To grow business, Brunei Inc should ‘friend’ social media

Posted on  21/10/2011  |  Media Centre

Friday, October 21, 2011

SMALL startups and large firms should leverage on social media platforms to grow their business.

This was highlighted at the Think Big Innovate Forum 2011 yesterday at The Empire Hotel & Country Club.

Delwin Keasberry, @BruneiTweet in Twitter and director of, said there has never been a better time for businesses to embrace social media than now, as social media is currently “alive and well”.

“Today, we are more likely to believe what we read online and what our friends or family say as opposed to what we see on TV or read in the newspaper,” he said.

People now have the power to influence the thought of others through the power of social media, he said.

“In order to engage with customers, you need to update frequently, find out what your audience wants, and of course you need to talk back. Social media makes all this possible for all of us,” he said.

He said that businesses should not be afraid of social media, but instead recognise its use as a tool for building existing relationships with customers.

“You can look at social media in two ways. Either you look at it as an obstacle, choose to ignore it and not being in the know, or look at it as an opportunity, get on board and find out what your customers really want,” he added.

Social Blogger Azhani Abu Daniel said social media has redefined a company’s contact with customers, citing her experience as a corporate affairs manager at Royal Brunei Airlines, one of the first companies in Brunei to have a Twitter account.

She said that social media has helped the airline contact and engage customers better, improved its public relations and helped RBA present a warmer corporate front, as well as marketing of new products, sales and promotions.

She said Twitter has become a customer service point for RBA, where the firm was able to receive instant feedback and one-to-one attention.

“I think the case for social media is that it’s immediate, it has a broad influence, it’s easy, most of it is free, and there’s customer feedback and brand loyalty,” she said.

She said that more and more customers and potential customers can find the business by being “out there”.

“It gives you more time to listen (to your customers). You can keep an eye on what other people are saying about your brand, and most importantly, it encourages transparency and honesty,” she said.

Derek Sivers, founder of CDBaby and guest speaker at the event, said that social media is a new form of customer service where both companies and customers can benefit greatly, as opposed to the cost-saving approach of most multinational companies in the US outsourcing their customer service to India.

He said businesses need to focus on what matters to their audience instead of themselves.

“In the social media space, nobody really cares about your business, they only care about themselves. You need to find a way to talk about them instead of you. If you try to get some presence just talking about your business, you’ll be ignored,” he said.

“For example, if you are a paint company, you can post studies about how colours of paint can improve your home or business, this matters to them. Nobody cares if you offer promotions and discounts. It’s like the basic rule of good human communication, you talk about something that they would be interested, instead of talking about me, me, me,” he added.

The Brunei Times

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