Capitalising on the social media phenomenon

Posted on  11/10/2011  |  Media Centre

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

WITH such a high impact on the daily lives of consumers today, social media will be one of the key areas for discussion at this year’s Think Big Innovate 2011: A Technology and Entrepreneurship Forum, said representatives from organisers Asia Inc Forum and the iCentre.

Hadie Shafie, iCentre manager, touted the social media phenomenon as a change of technology for social purposes. “You’re not using ICT for the sake of it, it is a communication tool and it’s also a sharing tool. That’s not tech for tech’s sake, that’s entertainment, that’s food, even hair salons,” which is in itself an innovation.

Stuart Kemp, executive director of Asia Inc Forum, agreed, adding that in terms of ICT and technology, it has become all encompassing across all elements of life and business. “One of the sessions that we have is derived around how do you use ICT as a driver around organisational excellence and that’s specifically in the education sectors, in the business sectors. So how do we use ICT, how do we leverage that to actually improve performance?”

Andrew Dy, general manager of Asia Inc, said, “It’s already a big thing that’s taking place here in Brunei. People are getting onto the social media bandwagon and they’re using it in different ways for business or branding … that’s why we want to just join in any way we can and see how we can capitalise on that discussion, and see how others can take it up as well, and what impact we can have.”

The differentiation between digital marketing and social media, however, walks a distinct but linked line, he explained, saying “You can’t really take them apart, because if you have social media, to me, it’s an integral part of digital marketing because you use the social media space as a marketing channel.”

With digital marketing a more traditional Internet advertising avenue and social media marketing viewed as more of a two-way street, the word-of-mouth marketing in the Internet space via platforms such as Twitter, Facebook and Tumblr is more “believable”, said Hadie. “This is where people group together because it’s their mutual interest so how you market through that is different to how you market through banners for example. Search engine optimisation is digital marketing for example, social media is the ‘walls’ on Facebook, and ‘liking’ a page that’s social media. The banner advertisements down the side of the page that’s digital.”

The likelihood of a person buying that product or item as a result of a positive affirmation through social media is much higher than normal digital marketing or advertising, he added, saying that a consumer will listen more to their friends than someone trying to sell them something, “because you know what’s in it for them, but your friends are telling you because they’re just your friends”.

The Think Big Innovate Forum 2011 will be held on October 20 at The Empire Hotel & Country Club.

The Brunei Times

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