My branded Facebook page has stabilized at around 50,000 likes, and Twitter around just twenty percent of that. Our Instagram is way less. We are now experimenting with creating a Youtube channel for our brand. My team has been working tremendously to make inroads into digital but it has been a bumpy road for us and we are getting lost trying to keep up with new websites and trends. Is social media on its way down? Care to give us some few tips before we get more lost in the digital forest? - anonymous
 
It is very normal to be confused given how fast digital has evolved. I feel that you have been trying to make a move on the new trends without totally understanding how each can work and help your brand. I do admire your efforts on experimenting and trying to make digital work for your marketing efforts. But nonetheless, it will be like hitting your head towards the brick wall trying to find your way when you do not know what you really want to do.
 
For one, I do not know if you are happy with your number of Facebook likes. I cannot take a guess also in that I have no idea on your target market. But I hope you are not planning to get to five hundred thousand or a million likes just for the sake of it. Understand first your target market and how many of them are on FB. For example, if your brand is targeting an older target segment, fifty thousand may not be too bad. IF you are targeting the teen market, then you need to reach a few hundred thousand to generate traction. Given that you have around ten thousand twitter followers and experimenting with Instagram and Youtube, I can only make an educated guess that your target market is the younger audience base, and therefore your fifty thousand likes on Facebook is a bit on the lean side.
 

I suggest that you take a step back and look at your marketing objectives first. What is your brand status? Do you need to generate awareness and interest for your brand? Or is your brand known already and you need to support it by reminding people of its existence and prompting repeat purchase. Digital, specifically social media, will be inefficient in satisfying the first objective of attention and interest, but will be very potent on the second objective of achieving desire and action to buy. I still suggest using traditional media like television, radio and print, or explore out-of-home to drive people to notice your brand. Besides, there are more ways already to utilize television in a cheaper way like sponsoring a show or doing in show mentions, rather than traditional 30 second commercials, if you do not have budget. Digital on the other hand, using social media for your brands, will work very well if people have a level of comfort already with your brand. Your standing in the market dictates how you play in digital.
 

I suggest not to waste too much obsessing with the social metrics you have mentioned in your question. Focus on identifying your marketing objective and what is the role of digital in achieving those objectives. Once you are ready to utilize digital, identify your target market and have a gauge how many are online. Conservatively, thirty percent of the total Philippine population are online, so apply 30 percent to your target segment. That should be your optimum target number of Facebook fans, and then start building your base there and do not focus on spreading yourself too thin. Hope this helps.
 

Shameless plug – I am chairing the Asian Marketing Leadership Summit by the Philippine Marketing Association, We have speakers from Google and Facebook, totaling 50 speakers in one conference. Do join us. For more information, visit “Fifty Shades of Marketing” on Facebook.