March 25, 2014 00:00 By Asina Pornwasin The Nation
Facebook is promoting itself as the primary online marketing tool for Thai small and medium-sized enterprises.
Arrow Guo, Facebook’s head of SME business for Greater China and Southeast Asia, said this was a very important sector for Facebook as SMEs make up the majority of Thai businesses. Currently, 25 million SMEs worldwide have Facebook pages, and about a million of these are benefiting from Facebook adverts, he said.
He said Facebook adverts were a powerful online marketing platform that allowed SMEs not only to reach their targets but also to facilitate campaigns for their products and services across platforms, from desktop to mobile.
“In Thailand, 24 million people are now on Facebook. Of these, around 21 million people are on Facebook on the mobile platform. And of the 16 million people using Facebook every day, around 13 million are [doing so] on a mobile device,” Guo said.
He said Facebook provided flexible advertising costs for SMEs, starting at only US$5 (Bt160) per day.
“We want to educate Thai SMEs about the power of Facebook ads as an online marketing platform that can help them make their businesses successful cost-effectively. Most of SMEs in Thailand are not yet on Facebook. We want to encourage them to be present on a Facebook page and then to [empower] their business with Facebook ads,” he said.
The beauty of Facebook is that it is free to set up, it is strong on both desktop and mobile platforms, and it has the ability to target customers, he said. But the company needs to educate SMEs on how powerful Facebook adverts are, through Web seminars and offline workshops. It has a few resellers in Thailand and is working closely with media agencies here.
However, a lot of SMEs in Thailand are already active in online marketing.
“Thailand is one of the most active markets in Southeast Asia that interact with SMEs on Facebook,” Guo said.
He added that to get more Thai SMEs using Facebook adverts, it always kept improving on its product, such as by simplifying the interface.
“The mobile platform is very important, and we have been focusing on it. Once SMEs sign on for a Facebook ad, they will get both desktop and mobile marketing platforms immediately,” he said.
Facebook’s core revenue comes from advertising, around 52 per cent of the total from the mobile platform.
Siwaj Charukijphaisarn, managing and creative director of fashion brand Sleeping Pills, said Facebook adverts were easy to use and a very powerful way to reach its target customers.
“We can increase our revenue by 20 per cent per month after we utilise information from the Facebook page, we can reach more of the ‘right’ target customers,” Siwaj said.
Jamie Rowland-Jones, managing director of Peachy Baby Food, said he spent 40 per cent of the SME’s total advertising budget on Facebook adverts.