The APAC region is a great place to be in social media.

1.    Social Media is the biggest communication revolution since the internet itself: There are now more than one billion people on the internet globally and over half of those are on Facebook. Asia is no exception. 20% of that Facebook audience are in Southeast Asia - that’s just under 100 million active users. We live in an age of social media and niche content with Nielsen reporting that users spend up to three times more time on Facebook than they do on portals. The existence of re-sellers that understand the space is also critical. By working with the right re-seller, advertisers can engage huge numbers of highly targeted audiences with video, recruit highly targeted consumers to attach themselves to a brand, and create dialogue with those consumers with quality content.

2.    Social is all about engagement: Social media gives advertisers the opportunity to create consistent and on-going dialogues with their consumers. The metrics are different to 'traditional online' - by which we mean banners - and revolve around the number of engagements advertisers drive with consumers and the life time customer value generated through the creation of these brand advocates within the social media environment. Opportunities range from recruiting engaged users to interact with your own brand to running bespoke video and rich media banners to extremely targeted sections of these users to get very cost-effective and engaged consumption of your advertising assets.

3.    How do you measure ROI for social: The most important thing about measuring social media is to keep in mind that social marketing is continuous rather than episodic. Yes, there will be campaigns aimed at achieving some short term results but the focus should really be nurturing the on-going relationship with consumers. Just like all other relationships that cannot be measured at a given time, social media efforts need to be evaluated over a period of time. Another important consideration while discussing social media ROI is to note that the metrics used to measure social ROI are being adapted from the last generation of digital advertising. To be able to measure the true value of a social campaign we need to first arrive at new metrics that understand the breadth and depth of social media marketing. With this in mind, it's important to work with a re-seller that can define these metrics with you beforehand and provide the technology to track and report them to fully understand your ROI.

4.    There are multiple options when looking at the social opportunity: Social media offers great advertising options to brand marketers. Apps built for advertisers own pages that engage fans and drive brand advocacy. Extremely unique advertising opportunities within the apps and games that Facebook users are deploying. Savvy advertisers working with a skilled re-seller can run near full page video executions within social media environments as well as having apps built specifically for them to engage their own 'fans'. Social Gaming goes further to deliver some of the most engaged online environments that exist on the World Wide Web. So why not have a branded game just for 'fans'?

5.    Video and Social will feed off each other to grow the market: A cursory glance at the internet usage habits of the region will find social networking and video right at the top in terms of the amount of visits and time people spend on this type of content. From an advertiser’s perspective video banners running across apps and games on Facebook with demographic targeting and reach and frequency benefits far outstrip those of TV. Online TVCs are set to drive major growth in this industry over the next few years and social has a big part to play here. Aside from pure views, there is a mass of data that can be collected here. These include cross-pollination in terms of the video going viral to other friends on YouTube and other platforms; tracking the comments and feedback from those users who have consumed the video as well as the more straight forward likes, dislikes and favorites.

By Matt Sutton, CEO, Aktiv Digital