The Philippines has the largest saturation of Facebook users in the world! And therein lies a problem.
Facebook was rather smart in stealing a march on the likes of Google when it established deals with the Philippines two cellular phone service providers (the only two!). Facebook access was provided free of charge; however, the catch was that wider internet access was not. So, businesses naturally went where the consumer was and set up Facebook pages to market to, and communicate with, their customers. This was a decade ago and now the growing middle classes do have access to the wider Internet but businesses have not stayed up with them.
Facebook is undoubtedly a powerful tool in building and maintaining relationships with customers. However, it should be viewed as complementary to a professional web presence, such as a website, as opposed to central to it. The problem in the Philippines is that a lot of business people have got comfortable with the no cost/low-cost road of least resistance that Facebook provides. ‘Why is this a problem?’ you may well ask.
Well there are several reasons. In the wider world Facebook is not considered ‘professional’; I mean that in the broadest context because of course there are many companies that turnover millions of dollars via Facebook. Nevertheless, if the business only has a Facebook page without a website it limits its credibility.
Secondly, whilst a Facebook page may well show up in search results, say for a plumber Makati, the world’s biggest search engine, Google, is not particularly disposed favourably towards one of its biggest competitors (think Ad Revenue). Now there are some complex competition law issues but I would expect Google’s search algorithms to push these to the maximum limits possible.
Thirdly smartphone usage in the Philippines is now at 40% and growing. The abundance of Wi-Fi ensures that owners are no longer constrained by cost when connecting to the Internet and so ready to browse far beyond the boundaries of Facebook. When searches are to be made Google is invariably the starting point. A quick random search on Google for electricians in Manila and the first couple of pages of results were disappointing. Of 24 results, only 33% were relevant, there was only one Facebook page link, and results came up showing electricians in USA and Netherlands! These search results should have been dominated by electricians and electrical contractors in Manila.
Businesses are missing out hugely by restricting themselves to Facebook as well as frustrating all those potential customers who are seeking their services.
House & Home Philippines is helping to address this issue to help both property professionals and tradesmen as well as consumers seeking their services. We are opening a Property Resource Center which is a one-stop hub for all services relating to real estate & property in the Philippines.
So whether you are real estate lawyer in Laguna, a builder in Baguio, offering mortgages in Manila or anyone of the many property service providers in the Philippines you can now list your services in the Property Resource Center on House & Home Philippines.