Insights into Asia’s Social Media Growth in 2012

Breakdown of Asia’s Social Media Potential – 2012

Social Media is now a key channel for corporate marketing and communications across Asia, with 81% of top Asian companies, having a branded social media presence in 2011, up from 40% in 2010. This figure is on par with 84% of Fortune100 companies. Laurent Decosse previously spoke on how  Social Media will become a big contributor to the data wave of 2012 and identifies the various trends in the different social media platforms. The chart below gives a quick analysis of corporate usage of social media in Asia-Pacific. China and South Korean companies are the most active in utilizing social media for corporate marketing to engage domestic audiences. However, many companies also view social media as a means to build awareness amongst international stakeholders.

Corporate Usage of Social Media in 2011Source:  Burson Marstellar

Asia is shaping the Internet and social media in terms of technology and behavior. Sina Weibo, Renren are China-based platforms which may have modeled themselves after their popular Western counterparts such as Facebook and Twitter, but their ability to integrate innovative functionalities into their platforms ahead of their competitors and strong overseas expansion plans mean they can grow beyond their domestic market. In a previous posting, Laurent Decosse speaks about a Comparative Study of Twitter and Sina Weibo, which provides a deeper insight between the core differences between both platforms. One of the most noted aspects of social media in Asia is its highly contributory culture. Unlike their Western counterparts whom consume social media, Asians are the most active creators of online content in the world, uploading vast quantities of video, photographs and blog posts every day. (Source: ). This unique aspect is tapped upon by Asian social-platforms such as Sina Weibo, which allowed users to embed multimedia video more than 18 months before Twitter introduced the feature. This observation made by Graeme Beardsell, Chief Customer Development and Marketing Officer at Experian Asia-Pacific, states that these companies add value with more advanced features earlier than their Western counterparts. It is evident that social media provides an opportunity for organizations to engage their stakeholders directly, bypassing conventional gatekeepers in communicating key messages. Yet, companies in Asia are keeping their social media presence as separate from their other online presence to the extent of being hesitant to use branded social media channels to engage their corporate stakeholders. Burson-Marsteller believes that this hesitancy is attributed by recent research indicating that most companies believe they are poorly prepared for crises that emerge and spread online. Clearly, organizations looking to target consumers must now incorporate social media into their marketing mix or risk losing them to competitors. Conversely, the Internet and social media can be utilized by a company as a way to respond to crises and manage brand reputation, brand monitoring. In the next posting, we will discuss five social media monitoring solutions that will help your business based on the different needs such as product development, market research and public outreach. Want to know more about Social Media in Asia? Follow us on Twitter, Weibo or LinkedIn.

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