IMMAP 2012 Flashback: The Social Media Frontier
The Philippines was reportedly acclaimed as the “Social Media Capital of the World” last year. With a statistical participation in websites like Facebook and Twitter that reached up to 93.9% , this claim to fame cemented the Filipino as an avid Social Media user. Echoed by the organizers of Manila Social Media Day 2012, it is then safe to say that anything broadcast via social media will have a substantial audience in the Philippines.
Indeed, looking at Facebook and Twitter, one can see millions of updates from Filipino users. In the height of social media popularity in the country, advertisers, marketers and media have been reshaping their strategies for the growing Filipino online community. IMMAP 2012 is an effort to give emphasis to the crucial nature of social media as an emerging communication platform, and this social media-intensive event attracted companies: multinationals/market veterans and start-ups alike, to this yearly gathering.
This year’s theme is “Hitting the Heart of Digital” and true to the theme, the summit itself is inextricably connected online. So much so that the Twitter hashtag #IMMAPSummit2012 has become an online extension of the summit. Participants and non-participants alike were able to appreciate marketing words of wisdom from the best speakers in the industry in the Asia-Pacific Region.
Social Media has revolutionized our understanding of the consumer market and shifted the dominant voice of trends from the companies to the people: the consumers now have the ability to give feedback directly to the companies at the tip of their fingers.
Social media has empowered people to topple oppressive regimes and to usher democracy, with the Arab Spring as a prime example and a poster child of online democracy. On the flipside, the rise of social media has also created problems: cases of cyberbullying have already claimed lives, destroyed careers and damaged corporate reputations. As these problems arise even with the benefits of social media, it is becoming necessary for companies to invest in developing the systems and infrastructure to improve and possibly even help police social media. Telco executive Manny Pangilinan has confessed that Telcos, left to their own devices, cannot do this task alone. They can, however, construct online highways to encourage social media developments.
IMMAP Summit speakers affirmed that digital and social media investments are growing at a double digit rate backed by its advantage of being cheaper but encompassing a wider reach. Asked if they consider the rising popularity of social media as a threat, the two top TV stations ABS-CBN and TV5 instead gave the statement that social media is a partner in delivering news reliably and on time.
The points taken at the IMMAP Summit reflect what was reported a week ago here in Pinay Media Planner: that media firms have spruced up investments in digital and social media amidst the faltering American economies and the poor performance of the Euro.