#ThinkPH: The dangers of social media engagement

#ThinkPH's sneak peek into a study tackling the pros and cons of social media engagement for companies

INTERNET ENGAGEMENT. Marquez says the deeper you get into Social Media engagement, the more you'll lose privacy. Photo by Mark Demayo.

MANILA, Philippines – These days, it seems the price we have to pay when it comes to engaging in social media and networking is losing our privacy.

In a sneak peek into the study on Opportunities and Constraints in Southeast Asian Markets commissioned by Baker & McKenzie and delivered at the #ThinkPH summit on Friday, August 23, Quisumbing Torres partner Atty. Bienvenido Marquez III said such problems are not only encountered by individuals but by companies as well.

If that’s the case, why is there a surge in companies engaging social media? 

Marquez said these days, out of Asians who use social networks, half of them register a direct correlation between positive social media sentiment and actual purchase. “Clients, consumers – they now want to be listened to,” Marquez said. “They want interaction and they want to be able to give input in products that are given to them.”

READ: #ThinkPH: Internet ‘an epic failure’, says author

There are 530 million people in Southeast Asia and over half of them are engaged in social media, making their number an attractive market to economies, he said.

However, the study says companies are wary about getting in too deep into this modern marketing strategy as there are dangers which may translate to critical losses. These are:

  • A possibility of getting negative comments about the company and/or its products on their social media account which may become viral
  • Clients developing and increasing expectation for instant communication with the personnel
  • The blurring of the line between personal and professional behavior on social networks in a bring-your-own-device environment (BYOD)

Marquez added that a BYOD environment may also end up indirectly causing the public dissemination companies’ confidential information.

According to the study, most companies undergo 5 phases of engagement when dealing with social media. These are:

  • Phase 1: Presence – You have presence but no interaction with customers
  • Phase 2: Push – Promotions are sent to your target customers for their information through unsolicited texts, email
  • Phase 3: Interactive – There is already communication between the company and the target audience. 
  • Phase 4: Engagement – Relationship management. Marquez said most of the banking industry are in this phases as they have a dedicated team for customer service
  • Phase 5: Big Data and Behavioral Analytics – Most engaged phase. Data mining.

Out of these 5, the projected Return of Investment (ROI) is highest in between phases 4 and 5. Phases 3 and 4 show between “strong” and “very strong” ROI. Phase 5, meanwhile, is the most costly.

Marquez said when it comes to companies engaging in Social Media, “You can’t afford not to invest.” 

He adds that to minimize the risk of such dangers when getting into the social media bandwagon, a company must set aside ample funds and manpower. It must also be vigilant in monitoring what is happening in their social media accounts. Targets must also be set. “Common sense is neither common nor sensible as policy,” Marquez added.

In a country where social media is hardly regulated, no actual framework has been set, and jurisdiction over violations is undetermined, it takes risk and courage for companies to actually engage. But with the possibility of high ROI and the modern era ushering them into joining, it may be even harder for them to avoid such technology.

In conclusion, Marquez said: Prepare for the unexpected. – Rappler.com

Bienvenido Marquez III is partner at Quisumbing Torres, the member firm of Baker & McKenzie in the Philippines. He heads the Intellectual Property & Information Technology Practice Group in Manila.