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The social media mania

Phoebe Magdirila | May 30, 2013
Social media mania is having a huge impact on traditional business operations. Companies that are leveraging this trend are seeing significant benefits, including collaboration and data sharing, in ways they've not experienced before.

Take health & wellness products provider Sesou Nature Source, for example, which started using Facebook and Twitter in the first year of operations. As early as 2009, the company saw that most people who came to their stores are on social media.

Jen Mayuga-Cruz, Managing Partner, Sesou Nature Source, relates that "it's the best way to get the word around at that time."

True enough, after almost four years of being present on social media sites, Cruz shares that they were able to continuously encourage people to go to the stores by posting products that are appropriate for a specific season.

"When we post something we do notice an early upswing in the sales of a particular product, even if it's on the expensive side, but important for the customers, they purchase it," adds Cruz.

On the other hand, on a perspective of a deluxe hotel such as The Peninsula, leaping into social media was a corporate directive, for reasons that the importance of managing the social media accounts has been realized early on. And its local operations— the Manila Peninsula —has even made e-commerce into a department, and considered it as one of the responsibilities of the public relations group.

But the Manila Peninsula Hotel did not take it as a mere order of the higher operations, in fact, Joseph Arias, e-Commerce Manager, Manila Peninsula, relates that they were very supportive of it because they believe that they "can reach the greater community or public through these new media," he says.

Formerly designated as web manager, during the days when managing social media sites have not bloomed yet as a corporate task, Arias has noticed that the bulk of their customer base books through the hotel's site and not through any of the social media pages. Nonetheless, Arias sees the importance of being present in social media sites.

"We are able to elicit direct positive comments from our customers which are made known to the public," says Arias. "[And] we can tap new customers and engage existing clients by letting them know of our forthcoming promotions immediately."

Alongside their social media accounts, Manila Peninsula also subscribed to Revinate, an online monitoring service where it shows data on how they fare versus competitors. Such technologies help them to act upon operations and services.

While such companies prove that social media helps them to attract more customers, energy provider Meralco—despite the fact that it does not have any competition to fare against — proves that it is not the only reason to engage with customers. The electric company has joined the social media bandwagon, starting with Twitter in 2009, and Facebook in 2010.


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