Recently, a social analytics company from Bangkok in Thailand snooped around the most popular social networking sites to see which brands are currently dangling at the top of the popularity tree. Zocialinc, with their analytics program ZocialRank, churned out the numbers to see which brands in Asia should be making the loud hurrahs.
Smarter and More Fun in the Philippines
Among Asians, Filipinos are arguably the most addicted race when it comes to social networking sites, what with the every-minute status updates (“Breathing in.” “Breathing out.” “Breathing in.” “Breathing out.”), spastic photo sharing and hashtagging (“#i #just #had #a #burger #and #it #was #good! #hashtags_anonymous”), and nonstop affirmations of their nationality in every forum and YouTube comment (“Amazing! PROUD TO BE PINOY!”). With this kind of frenetic activity, it’s no wonder many local and international brands have decided to tap into the social media attention. But while Japanese brands top in Thailand and Indonesia, in the Philippines, the Filipino pride stays true, at least, because the company that bagged the top spot is none other than the local mobile communications mogul, Smart.
Smart Communications is a subsidiary of another homegrown telecommunications giant, the Philippine Long Distance Telephone company, or PLDT. It was founded in 1991, and since then, Smart Communications has grown smarter, paving the way for mobile and communication innovations in the country by providing the first wireless broadband services, HSPA+, and 3G services. No wonder the company has a sizable chunk of the touchscreen-happy citizens of the Philippines under its belt—a hefty 52.1 million subscribers in 2012, to be exact.
Smart has long been fighting it out in the mobile arena with its two biggest competitors, Globe Telecommunications and Sun Cellular. The three had been neck in neck for the past few decades, with the former two edging in at first and second and the latter considerably ready to overtake the second spot. Well, in 2011, Smart Communications got even smarter and said, “If you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em.” PLDT acquired Digitel, which was essentially the Sun Cellular mobile network. And while the two companies remain separate, Smart can now rest easy while focusing on fending off the remaining competitor.
So what does this mean to Filipinos? Honestly, not really sure. The analytics was humble enough to say that the results are arguably biased in some ways, as not all brands have horned in on all the social networking sites. Mobile phone company BlackBerry, for example, has top ranks in some social networks in Indonesia, but ultimately fell out of the rankings because it doesn’t have accounts in the rest, like Instagram or Tumblr.
One thing’s for certain, though. Filipinos take pride in their work, and they’re not too shy to show it off, either. Congratulations, Smart! Continue innovating the mobile world and making the Filipino people proud!