Thursday, 3 October 2013

I read a Tweet recently about the health ministry spending RM 320,000 on developing Facebook and Twitter accounts.
I can see why so many people are against this, seeing that Facebook and Twitter, along with other social networks, are free. But I think what all of these people are forgetting is that Facebook for personal uses and Facebook for business are two completely different things.

Coming from a PR background and now working in marketing, I think I can safely say that to establish a good business account, money is needed. While it is debatable whether it is worth that figure in the article, thinking that just because Facebook is free you do not need a budget for engaging with fans is foolish. Here's why.

Go on Facebook and look at brand pages. Take Coca-Cola for example. It has 73 million Likes. Honestly, I do think that there is this misconception that a lot of people believe that the belief that brands 'do social media right' equates to just posting status updates and interacting with fans. But no one puts any thought into who designs the cover photo. Or the profile picture. Or the picture updates and videos. Who pays them? Who buys the rights to the images they don't own? Who takes pictures for social media marketing? These people don't work for free, you know.

Because such a beautiful cover photo is free huh?
Then look at the advertising. Many brands do advertise on Facebook- and obviously these aren't free. How many of you have actually advertised on Facebook? Do you know the different types of ads available? No? Still think you can handle a business Facebook account?

And then finally there's this thing those of us in the PR circle say 'leave it to the pros'- because using Facebook to talk about your birthday party and about a new product needs to be executed differently and you'll actually be surprised at how many nutjobs out there who have made PR blunders on social media.

I do think that in order to really get results, money needs to be spent. It's just mindless people using this as a leverage to attack an unpopular government. I may be a minority on this issue but I do think that I have a valid argument here.

Lesson of the day: Don't jump on the bandwagon. Ever.
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