Facebook: S'pore sees effective social marketing campaigns

High Internet penetration and engaged Facebook users make social marketing in Singapore "highly effective" and successful.

SINGAPORE--Social marketing campaigns here have a high success rate due to the country's connectivity and user engagement, says a Facebook executive, who notes that advertisers in Asia are doing as well as the rest of the world.

Speaking to ZDNet Asia at a media briefing here Tuesday, Erik Johnson, vice president of Facebook Asia-Pacific, said he has seen "highly effective" social marketing campaigns  in Singapore due to its high Internet penetration rate and engaged users.

"In Singapore, people spend a huge amount of time on Facebook. Some of the marketing we do here for brands works very well because it can spread much faster, people are more engaged, and they have higher average of friend count," said Johnson.

He added that social marketing in Asia  is not very different from the rest of the world.

"Obviously Asia is a much bigger geography than other regions where Facebook does business, [so] there's some complexity getting in front of the right people and...to educate everybody," he said. "But in terms of what they are doing, Asia is doing just as well as any other place."

"People are grasping that social is becoming an important part of marketing across the board," he added.

Noting that social ads provided better returns on investment (ROI) , Johnson cited a study which tracked 63 Facebook ad campaigns in the United States. Some 70 percent of these enjoyed three times or better ROI, while 49 percent saw five times or better ROI.

He explained the study focused only on U.S. companies because it required detailed data which tracked users from the time they first viewed the social ad to buying the product. This method of tracking would be difficult to do in many other markets, he noted.

S'pore brand shares its social media journey
Supporting Johnson's comments was Haresh Tilani, director of digital marketing at Scoot, who was also at the briefing. He shared how his company used the Facebook platform to build its brand and drive sales.

The Singapore-based budget airline garnered about 230,000 Facebook Likes from its four Facebook Pages since it started its social presence 10 months ago, Tilani said.

In an eight-day social marketing campaign to promote the launch of air ticket sales to Taipei, Scoot saw an ROI of S$61.4 (US$50.2) for every S$1 (US$0.82) spent on advertising in Facebook, he said.

Overall, marketing efforts on Facebook saw a sales conversion rate of 7 percent which outperformed the company's e-mail marketing, he added.

Tilani also highlighted the importance of word of mouth marketing. In August, Scoot launched a two-day Facebook-only marketing campaign targeted specifically at customers in Singapore and which did not involve any advertising spend.

In this campaign, viral traffic made up 37.2 percent and 49 percent of the first and second day's traffic, respectively, to its Facebook page. Viral traffic refers to the number of times users arrive at the page via shared links.

A "Book Now" button on its Facebook page reported a sales conversion rate of 5 percent for the two-day campaign, added Tilani, who believes fan engagement and sales would have been higher if Scoot had spent actual advertising money in this campaign.

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