How to create the right buzz on social media

By Jeo Angelo Chico Elamparo

Posted at May 24 2014 05:31 PM | Updated as of May 25 2014 01:31 AM

MANILA – Social media has indeed established itself as one of today’s most powerful and influential tools. But how can entrepreneurs maximize the web and properly use it as a marketing platform for their businesses?

Tina Vitas, executive director of iAcademy, a school for continuing education, said there are a lot of strategies on how business-owners can take advantage of social media for their projects, products and services.

Vitas said entrepreneurs must first identify what social media websites their audience is currently using.

“You study first where your audience is. For example, they notice that the audience in Facebook is a little older now. The younger people, the teens, most of them are using Instagram. Their parents are now in Facebook so they don’t want to be there.

“You always start with knowing who your customer is. When you know your customer, then you can create a campaign that can actually engage them and communicates to their needs.”

She revealed that many companies in the world are devoting part of their marketing budgets to social media campaigns.

Some multi-national companies are allocating at least 5% of their overall marketing funds to social media. On the other hand, many emerging and lesser-known companies are putting up to 90% of their marketing budget to online campaigns.

Vitas added, setting up campaigns in websites that use heavy visuals, such as Instagram, can get more attention since these platforms are popular nowadays.

“Now, you notice that people are into heavy-visual. The social media platforms that have heavily-visuals like Instagram, Pinterest, Tumblr are gaining more popularity.”

She said not utilizing social media could turn out to be a mistake for business owners because it would mean that they are not engaging their audience.

“If you are not in social media nowadays, then you are not engaging anybody because some people, even the older generation, have already some presence in social media.”

Vitas revealed that creating accounts in Facebook, Instagram and Twitter is a must because these are the popular social media platforms nowadays.

Vitas also stressed that having a presence in popular video-service website YouTube can be helpful as more and more people turn to it for information and entertainment.

“What is gaining huge popularity now is YouTube. People are posting videos on YouTube not just for information purposes but actually to market [products and services].”

She also said that other strategies to gain ground on social media include restricting a business’ website or social media accounts to appeal to a wider audience, and for entrepreneurs to take up classes or crash courses on online marketing.

iAcademy, according to Vitas, is one of the top schools in the Philippines that offers a social media marketing course. The four-month program is composed of four modules that help budding entrepreneurs introduce their projects to their target audience.