Monthly Archives: October 2014

Success in China starts in Hong Kong

I hope this blog will serve as a guideline for businesses thinking of entering Hong Kong and China. I am taking note of some significant events that have transpired recently in Hong Kong and China with regard to my understanding of business and how this experience will guide my future decisions. This blog is not political, but it is a learning essay based on the political actions in Hong Kong recently which did much to create my best understanding to date of business in Hong Kong and China.


Two significant events have happened in the last month. The first is the Occupy Central and the other is a conference on the future of business in China held in Shanghai which I was a speaker. I will present my views by detailing what the experience was like in Hong Kong and Shanghai during these events.

Hong Kong during Occupy Central was inconvenienced slightly. My flat is so close to Central that  if it had faced East rather than North I might have been able to see the happening from my front window. Nothing in Hong Kong shut down and despite what I saw in the overseas press other than an inconvenience to get to Central little changed. The protests were peaceful and contained and for us that live in Hong Kong and know it to be the most walkable city nothing was really effected. Those that were troubled depended on motorized travel (tour buses, private cars and delivery trucks) into Central and with all the public transportation and walkability it has long been questioned why cars even need to be allowed in Central. Aside from the unfortunate actions by the Hong Kong police, the worse that happened was the air was cleaner.


China during Occupy Central and the trip to Shanghai was much different. My agency manages social media in China for a number of companies. During the Occupy Central so many restrictions were put in place in China such as aggressive censorship, shutting down of business and personal profiles on social sites, disrupting internet and VPN channels, banning Instagram (note Instagram was the first non-China app to have a native interface to both Facebook and Sina Weibo which was revolutionary. That is now gone). This along with the Golden Week holiday crippled the ability in China to conduct normal business for social media and digital agencies. We had to move our operation to Hong Kong and support our China work solely from Hong Kong because, even though the “trouble” was in Hong Kong a small city of 7 million, it was unphased and the the giant nation of 1.3 billion was brought to its knees. The conference in Shanghai started with a series of speakers that were or are currently significant in the Central Party planning for business development, SoE’s and financial reforms. What they said shocked me. I was not expecting such bold statements criticizing China. But what they said explained a lot and sadly confirmed some of my prejudices based on my experiences of business in China. The three speakers described a sense of chaos where decisions are arbitrary, rules and guidelines non-existent and the atmosphere of frustration, confusion and unwillingness to make mistakes in the absence of guidance common. One example summed it up well. He stated that the current crackdown on corruption was hurting business in China. This was because government officials do not have guidelines to manage tenders or allocation of resources and funds. In the absence of guidelines, bribes were the most efficient method of managing decisions. Take that one method away without a replacement and things go tits up fast.


The takeaway from  these recent experiences are several. Basically it is now and always has been unclear on the benefits of doing business in China. What was not discussed in this blog was the high cost of doing business and that most Western companies, though showing great results, fail to turn an adequate profit. Also is the issue of work environment. During my stay in Shanghai I did not leave the hotel because the pollution was so bad and coming from and going to the airport I witnessed 4 car wrecks. Additionally employees lack adequate international exposure to be effective in dealings outside China and the concept of customer service is almost non-existent. From Hong Kong I have always been able to deliver a better, more stable and less expensive solution to China than I ever could from within China. So when thinking about doing business in China because it is a “cash cow”, maybe you might want to consider that it is not necessary to sleep with the cow. Hong Kong is what China can never be, an oasis of order and stability with full access to the cow.

Much success,



Facebook advertising for SME’s: Page Likes vs. Post Promotion and other magic

Facebook Advertising, Audience, Insights, Page Likes,

Facebook Advertising Quick Tips

Writing good posts and publishing them at the correct times is still the best way to manage your Facebook profile. But sometimes a little extra oomph is not a bad thing. In the last post we discussed Boost post vs Adverts manager and this week we will look at the different advertising options for Facebook.

Page Likes vs Post Promotion and others options?

Facebook, Advertising,
There are a number of options on Facebook advertising but the two most common are Page Likes and Post Promotion.

  • Page Like – specifically designed to get new Fans to Like your page. This increases the size of your online community. Caution should be exercised to only get the correct Fans to Like your page. Lookiloos and other unwanted Likes will only dampen future marketing efforts costing you money and lost ROI.
  • Post Promotion – specifically to increase the engagement with a single post; Likes, comments and shares. This is an effective way to get more attention for selected posts and to keep Fans engaged with content by giving it a “leg up” in newsfeeds.

Whereas there is overlap between the two. That is people who Like your page may interact with posts and those that engage with promoted posts may Like your page too, the overlap tends to be slight and therefore a combination of both is often recommended.

 Organic, Reach, Engagement, Graph,

What is the right balance?

 There is no perfect balance but it is critical that you only spend money on potential customers and that the effect can be sustainable without needing to spend increasing amounts of money to deliver the same results.

 We look for a Fan growth (in line with below recommendation), Organic Engagement Rate and Organic Reach to really tell the true health of a community. If you look to Organic engagement and demographically targeted Fan growth then the pace should find its own rate (see above chart for guideline applicable to SME’s). However, Organic Reach is the truth teller. If while using Paid promotions you are still able to maintain strong Organic Reach and if you stop the Paid promotions the Organic Reach only drops slightly, then you know you have found the good balance.

 Organic Reach: A measure of real Fans engaging with your posts and their impact on their Fans too. This is one of social media’s most pure metrics.

Facebook, Reach, Organic,


 Use Facebook Audience Insights to get a (very) close look on your community

Facebook, Audience, Insights

Fan Growth MUST always be demographically targeted. Facebook provides data to determine such things as as well as benchmarks of the existing Facebook demographic so you can compare your community against the larger Facebook population:

  •  Age
  • Gender
  • Marital Status
  • Location
  • Language
  • Job Title

 Fan Growth should never exceed the reasonable population of your product. We are located in Hong Kong so if we are representing a brick and mortar shop in Hong Kong with offline retail only and we know that the population of Hong Kong is about 7 million then logic suggest that our community will be smaller than that number. How to do this? Use your own marketing tools, find out subscription data from magazines, use Facebook to tell you how many of a certain type of person is registered on Facebook by using the advert tool, government data or just plain common sense.

Promoted Posts should always positively impact Organic Engagement. Organic Engagement is a measure of Fans who engage with your posts that were not brought there through a Paid channel. In theory these are people who found you because they searched or were recommended by Friends.

 When using Page Likes and Promoted posts be smart. Quick wins may get you numbers but it is unlikely sustainable and you will likely get Fans of low quality which is a long term burden with no benefit.

Be smart and contact us at PRDA for all your social media management needs.

 Much success,




http://www.PRDA.Asia is a leading social media management agency

Facebook advertising for SME’s: How to quadruple your advert budget

Facebook’s recent changes to their algorithm (fancy word for formula that decides what people see in their news feeds) has greatly limited businesses ability to get seen with just good content alone. Unless you are an SEO/ SEM guru like we are at PRDA you may need to try Facebook advertising. Over the next weeks I will layout some basic strategies to help you make good, and simple, decisions that will improve your performance without breaking the bank. Some of the topics I will cover are:

  • Boost post vs. Adverts manager
  • Page Likes vs Post promotion and others options
  • Selecting posts for promotion
  • Creating impactful ads
  • Using A/B testing or other ROI tests to choose the best performance
  • Audiences
  • Advanced demographic targeting info
  • and more!

Boost post vs Ad manager which to choose?


Boost Post is found on your Facebook page and is located on every post in the bottom right hand corner. The ads manager is found on your news feed page in the upper left hand corner.

FB boost and ad manager Oct 2014

Which is better? This is an easy one to figure, anything that is easier to use is usually the more expensive. Boost post provides fewer options and costs more to use than the Adverts Manager.

Boost cost 4 times as much with a fraction of the reach!

FB Boost vs AM Oct 2014
How to use Adverts Manager:

  1. Click on Adverts Manager
  2. Click on Create Ad

FB Ads manager first page Oct 2014

3. Click Page Post Engagement

FB Ads page post Oct 20144. Click the drop down arrow and scroll to then select the desired post to promote

FB select a post to promote Oct 20145. Set the demographic data. It is better to leave the net wide rather than too small. Start with Location, Gender, Age and Language.

TIP! Language is key to Hong Kong. It is the best way to target in Hong Kong.

FB Adverts Audience Oct 2014

6. Set the Budget and duration — for as little as HK$10 per day!

FB Ads manager cost and reach Oct 2014

There you have it. In a few short clicked you can achieve a significant cost savings and extended reach. Be smart and contact us at PRDA for all your social media management needs.

Much success,



http://www.PRDA.Asia is a leading social media management agency