Thursday, May 15, 2008

Social Media Usage in the Philippines, a Review of the Universal McCann Study

I got excited over the study made by Universal McCann for social media usage (check out the study) and I chewed on the 80-paged report yesterday. What can I say? Stats make my heart do flip-flops. I miss my research mentor.

Tumble-weed crossing...

The study showed quite a number of big numbers and after review of the study I thought it should be noted that the study is a good indicator of what's happening in the market, but should not be taken to represent the whole market. Take note that they had 17,000 respondents from 29 countries, that's less than a thousand per country. I'm not keen on unearthing my notes on how to compute how much population less than a thousand can represent. Anyway, as my guru said, "READ WITH CAUTION".

I thought as well that the 15.4% internet penetration rate is grossly understated. AC Nielsen said that we're expected to have 24 million in our country this year and that's almost 27%, almost double of the penetration rate stated in the study.

The report claims to represent the online social media activities of active users. Active users being the "key leaders" and "drivers of adoption". They are what Mr. Ed Mapa coined as the "prosumers" in last year's National Marketing Conference. Active users/prosumers are the early adopters and those who do things on their own accord. They are the ones who are followed as examples by the "wait and see" crowd and for marketers they are important because they help get the word out, thus influencing consumers down the line to purchase/use products/services.

The study claims that the Philippines has 3.7 million active users. I did a bit of mathematics to align it with the supposed 24 million internet users and the number should be 6.48 million.

I have been asked by marketers time and time again about the demographics of the online market. I have continuously refused to succumb to explaining it the traditional way. Fact is you can never really tell if the eyeballs visiting a site is from a young child or a grandpa. What you can extract however is the profile of that person visiting that site. Fifteen and fifty year olds can both enjoy the same online game eh? Yup.

Anyway, the study Univesal McCann made is quite a good indicator of what's happening in the online market. Ahhh, the bloggers would be so happy.

Reading Blogs. 65.8% of active users read blogs, to current number of users it translates to 4.2 million. Five of the most read categories/topics are: personal, family/friends, music, news/current affairs, film/TV. IMHO it's true, I have a smattering of niche blogs, but my most read blog is my personal blog (I guess people find reading this blog boring LOL).

Writing Blogs. Only 4.8% of active users blog! That's roughly only about 311,000 in the 24 million internet users. I wonder though if the stats for the categories was correct since the page was exactly the same with the "reading blogs" page. Typo? Top 3 contents posted include: photos, video, and recommended website.

Social Networking. Everyone knows that it was the Philippines who put Friendster on the map (now with 10.7 million users in the country). The study said that 83.1% of active users have a profile in a social networking site. Let's not even bother to smudge in the numbers. Users normally upload photos and videos and install apps.

Sharing Content. Active users share the following content: photos 86.4% and videos 60.5%

Consuming Content. 98.6% of active users watch videos and 45.2% use RSS.

These are very exciting numbers and the Philippines is in the forefront compared to other countries. The indicators for growth is also rising by leaps and bounds. I've been seeing a number of local promotions targeting online users, but it's not picking up. Why? Because the marketers are still doing things the traditional way.

Ad spend to promote these endeavors are going to tv, print and radio, I have yet to see ads being placed on search engines and social networking sites. I think what they sadly forgot to take into account is the fact that the profile of internet users are very much different from those who watch tv or read newspapers. I'm a big internet user and I get my entertainment online through Youtube and I read news online as well. I don't watch TV often (especially now it's busted). The name of the game in marketing online is being able to profile your target market well and reaching out to them when they pursue their interests online when they read, watch and upload content.

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  1. Hi!
    Great Stuff! I think you should keep writing more of these kind : - )
    Btw, my email addy is

  2. @eduardomapajr - thanks po for visiting and for encouraging me to write. Took me a week to think about what you said haha. Hopefully I'll manage to churn out more posts like this.

  3. i was surfing the web when i sutumble upon your blog ... thanks for sharing nice insight... wonder what you have to study for social media ... is friendster also included in the study? ^^

  4. Wow Interesting Numbers indeed! Thanks for these Aileen!

  5. Anonymous3:42 AM

    Very nice and informative. Am not really one to surf, but it's nice to come across blogs such as yours. Makes the surfing seem worthwhile. Thanks

  6. Hi! It's so refreshing to discover that a local blogger wrote this article :) I subcribe to Matt Crain who blogs about, among other things, the latest in computer-mediated communication. Although his has been very helpful (for my new media researchES) I am looking forward to reading more posts from the 'native's eyes'. Do keep blogging, you have an audience. :)

  7. Anonymous7:35 PM

    Thanks for this post! I'm really enjoying all the articles on your blog about internet marketing and such. Going to add this to my must-read blogs.