Maneuvering through the Microblogging Mania

Social media has saturated our minds with headline after headline, filling our attention spans to the brim. But for those paying attention, a corner of the internet is in the midst of setting itself ablaze. X, formerly named Twitter, which is one of the biggest social media platforms of the past decade, faces a volatile future after being bought by tech billionaire Elon Musk. As new players blast into the scene, the microblogging platform wars could upend the internet’s favorite way to catch what’s happening—but brands can turn this into their advantage.

Messy Manifestation

Musk, the $239 billion founder and CEO of several companies including Tesla Motors and SpaceX, tweeted his way to purchasing the entire Twitter company for $44 billion. A self-proclaimed “free speech absolutist,” Musk offered to buy the company back in April 2022 in an effort to protect free speech and rid the platform of spambots that plagued it for years.

After lots of public legal drama and an attempt to back out of the deal, the notorious and polarizing tech iconoclast was forced to buy the company eventually in October 2022. With him under its helm, Twitter went on to have several controversial changes in the past year, including: mass layoffs and resignations, widespread bugs and security issues, a problematic new paid verification system called Twitter Blue, and high profile advertising pullouts. As a result, the social network’s market value plunged to less than a third of its purchase price at around $15 billion in May 2023.

This saga of dramatic twists and turns has people expressing concerns about Twitter’s volatility, leading several key players to come out into the open.

Out of the blue

Entering the mainstream are three candidates for the future of microblogging: Mastodon, Bluesky, and the just-released Threads. All three share similar functionalities compared to the social media giant, all painting a vision of what a Twitter alternative could be.

One of the earliest names that popped up when talks of a Twitter exodus occurred was Mastodon, a decentralized social network launched back in 2016 and gained popularity only in 2022 after the Twitter takeover. Mastodon mostly shares the same functionality as Twitter, with the exception of its key characteristic: decentralization.

Traditional social networks like Facebook and Twitter are centralized social networks run and operated by one company. This means that everything is housed under one server where everyone is bound under the same rules. Decentralized networks like Mastodon work differently: there are thousands of servers, each with their own topics and interests like tech news or pop culture. Just like forums back in the Web 2.0 days, creating an account requires you to join a server, though you are free to join other servers by creating multiple accounts.

The next player in the game is similar to Mastodon, but is run by Twitter’s own founder and former head, Jack Dorsey. Bluesky social is also a decentralized social network that aims to be the next step of the microblogging format, initially starting as a spin off from Twitter and eventually splitting off after the takeover.

With the platform being hailed as more accessible and intuitive compared to Mastodon, Bluesky was in the running to become a genuine competitor with several celebrities already migrating to the platform. However, its invite-only approach may have worked against its favor, for another tech giant saw the opportunity and swept right in.

Initially leaked around June 2023, a major Twitter competitor was in the works by Meta, the owner of Facebook, the largest social network in the world. By spinning off Instagram, the new platform would allow the Twitter-like functionalities but with the convenience of connecting with your already existing network. This platform would eventually be launched as Threads in July 2023 to great fanfare: securing 10 million sign ups within 7 hours, 30 million after a day, and 100 million in less than a week, the fastest ever by a platform, exceeding ChatGPT’s record of two months.

By populating the network early with celebrities, brands, and important figures, Threads grew quickly as people started to join in. Featuring a heavy-handed algorithm that recommends threads or posts from accounts you don’t follow, the platform encourages discovery and interaction.

All eyes are on Threads as it settles and begins to build out its admittedly lacking platform, missing key Twitter features like hashtags, trending topics, and a proper search functionality. Not everyone is a fan of the user interface or the way the algorithm works, and the platform was reported to lose millions of users after the initial surge. This paints an interesting picture of the current state of the platform wars: there isn’t a clear winner yet.

The future is still up in the air whether the platform will be a resounding success, but its platform head Adam Mosseri and Meta owner Mark Zuckerberg himself remain confident in its long-term vision. With the landscape changing everyday, whoever dominates is yet to be decided—but it doesn’t mean you can’t maximize your opportunities with the new platform.

Brand with a plan

Now that there’s a new kid on the microblogging block, there are a couple of questions to ask: How can brands maximize Threads? Does venturing into Threads guarantee business success? What can I do with my existing Twitter strategy, if I have a presence? The platform is rife with opportunities, but earnest digital marketers may be wise to consider multiple things before jumping in.

1.Evaluate your brand’s personality, tone, and voice. Threads, like Twitter, is oriented towards text-based conversations and real-time updates. Is your brand capable of having a proactive presence that can speak candidly, respond immediately, and engage in more personal ways compared to other platforms? Perhaps it’s time for your brand to have a new side on Threads, if it never had a Twitter presence prior.

2.Go big on authenticity in lieu of advertising. As of writing, Threads does not have advertising or monetization tools just yet, despite being heavily connected to Instagram. This means that every post is organic, with the potential to go viral thanks to the algorithm that may recommend your posts to new audiences. Having an authentic personality may help your brand connect with its audience, especially in the context of the candid nature of microblogging platforms.

3.Take advantage of the algorithm. The platform currently mixes threads between accounts you follow and accounts it thinks you might be interested in. Therefore, a diverse set of content that encourages discoverability can help establish your audience at an early stage, all while potentially attracting newer ones. Strategies like trendjacking, joining conversations, and interacting with other brands can help boost your own.

These three starting points can help influence your Threads strategy and set your brand up for success. By analyzing your brand’s capabilities and expanding it into the microblogging context, you can navigate the uncertainties of today’s ever-changing social media landscape.

If you’re looking to venture into the new with a Threads strategy, we at Xiklab Digital can help. We specialize in guiding our clients through the ins and outs of digital with our consulting services, and realizing them to its fullest potential through our digital marketing and creative services. Talk to us today and discover how we can help you cut through the clutter of the microblogging mania and beyond by filling up the form below or emailing us at [email protected].


With the year winding to its final months, it is a great time to set our sights on trends that are gathering steam for 2024. With the development and further maturation of novel technologies and marketing strategies, it is very clear that there are some concepts that would become more relevant moving forward.


Tiktok is still lagging behind Facebook in terms of monthly active users but its post-2020 numbers suggest that its pandemic user acquisition bump is here to stay. Demographically, the platform continues to maintain a strong hold among the 18-24 age group and has shown its ability to offer advanced advertising options. With innovations such as a robust CRM program and shoppertainment, Tiktok will surely become more top-of-mind both for marketers and brands alike.

Short-term video content that is compatible with Tiktok, Youtube Shorts, Instagram Reels and similar formats would also become more relevant. Brands, content creators and marketers would have to deal with increased competition for eyeballs and thumb-stopping content as a new generation of creators push the boundaries of entertainment, information and influencer culture in a few seconds.

Hyper-personalization is the process of using AI and real-time data to display highly curated products and content to shoppers and viewers. With content and products online being dime a dozen, the brand that can crack the code when it comes to matching the right product with the right customer stands to gain a lot of advantages. One company that is leading the charge on this front is Starbucks. Through their app, they are able to tailor-fit offers to users via historical data, activity and past purchases. 

The top dogs for this movement include tech giants such as Amazon and Spotify who have made understanding their customers’ preferences a central tenet to their content and product matching algorithms.

User-Generated Content and the Need for Authenticity

According to several studies including one by Ernst & Young, authenticity is the main value upheld by Gen Z. This is somewhat of a departure from the more rigid and curated approach preferred by older demographics. Now more than ever, it is important to inspire content that comes across as approachable, sincere and  relatable. As big influencers (those with millions of followers) mature as fully-fledged media companies that lose part of their warmth and appeal, micro influencers (and methods to find them via social listening) will become a more integral part of doing digital marketing.

Enhanced Community Building

Social media has proven to be a great message amplification tool but brands that can harness engagement into stronger brand connections and loyalty will have the upper hand in coming years. Not only does it help brands bring their consumers outside of the big social media networks, they can also tailor fit the customer experience unencumbered by the limitations of unowned channels.

Communities could be built in various ways but it often is done through engaging the consumer base through a combination of messaging, CRM, gathering of feedback and a combination of well-designed online and offline programs.

Sustainability and Ethical Marketing

With markets choosing to be more socially aware on pressing issues across a multitude of concerns, it is important for brands to be cognizant of the way their brand and marketing plans fit in the larger conversations in society. Brands that align their messaging with sustainable causes and established social movements stand to gain traction but may also face some fringe resistance from some sectors.

We at Xiklab Digital would be thrilled to take on the challenge of helping your brand and business navigate these trends. Please go to our contact form to set up a meeting with our team of digital consultants.

Are you ready to take on a career in digital marketing? Or maybe you’re looking to improve your online campaigns. Wherever you may be on your journey, put your digital knowledge to test with this quick and easy quiz.

MANILA, PHILIPPINES, April 2023 – Xiklab Digital announces a rebranding, including a new identity, reflecting the company’s transformation of its culture and a redefined strategy focused on building itself as the only Digital Marketing Consulting and Execution Company in the Philippines.

Following the agency’s launch in 2019, Xiklab is now focused on delivering digital-first solutions to its brand partners through a collaborative and customer-centric approach.

Combining its industry expertise across a wide range of digital services (i.e. digital strategy and creatives, paid media and performance optimization, customer experience, and technology and development), Xiklab offers a full suite of planning and outcome solutions for marketers and agencies.

“Over the past decade, Xiklab Digital has been a reliable partner in the design and execution of digital marketing campaigns for its clients both here in the Philippines and in the region,” says Bingo Soriano, Xiklab Digital’s Chief Executive Officer.

“With our expertise and experience in digital marketing through the years across a wide range of industries, we believe that it is opportune for the company to take our engagement with all our clients to the next level through deeper collaboration and proactive innovation.”

Anchored on the company’s new battlecry, Lighting the Way, Xiklab’s purpose is to craft valuable and long lasting digital experiences that profoundly impact lives and make a positive difference in the world to unlock the extraordinary.

“We will be laser-focused on guiding and coaching each of our brand partners in navigating the constantly changing and growing digital landscape, as well as carrying out their respective digital marketing initiatives, to enable these brands to concentrate on their core business while leveraging on the benefits offered by digital assets, digital platforms and tools,” adds Soriano.

To learn more about Xiklab’s services or if you’re interested in exploring a partnership with us, send us a message through the form below or contact us at [email protected].

While majority of social media users are still on Facebook and Google, new ad platforms help to reach newer and wider audiences

With the fast-increasing internet penetration in the Philippines and the widespread growth of usage of digital platforms, consumers are now becoming more and more reachable within new and emerging platforms outside of the typical channels of Facebook and Google.

As per the latest 2022 data published by We Are Social and Kepios, the Internet Users in the Philippines increased by 2.2% or roughly 2.1 Millions Users. On the other hand, Social Media Users increased by an even higher percentage at 3.4% or 3.1 Million Users. Google, Facebook, and YouTube still top the list of the most visited websites.

Though this is a welcome improvement especially for brands online, the mainly used platform for advertising, Facebook, seems to be facing hurdles in market dominance. As per the latest data by Pew Research, the percentage of teens in the US who use Facebook decreased greatly from 71% in 2014 to just 32% this year. This is further supported by Bloomberg’s report last Q4 that the time spent by US teens on Facebook decreased by 16% YoY while the new teenager sign-up for the platform also decreased. Notably, even young adults’ time spent decreased by 5%. Facebook also reported last February that it was losing daily active users.

In this fast growing and ever-changing social media landscape, this makes digital advertising diversification a crucial topic that brands should be looking into. And with the continuous 21.1% YoY growth in Digital Ad Spend in the Philippines (roughly more than 186 Million Dollars), it begs the question – are you actually maximizing your ad spend or are you missing out on new potential touchpoints? What other platforms are your consumers actually using right now and how can you reach them?

Now, browsing and studying all the other channels can definitely be quite tedious. Luckily for you, Xiklab is here to save the day!

In this article, we list down 8 Digital Platforms in the Philippines where you can reach your audience via paid media advertising today.


Image Credits: TikTok

A fast-rising star in a sea of Facebook and Instagram Users – TikTok should definitely be one of the top platforms to explore in your list. Showing tremendous growth rates with its Ad Reach increasing by 8.8% Quarter on Quarter and now bragging more than 18 Million Monthly Active Users, the platform is surely gaining momentum with its channel dominance becoming the top 4 used Social Media App in the Philippines. As per WeAreSocial and GWI, TikTok is now part of the top platforms being used by Filipinos today, just next to Instagram, Messenger, and Facebook. With all these convincing numbers, this is definitely one of the platforms that you should be exploring.

Within TikTok Ads, you can reach up to 35.96 Million Users of highly engaged Gen Z and Millenials through its Affinity based targeting which encompasses your familiar interests of Food, Beauty, Travel, Games, Fashion, Tech, Business, Finance, and a lot more. And if you want to be even more granular in making sure you’re hitting the right people, you can explore behavioral targeting via the types of videos, content, or hashtags that users have interacted with.

@tiktok upcycling is the new recycling and other tips in eco-mindfulness from our superstar sustainability creators this #EarthMonth #ZeroWaste #DIY # #EarthDay #Upcycling ♬ original sound - TikTok

from super-random to super-useful, let’s look back on what TikTok taught us in 2022 featuring @brunchwithbabs, @cookingwithlynja, @rob_skate4life, @oursignedworld, @getaheadwithnick

♬ original sound - TikTok

Now we can go on and on in discussing the potential of this platform. But to make things easier, you can learn more and read on about how your brand can benefit from TikTok through this FREE TikTok Whitepaper. And if you want to explore even deeper, we crafted an article with a FREE Media Playbook to show you all the different types of ads, targeting, and best practices that you can do to jumpstart your TikTok Campaigns. Awesome right?

Image Credits: Kumu

In this day and age, live streaming has been one of the rising executions within digital marketing. If you’re one of the brands who are interested in targeting users who watch Live Streams, then look no further! Kumu is here to help.

With more than 11 Million registered users, your brand can be front and center as users interact and watch their favorite shows.

Image Credits: Kumu
Image Credits: Kumu

With its unique show-based sponsorships, you can be present based on what users actually prefer watching. Do Branded Takeovers for Game Shows, integrate Virtual Gifts within Food and Cooking Livestreams, tap a group of Influencers for a joint live streaming session, or just put your branding across a multitude of categories – from talent shows, to family content, celebrity chats, gaming reviews, and a lot more. The interactive format makes sure that the people you’re reaching are not only made aware of your brand, but also drives interest and consideration depending on your execution.

Ready to be seen? Then get ahead by watching our previous FUSED Kumu Webinar Video by our Event Speakers Paolo Pineda and Karly Lao, as they delve into the channel’s capabilities. And if you prefer reading more about it, take time to browse our FREE Kumu Whitepaper for more info!

Image Credits: LinkedIn

Are you a brand looking to target working professionals or business owners? LinkedIn Ads may be for you!

Though not as popular as the other ad platforms due to its B2B nature, it continues to grow with quality users with more than a 13 Million potential audience base for your ads while increasing by 14.6% YoY in terms of Ad Reach. This give you a good potential audience to reach on a daily basis with 25.2% of PH GWI Data saying that they use the platform more than once a day.

With this user base and with the right chemistry for your brand, you can make the most out of its unique targeting parameters that can enable you to reach professionals according to their specific Job Titles, Seniority, Skills and Experience, or even parameters related to their Company, Size, or Industry.

This is the only platform that can hypertarget professionals with ease. So if you want to reach those CEOs, business owners, or just specific professionals or industries, then read on about LinkedIn Ads with our FREE LinkedIn Ads Playbook.

Image Credit: Viber

Ever talked with your friends and colleagues over Viber and noticed a number of promos or brand ads right after your call or within different placements and tabs?

Image Credit: Viber

That’s because you can use Viber as an awareness channel by running Display Ads right within the platform! That’s right. With the platform gaining the Top 8th Social Media Platform used in the Philippines as per GWI and WeAreSocial, you can now reach more than 40 Million Registered Users and target them via demographics or maybe even their phone’s Operating System. And if you have a unique requirement where you want to target users with families or friends abroad, you can even make use of their call targeting which allows you to reach users who may be calling from one country to another.

Viber continues to be one of the actively used platforms with 34.7% of GWI respondents saying that they use Viber daily in the Philippines. So if you want to expand your touch points and reach new users, then this is one to consider.

Image Credit: Twitter

Twitter has been widely used for more than a decade. And though it still hasn’t overtaken Facebook and Google when it comes to platform usage, it is interesting to note that it’s still one of the top social media channels being used in our country.

As per GWI data, Twitter is still Top 5 with 59.6% of GWI Philippine respondents saying that they use the platform more than once daily. With around 13 Million potential users to be targeted in the Philippines and its Ad Reach increasing by 2.9% Quarter on Quarter, it’s high time for you to check out its capabilities.

With its unique and interesting targeting parameters, you can actually become the “talk” of the town. Aside from the usual Interest Targeting across different categories, you can target users via the keywords they use in their tweets or even the topic of their conversations. This widens the potential user base that you can reach which makes it highly likely that your target market is present within this platform.

Image Credit: Spotify

In a world of the typical image and video ads, set yourself apart by being present with 100% Audio SOV while making sure that users are actively listening to your message via Spotify Ads.


With more than 20 Million Monthly Active Users listening to their favorite music, you can target them by the genre of their sound trips or the context and type of playlist they’re listening to. All these while combining with demographic and interest-based parameters that will allow for you to customize your ad according to the user’s perona as well as specific moments in their listening experience – whether they may be working out as they listen to their gym playlist, having fun with their party music, chilling with a relaxing sound trip on a rainy afternoon, or even studying or working with their focus background music.

If this “sounds” good, then read more about how this platform can support your awareness campaigns with this FREE Spotify Ads Playbook.

Image Credit: Waze

Ever wanted to target actual Car Owners, Drivers, or people who travel to certain locations? Or maybe simply wanted to complement your drive to store campaigns? Then Waze can lead you in the right direction!

Reach more than 2.8 Million Monthly Active Users with a platform that not a lot of brands have maximized. Place Store Pins, Takeover Banners, or show Arrows that lead users to your nearby establishments. All these, while utilizing geofencing targeting capabilities of the platform.

With more stores opening their doors for customer visits and offline purchases, Waze is something that will make a comeback as more users get back on the road.

Image Credit: Grab

Grab has a whopping 90+ Million Monthly Active Users across Southeast Asia. That’s a huge audience base for daily users who visit platform for transportation, food, and groceries. Not only that, according to GWI, 37.3% of the Philippine respondents say that they use Grab while 35.4% use Grab Food every day.

Image Credit: Grab

With all this active user data, you can maximize the app’s consumer base by targeting based on Eater Profiles (from the types of restaurants and cuisines they like) or the type of Traveler they may be (whether domestic, international, business, leisure, motorbike, among others). And due to the presence of its payment integrations, it can even provide a unique advantage that other platforms may not possess – such as targeting whether your audience is using Credit Cards or other Payment Types, the type of Bank and Card they have, or even the size of their spending.

So if you want to ride these new advertising opportunities with Grab Ads, then check out our FREE Grab App Study  that was born from Xiklab’s latest FUSED Event with the Country Head of GrabAds Philippines, Wiwa Cajumban.

BONUS! Not exactly for running ads, but this is definitely a channel you might also want to look into:

Image Credit: Discord

One of the rising stars this past year with more than 150 Million Monthly Active Users, Discord is continuously growing especially with the younger audiences. Unlike the other platforms in this list, Discord is not necessarily an advertising channel but rather a Community Building, Events, Chat, Live Streaming, and Social Media portal that you can use to complement your online marketing strategies.

What started off as mainly a gaming medium, it has now become more popular even within other communities such as tech, fashion, cars, entertainment, among others. As per WeAreSocial and GWI, around 29.8%-31.6% of their respondents in the Philippines actively use this app, gaining the Top 10th spot across the most used Social Media Platforms in our country!

Image Credit: Discord
Image Credit: Discord

So if you want to reach out to your younger markets, especially the Gen Z, and if you want to create a unique avenue where you can build your relationship with your community, then this platform might be for you!

Immerse yourself more with this platform by getting our FREE Discord Whitepaper.

Gone are the days where you just spend all your digital budgets on Facebook. With the advent of new ways to tap into your market and the decreasing dominance of Facebook usage, great ad opportunities have risen during other important moments of your consumer.

Whether it be seeing display awareness banners during conversations on Viber, discovering image or video ads while users are booking transportation or food deliveries via Grab, listening and chilling to music on Spotify, or even browsing trending videos on TikTok, digital advertising opportunities are continuously evolving, making it of paramount importance for your brand to be up-to-date and present where it matters.

Be ahead of the trend and overcome your competition while safeguarding your presence on digital even with the ever-changing landscape.

Though all these can definitely be daunting, having a digital marketing partner can make things a lot easier. And if you’re looking for a team that can guide you through this online advertising journey, then allow us to help you. Don’t hesitate to reach out by filling up the form below or by emailing [email protected].

Content is king, this phrase coined by Bill Gates in his essay in 1996 continues to be heard across the industry and true enough, it has been instilled in every content marketers mind. In this day and age when social media continues to evolve and is also becoming a very saturated landscape, brands need to find a way to stand out.

One effective way to market your brand on social media is through visual messaging. Humans are visual beings and as you may already know, we process visuals faster and impacts us longer than any other form of communication. For brands and businesses, visuals accompanied with a strategic social media marketing strategy will win you a lot of views and engagement. So, with this, allow me to change the first phrase of this article to Visuals are the true kings, as they sit rightfully and comfortably on their throne.

As an Art Director, I’m prone to creative blocks when I need to create visual content for social media. So, whenever I find myself in the art limbo, I find inspiration through other brands that have great visual content.

That being said, I’ve come up with a list of pages across Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and Tiktok you can follow for your inspiration in visual content creation:


Who would’ve thought coffee would be an interesting subject in a photograph? Well, Starbucks has managed to curate creative visuals in their social media pages. They always find a creative way to market their ever so visually-appealing frappuccinos and teavanas, by making the most out of them through visuals. They make good use of the platform and explore different content formats, from animated illustrations, boomerangs and stop-motions. They truly make sure to present their drinks not only for the sake of it, but to make them part of a bigger story.


The way Spotify presents abundant amounts of data into eye-catching graphics is outstanding. Their use of typography is brilliant and really bold, it captures you instantly. Even their stylized covers of the artists and playlists are gorgeous enough for users to look at and make them listen to them more. They also create engaging content with, again, bold graphics, that rake in a lot of shares and reactions on social media.


Headspace is a good example of a brand pushing inspirational content while being both amusing and uplifting. As a meditation and mindfulness brand, they make use of cute characters and pale hues to convey calmness and positivity. Their posts will surely give you a head start on your day.


Since we’re talking about images, this action camera company posts some of the most thrilling photographs taken. They outsource their content from amazing adventurers around the world and make videos out of it, making a compelling visual story. Some of the photos and videos are spine-chilling if you’re not used to seeing some adventure-driven imagery. They cover a lot of extreme sports-related content, but what I love are the stunning landscapes they feature.

Magdas hotel

This Hotel was able to make the most of Tiktok emerging as one of the bigger social media platforms. They used a trendy sound, and tied it into a lockdown context. Although they only have 8 videos, each video has a unique take on the same idea, while showcasing some of the amenities and services the hotel offers. On top of that, each video is short and fun which fits the platform well.

Sweet N Nice Ice cream

This Ice cream brand is a good example of how a brand can thrive on the platform without a big budget. Growing steadily from 10k to 160k followers over the past year, there’s no production team behind the tiktok videos, each video is simply funny, enganing, or uses a trend. They are a great follow to see how they execute their ideas and turn it into a fun video.

@sweetnniceicecream Ok what’s better for marketing? IG or Tiktok? 🍦 #familyrunbusiness ♬ original sound - Matthew Rincon


Samsung is a great brand to follow on social media, because as a tech brand, they are always looking for the next big thing. They take their new products’ unique selling point and incorporate it into their ads. From a better camera to a more economic design phone, Samsung has a variety of features they build their content around and that makes it a great source of inspiration.

Burger King

Burger King is a particularly fun brand to follow. As a fast food brand they constantly post about new products. It’s fun to see how they introduce new items, or build hype for it. With their recent rebrand, they are also playing with more nostalgic visual elements which makes them stand out from fast food brands.

Mcdonald’s Tiktok

The golden arches have always had a good grasp on what makes them appealing. We’re looking at their tiktok specifically,because that platform works differently. As a brand, making a challenge trend is one way to boost your presence. Mcdonalds has been doing that with their different efforts like making a catchy beat users can create content with, or a call to action to duet a video about chicken sandwiches. McDonalds is being more experimental and off beat with their tiktok but it’s great to see such an iconic brand try new things.

If you want to know more about digital marketing, you can go to our blog section and go through our content materials. And if you are interested in working with top notch digital marketing experts, you can send us an email today

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