Branding in business level is not quite new for Cambodia, especially for the big brands. However, for personal branding, it is a different story, it is a rising star in Cambodia society. Actually, personal branding is a practice of people marketing themselves as a brand, to build their reputation, and to make them recognized and well-known.
In Cambodia, from leaders, public figures, businessmen, artists, celebrities, to ordinary people, are trying to have their own personal brand, to differentiate them from others. Just in recent years, after a booming of Facebook, the only social media with the most users in Cambodia with 3.3 million users, entrepreneurs and political leaders are trying to leverage the power of this giant channel to their own benefit. We could see this trend after the general election in 2013, when Facebook could make a big surprise to the election outcome. From then, people have paid more attention to the power of it in Cambodia.
Before we only see entrepreneurs and big brand spending a big sum of money to advertise on Facebook. Today however, another trend has appeared, we can see many personal pages are being created, and the page owner are willing to spend a considerable amount of money to make their page popular.
A few years ago, spending 20$ to boost the page could receive many likes up to a few thousands. However, the market has changed, spending the same amount would result in a few hundreds likes only. This is due to the competitive market that thousands brands and personal pages are biting for the ads. Thus, when you see a new page with more than 10K likes in a short period of time, it means the owner has spent a lot to boost the page, and I think it is more than a few hundreds to a thousand U.S dollar.
Let’s forget about spending money to boost page for likes, and come back to the personal branding strategy among the page owners on Facebook, particularly in politic, which is very competitive now. We could observed the new trend of personal branding among political leaders, and the affiliates to the political parties. Some of the page owners even have their own Facebook team, to keep their page up to date, and to show their daily activities, both personal and in the public. Now everyone know that, people would like to see the person they love or support is a humble person, a helpful, a motivator, and the one who could inspire them. That is now become a common practice among the political leaders. They are now showing their love to the followers, being very humble, simple, and ordinary, being very helpful when people in-need, doing good deeds, and sharing their private life. Most of the page owners are spending a lot of money to boost the page to get more likes in a shorter time, to show that they are popular among others. Some even boost their post to reach out more people than they could. Since Facebook introduce a new algorithm, that normally not more than 2% of the follower on Facebook page could reach the page’s post, this new practice would just push people to spend more on ads to reach out more of their targets.
So is it good after a new trend of personal branding? In general, I think it is good, even if the good things shown to the public on Facebook page is not from the bottom of their hearts, even if it is a prepared scene, but it would have a good impact to the public. It is good because people will see the good actions every day from their idol, and such actions will be installed in their mind. When people frequently see such good action from their leaders, or idol to their society, more or less people will follow the footsteps. It is kind of a psychological factor that influence the behavior of people, when we are exposed more to good things, it will shape people in that way too. However, hopefully every good actions on Facebook’s post is the real intention, and it is from the bottom of the hearts. Let’s together make a better Cambodia, where people have one common goal, which is to build a prosper society.