Social Media Marketing and Malaysia’s Biggest Brands

By on October 20, 2008

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

Rank Brand Industry Brand Value, US$ Million Social Media Marketing
1 Maybank Financial 2,764 All You, All New Maybank2U.com Blog
2 Public Bank Financial 1,967 None
3 Maxis Telecoms 1,521 Maxis Facebook Group | Maxis Communications Facebook Fan | Hotlink Facebook Group
4 Genting Leisure 1,315 Genting City of Entertainment Facebook Group | Genting WorldCard Facebook Group
5 Celcom Telecoms 1,167 Celcom Facebook Fan
6 CIMB Financial 981 None
7 Astro Media 946 AstroTV on Twitter | StadiumAstro on Twitter | AstroFootball on Twitter | Stadium Astro Facebook Fan Page | Astro Chinese Programmes Channel on YouTube | Astromalaysia’s Channel on YouTube
8 Hong Leong Financial 888 Hong Leong Bank, HLLB Facebook Group
9 Perodua Automobile 700 Perusahaan Otomobil Kedua Sdn Bhd Facebook Fan
10 DiGi Telecoms 600 DiGi Facebook Group Page | DiGi Telecommunications Facebook Fan | DiGi’s Open Hearts Open Mind Program | DiGi D’podCast | DiGi Yellow Coverage on YouTube | DiGi Desktop Agent
12 Malaysia Airlines Airline 493 Living Malaysian Hospitability Blog | Malaysia Airlines Facebook Fan | MASwings Facebook Fan | MASwings Facebook Group | MAS Charter Flight Attendants Facebook Group | MH = Malaysian Hospitality Channel on YouTube
13 Sime Darby Property 437 Sime Darby Facebook Group
14 TV3 Media 315 MyTV3 Roverz Facebook Group
15 Petronas Oil and Gas 264 Petroliam Nasional Berhad (Petronas) Facebook Group | Galeri Petronas Facebook Group | Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra Facebook Page
16 YTL Property 210 YTL Climate Change Week Facebook Fan | YTL Community Channel on YouTube
17 RHB Bank Financial 187 RHB Bank Facebook Group
18 Ambank Financial 187 None
19 AirAsia Airline 95 Just Plane Thoughts AirAsia Blog | Tony Fernandes CEO Blog | “AirAsia.com Travel Wish List” Facebook Application | AirAsia Facebook Fan Page | AirAsia Air Crew Facebook Group | AirAsiaGroup Enthusiasts Facebook Group | AirAsiaGroup Channel on YouTube | AirAsia Vista Gadget
20 The Star Media 91 Citizen’s Blog
22 Kurnia Financial 83 None
23 Proton Automobile 68 Corporate Comm @Proton Facebook Group | Corporate Comm Proton Facebook Fan
24 MAA Financial 67 None
25 Affin Bank Financial 65 None
26 Padini Fashion 61 None
27 Parkson Retail 36 None
28 Sunway Property 25 None
29 Mamee-Double Decker Food and Beverage 25 None
30 Bonia Fashion 22 None

Some Observations

  1. Big brands adopting social media marketing
    • About 60% of Malaysia’s most valuable brands are leveraging social utilities like Facebook, YouTube and Twitter.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Conversational vs Informational
    • AirAsia’s blog is more conversational than its competitor Malaysia Airlines’ Living Malaysian Hospitality, which is geared towards providing corporate news.
  5. 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).
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. Blogging CEO
    • Tony Fernandes of AirAsia is the only Most Valuable Brand’s CEO with a blog.
  9. Not-so-social lifestyle
    • Consumer-oriented retail brand, Parkson and apparel brands – Bonia and Padini – are notably missing in the social media sphere.
  10. 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.






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