Trends & Guides

Social Media as an Effective Internet Marketing Tool

23 January 2019 | Najwan Nazim

Internet marketing is a great tool when it comes to penetrating a certain market. The Malaysian population as of today consists of 32.2 million people. According to ASEAN Up, it was recorded that over 25 million or 77% of the population are connected to the internet, 24 million or 74.5% of the population are active social media users, and 22 million which is equivalent to 68% of the population who are active mobile social users.

The internet creates a vast virtual area full of creativity and limitless possibilities, thus making more opportunities for entrepreneurs to explore. In a business point of view, the internet is an opportunity heaven with millions of consumers connected which makes it a great method to target their desired market. With the presence of social media, this makes marketing decidedly less complicated.

Taken from miti.gov.my

According to the reviewed article, majority of the Malaysian population are aged 35 and below which means that Malaysians are mostly millennials. Millennials are mostly those who are born between 1981 to 1996. What makes these individuals from other generations so special is that they are tech savvy individuals. This would explain why there is a high traffic in social media users as recorded by ASEAN Up.

Furthermore, Shaara Roman from Top Employers stated that “millennials are tech savvy. Gen Z’s are tech native”. Gen Z are groups of individuals who are the generation after the millennials. The article further discusses on how the Z generation would innovate the future of entrepreneurship and why these individuals are what entrepreneurs should look out for.

The Z generation are individuals born in the era of smartphones and advanced technologies. This would mean that these particular individuals have the potential to increase the traffic flow for the usage of social media and would mean the increase in e-marketing efficiency.

With that out of the way, social media has a high potential for marketing today and for that potential to be multiplied tomorrow based on the stats reviewed. If that’s the case, what are the types of internet marketing that we ought to look out for to adopt in business practices?

Facebook

Taken From silvermouse.com

As of 2018, Facebook was the most popular social media platform in Malaysia with 16.8 million users. Facebook had always been a great platform where people stay on to connect with their long-lost friends to families that are living far away. This platform became a successful social media platform as users are emotionally attached to the services Facebook provides. This would create a competitive advantage when it comes to new social media sites that are trending rapidly.

Taken from gs.statcounter

Facebook is a great platform to connect with the consumers. As seen from the data collected by statscounter in 2018, even with popular social media platforms like Instagram and Twitter they still managed to dominate the competitors. In Malaysia, Facebook is perhaps a monopoly of social media if you will. Therefore, this makes Facebook a great way to promote the products.

However, back in 2017 Facebook had 28.83 million Malaysian users whereas in 2018 it was recorded that the number had dropped down to 16.8 million. Even though the traffic is still great, there is potential that the numbers would drop down further in the coming years. Furthermore, it is also important for marketers to take note that although it is still a great platform to promote a product, it is relatively difficult to know if a business is actually reaching the customer base as the consumers would need to be subscribed to the business page in order to keep track of the core customers.

Instagram

Taken from iamk.com

According to an article from The Star, in 2016 Malaysians are known to be the most active Instagram users in Asia Pacific. 73% of those connected to the internet are active ‘Instagramers’. As of 2017 the percentage of Instagram users skyrockets to 56.1% with 13.74 million Instagram users in Malaysia. This shows that Instagram is a great platform for marketers to take advantage of as it allows the marketers to share a more interactive approach towards the promotions which can at the same time improve B2C relation.

Businesses would not have to spend a fortune on posters and adverts which is somewhat untargeted. With the help of Instagram, marketers are able to apply a more efficient targeted approach towards consumers. For example, Reka Teemor is a wedding planning service which emphasises heavily on the Instagram platform for their marketing purposes.

This husband and wife business currently have 136 thousand followers on their Instagram page. To stand out as a wedding planner among their other competitors, Reka Teemor uses this platform to share images of their hard work from past happy clients which had helped to increase demand for their services. Since young couples of todays are mainly millennials and coming up to the Z generation, it is very likely that these clients would stumble upon one of their posts.

However, the downsides are that users usually priorities images and not product details which makes it not ideal for educating consumers on the intended promotional message. It is a fast-paced world today and people simply don’t have the time to read details and go through each point as businesses would normally try to squeeze in at the captions section. Businesses cannot simply post a picture and expect the traffic of Instagram users to get every detail on the get go. Unfortunately, it does not work like that which is why hashtags were invented. Hashtags would allow these businesses such as Reka Teemor, to counter such limitations with a short message that says it all.

Blog

Blogging may seem like an old dried out social media platform for most youngsters but let’s not jump into conclusion stating that this platform is dead. Blogging is more like an e-commerce entrepreneurs baby step when it comes to gaining more experience and knowledge on the desired business plan. Blogging is very useful when it comes to interested but unexperienced e-commerce entrepreneur to test the waters with the market for their business plan. As Mark Zuckerberg said “its important to explore something before committing”. Testing the market would help to build a stronger foundation for the future of the business.

For example, Vivy Yusof with her Fashion Valet success. Vivy Yusof was a law graduate from London School of Economics. Vivy was not a stranger to the social media platform. Before Fashion Valet was found, Vivy was a blogger with 10 years of experience which had kickstarted her career which we know today as one of the most well-known fashion e-commerce platforms in Malaysia. This success had made her to be one of the lucky few Malaysians to be published on Forbes. Today Vivy Yusof is a hijab fashion icon in Malaysia and seen as an idol by her followers.

Although blogging is a great start, it is however time consuming. As we can learn from Vivy Yusof, it took her 10 years of blogging before climbing up the ladder with the big boys. It is most definitely a great start for youngsters but not advisable for someone above 30 to invest for their business plan. Blogging is very useful when comes to individuals who are interested in investing passion into a business just like Fashion Valet.

Snapchat

Taken from businessinsider.my

According to Business Insider Malaysia, Snapchat seemed to be ranked least popular based on the survey. Snapchat was founded in 2011 which makes it the newest among the other social media platforms. This would explain why the usage of this platform is not popular within B2B or B2C deals yet.

On the brighter side, this would also mean that this media platform is not successfully utilised by any existing business in Malaysia which would create a door of opportunity for those creative enough to utilise this platform properly.

As an example, although Kylie Jenner is an American celebrity, Malaysians can take her as an example for an entrepreneur that had successfully utilised snapchat to boost her image as well as her cosmetic products. Snapchat allows fans to constantly keep up with their favourite celebrities and role models which makes it an effective tool to squeeze in some details or sneak peeks on their ongoing projects. This would help to create a hype which would boost the potential for consumer traffic.

Today, Kylie Jenner’s net worth is up to US$900 million which makes her the richest among her siblings. Therefore, if Malaysian entrepreneurs especially the marketers are able to somehow replicate that technique and skill towards the Malaysian market, they might have a good chance of revolutionising the Malaysian marketing style which would act as an influential change which may confirm their success for the long run.

On the other hand, Snapchat is mainly a good way to market celebrities but would seem rather unprofessional for corporate businesses to adopt. However, as we are evolving into a digitalised era, and mobile phones are part of our lives, adopting this social media would potentially revolutionise the C2B relationship which would create a strong and loyal consumer base. But if everyone starts to do the same thing, this marketing tool would be saturated and could mean the end of it.

All and all, social media platforms are an amazing tool which entrepreneurs especially the young ones should learn to adapt in business practices. If done correctly, this would propel their businesses forward which could open up to more opportunities to explore. Having to apply all of the social media platforms effectively into the business practice would be of great advantage and worth the extra effort.

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