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Social Media Guide For Filipino Entreps


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I’m very happy to announce that the Social Media Guide for Filipino Entrepreneurs eBook is now available for download! To get your FREE COPY, sign-up at the form located in the sidebar (right of this post).

Here’s the outline again for your perusal. Note that we changed Chapter 9 from LinkedIn to Blog Marketing 100.

Chapter 1: Why Social Media
I’ll share with you why it’s important and imperative for your business to be part of the conversation in the various social media platforms available in the Philippines. There will be a lot of numbers here.

Chapter 2: Learning to Listen
Social Media is not just about you doing the talking. Marketers need to learn how to listen, especially online. This chapter will share various free tools that you can use to monitor your company’s presence in the internet. What are people saying about your brand or about your competitors?

Chapter 3: Setting Facebook Marketing Objectives
Stop asking your Marketing Manager if we’re on Facebook and start asking him why should you be on Facebook.

Chapter 4: Facebook Official Pages Guide
A step-by-step guide on how to build a powerhouse Official Page for your brand.

Chapter 5: Facebook Advertising Guide
A step-by-step guide on how to maximize the self-service advertising platform of Facebook.

Chapter 6: Why Tweet?
This chapter will show you how 140+ letters/characters can drastically change your business or your life for the better.

Chapter 7: Twitter Guide
A step-by-step guide on how to properly use and set-up the Twitter account for your brand. We will also talk about how you will grow your fan base as well as basic tips on Twitter etiquette.

Chapter 8: Connecting Smiles with Friendster
Friendster is still a powerful force in the Philippines. This chapter will talk about the tools available for your business on Friendster!

Chapter 9: Blog Marketing 101
This chapter will show you the basics of how to come up with a blog marketing program.

Chapter 10: Your website sucks
Your website is your face to the world online. If you don’t fix it then you’re in trouble. This chapter will discuss basic and advanced tips on how to properly optimize your site.

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Social Media Guide For Filipino Entreps

  1. 1. Social Media Guide for Filipino Entrepreneurs by: Carlo S. Ople Page 2 Social Media Guide for Filipino Entrepreneurs by Carlo S. Ople
  2. 2. About the Author Carlo S. Ople is a Filipino Social Media and Internet Marketing Consultant, motivational public speaker, and all-around nice guy. Some of his prestigious clients include: Senator Mar Roxas, GBX, Bobson Jeans, C2-Collezione, Fish & Co., and Converse. Prior to this, he served as the Digital Marketing Manager of the leading social network in Asia, Friendster, and Marketing Head for the Casual Games Division of the number 1 online gaming publisher in the country, Level Up. Other than his professional consultancy work, Carlo is also part of the managing committee of the Blas F. Ople Policy Center, a non-profit organization that aims to uplift the standard of living of overseas filipino workers and the families that they leave behind. Carlo is engaged to Michelle Orosa and they’re set to get married within the year. :) For inquiries on consultancy and speaking engagements, please visit his website at or you can also send an e-mail to
  3. 3. Social Media Guide for Filipino Entrepreneurs by: Carlo S. Ople Page 4 Introduction Every generation has different sets of opportunities. The environment, landscape, and technology level differs from each decade to the next. Our grandfathers had the advantage of being first in the market when it came to real estate because there were so many undeveloped properties. They were able to purchase these at prices which have increased exponentially today. A generation after, our parents were able to build on that by putting up their brick-and-mortar businesses. Since there were only a few competitors they were able to grow their companies into giant corporations and multinationals. So what's our generational advantage? To be good employees? The thesis of this entire eBook is that technology, more specifically the internet and social media, is the biggest wave that we can ride at this point in time. The internet has radically changed how we communicate: from “one-to- one” to “one-to-everyone”. It is that paradigm shift that today spells the difference between success and failure. Note that the success that I'm talking about is the one that you actually enjoy doing and not the sacrifice-ridden version involved in being a daily cog in the wheel. Allow me to quote my favorite author, Seth Godin from his book Linchpin: "If you're not doing too well maybe the rules have changed and no one told you."
  4. 4. Social Media Guide for Filipino Entrepreneurs by: Carlo S. Ople Page 5 Change the rules and you change the way you play. If you're still competing as if it was still the 1990's when it's already 2010, then you're in trouble. If you have any further questions and comments, please don’t hesitate to send me an e-mail at I would also like to know what you think of the eBook. Did you find it helpful? Was it all BS? Negative or positive, I don’t care. I’d love to hear from you. :) Thank you and I hope you learn something new in the next few pages. Cheer s, Carlo S. Ople Social Media and Internet Marketing Consultant
  5. 5. Table of Contents Chapter One: Why Social Media? ................................................... 7 Chapter Two: Listening .................................................................. 18 Chapter Three: Setting Facebook Objectives ..............................26 Chapter Four: Facebook Official Pages ....................................... 31 Chapter Five: Facebook Advertising Guide ................................. 48 Chapter Six: Why Tweet? ............................................................... 60 Chapter Seven: Twitter Guide ....................................................... 64 Chapter Eight: Connecting Smiles with Friendster ..................... 88 Chapter Nine: Blog Marketing 101 .............................................. 100 Chapter Ten: Your Website Sucks .............................................. 108
  6. 6. Social Media Guide for Filipino Entrepreneurs by: Carlo S. Ople Page 7 Chapter One: Why Social Media? “Internet Marketing is all a joke.” This is a common sentiment among Filipino entrepreneurs and businessmen. Most tend to feel like Facebook is meant merely for uploading photos, networking with friends, and playing games. Some even go as far to think that the internet is a waste of time, saying it doesn’t generate return-on- investment. Who can blame them? They’ve gotten used to the success that was brought about by traditional marketing initiatives that they’ve been doing for years.
  7. 7. Social Media Guide for Filipino Entrepreneurs by: Carlo S. Ople Page 8 But this is good news for you. This gives you the rare opportunity to break into an untapped market and build a very cost-effective business in a very fun way. Imagine a grand mansion with priceless paintings and furniture inside. The house is a business and the valuables inside are customers. Doors are secured with high-tech locks to make sure that everything is safe, and no other competitor can just stroll in. But within that mansion is a giant window left open--the absence of that business in the internet. That’s your opening right there. It’s already 2010 and the landscape has drastically changed over the last decade. Technology has made gigantic strides forward, providing you with new tools and platforms that you can use to bring your business or career to the next level. If you have a business right now and you’re still marketing it as if it was still the 1990’s, then you have one big problem. What are the numbers? Your first question would be “How big is the potential for growth?”, and my answer is “Massive.” Various studies show that there will be around 28 million Filipino internet users by the end of 2010. That’s bigger than the entire
  8. 8. Social Media Guide for Filipino Entrepreneurs by: Carlo S. Ople Page 9 population of Malaysia! The primary growth drivers here are the combination of the aggressive marketing and sales of leading broadband providers like PLDT, SMART, Globe, and Bayantel, combined with the proliferation of internet cafes all over the country. Online gaming industry experts say that there are around 10,000 internet cafes operating in the Philippines as of this writing. And while it’s a bit expensive in Metro Manila at 20-30 pesos per hour, some places in the provinces offer very affordable rates at 5-10 pesos per hour. If you’re still not satisfied with these numbers, let’s take a closer look at one of the more popular social networks being used by a lot of Filipinos: Facebook. Care to venture a guess how many Filipinos are actually signed up? Here’s a screenshot of the total number of registered Filipino users on Facebook which you can track anytime using the Facebook Self-Advertising Platform:
  9. 9. Social Media Guide for Filipino Entrepreneurs by: Carlo S. Ople Page 10 As of 4:45PM, April 1, 2010, there are approximately 11,468, 880 registered Filipinos on Facebook. That’s enough to win you a seat in the Philippine Senate. According to the website Alexa, 8 out of the top 10 websites visited in the Philippines are social networks. If you want to tap the internet to build your business, then be where everyone is. Setting up a website and leaving it there hanging is tantamount to putting a gigantic billboard in the middle of a farm. Being in social media, on the other hand, is like being the giant billboard along Guadalupe in Makati where everyone can see you. It’s the next biggest marketing wave According to the Cartoon Network New Generations 2009 Philippines Study, 6 out of 10 Filipinos aged 7-14 years old are already online1. The same study reveals that the internet is also now the second most popular activity of the same age bracket, next only to watching television. And if you give these kids a few more years, they will eventually be the major decision makers. 1 New Generations 2009 Philippines Cartoon Network Study by Synovate
  10. 10. Social Media Guide for Filipino Entrepreneurs by: Carlo S. Ople Page 11 There’s a giant tsunami coming that will turn how we do business upside down. It’s totally up to you if you will see this as an opportunity and ride the wave, or end up getting crushed by it. And it’s not just the kids. The study Digital Philippines: Internet Media Habits Decoded by Yahoo and Nielsen shows that bulk of Filipino internet users are actually within the 15 - 29 year old range2. These already include young professionals--decision makers in themselves. And don’t get me started on the purchasing power of this highly-prized age group. What about ROI? Now this is my favorite topic when it comes to social media. Let me start by asking you these questions: how much does it take for you to acquire one customer? How about social media? Does it have an effect on purchase intent? Do internet campaigns actually convert to sales and how are they compared to traditional media? The average businessman will probably say it takes somewhere around 100-200 pesos to acquire a customer using traditional methods. But for social media, consider this: 67% of people who follow brands on Twitter and 51% 2 Digital Philippines: Internet Media Habits Decoded by Yahoo and Nielsen
  11. 11. Social Media Guide for Filipino Entrepreneurs by: Carlo S. Ople Page 12 who become fans of brands in Facebook are actually more likely to buy products from you3. For the sake of argument let’s say those numbers are overstated for the Philippines so let’s peg it at just around 30%. How much does it cost you to get a fan on Facebook? Roughly around P10 pesos per fan using their CPC advertising platform. Using dirty math, you’ll end up spending P30 pesos to get one sale if we will use the 30% mark--that’s a lot cheaper than the 100-200 pesos we assumed for traditional methods. You see, the moment someone becomes a fan or a follower of your product, it means that they are interested already in buying. All you have to do is to provide them with a gentle nudge to actually get them to go to your store and do it. New Media is the darling of Traditional Media Another growing trend is that traditional media is giving new media a giant push into the mainstream. Popular media stations in print, radio, and television have aggressively been using and integrating social media platforms into their operations. Let’s go through some of them right now. 3 Study by Chadwick Martin Bailey and iModerate Research Technologies
  12. 12. Social Media Guide for Filipino Entrepreneurs by: Carlo S. Ople Page 13 FM Station Magic 89.9 is one of the most popular stations in Metro Manila. They’re actually one of the first stations to aggressively push for building a Facebook online community. As of 5:19 PM, April 1, 2010, they’ve amassed more than 98,000 fans on Facebook. I’m not talking about passive fans here. These guys actively participate in the promos and discussions on the social network as well as the radio show. The DJ’s constantly promote their Facebook accounts on-air. If you think about it, Magic 89.9 is giving Facebook insane amounts of media mileage. It’s time that you also jump in and take advantage of that. Note that I’m not saying that you spam Magic 89.9’s fan profile. That would be rude,
  13. 13. Social Media Guide for Filipino Entrepreneurs by: Carlo S. Ople Page 14 unethical, and will backfire. What I am saying is that you should be in the game. If you’re not there, you don’t exist in their world. Another media station that’s pushing social media and the internet is ABS-CBN. They’ve integrated Facebook and Twitter into their news programs and special events like the recently concluded HARAPAN: Vice-Presidential Debates. I was even interviewed by Ces Drilon for TV Patrol to discuss the impact of social media in the 2010 campaign.
  14. 14. Social Media Guide for Filipino Entrepreneurs by: Carlo S. Ople Page 15 What does this all mean? Traditional media is pushing people to create accounts on Facebook, Twitter, and other forms of social media so that they can connect and interact with one another. ABS-CBN and Magic 89.9 are part of the reasons why there are now more than 11,000,000 Filipino Facebook users. These stations have integrated social media in their broadcast which means that they acknowledge that the number of Filipino social media users will continue to sky rocket over the longer term. I Google You... do you Google me? In the past, when people needed to know about whether a product is good or not, they would have to talk to people who’ve bought it before. They’d have to either give those people a call via telephone or meet up with them. Today it’s totally different. You can easily go online and type the name of the product on Google and check out the reviews of other customers. Let’s pause for a minute. Minimize this page, log on Google, and type the name of your company. If nothing comes out, then you don’t exist. If bad reviews from bloggers and forums come out, then you seriously need to get your act together.
  15. 15. Social Media Guide for Filipino Entrepreneurs by: Carlo S. Ople Page 16 The power of search is expected to grow tremendously within the next few years, as more Filipinos get access to the internet through their mobile phones. There was this one time I was with my friend and we were shopping for a guitar in a mall. I initially wanted a Yamaha but I was literally blown away by the price (around 50,000 pesos for an electric acoustic). We checked out other brands in several stores. To help me shop, I just googled the names of these other, lesser known brands on my BlackBerry and checked out all the reviews. Within minutes I found a guitar which had a lot of good reviews all over the world and priced at 13,000 pesos. I got the guitar and I’ve been happily playing it ever since. To get on Google, it’s not enough to make your own website. That’s just one result in the 10 that come out on the first page. Get into social media, because the good thing about these social media sites is that they are properly optimized for search engines. If you have company pages in Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc. then there’s a good chance that these pages will pop out on the first page as well. Remember that one of the strongest powers of the internet is that it allows you to focus the eyes of potential customers to good things about your product.
  16. 16. Social Media Guide for Filipino Entrepreneurs by: Carlo S. Ople Page 17 With that in mind, the question that I’d like to throw to you is what are you going to do about it? Allow me to repeat my earlier statement. Times have changed. If you’re still marketing and doing business like it was still the 90’s when it’s already 2010, then you’re jurassic. Don’t be surprised when your sales and market share start to go down when younger and more daring entrepreneurs climb in that giant window that you left open. Before you proceed to the next chapter, I’d like to encourage you to watch a video which my company prepared which pretty much sums up a lot of local industry data that you’ll definitely find interesting. Watch the video by clicking here.
  17. 17. Social Media Guide for Filipino Entrepreneurs by: Carlo S. Ople Page 18 Chapter Two: Listening The internet is like a a giant marketplace filled with billions of vendors interacting with customers. They’re all talking with each other about various products and brands. Now, out of the billions of those conversations, you can bet that there are probably already several about your company. A decade ago you wouldn’t be able to get this information unless you pay a research agency to come up with market research. Consider this input as valuable feedback--it gives you the inside scoop about important things like what people like or do not like about your product, and information which you can use as leverage in your next campaign. Marketers don’t just talk, they have to listen.
  18. 18. Social Media Guide for Filipino Entrepreneurs by: Carlo S. Ople Page 19 The internet is surrounded by REAL people. What they say matters, and the biggest factor behind this is the speed at which what they say spreads. That’s why if you don’t know what’s being said about you, then that’s a big problem--and you have to it fix right away. That’s beside the fact that there’s so much insight that you can get from just mining the web with data about your product. Finding out what’s being said about your product won’t even take much effort. The internet has a lot of really good and free tools which allow you to monitor your “online temperature”. Allow me to walk you through some of them in this chapter. Google Alerts Google Alerts is by far one of my favorite monitoring and listening tools. As with almost all Google’s products, it’s very simple and user-friendly. All you have to do is type in key words, and voila, Google sends you a notice via e- mail every time that word is mentioned online. The system isn’t fool-proof though--there will be some mentions that slip through. But rest assured that the mentions you do get are from websites that have good traffic.
  19. 19. Social Media Guide for Filipino Entrepreneurs by: Carlo S. Ople Page 20 Here’s a screenshot of the Google Alerts homepage where you can set the parameters of the information you want to get, and when you want to receive them. You can set a lot of parameters, but I suggest the following: your company name, product/brand, competitor brands, competitor companies, and important industry information that you need to know about. Not only do these
  20. 20. Social Media Guide for Filipino Entrepreneurs by: Carlo S. Ople Page 21 allow you to track what people are saying about your company and your product, you also get to learn what they’re saying about your competitors. That’s a more holistic view right there. If you’re very conscious about your personal brand, then you might also want to key in your name. Google Alerts also allows you to set how often you will get the e-mails. I currently have it sent to me daily because I don’t want to get individual e-mails each time there’s an alert. That will just spam my inbox. Google Reader Another insanely great tool at no extra cost. I’ve been using this for a long time now because, for me, education never stops. The web is so rich with information and insights which can help you give your career or business a much-needed boost. Google Reader allows you to track all the blogs and websites that have RSS feeds in one page. You can follow virtually any site you can think of--from the blogs and websites that you’ve read that you thought were good, to those you’ve researched, to those recommended by your peers. Allow me shameless plugging by asking you to add New Media Philippines to your Google Reader (LOL). Here’s a screenshot of what Google Reader looks like:
  21. 21. Social Media Guide for Filipino Entrepreneurs by: Carlo S. Ople Page 22 All the blogs and websites you follow are neatly lined up in the Subscriptions sidebar. To read the newest articles, just click the name of the site and the right side of the page will display the latest articles. It’s that easy. Another cool feature is the Explore section. You can click Recommended Items and Sources for blogs that Google thinks you might find interesting. Google also lists down how many other people are subscribed to those other sites and blogs which gives you an indication of their popularity and authority.
  22. 22. Social Media Guide for Filipino Entrepreneurs by: Carlo S. Ople Page 23 With Google Reader, you only take in the information that’s relevant, interesting, and important to you. Twitter Most of you probably know by now that Twitter is steadily gaining a huge following here in the Philippines. It’s actually the 10th most visited site according to the research site Alexa. To hear about what people say about you, your brand, your competitor, or your industry, you can go to Twitter Search and just type the keyword there.
  23. 23. Social Media Guide for Filipino Entrepreneurs by: Carlo S. Ople Page 24 The Advanced Twitter Search option opens up to a more detailed form where you can put parameters for your search. You can filter the search via date and location, and even based on the smileys used in the tweets (negative or positive). You might also want to get Tweet Deck. This will allow you to monitor tweets about a particular topic real time. I’ll give more information on that in the chapter on Twitter. I have a Twitter account and I’d love to hear from you there. Follow me here (click, click!). Search Engines Another way of monitoring your online presence is just to key in the name of your product, your company, your your competitor on search engines. Don’t just limit it to Google. Note that Yahoo still has a strong following here in the Philippines. Check out the first three pages. You should do this regularly (once a month is good) to make sure that the first three pages about your brand have nothing negative in them. To get a list of websites linking to your site, just key in this phrase on Google - The results will be the sites and blogs that linked to you.
  24. 24. Social Media Guide for Filipino Entrepreneurs by: Carlo S. Ople Page 25 There are a lot more other available tools that you might also want to use, other than these four. The web is one giant free market research machine that anyone can tap. It’s just a matter of investing time and effort. Believe me, the benefits outweigh the costs by miles (hey, these tools are for free!). Lastly, let me just remind you that these tools are not just for business, they can also be recreational. Key in the topics and activities that are personally interesting for you so that you’re up to date on the stuff that you love doing. I actually have two accounts with Google Reader. The first one is just for my hobbies and interests like gaming, anime, and movies (yes I’m a geek). The second one is the account that follows blogs and sites about social media, blogging, internet marketing, and technology. “If A equals success, then the formula is A equals X plus Y and Z, with X being work, Y play, and Z keeping your mouth shut.” - Albert Einstein
  25. 25. Social Media Guide for Filipino Entrepreneurs by: Carlo S. Ople Page 26 Chapter Three: Setting Facebook Objectives As of this writing, there are more than 11,000,000 registered Filipino users on Facebook. That’s a giant, potential market you can tap for your business. As I discussed earlier, the growth won’t stop anytime soon due to the massive support Facebook is getting from traditional media outlets. This chapter will show you how you can build an online presence on Facebook, and how this can actually have an impact on your business. Let’s start with the most important part first - the objectives. The objective of your Facebook campaign will determine your over-all strategy and execution. Each objective will require different tactics, resources, and manpower to pull off. If you don’t agree at the very beginning on what you’ll be doing on Facebook, then there’s a big chance that you’ll get blindsided with
  26. 26. Social Media Guide for Filipino Entrepreneurs by: Carlo S. Ople Page 27 problems left and right later down the road. For this eBook, let’s discuss three common objectives: awareness, customer support, and community building. Awareness This is probably your objective if you’re part of a start-up. You need to get the word out to the 11,000,000 Filipino Facebook users that you exist. There are several ways to do this. The first and more obvious one is to advertise on Facebook. You can dot his either by directing the advertisement link straight to your website, or to your company’s Fan Profile. The former needs less resources than the latter. If you want to have a Fan Profile, however, note that this will take considerable resources and effort. A Fan Profile is meant for more than just adding fans, it requires constant engagement between you and your customers. They’ll want answers to their comments, and to give them that you’ll need to get someone to manage customer relations. I’ll share a step-by-step guide on how to create a Facebook Fan Profile later on. Customer Support This ties in with the Fan Profile concept. The danger with social media is that your channels can quickly turn from promotional vehicles to customer
  27. 27. Social Media Guide for Filipino Entrepreneurs by: Carlo S. Ople Page 28 support outlets. If you allow users to post comments on your Fan Profile, expect to get a mix of good and bad feedback from them. When this happens, you better make sure you have someone replying and coordinating with your sales and marketing so you can resolve issues quickly. Always remember that you should reply as fast as you can. If you don’t have a resolution yet, then just let them know that you got their complaint and that you’re working on it. Don’t forget to update them later on once you actually find out what went wrong. One thing that I’d like to recommend is that you come up with rules and regulations for posting comments on your Facebook Fan Profile. There’s nothing wrong with moderation because there are clear and present dangers which can go after your brand. For example, it’s so easy for individuals to make new accounts and spam your wall with negative comments and insults. You have to make it clear with your community that there’s a line they can’t cross. Constructive criticism is welcome but not at the cost of disrespecting the administrator and their fellow fans. Remember, if you don’t have a commenting policy posted then everything is fair game. Building Communities
  28. 28. Social Media Guide for Filipino Entrepreneurs by: Carlo S. Ople Page 29 The strongest feature of social media platforms is the ability to build, nurture, and mobilize communities. But social media is not a one night stand. It’s a long term relationship which grows over time. Eventually you will be able to “graduate” several fans into brand ambassadors and that’s when the magic happens. The problem with some businesses is that they expect so much out of internet marketing and social media and yet they give it the lowest budget and least attention. These campaigns still need gas to run on. More than that, it needs time, effort, and sincerity. We don’t buy customers here, we earn them. This is where most of the political candidates in the Philippines have failed miserably. Many only started their social media channels a month or two before the actual campaign period , and turned it into a race to the most number of fans on Facebook. I believe they missed a big point: The real power of social media during campaign season is how you’re going to mobilize your fans and turn them into volunteer campaign staff. It’s about empowering those Facebook fans, and giving them the means to be part of the campaign. Let me just sum up the major points in the objectives:
  29. 29. Social Media Guide for Filipino Entrepreneurs by: Carlo S. Ople Page 30 You need to have a deliberate strategy for your social media campaign. Start asking the difficult questions before you get into this. Set objectives. Someone has to man the ship. You can’t leave your social media channels unmoderated. If you do, it will do more harm than good. Social Media is long term. You earn your customers, you don’t buy them off. However with enough prodding and patience they will become brand ambassadors and evangelists. It’s all about COMMUNITY. I’d love to see you on Facebook too. CLICK HERE to add me. :)
  30. 30. Social Media Guide for Filipino Entrepreneurs by: Carlo S. Ople Page 31 Chapter Four: Facebook Official Pages Now that we’ve discussed objectives and the initial strategy, it’s time to focus on how to actually set-up a proper Facebook Official Page / Fan Profile. You can do a lot of things with the page of your brand. This chapter will discuss the basics of setting up a Facebook page followed by a more advanced approached to jazzing it up for maximum impact and interaction with your potential customers. Let’s start with the very basics. To set-up an official page, log on to In the past, you only had the choice of making a Fan Profile or a Group. Now there’s a new function called Community Pages. Here’s a screenshot of the create a page segment:
  31. 31. Social Media Guide for Filipino Entrepreneurs by: Carlo S. Ople Page 32 Note that in order to create a page, you really have to be a representative of the person or business that you’re making a page for. If you’re authorized by your company to do this, then fill in the necessary information. The other two options are either creating a Community or a Group. Here’s the screenshot:
  32. 32. Social Media Guide for Filipino Entrepreneurs by: Carlo S. Ople Page 33 For this eBook we will focus only on the Official Page. Once you fill in the initial information, you’ll land on a very boring, empty, and blank page. The challenge now is to make this page interesting enough so that you can actually build a community using this platform, and keep users coming back for more. That’s something that’s very easy to do and we’ll talk about that later on.
  33. 33. Social Media Guide for Filipino Entrepreneurs by: Carlo S. Ople Page 34 Let’s break this down to 5 steps. Step 1: Create a Profile Picture This is usually the first fatal mistake of a lot of Filipino business owners and marketers. We have to be deliberate with every single thing that we do with your page. The profile picture is very important because this is the face of your company for Facebook. It’s also the first thing that they’ll see if they get an invitation, message, or when they land on your wall. Don’t just get a random
  34. 34. Social Media Guide for Filipino Entrepreneurs by: Carlo S. Ople Page 35 picture and slap it there. Get a graphic artist to come up with a decent stylized logo or product photo. Note that the profile picture doesn’t have to be small. Treat the page as if it were your company website. Since the biggest image you can manipulate here is the profile picture, then you might want to consider slapping a huge photo which really sells the product to the potential customer. Don’t settle for a low resolution 200x200 photo. If you can have your designer come up with a vertical banner that will scale down the side of your profile then go ahead and do so. Here’s a screenshot of a fan profile that we’re currently building for Stackers Burger Cafe.
  35. 35. Social Media Guide for Filipino Entrepreneurs by: Carlo S. Ople Page 36 For the profile picture we used a gigantic sprawling banner similar to their tarpaulin design. We did this because we wanted to fans to immediately see and get a feel of the product that Stackers is pushing - which is basically awesome burgers. The main message that I want to get across to you now is that you shouldn’t be limited to the conventional Facebook profile for the picture. Use an image that best suits your objective. If you want to make an impression quick and fast, then you might want to consider this approach. Step 2: Edit Settings After uploading a good profile picture, the next task is to edit the settings for your page. The first setting tab will be country limitations. You can set what countries can only view your page. If you don’t input any, the default is that all countries can see your page. If your business is just based here in the Philippines, then I strongly recommend that you just limit the viewing here so that you won’t encounter any problems and mix-ups. At the end of the day
  36. 36. Social Media Guide for Filipino Entrepreneurs by: Carlo S. Ople Page 37 there’s no point in getting international visitors especially if you have a brick- and-mortar operations (unless you’re going to do online selling). Next up is the Wall Settings Tab. Here’s a screenshot: In this part you will be making a lot of big decisions for your official page. Let’s go through those options one by one. The first option is Default View for your Wall. Your options are Posts by Page or Posts by Page and Fans. The difference here is that when you pick Posts by Page only the posts of the admin will appear on the wall (default). If you pick Posts by Page and Fans,
  37. 37. Social Media Guide for Filipino Entrepreneurs by: Carlo S. Ople Page 38 then all comments will be viewable by the public. To keep things organized and orderly, I usually just opt for the Posts by Page Only. Again it boils down to having manpower to manage this or not. If someone posts a comment and it takes you forever to answer, it will show. Note that there’s a time stamp for all comments and responses. If you have someone to manage this, then you might want to go with the Posts by Page and Fans. If not, then tick to Posts by Page only. The next option can literally make or break your Facebook campaign. You can actually set the default landing tab for your users. Why is this important? Put yourself in the shoes of your potential customer. Out of random interest he clicks and finds himself on your page. What’s the first thing he sees? A wall filled with various announcements, comments from other customers, etc. Will that sell your product? The wall will likely be too cluttered for a strong selling statement or call-to-action. You will need something that delivers your marketing message quickly and effectively. This is where Apps come in. But hold this thought for now because we’ll talk about this in the later part of the chapter. The next set of options is a bunch of check boxes which determines the posting capabilities of your fans. This is again a question of resources. If you
  38. 38. Social Media Guide for Filipino Entrepreneurs by: Carlo S. Ople Page 39 have someone managing the profile full time, then you can afford to have the fans upload anything. Just make sure someone cleans the mess up if a fan or a competitor posts something really bad about your product or brand. If you don’t have moderators, please just turn everything off except for comments. We now move on to the Mobile Facebook tab. This service allows you to post updates via SMS. If you feel like you need this then just select Philippines. The only carrier allowed right now is SMART so you need to have a SMART SIM Card to avail of this service. You’ll be asked to send a text code to a number and you’ll get a confirmation message which you then input in Facebook. After that you can text in changes to your status stream. Step 3: Content We’ll go back later to settings to deal with how to set up a Facebook Landing Page. For now let’s talk about content and what you need to put on
  39. 39. Social Media Guide for Filipino Entrepreneurs by: Carlo S. Ople Page 40 your Official Page. The first thing you need to fix is the Info Tab. There will be several information slots you’ll need to fill up with basic company information. After that, edit the Note Box which is located under your Profile Picture. Since this is the second most visible thing after the Profile Pic, you might want to put the URL of your website here or something important which will help you get your fans to your storefront. Next we have the media that you will be uploading. Select very good photos and videos that you can use to promote your brand. Pick only the best and the more “viral” ones so that users can share them with their personal networks. Before we move on to the next step, let’s take a moment to talk about content strategy. What do you post on your status stream? From my personal experience, you build relationships talking about things that are relevant to your consumers. Don’t be afraid to post links to movie trailers. Express your excitement for things that would normally excite your target market, but keep your core market in mind. Avoid posting links to action movie trailers when your core market is composed of teenage girls. Remember that you’re in a relationship here. Gain their trust by “being one of them”.
  40. 40. Social Media Guide for Filipino Entrepreneurs by: Carlo S. Ople Page 41 Step 4: Add Applications Facebook has a lot of applications that you can use to spice up your official page. Let’s go through the default ones first. You’ll probably be tempted to add the Discussion Boards/Forums app but I strongly recommend against this. It will take enough effort to get your fans to talk among themselves on your wall. Focus them on just one channel. Instead, a good default app to add is the “Events” app. You can use this to invite your fans for your major promos and events and actually schedule it in their calendars so they don’t forget. The other apps are pretty straightforward: Notes, Photos, Links, and Videos. Add a Landing Page to your Official Page One app that everyone should get is the Static FBML application. This allows you to create a beautiful and effective landing page for your profile. Why is this important? Because you can control what users will see when they first visit your page. As we discussed earlier, the default wall doesn’t invite or get your user to do anything, especially if it’s not moderated properly. The Static FBML landing page capability lets you focus the eyes of your potential
  41. 41. Social Media Guide for Filipino Entrepreneurs by: Carlo S. Ople Page 42 fan to one singular, strong, and quick marketing message that you control. Here’s a complete step-by-step guide on how to make it happen. First, get the app. Just scroll down at the bottom of your admin page and you should see a tab there saying “More Applications”. Click Static FBML.
  42. 42. Social Media Guide for Filipino Entrepreneurs by: Carlo S. Ople Page 43 You’ll be led to the Static FBML page. Click the “Add to my Page” option just beneath their profile picture. A pop-up will appear which will list all the profiles that you are administrator to. Just click the profiles that you want to have the app. After adding it, go back to the admin dashboard of your profile. The new Static FBML app tab should be there by now. Click Application Settings. If you want to make a Splash Page activate the tab. After doing that click edit and input the HTML code/script (embed code works) for the Landing Page. After putting in the content, go back to the Wall
  43. 43. Social Media Guide for Filipino Entrepreneurs by: Carlo S. Ople Page 44 Settings and set the default page to the new box that you just created. Each time someone visits the official page your main message is now on display. Here’s what we did for one of our clients, C2-Collezione: Once you’ve done this, count yourself among the elite group of businesses now maximizing their presence on Facebook. I’ll be discussing how
  44. 44. Social Media Guide for Filipino Entrepreneurs by: Carlo S. Ople Page 45 to maximize the boxes in an entry in my internet marketing blog, New Media Philippines. Watch out for that one soon. There are many more applications that you can use for your Facebook Official Page. I’ll be sending out more guides via the newsletter so that you’ll be able to upgrade your pages as the days go by. Step 5: Promote, promote, promote! Now that you’ve built a proper Facebook Official Page for your business, the next task is to drive traffic to it. Don’t just rely on manually inviting your friends to be a fan, because Facebook has separated Profile Page invites from Friend Invites. This means that it’s harder for users to go through profile page invites. Another factor is that users get A LOT of profile page invites so it will be difficult for you to break through that clutter. However there are a lot of other ways to do it. Facebook Advertising & Contests Based on my experience, this is the guaranteed way of building a following. However, you’ll be spending for this one. The going rate of CPC in Facebook for the Philippines is around 3.50 pesos to 10.00 pesos. But that’s still very affordable compared to advertising on other local websites who
  45. 45. Social Media Guide for Filipino Entrepreneurs by: Carlo S. Ople Page 46 charge for CPM. You’ll also get higher conversion if you bundle this with a promotion which is running the same time during your ad campaign. For example, the copy in your ad could say: “Be a fan and get a chance to win a Macbook Air!” That will definitely get their attention. For promotions, you can even get away with getting fans without advertising (but at a much slower rate). We were able to grow the Fish and Co. Official Profile to 3,500+ by just coming up with promos left and right without advertising support. I’ll be discussing more about Facebook Advertising in the next chapter. Integrated Marketing One of the best and most affordable ways to drive sign-ups is to use your actual offline business to promote your Facebook Official Profile. Have tarpaulins or those table menus printed announcing that you’re on Facebook and that you’d like your customers to sign-up as fans. Let them know that you’ll be running contests and promos exclusive to your Facebook community. Give them a good reason to log-in when they get home and search for your page so that they can sign-up. If you have wi-fi in your branches, then you might want to have a small kiosk with a laptop asking users to sign-up as fans. Entice them with some sort
  46. 46. Social Media Guide for Filipino Entrepreneurs by: Carlo S. Ople Page 47 of freebie or discount on the spot. That small cost your paying will go a long way in building a strong, solid, and loyal community of brand evangelists. If your business is online, all you have to do is put banner ads on your site. It’s even simpler if you have an e-mail or SMS database. Just send out a broadcast announcing your Facebook Official Page and wait for them to start trickling in. In Summary Your community has to be alive and kicking. Your Facebook Official Page has to offer value to your customers because if it doesn’t, then it’s as good as spam. If your Facebook page doesn’t have a pulse, it will do more harm than good for your product. In fact, if you can’t assign the proper resources to doing it, don’t bother doing it at all. Don’t underestimate Social Media. Give your campaigns the proper attention that they deserve. :) Regarding analytics and success metrics, I’ll be sending a separate guide on how to analyze the statistics of your Official Page via e-mail soon. Watch out for that one in the coming weeks.
  47. 47. Social Media Guide for Filipino Entrepreneurs by: Carlo S. Ople Page 48 Chapter Five: Facebook Advertising Guide Facebook Advertising is one of the most cost-effective platforms available to Filipino entrepreneurs. The great thing about the Facebook Ad Platform is that it’s very user-friendly and it gives you a lot of options so that you get the maximum exposure possible for your target market. You also get to pick the method of payment and there’s a tracking mechanism built-in which will allow you to monitor the performance of your campaigns. This chapter will give a step-by-step guide on how to use the self-service advertising platform of Facebook. Hopefully by the end of this chapter you’ll be able to drive more traffic to your Official Page or your company website through your ads. Should you do this on your own or should you ask an agency? Agencies and consultants offer Facebook ad placement as one of their services. If you want to take them up on this, ask if there’s an additional service fee on top of the actual advertising cost, or if managing this is already included
  48. 48. Social Media Guide for Filipino Entrepreneurs by: Carlo S. Ople Page 49 in their consultancy fees. Here’s a tip: some may hold back on telling you the actual price in favor of mark-ups. Know what you’re getting into. For our clients we give detailed reports of how the campaign is going and how much money is being spent. If the campaign ends and there is still some tasks left over, then we return the remaining budget to the client. We just include this service in our consultancy package. Facebook Advertising Guide To start working on your ad, just click the “CREATE AN AD” button which is located on the right side of your profile (just on top of the existing ads). This will lead you to the Facebook Ad Creator Page. Here’s a screenshot of the landing page that I’m talking about:
  49. 49. Social Media Guide for Filipino Entrepreneurs by: Carlo S. Ople Page 50 To start working on your ad, just click the “Create an Ad” Button. This will lead you to the next page. There are several fields that you have to input to create the ad. The first series of fields deals with the design and copy of your ad. It also asks you on
  50. 50. Social Media Guide for Filipino Entrepreneurs by: Carlo S. Ople Page 51 where you want the ad brings a user once he or she clicks it. You have the option of either having the ad link to an external site or you can have it linked to your Facebook Official Page. The “Title” is one of the most important parts of your ad. Give this a lot of thought. If the goal of your ad is to get a user to be a fan or visit your Official Page, you have to make it compelling for the prospect. I’d recommend that you have a strong call-to-action--something like “Win a Trip to Hong Kong”--then follow through with the details in the body text. Another obvious important element is the actual picture. There are studies that say that the creative image is even more important than ad placement and copy. You have to use strong images that your target market can easily relate to. The worst mistake you can make is to slap on just the company logo or product picture on the image. Again, let me remind you - be deliberate and strategic with everything you do with Social Media. A good image has to be able to grab the attention of your prospect. A nice example here would be the “Win a Dream Wedding” campaign of one of one catering company. They targeted the ad for people listed as “Engaged” in their profiles. The picture was a happy bride and groom, the copy simple and direct to the point: Win a Dream Wedding. Who wouldn’t want that?
  51. 51. Social Media Guide for Filipino Entrepreneurs by: Carlo S. Ople Page 52 However, note that Facebook Ads limit the size of images. Right now they will only allow you to put 110x80, which is very small. This makes it even more challenging to come up with a strong image complimented by a compelling copy for the subject and body of the ad. The next section is about targeting. This is one of the strongest features of Facebook Advertising and you really do have to take advantage of this if you want to get your money’s worth. You start with setting the countries that will see your ad. If your business is based here in the Philippines, then just leave it at that. There’s no point in having people who won’t buy from you see the ad, unless you have a product that you plan to send globally.
  52. 52. Social Media Guide for Filipino Entrepreneurs by: Carlo S. Ople Page 53 After setting the country, we move on to the demographics. You can manipulate the age bracket so that your ad only appears to the age group that your product appeals to. Bulk of Facebook Filipino users are actually in the 18-30 year old segment, which is one of the most prized segments in Philippine marketing. After the age, you can also set the “Gender” and “Social Status”. Your ad can appear for single, in-a-relationship, engaged, or married people. This is one of the reasons why I think a lot of wedding based companies should invest heavily on Facebook. Every single peso you spend here will literally only be seen by engaged Filipinos... and for what? 5 pesos per click? The “Language” field is limited to those set by Facebook. It would be a cool feature if it would allow us to pick languages local to the Philippines like Cebuano, Ilonggo, etc. but that’s not the case. Just pick Filipino and English for this one and you’re good. The “Likes and Interests” field is a powerful targeting tool if used properly. This actually gives you the ability to focus your ads on the fans of competitors. For example, Candidate X could set his ads to appear to the fans of rival Candidate Y. Here’s a screenshot of something closer to home:
  53. 53. Social Media Guide for Filipino Entrepreneurs by: Carlo S. Ople Page 54 Play around with this tool and check out how many people are fans of your competitors. You might also want to figure out what bands, books, and other products your target market might be interested in so that you can narrow down the advertising even further. The goal here is to make sure that every peso you spend is on people that have the highest possibility of actually buying from you. I spent a few minutes checking out some popular Filipino brands here and some registered pretty good numbers. Let’s just say that if I were a telco or a broadcast station I’d be pouring a lot of advertising money on Facebook. :)
  54. 54. Social Media Guide for Filipino Entrepreneurs by: Carlo S. Ople Page 55 The next fields are “Education & Work” followed by “Connections”. For the first set just click the button on what kind of people you’re after. If your product will appeal only to college graduates, then you might want to click on that. Otherwise you can just leave this to “All”. The “Workplaces” tab looks insignificant but it can actually be a powerful advertising filter. Here’s an example. There’s a mad rush these days to tap the call center workforce because of their disposable income. Most of the time companies do events, activations, and insanely expensive sponsorships to get this done. To reach the call center workforce, just key-in all the big BPOs in the country in this field and advertise to them. Makes perfect sense right? :) “Facebook Connections” is another ordinary looking filter but it’s actually a gold mine. With this you can make sure that your ad appears only to
  55. 55. Social Media Guide for Filipino Entrepreneurs by: Carlo S. Ople Page 56 people who are not yet fans of your Official Page. This can save you a lot of money since we don’t want to pay twice or even thrice just for one person. If you want your ad to be more personal and viral, then you might want to check out the last option “Friends of Connections”. This allows you to reach the networks of the people who are already fans of your product. These are the ads that you see which say “Your friend ____ is a fan of ____ or Your friend _____ likes this”. It can quickly grab the attention of users because the ad jumps out of the screen because it has the names of familiar people. Finally we have the pricing, scheduling, and budget options for your campaign. To load a fresh set of options, click “Create a new campaign”. This will prompt you to a menu of fields that you have to fill up. Input the Campaign name and put the daily budget. Note that the default is set to US dollars. Don’t
  56. 56. Social Media Guide for Filipino Entrepreneurs by: Carlo S. Ople Page 57 put 100 if you really just want 100 pesos, or you’ll have meant 100 USD or roughly 4,700 pesos a day. The next tab is the “Schedule”. The default option is to run the ad continuously starting Day One. This can be expensive, so make sure you change it to your preferred schedule--with a start and end date. The next option is for you to pick either Cost per Impressions (CPM) or Cost per Click (CPC). CPM vs CPC in Facebook Advertising Cost per Click means you pay only each time someone CLICKS your advertisement. Cost per Impression means you pay each time your ad reaches 1,000 impressions. There’s been a debate on what model you should follow but ultimately it depends on your objective, if you want to take a risk, and on your creative material. If you believe your material can easily guarantee you clicks left and right, then CPM is the way to go. You get more bang for your buck this way. However if you want to play it safe, go with CPC. But keep in mind: Facebook Advertising provides only a small space to play around with. This limits the potential of the CPM model and makes CPC much more attractive and risk-free.
  57. 57. Social Media Guide for Filipino Entrepreneurs by: Carlo S. Ople Page 58 Lastly we go to your maximum bid. There’s no set price to Facebook advertising. The more people who want to advertise to the target market you’re after, the higher the price will be. The maximum bid amount is the highest price that you will pay for CPC or CPM. The minimum will be listed on the menu and there will also be a suggested range. If you want to be sure that your ad gets shown, then you might want to place your maximum bid at the suggested range. I usually play around with this though to see if I can get away with just the minimum bid. Again, note that these prices are in US dollars not Philippine pesos. I cannot stress that enough. I don’t want to get e-mails from readers saying that their credit card limit exploded because they thought the amount was in pesos. After setting the price, you can review the ad once more time before sending it to Facebook for approval. Not all ads get approved by Facebook. To make sure that your ad gets approved quickly so that you won’t have to revise it, please read this FAQ online which talks about common ad mistakes and reasons for rejection. If your ad gets approved, it should start running in 24 hours time. It might take longer but usually it takes mine around 12-24 hours before it starts running.
  58. 58. Social Media Guide for Filipino Entrepreneurs by: Carlo S. Ople Page 59 After your ad gets approved just monitor the performance. You’ll be able to track how many clicks are made on a daily basis. I’ll write another piece on my blog about how to read the analytics. In Summary Facebook Advertising is not as simple as it looks like. You really have to put even more effort in coming up with phenomenal creative because you have such a small space for both the image and your copy. You’re also contending with two other ads as well as the social stream on the wall of your prospects. But Facebook Advertising can bring your business to a whole new level if you leverage on the built-in targeting features of the platform.
  59. 59. Social Media Guide for Filipino Entrepreneurs by: Carlo S. Ople Page 60 Chapter Six: Why Tweet? If you watch television or listen to FM radio stations, you’ve probably heard the hosts talk about Twitter. Twitter is a 140-character micro-blogging platform. You type in at the most 140 characters and it gets broadcasted to your followers. On the surface Twitter sounds and looks so plain. However it’s one of the most powerful communication, networking, and brand building tools to ever come out of the internet. I’ve yet to fully maximize my Twitter account but a lot of opportunities have already been opened in just a few weeks of me Tweeting. Using Twitter I’ve built relationships with key influential people. I even get the latest news and updates that are helpful to my line of work. All of that in just a couple of
  60. 60. Social Media Guide for Filipino Entrepreneurs by: Carlo S. Ople Page 61 weeks. My only regret? It took me this long to realize how effective Twitter can be. Argh. Why Twitter? Remember what I discussed earlier: communication has radically changed from one-to-one to one-to-many-to-many. Information can now travel and spread much faster than it ever has in the history of humanity. Twitter adds something new to that as well, giving you a direct line to people that you want to start conversations with. It’s opportunities like these which form the foundation of multinationals and business empires. It really boils down to relationships and networking, both of which are the core functions of Twitter and social media. Twitter for Brand Building Think of Twitter as direct mail to your customers, minus paying for stamps and walking to the post office. The ability to let everyone know what you’re doing, what you’re reading, and what you’re all about is key to building a strong personal brand. You can leverage the principle of association with your content strategy (which I’ll discuss in a separate section). In the past, you had to physically show people over time how you work or talk with them over the phone. Now it’s just one click away! It’s also a great way to let your customers
  61. 61. Social Media Guide for Filipino Entrepreneurs by: Carlo S. Ople Page 62 know that you have new products, promotions, or if you’re a blogger, new entries. Twitter for Networking A lot of influential personalities are in Twitter, making it fully possible to connect with those who were once too far to connect with. Because of Twitter you can say hello to your favorite celebrities, and can even provide leads to reporters. I’ve talked with many reporters on Twitter and it’s amazing that you can start building a relationship with people like them through virtual communication lines. Twitter for Education Another underrated function of Twitter is that it allows you to get advice and tips from people that you consider mentors and experts. A lot of subject matter experts all over the world have Twitter accounts and they regularly update it with links to their posts and other interesting articles which can help you in your respective career. The trick here is to find out who to follow and figure out if following them will offer any value to you. Twitter for Fun
  62. 62. Social Media Guide for Filipino Entrepreneurs by: Carlo S. Ople Page 63 Lastly, Twitter has allowed me to build deeper relationships with my friends and acquaintances. It’s a easy, free, and cool way to communicate and I always find myself having conversations about random topics, sometimes even with people that I haven’t met before. There are more pros than cons when it comes to Twitter. If you’re a firm believer in the idea that communication and information is power, then you shouldn’t be hesitant to take advantage of the immense potential of Twitter for your career and your business. Why Twitter? Why not?
  63. 63. Social Media Guide for Filipino Entrepreneurs by: Carlo S. Ople Page 64 Chapter Seven: Twitter Guide This chapter will be divided into two parts. The first segment will be a comprehensive step-by-step guide on how to set-up your Twitter Profile. It’s actually fairly easy to make an account but there are things you can do to optimize your profile so that it can actually lead to conversions (sales, sign-ups, etc.) Just like Facebook, we have to give Twitter the proper diligence and respect so that we don’t overlook any marketing/sales opportunity. At the end of the day Twitter for your business will be useless if it doesn’t have an effect (direct or indirect) on your bottom line. The second part will be how to effectively use Twitter to grow your follower base. There are two schools of thought when it comes to building a follower base and we will tackle both so that you can figure out which approach you’ll take. In this section we will also talk about etiquette and your content strategy.
  64. 64. Social Media Guide for Filipino Entrepreneurs by: Carlo S. Ople Page 65 Setting up your account Twitter’s sign-up page is one of the easiest to navigate ever, but give a lot of thought for your username. That will be the handle that people will see, and it represents your brand. The safe choice, of course, is to put the name of your brand as your username. Another option would be to put a value or product benefit as your username (just in case someone else has your brand name already). After selecting your username, fill in all other necessary information and you’ll be thrown to the next page called Twitter Sources.
  65. 65. Social Media Guide for Filipino Entrepreneurs by: Carlo S. Ople Page 66 In this part of the sign-up you’re asked to pick a topic and Twitter will recommend people you might want to follow. These suggestions are pre- selected subject matter experts or companies that you might find interesting. Try to follow the ones that you think are credible and offer value. If they end up spamming your stream you can easily unfollow them later on. Remember, the only content that you want popping up on your stream are the ones that can actually help, educate, or entertain you. Go through the tabs that you can relate to, follow a few, and then click the Next Step button at the lower right. The next page will now allow you to automatically follow your contacts in GMAIL, AOL, and YAHOO if they have Twitter accounts.
  66. 66. Social Media Guide for Filipino Entrepreneurs by: Carlo S. Ople Page 67 Since you know these people the chances of them following you are actually a bit high. Don’t worry by the way if all of your contacts aren’t on GMAIL (maybe they’re in Outlook?). All you have to do is to export your contact list from Outlook and then import them into to GMAIL. After you import your contacts to GMAIL you can then have Twitter scan the database so that you can automatically follow the ones that have Twitter accounts. This is a great way to jump start your account so I highly recommend you guys do this. Here’s a screenshot of the option on GMAIL that you should be able to find under the CONTACTS menu:
  67. 67. Social Media Guide for Filipino Entrepreneurs by: Carlo S. Ople Page 68 After scanning all of your contacts and following them, click the NEXT button at the lower right to proceed to the last step. The third and final source finding activity allows you to search for contacts that you want to follow. If you’re short on time, you can skip this step because you can easily look for people later on by clicking the FIND PEOPLE link at the top of your
  68. 68. Social Media Guide for Filipino Entrepreneurs by: Carlo S. Ople Page 69 Twitter page. Click the finish button and your Twitter page. By the way, at this point you might want to go check your e-mail and click the confirmation link on the e-mail that Twitter sent you to unlock all the features. If you don’t, you’ll only have limited access to your account. I recommend that before you start Tweeting we spice up the page first especially if this is for your brand or business. We have to always make a good first impression and this shouldn’t be an exemption. Click the SETTINGS option on the upper right hand corner of the page. You’ll have several tabs that you can go through once you click settings. In the first tab, Account, you can change your e-mail, username, and time zone. Note that there is an option at the bottom which says “Protect my Tweets”. If
  69. 69. Social Media Guide for Filipino Entrepreneurs by: Carlo S. Ople Page 70 this account is for marketing purposes, then leave it blank. If you’re satisfied with everything here, click the NOTICES link at the navigation bar. Now this is a judgement call for you. If you feel like you can handle the influx of e-mails saying that you have followers, then go ahead and leave the New Follower Emails checked. If not, then take it out. Same goes for the Direct Text E-mails. I suggest you click the Email Newsletter though so that you’re in the loop when Twitter makes changes like new features that you can take advantage of. After this, click SAVE and then head on over to PROFILE.
  70. 70. Social Media Guide for Filipino Entrepreneurs by: Carlo S. Ople Page 71 This is one of the more important pages that we have to give some more attention to. First, upload a profile picture. Again use something that can best represent your brand/company. This isn’t just a profile photo, it’s a marketing lever. After the photo, add your location and website URL. If your company doesn’t have a website yet then better make sure you get one done ASAP. I’ll explain more on that in the last chapter of this eBook.
  71. 71. Social Media Guide for Filipino Entrepreneurs by: Carlo S. Ople Page 72 Last, but not the least, is the Bio. This is one of your primary communication channels in your page so as much as possible get straight to the product benefit of your brand. If the business is a restaurant, you might want to put “Incredibly delicious steaks” or “Try our awesome Burgers!”. What’s important is that you put a bold statement here that tells a story and builds your brand’s identity. If this is your personal account then you might want to put direct words on who you are and what you do. This is what I put on mine: Note that this box is located at one of the best spots in your profile page, the upper right section. This means that users and potential followers will give this spot a look. Better make sure that you properly introduce yourself and what you’re all about. I have a habit of putting something light and personal on all my bio’s so I also said in my bio that I’m getting married August this year (thank you, thank you, thank you!).
  72. 72. Social Media Guide for Filipino Entrepreneurs by: Carlo S. Ople Page 73 After filling up all the fields, click “Save” and let’s move on to one of the most important changes that you’ll make to your Twitter profile: the background image. Let’s put ourselves in our potential follower’s shoes. He or she clicks a link that leads to your Twitter Profile. She sees a wall of text in the middle, your picture, and your bio. Nothing really impressive. There’s no call-to-action for her to follow you, much less buy from your store. The solution? Let’s change the default blue background into your biggest marketing channel for Twitter. This is a good tip which I read from Joel Comm’s Twitter Power book.
  73. 73. Social Media Guide for Filipino Entrepreneurs by: Carlo S. Ople Page 74 Here’s a screenshot of my personal Twitter account which is what I also use to market my consultancy and speaking services. There are three primary marketing spaces that you can use. First is the left sidebar, then the top space (in between the Twitter logo and the navigation bar), and the right sidebar. I’m currently only utilizing the sidebars but I’m planning on putting something at the top soon. For the left sidebar, I put a good photo of myself giving a talk followed by a call-to-action for people to follow me. I’m also using this space to let them know what I’ll be tweeting about so they have an idea on what to expect if they follow me. Below the call-to-action are the URL’s of my other websites, social media channels, and my e-mail address just in case they want to get in touch and have a longer conversation (beyond Twitter’s 140 characters). Here’s a
  74. 74. Social Media Guide for Filipino Entrepreneurs by: Carlo S. Ople Page 75 zoomed in picture just in case you’re having trouble with the zoomed out picture above. Come to think of it, that picture wasn’t taken when I was giving a talk. That was actually a shot taken just a few moments before I proposed to my fiancee in our church (just some trivia to lighten the mood, haha!). If you want
  75. 75. Social Media Guide for Filipino Entrepreneurs by: Carlo S. Ople Page 76 to watch the entire proposal, head on over to this link. It’s uploaded on Youtube. It’s 8 minutes of kilig moments so get ready for intense mushiness. Back to the topic. If this is for your brand or company, then you can say something like this on the copy below the photo “Exclusive promos and prizes for our Twitter followers! Follow now!” Make it really compelling for them to follow you. They’re already this far and establishing a relationship with them is only one click away. Pull out all the stops with your copy and design so that they have no choice but to follow you after they see your profile page. After you set-up your background image and you’ve completed all the information fields, you can start Tweeting, getting followers, and following more people that you want to hear from. Two Guaranteed Ways to have THOUSANDS of followers So... do you want to have thousands of followers fast? There are two guaranteed ways to do that. The first is to literally follow everyone that you find on Twitter. There’s a chance that they’ll follow you back. After following maybe 30,000 people, around 10,000 will follow you back. In fact, there are
  76. 76. Social Media Guide for Filipino Entrepreneurs by: Carlo S. Ople Page 77 automated scripts available on the internet which will let you do this, hassle free. The second way is be a celebrity! The top Filipinos with the most number of followers are celebrities. Most of the other people in the list are the type that I talked about earlier. It’s pretty easy to spot. Check how many are following them and ratio it to the people they are following. Take a look as well as what they’re posting on Twitter. There’s a big chance that they’re just spamming links to their sites. I disagree with both methods. Ask yourself first: Why are you amassing the numbers? Could it be because you want to send as much links to your site as possible? That’s called spamming, and you get what you give in social media. Either users will un-follow you or you’ll also just get spammed. Once you follow too many people that you don’t know, your Twitter stream will be filled with impersonal, irrelevant updates from all over the world. Jacking up the number of their followers just because misses the entire point of a good Twitter experience. Twitter, like other forms of social media, is not a one-night stand. It’s a long term engagement which is built on the foundation of trust. So get only the people that matter to follow you: your customers, partners, the media, etc. Focus on quality, not quantity.
  77. 77. Social Media Guide for Filipino Entrepreneurs by: Carlo S. Ople Page 78 Building a REAL Follower Base There’s no substitute for hard work. We will have to earn those followers one person at a time. Here are some of my recommendations on how to do it. First, similar to building a Facebook Official Page, do integrated marketing. If you have brick-and-mortar stores put collaterals on your branches that say you’re on Twitter. Put in a call to action so that they will find following you so compelling that they’ll even do it on their mobile phones. This can be in the form of raffles, discounts, and other small prizes that you can give them. Secondly, you can use your other social media platforms to promote that you have Twitter. There are widgets available on Twitter which will automatically push your Twitter updates to the widgets or on your social media accounts. For example, click this link to go to the Twitter Facebook page which will allow you to import your Tweets. There are also Facebook apps which will allow you to import Tweets to your Official Page.
  78. 78. Social Media Guide for Filipino Entrepreneurs by: Carlo S. Ople Page 79 There are also official Twitter pages that you can use to embed on your company blogs or website. To check out the widgets that you can use, just head over to You can either pick from plain HTML static or flash- based badges for your widget. The widget creator will also allow you to set the size of the widget so you can tailor it based on the open space that you have on your company blog or website.
  79. 79. Social Media Guide for Filipino Entrepreneurs by: Carlo S. Ople Page 80 Third way to get followers is to encourage other people to re-tweet you. When someone re-tweets you, your username is posted on the stream of that person and everyone in his network finds out about you can there’s chance that they might visit your page and eventually follow you. However, it’s not easy to get re-tweeted. This is all about the content that you post on your stream. Users will re-tweet things that they find funny, inspiring, educational, or valuable. A good strategy that you can do to get followers quickly and at the same time drive product sales is to have time bound sales exclusive to your Twitter followers. For example, tweet that your branch in this venue will have a 10% discount just for the next 5 hours to all people who go there and say “tweet!”. Your followers will definitely find this interesting. Remember, it’s all about adding value to your followers. Always keep that in mind before sending out a tweet. Other than getting re-tweeted, you also get exposure and followers when someone replies to your tweets. Your username is published in his reply and is broadcasted to the network of that user. This means that you really need to engage your followers in conversations so that they will reply back to you and give you the necessary exposure on their own networks.
  80. 80. Social Media Guide for Filipino Entrepreneurs by: Carlo S. Ople Page 81 Obviously, the larger the follower base of the person re-tweeting you or replying to you, the better. But these people won’t follow you back instantly the moment you follow them. You have to build a relationship with them. Start by re-tweeting their updates that offer value. Every now and then react to their comments by sharing your thoughts on what they just posted. You might also want to recommend to them readings or articles that are useful for them. It’s literally like a courting process. There are no guarantees of a follow from that person but at least you’ve made a new connection. You never know when that tweet can lead to a cup of coffee then eventually a beautiful friendship. Lastly, another way to build a real following is to check out trending topics that interest you and get into the conversations. Twitter has a lot of add- on applications which will allow you to monitor various topics and even manage multiple Twitter accounts. My favorite right now is Tweet Deck. It’s very easy to use and I honestly won’t be enjoying Twitter as much as I do now if it wasn’t for this program. Here’s a screenshot:
  81. 81. Social Media Guide for Filipino Entrepreneurs by: Carlo S. Ople Page 82 You can add columns that track topics that you’re interested in. Just click the add column button, key in the topic, and Tweet Deck will automatically deliver people tweeting about it. Start replying and building relationships with other people who share the same interests as you. This is also applicable for your brand or business. Just pick topics associated with your brand and start engaging your potential customers. Twitter Content Strategy Now let’s talk about what you’re supposed to put on your updates. If you’re representing your company you will need to get clearance from your boss on what kind of content you can put up. I’d recommend though that you don’t use Twitter as some sort of press release channel. Use it as a way to build your brand’s personality and image. What’s your brand all about? If your brand
  82. 82. Social Media Guide for Filipino Entrepreneurs by: Carlo S. Ople Page 83 was a celebrity, who would he or she be? What kind of hobbies would your brand be interested in? What kind of videos would your brand watch? Answer those questions and you have what kind of content you should be posting on Twitter. Don’t hesitate to reply to other Tweets and answer questions from your followers even if the topic isn’t totally related to your product. As long as you think it matches your brand personality, then go ahead and reply. Value and Trust Capital Like what we discussed earlier, people will only re-tweet you if there is value in your update. Let’s add one more element to that: the chances of them re-tweeting you increases exponentially when you have their trust. Trust builds loyalty which is the foundation of a good brand ambassador program. Let’s call this your brand’s Value and Trust Captial. To increase your capital “points” with your followers, just make sure to actively engage, interact, and talk with them on your social media platforms like Twitter. If something negative pops up, resolve it immediately so your followers won’t get the impression that you don’t value their input. When you have a good follower base and you have good trust capital, it will be much easier to launch a viral campaign. If you have thousands of loyal
  83. 83. Social Media Guide for Filipino Entrepreneurs by: Carlo S. Ople Page 84 followers and you post a link to a viral video that your company produced then there’s a big chance that your followers will re-tweet, especially if the video is both funny and it offers value (maybe you can bundle it with a promotion?). What about Plurk? Before we move on to the next chapter, let me just take a page or two to discuss another micro-blogging platform that’s famous in the Philippines - Plurk. The main difference with Plurk With Twitter is that is allows threaded conversations, and the updates are plotted in a horizontal timeline. Here’s a screenshot of a Plurk Timeline for your perusal: Each time you post an update, people can comment on your update by just clicking that entry. This opens up a thread where everyone can see what
  84. 84. Social Media Guide for Filipino Entrepreneurs by: Carlo S. Ople Page 85 everyone else said. In a way, Plurk is more interactive than Twitter. Here’s a screenshot of what an open thread looks like: As you can see the interaction level here is much more intense, personal, and organized. So can we use Plurk for business or for a brand? Definitely. Should we use it? If you have the man power to do so, then go ahead. If you have limited resources, you might want to stick with only one: either Twitter or Plurk. Note that here in the Philippines, it the platform more commonly used is Twitter, because Twitter gets so much attention from traditional media.
  85. 85. Social Media Guide for Filipino Entrepreneurs by: Carlo S. Ople Page 86 If you’re just starting out your social media marketing, a good suggestion is to just focus on one or two channels first and when you get the hang of things you can go on and expand to other platforms. Summary ADD VALUE. That’s the single most powerful tip I can give to you before you start doing social media, especially Twitter. The more value you give, the more value you add to yourself and your company. Social Media is not about buying, it’s about earning via giving.
  86. 86. Social Media Guide for Filipino Entrepreneurs by: Carlo S. Ople Page 87 Secondly, Twitter is not just about talking - it’s also about listening and learning. There’s so much information and insights that you can get via Twitter’s search mechanisms that will have a profound impact on your business and career. If you’re not using Twitter to learn from others then you’re missing out half of what Twitter can do for you. If you’re really interested in Twitter and you want to read more about it, I’d like to recommend (again) that you read Twitter Power written by Joel Comm. That book was a huge inspiration for me in writing this chapter.
  87. 87. Social Media Guide for Filipino Entrepreneurs by: Carlo S. Ople Page 88 Chapter Eight: Connecting Smiles with Friendster People say Friendster is already “yesterday” but the fact of the matter is that a lot of Filipinos are still using the pioneer social networking website. The traffic they’re getting is still high enough to get anyone’s attention, especially companies who want to tap Filipino netizens - more specifically young Filipinos. Based on the pitch of the sales force of Friendster, bulk of Friendster users are in the 12-20 y/o range. The Cartoon Network New Generations4 study 4 New Generations Philippines 2009 by Cartoon Network and Synovate
  88. 88. Social Media Guide for Filipino Entrepreneurs by: Carlo S. Ople Page 89 also said that Friendster was still the no.1 visited social network of Filipino kids aged 7-14 y/o. If your product is for the Filipino youth, then you need to consider setting up shop on Friendster. You might be missing out on potential leads and customers. Friendster has a lot of good tools that you can use to build brand communities and we’ll go through two of them this chapter. First we will be discussing their Fan Profiles. It’s actually an effective marketing tool when used properly. After that we will spend some time discussing Friendster’s self- advertising service called DIY (Do it Yourself ads). Building your Friendster Fan Profile Unlike Facebook, you can’t automatically create a Friendster Fan Profile. To start, you need to create a regular account for your brand or company. Head on over to and sign-up for an account. Friendster recently
  89. 89. Social Media Guide for Filipino Entrepreneurs by: Carlo S. Ople Page 90 redesigned and rebranded the entire site. Here’s a screenshot of their new logo and look: After signing-up for an account, fill it up with all the necessary information and content. Don’t forget to include really good photos (you might want to make several albums) and you can also upload a video via the Friendster Media Box. Once you’re done with completing the information on your profile, the next step is to create your own background image. But since there’s already so much information on your Friendster profile, I don’t recommend overdoing the background. This is really more of a branding exercise so give a little more freedom for your creative team on this one.