Results from Burson-Marsteller’s 2011 Asia-Pacific Corporate Social Media Study show that the vast majority (81 percent) of companies listed on The Wall Street Journal’s Asia 200 Index now have a corporate social media presence –and that’s up from less than half (40 percent) last year.
Thanks to this dramatic growth, the top companies in Asia closed the gap with the Fortune Global 100, where 84 percent of companies use social media channels for marketing and communications.
Unfortunately, though, companies in Asia may not be realizing the full potential of social media networks. According to Burson-Marsteller,most Asian multinationals continue to use social media to ‘push’ news and information at users, rather than engage in discussions. Among the companies studied, one-third of social media activity focuses on basic media and influencer outreach, rather than engagement on substantive corporate topics such as corporate social responsibility or thought leadership. Only 9 percent of the firms surveyed use corporate blogs for corporate marketing and communications, despite their value in helping explain complex topics.
In other findings:
- 31 percent of the companies studied use at least three social media channels –up from 3 percent in 2010.
- 19 percent of companies still have no official corporate social media presence.
- 30 percent of companies use social networks for corporate marketing and communications –up from 20 percent last year.
- 28 percent of companies use micro-blogs for corporate marketing and communications –up from 18 percent in 2010.
- 62 percent of social media channels surveyed were inactive, and the same percentage of companies do not promote their social media channels on their homepages.
As Bob Pickard, President and CEO of Burson-Marsteller Asia-Pacific, points out, marketers have to be mindful of regional differences in social media adoption, as well as differences in corporate vs. community social media use.
“The fact that twice as many Asian multinationals are using branded social media channels this year compared to last underlines the opportunity for global corporate communications on digital platforms based in Asia,” he said in a press release. “Companies in Asia are approaching Western levels of adoption but there’s a long way to go when it comes to community engagement in cultures where ‘face’ remains more important than Facebook.”
A summary presentation of the study results is available on Slideshare.