More than 12 million Facebook users. National broadband penetration is over 80%. Almost 17 million total internet users. And how much are Malaysian businesses spending on online advertising?
A measly 1% of their total advertising budget.
A report released recently by Google and McKinsey & Co shows that Malaysian businesses hardly see internet advertising viable. In fact, Malaysia is placed at the bottom 10% of the 57 countries surveyed.
Look, I’m no advertising genius. But doesn’t this seem like a severe case of head-in-the-sand ignorance?
Just 10% of Malaysia’s Facebook population is still more than the total daily readership of The Star, which is at about 1.06 million.
But that’s not all. We Malaysians spend more time on the internet than on watching television or listening to the radio combined.
If you ask me, I think we spend more time online than even talking to our spouse, family and friends combined.
If anyone out there thinks online advertising is crap – it can be annoying if improperly executed though – here are 5 good reasons why you should take your next campaign online:
- Costs a fraction of TV, Print or even Radio ads
- You can measure results and effectiveness almost immediately
- Internet allows for almost pin-point targeting, bases on niche interests
- Those in their 20s and 30s are active internet users; a consumer goldmine!
- Almost 40% of purchase decisions are made on the net; making online presence critical
In times of dwindling marketing budgets and an ever-evolving consumer landscape, please feel free to double or even triple your online marketing efforts this year.
If you still want to spend RM40,000 or upwards on a one-time-only print ad (I’ve got some tips for that too) instead of a highly-targeted, response-oriented online campaign; then go right ahead.
I could probably get my ass kicked by fellow copywriters. But it is a risk I am willing to take. Clients take notice, because this is very important – never hire a copywriter to manage your Facebook page.
Because contrary to popular belief, we copywriters can’t write everything.
Okay. Let me rephrase that, we can’t write everything as well as it can be. Like myself, I am predominantly a direct response copywriter; ask me for a press release and I will struggle with writer’s constipation.
When it comes to social media however; the problem becomes even more obvious. Copywriters are trained at marketing speak; and anything the even seems remotely ‘marketing’ will probably be rejected by social citizens.
Use of the words like ‘free’, ‘exclusive’, ‘now’ and other forms of sell-speak is definitely not welcomed in Facebook.
A socially untrained copywriter commenting on behalf of a brand in Facebook is like that insurance agent friend who always wants to sell you a policy.
We usually avoid any kind of marketing or selling in our social space; as in Facebook.
The kind of writer you want managing Facebook comments is someone who is comfortable in cyberspace. Someone who knows the web lingos, keeps up with online trends and engages online audiences regularly.
It has to be someone who can ‘talk’ to audiences in their language. And not in some Oxford dictionary approved English.
Which means, this writer has to be able to make himself make mistakes. Likes little grammatical errors, occassionnal typos and also dabble in txt spk.
Managing a Facebook page is all about being honest, friendly and more often than not; amateurish.
In other words – now anyone can write copy! Errr… I take that back.
Okay, I think I’m finally tired of Facebook. No, not because of you my dear friends, it’s just this new ad-infested, apps-ridden and spam-inducing thing that’s disguising as Facebook.
Remember how exciting Facebook was? It was an amazing application that revolutionized the way we communicated. We vowed we could never live without it. We then continued our FB love by creating events, uploading our lives and adding total strangers as friends. Much love!
And in the rumble-tumble world of copywriting, Facebook provided inspiration for dull minds and the perfect respite from work.
Now Facebook is nothing but another chore to do in the mornings… and the rest of the day. It has turned into a dark, evil brother that invades our privacy, sends us unsolicited messages and forces suggests us to be friends with virtually everyone… virtually.
So I thought if I was the only one who felt this way. Apparently not, because according to ZDNetAsia, 31% of younger, more mobile and brand conscious consumers have indicated they are getting bored with their social network – leading to social fatigue.
Well, I’m not really that young, mobile or very brand-conscious; but the feeling towards Facebook is definitely mutual.
Ah yes, how can I forget the annoying little ads that appear in the right sidebar. From “cepat kaya” messages in broken Malay to those sexually suggestive ads for medieval role playing games; they are becoming increasingly ridiculous.
And just when I thought we couldn’t be more connected, some wise guys go and create Rock Melt – a web browser with built-in social tools. Basically you can do every social thing from your web browser, including being there for your grandfather’s birthday. I kid you not… watch the video:
Ready to turn off your PC and start a self-sustaining life in a farm? Call me; if you have my number that is. Hah!
P.S. I decided not to add the customary Facebook Share button in this post just to prove a point.