With an average of 1,100 additions every day, a new user joins Facebook in Cambodia every two minutes, according to estimates from social media marketing and advertising agency Social Media Plus.
Founder of Social Media Plus Anthony Galliano said more and more companies operating in Cambodia are realising the value of targeted marketing strategies through social media networks such as Facebook.
“Advertising on Facebook has increased dramatically and you can see that by the cost per click now which has probably tripled from when we first started six months ago,” Galliano said.
From fast food outlets to female beauty products and financial services, companies can target their audiences in greater detail than ever before and carefully tailor their message to support a specific advertising strategy.
Galliano said while traditional banner advertising is still important, it is critical to establish a following and have people engage with the brand.
“You have to build a community and you have to know how to do that. You can put out heaps of content, but if you don’t have a community you are just really wasting your time because nobody is seeing it,” said Galliano.
“So once you have your community – which you can do by various different techniques – of which we have some of our own and there are some that are well known, then your advertising is effectively your content.
“You can use your content as a soft sell, you can use it to be informative or educational; it is an engagement tool every day”
While Social Media Plus estimates that nearly 80 per cent of Cambodian Facebook users are under the age of 34, local companies like Prasac Microfinance Institution use Facebook to segment their audience specific to their product offering.
“For example, we have our credit product and lending activity, for those that use Facebook this would not be our target market,” said Khem David, marketing and corporate communications manager at Prasac.
“Recently we acquired a directive in terms of promoting the deposit product, these are people that have their own income, they have an independent lifestyle, these are the people who are our target market.
“I believe that these are the people up from the age of 23 to 35 to 40 having their own income and possibly it’s good to reach those people (via Facebook).”
Cambodia General Manager of Market Research company Indochina Research, Laurent Notin, said that half of Cambodia’s internet users are accessing the internet daily, and they are taking notice of online advertising.
“According to a survey we conducted in 2012 among Cambodian Facebook users, 68 per cent of them claimed to usually read adverts that they find interesting on Facebook,” Notin said.
“So, generally there is a receptiveness to advertising in Cambodia as people seek information about new brands.”
Figures from Social Media Plus show that 2.46 million Cambodians were using the internet in 2012, an increase of 548 per cent compared to 2011, while there is almost 740,000 Cambodian Facebook accounts, at a growth rate of 82 per cent year-on-year.
To contact the reporter on this story: Daniel de Carteret at firstname.lastname@example.org