of their profiles frequently and 19% infrequently, though these respectively fall and rise to 20% and 71% for users with more than 15 profiles.

Inactive and infrequently updated platforms aren’t going to do anything to advance a personal cause or brand reputation. In many instances, they are even going to be damaging as the owner is perceived as disorganized, uncommitted, or unaware. As such, it’s certainly better to have fewer platforms and use them more effectively.

  • In the Lead: With regards to platform popularity, it’s unsurprising that Facebook comes out on top for both personal and professional use. It turns out that some people actually do not have a Facebook page with 94% using it personally, but a slightly lower 83% for business. What’s interesting is that business pages are used or updated much less frequently than personal pages – 90% and 52%, respectively.
  • Who’s Popular? Other popular personal platforms include WhatsApp (90% use it, of which 85% do so frequently) and YouTube (81%, 63% frequently), while LinkedIn (56%, 25% frequently) and Skype (56%, 27% frequently) are utilized more often by businesses. Despite its continued growth, Twitter only comes in fourth for either use with 77% and 54% penetration in personal and business circles, respectively.

Brands need to reflect the consumption habits of their audiences to take full advantage of their social presence. For instance, the figures indicate that although YouTube is used on an almost daily basis by individuals, less than half of respondents have business accounts and nearly 75% of them fail to use the platform more than once a month. As such, it is often a missed opportunity.

That doesn’t necessarily mean that brands should simply concentrate their marketing efforts on the platforms most popular for personal use. The most important thing is understanding the audience’s motivations for using each platform – it’s unlikely that anyone wants to receive advertising through WhatsApp and, similarly, Facebook isn’t always the right place for marketing.

Our brief study shows that when it comes to managing a social presence, less is definitely more. Individuals and brands need to stick to the three golden rules (identify objectives, establish where the target audience is active, and understand their motivations) and build from the ground up, adding social platforms only when they are ready to pay them the attention they need. That’s the key to understanding where you should be social, and how to be successful when you get there.

SMW, Social Media Week, Singapore, social media, digital pr, Peter McFeely

Less is More – rationalise your social presence on social media. Survey results from Social Media Week Singapore SMW

Leave a comment

Filed under Events, Social media