Social technologies enable the creation of conversational platform for businesses to engage in richer interactions with customers. Traditional mass media lacks interactivity and information flow is dominantly unidirectional, from brand owners to consumer.
However, the new social media enables consumers to connect with one another and brand owners to co-create brand experience. Global corporations like Procter & Gamble, Dell, Coca Cola and many others are already adopting social media as part of their brand building infrastructure.
What about Malaysia’s biggest brands? Are they using social technologies? How are they using the conversational media to listen and interact with their customers?
To answer the questions, I’ve investigated social media plays of companies listed in Malaysia’s Most Valuable Brands (MMVB) 2007, created by the Malaysian Association of Accredited Advertising Agents, in collaboration with Interbrand. This exercise involves searching for the brand names in social networks (Facebook, Friendster, MySpace), video-sharing site (YouTube), online photo-sharing site (Flickr) and microblogging (Twitter, FriendFeed). The results are presented in the “Social-ize the Brands” table below.
Notes to the table:
- “Rank” is the actual ranking in MMVB 2007.
- Giant and Dutch Lady, which appeared in MMVB 2007, were omitted as both are non-Malaysian brands.
- Only initiatives created by brand owners are considered to provide a better indication on the importance of social media marketing to the brand owners.
- For more on how MMVB’s Brand Value is calculated, read here.
Social-ize the Brands: How Malaysia’s Most Valuable Brands are Embracing Social Media
- Big brands adopting social media marketing
- About 60% of Malaysia’s most valuable brands are leveraging social utilities like Facebook, YouTube and Twitter.
- Conversations with AirAsia
- The budget airline has the most interesting and purposeful usage social media marketing tools and are ‘designed’ to engage with its target audience.
- User-generated content
- AirAsia is tapping into the power of bloggers with its blog, “Just Plane Thoughts.” Besides contents posted by 16 AirAsia bloggers, the site also encourages its readers to post their travel stories and comments. Although the blog is moderated, negative customer comments also get posted. Newspaper The Star also allows its readers to post up contents on its Citizen’s Blog site.
- Conversational vs Informational
- AirAsia’s blog is more conversational than its competitor Malaysia Airlines’ Living Malaysian Hospitality, which is geared towards providing corporate news.
- Facebook rules
- The fast-growing social network is by far the most used social utility among the biggest brands in Malaysia, followed by YouTube. Facebook ranked 8th in Malaysia’s Alexa Top 100 Sites; YouTube ranked 4th (as of Oct 19 2008).
- Tweet with Astro
- The use of Twitter is gaining popularity among enterprises. Astro, the subscription-based satellite TV provider, is the one and only Malaysia’s big brand on Twitter.
- Bank with blog
- Malaysia’s largest bank, Maybank, is the first Malaysian bank with a blog; uses its “AllYou” blog to complement its online banking site, Maybank2u.com.
- Blogging CEO
- Tony Fernandes of AirAsia is the only Most Valuable Brand’s CEO with a blog.
- Not-so-social lifestyle
- Consumer-oriented retail brand, Parkson and apparel brands – Bonia and Padini – are notably missing in the social media sphere.
- Financial-ly not social-able
- Financial institutions dominated the MMVB list, with 32% representation. However, out of the eleven big brands that are not using social media, six of them (or 54%) are from the financial industry.