Use of Social media by Asia’s leading companies

This post give a digest of the results of a Burson-Marsteller research on corporate marketing and communications activity on top social media channels by 120 of Asia’s leading companies as ranked in the Wall Street Journal Asia 200 Index for 2010. Social media is now a key channel for corporatemarketing and communications across Asia • Top Asian companies are placing greater emphasis on deploying social media channels for corporate marketing and communications, with 81% of firms covered – double the number across Asia in 20101 and almost on a par with 84% of Fortune 100 companies2 – now using branded social media channels. • South Korean and Chinese companies are most active in their use of social media for corporate marketing, especially to domestic audiences. However, many companies also view social media as a means to build awareness amongst international stakeholders. • While few top Asian companies have no corporate presence or voice in social media, firms in Taiwan and Singapore continue to use social media sparingly, a reflection of their conservative business cultures. Corporate social media strategies remain shortterm and piecemeal • Despite corporate marketing taking advantage of an ever greater array of social media platforms, over half of these branded accounts are ‘inactive’. The great majority of social media channels are used primarily for product marketing campaigns, which are rarely updated after the campaign has ended. • Few Asian companies have set up social media channels specifically for corporate marketing or communications purposes, with most opting to piggy-back on consumer channels. While this one-size-fits-all approach enables firms to reach an established community quickly, it also means that it can prove more difficult over time to segment users and target them with relevant corporate news and information. • Most firms are failing to promote their social profiles through their websites, implying that they continue to regard their efforts as pilots and remain wary of negative discussions ‘over-spilling’ on to their core owned assets. Continued corporate focus on pushinginformation, rather than stakeholderengagement • Social media provides companies with an opportunity to use content and dialogue to drive user interest, sharing and advocacy. However, most firms are making little effort to engage audiences in corporate-related discussions, preferring instead to push content at users in a manner consistent with ‘traditional’ public relations and marketing. • The most popular use of social media for corporate purposes across Asia is to reinforce and extend ongoing media and influencer outreach. Engaging core stakeholders on ‘softer’ topics such as Corporate Social Responsibility or Thought Leadership as a means of stimulating questions or feedback take a back seat. • In a similar vein, other than in South Korea and China, very few Asian firms use overtly two-way communications channels such as corporate blogs for corporate marketing purposes, despite their value in helping explain complex topics. Micro-blogs are the preferred standalone corporate marketing channel. Corporate digital storytelling remains in itsinfancy • While video is hugely popular on the Internet, the great majority of company video sharing channels are product marketing vehicles. Corporate use of video in Asia is mostly limited to illustrating good social deeds and some leadership communications. • Accordingly, companies are missing a significant opportunity to bring alive their activities in ways that audiences can relate to and might want to share with others.   Source: view full report online

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