Updated on October 1st, 2019 at 09:48 am
This was stressed by Facebook Philippines, Country Director, John Rubio during the 1st Facebook Community Boost Seminar in the Philippines held at the Radisson Blu Hotel Cebu, today.
Rubio disclosed that the two-day event is focused on empowering MSMEs (micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises) to help the Philippines economy build for the future using social marketing platforms and strategies.
Facebook Community Boost Cebu
Facebook Community Boost is a global initiative that aims to equip entrepreneurs with the tools and skills to keep up with the new mobile-first market.
Supported by the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) and the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), Facebook launched the event with bright hopes in promoting and raising awareness of the benefits and leverage of using digital marketing for communities and businesses of all sizes.
“Out of 195 countries, the Philippines ranks second as having the most time spent on the internet,” said Rubio.
He also stated that over fifty-million Filipinos are connected to SMB (small-medium businesses) in the Philippines through their mobile phones and tablets.
“This is an ideal opportunity for governments, non-governments, and SMBs to connect with the users and showcase their services in the local and also the international market,” Rubio added.
Generate Leads via “Facebook Boost”
“Filipino businesses are also missing out on the endless possibilities and opportunities of how the social media platforms can increase and generates leads for their sales,” stated Nanette Arbon, the DTI Cebu Provincial Director.
According to Arbon, unlike in the past where businesses had difficulty in raising their brand awareness, like erecting more branches to increase their physical presence or renting a car with a billboard and speaker on and make rounds in the community.
Now, it has become simple that no experience is needed in building a brand’s image using social platforms.
“Technology is leveling the playing field for MSMEs to cope with building their brand’s images along with the big ones,” said Arbon.
Facebook enables MSMEs to reach more clients and has more visibility of their products and services at almost no cost.
Messaging apps such as Messenger, Viber, WhatsApp and many more can create engagement and builds trust when an interested customer contacts the company to avail of the product.
However, Arbon reminds MSMEs that, “Fulfillment can be an issue as most businesses are in the food industry. These businesses tend to have more demand than what they can supply and that can affect the business’s reputation.”
“But we are at the same time, very happy, that we are having such a problem,” Arbon says.
She believes that this problem can be solved as the company increases and grows.
“Having a lot of orders is actually a great start for the company, “ shares Anya Lim, Co-Founder, and Managing Director of Anthill.
Lim says that people could only find her store, which sells woven clothes, products, and designs made from raw materials, through foot traffic. With the help of social media, it amplified the word of mouth effect using Facebook.
“Now the whole population of Facebook can find my store until a single person could no longer handle the responses and we always strive for a 100% response rate,” states Lim.
Using Facebook, Lim was able to gather multiple artisans not just from the Philippines but also from international places from the U.S., Canada, and Europe.
“It takes time to learn all the features in the platforms you use, but primarily it is about showcasing your products. For us, it was our photo albums but the essential idea to keep in mind is just to get it out there,” says Lim.
If most MSMEs can leverage like Anthill, the Philippines would see great economic growth in the global market which opens a lot of possibilities for MSMEs.
Arbon stated that kickstarting the digital transformation in Region VII can also help the Filipinos to be more comfortable and attracted to using startup products made locally.
“The Philippines is not ground zero for trade and commerce, it is actually world-class!” stated Rubio.
Promoting awareness about digital transformations can motivate other owners to make a move.
“My mission is to take the products and services and not only introduce it in the country but also the world,” says Rubio.
“This is not ground zero, my dream is to go beyond the local market and pull all of the thousands of MSMEs and create an image stating (Made by the Philippines and Love by the world!)”