When I attend or speak at seminars or talks on marketing, I would usually ask the marketing executives, SME professionals or entrepreneurs in attendance this: “So what brings you here today and what do you hope to walk away with at the end of the session?” The responses tend to vary between these two comments: “Our marketing budget has been cut, yet I have to exceed the number of leads from last year,” or “I am looking for one or two low cost tactics that I can implement right away which will give me a huge reach.”

“So, are you marketing on Facebook?” I ask. Sometimes the answer is “Yes, but I don’t really know what I’m doing,” or “No. My boss is worried that we might get some negative comments so we just skip it altogether.”

In my opinion, Facebook is an opportunity not to be missed if done right. With so many companies tightening their marketing budget, given the size of this platform, why are you not using it – especially when it’s free?

In October last year, Facebook indicated that they had reached a new milestone – the number of active Facebook users reached 1.19 billion a month on average.

If you are a business owner, that number should have you shaking in your boots with excitement. That number translates to a huge opportunity for you reach out to an enormous population of target prospects on a platform where they are ‘hanging out’. The best part is, if you’re on a very limited marketing budget, this is one group you can reach out to for free.

Here are some of the statistics that they released in their Third Quarter 2013 results.

  • Daily active users (DAUs) were 728 million on average for September 2013, an increase of 25% year-over-year.
  • Monthly active users (MAUs) were 1.19 billion as of September 30, 2013, an increase of 18% year-over-year.
  • Mobile MAUs were 874 million as of September 30, 2013, an increase of 45% year-over-year. Mobile DAUs were 507 million on average for September 2013.

If that does not convince you that your business needs to be engaging prospects by using social media, here are a few more statistics that might be of interest to you.  According to a 2013 comScore report about Southeast Asia (SEA),

  • Social networking captures a large share of PC screen time in SEA (with men in the region spending more time online than women)
  • Choice of user device (PC, mobiles or tablets) varies significantly depending on the time of day – there is a dramatic increase in mobile and tablet use after 7 pm, with a spike at around 10 pm.
  • The social networking category captures the largest percentage of consumer’s time in SEA. In fact, all SEA countries index higher than worldwide average reach of social networking sites.

Now if that last statistic does not give you a clue as to where your prospects are hanging out, I am not sure what will.

Let’s face it (no pun intended); Facebook is not going away. It is time for companies to take full advantage of what Facebook has to offer them as a business. Learn how you can make the most of Facebook marketing at SME 101: Marketing Bootcamp.

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Join Pamela Wigglesworth at SME 101: Marketing Bootcamp, a two-day workshop organised by STJobs and Experiential Hands-On Learning, on 27 – 28 March 2014. Learn how you can harness social media sites to market your business at zero or low cost, gain the attention of clients and prospects using video, and increase your business’ customer base with mobile phone marketing.

To register, log on to www.stjobs.sg/bootcamp. Sign up now to enjoy early bird prices and stand to win attractive prices!

All workshops organised by STJobs.sg qualify for tax savings under the PIC scheme. Take advantage of the 60% Cash Payout or 400% Tax Deduction now!

 

This advertorial first appeared in The Straits Times on 3 Mar 2014.