Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Asian brands limit role of social media

Most firms in Asia Pacific believe social media offers substantial opportunities to drive word of mouth and deliver consumer insights, but less than 5% actively use it to build brands, a study has shown.

According to a recent study, Exactly 66% of participants reported that "buzz building" was the main purpose for social media, ahead of monitoring online sentiment with 63%. Brand building logged just 2.6% on this metric.

Some 40% of respondents agreed social media had a "primary role" for their business, with Hong Kong, China and Singapore posting over 33% here, falling to around 20% for Indonesia, India and Taiwan.

Marketing teams leveraged social media at 90% of companies, a level of uptake reaching 46% for corporate communications, 34% for customer service, 25% for human resources and sales, and 13% for research and development departments.

In terms of budgets, 60% of interviewees stated that under 5% of their expenditure on marketing and communications was attributed to this channel.

One reason for this may be the comparative novelty of using this medium, as 58% of the featured brand owners had established a presence on such platforms within the last two years.

"Many businesses in Asia missed the first wave of social media because they only saw a consumer fad," said Paul Heath, Chairman, Ogilvy & Mather Asia-Pacific. "Now companies need to understand the strength that social media brings to business, including and beyond marketing."

Indeed, 22% of enterprises had already been "hurt" by social media, as negative buzz aggravated a "crisis" situation. Only half of firms had a plan in place to react to such problems, however.

Additional issues occurred from a lack of in-house co-ordination, given that more than a third of businesses had also seen members of staff set up unauthorised social media properties.

When discussing internal structures, 43% of respondents revealed a single team managed this channel for their whole company, while individuals in different teams did so at 24% of operators.


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