Social media

Social media consultancy Brandwatch opens office in Asia, poaches Twitter expert

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 11 June, 2015, 7:11pm
UPDATED : Friday, 12 June, 2015, 9:24am

Brandwatch, which has helped build the success stories of iconic brands like Sony Music and British Airways, will open an office in Singapore as it seeks to expand its reach in the region, the independent social media advisor said on Thursday.

The move may be music to the ears of internet start-ups, technology companies and social media players in Asia, which routinely struggle to tap top talents.

To make sure it hits the ground running, Brandwatch has appointed Christel Quek, a former regional content expert at Twitter, as its vice president of commercial business for Southeast Asia.  

“The social media journey here in Asia Pacific is just booming,” Quek told the South China Morning Post

“Vietnam, Indonesia and the Philippines -- what I like to term the VIP markets -- have a collective 443 million people, with 130 million on the net, and the growth potential is fantastic.”

Still in her early 20s, the Singaporean is considered something of a prodigy and rising star in the region’s social media field. She was named one of “Asia’s 20 Women to Watch” in 2014 by industry magazine Campaign

Quek will help open the new office, the company said.

“This new location will help us meet [our clients’] needs and widen our global footprint,” said Brandwatch CEO Giles Palmer.

“It is the right time for us to make this next big step in our plans, and broaden our reach for the benefit of our customers,” he added. 

Brandwatch, well known in the advertising business, acquired social media analytics firm PeerIndex in December 2014.

The company, which is headquartered in England’s tourist-friendly seaside town of Brighton, has been expanding aggressively after it recently drew US$22 million of venture capital. It has represented over 1,000 brands and agencies.

Its services are increasingly being sought by white collars up and down the food chain. The same can be said of leading social media sites.

About 80 per cent of chief executives at most major multinationals now engage with their staff, clients and the public online using Twitter, Facebook or other social media, according to a recent survey by PR agency Weber Shandwick.

Industry analysts have also noted that corporate budgets for digital marketing, especially those that are social media-focused, have been on the uptick, while newspaper and other traditional media are struggling to lure advertisers.

Also on Thursday, Twitter announced the launch of its new Asia-Pacific headquarters in Singapore, where it said it would be adding 100 more jobs. 

This ranks as more of an upgrade than anything else, as the San Francisco-headquartered company already houses most of its regional staff at the same office.