Few Asian Firms Dabble in Social Media

Less than half of the top 200 Asian companies have a corporate social media presence, and many of those who do have inactive profiles, new research from Burson-Marsteller revealed.

Around 40 percent of Asian companies listed on The Wall Street Journal’s Asia 200 Index have a branded social media presence, with 55 percent of them reported as being inactive. Only 18 percent of companies surveyed integrate their social media profiles into their corporate Web sites.

In contrast, the agency’s Fortune Global 100 Social Media Check-Up study conducted in February this year showed 79 percent of major global companies using branded social media sites as part of their corporate communications mix.

Social media used for businesses in Asia is often to push information rather than engage stakeholders. Some 12 percent of Asian companies surveyed maintain a corporate blog, as compared to 33 percent of global companies.

Charlie Pownall, lead digital strategist for Asia-Pacific at Burson-Marsteller, said companies are using social media to portray a “softer” corporate image less likely to invoke interaction or negative commentary.

“True engagement involving two-way dialogue, as measured by the average number of third-party posts and the average number of corporate responses to their followers, remains limited,” Pownall said.

Meanwhile, the research suggested that global companies are leveraging on video and multimedia to support digital storytelling, a trend lacking among Asian companies. Only 8 percent of top Asian companies have dedicated channels on top video platforms, as compared to 50 percent of global companies using such channels.

Bob Pickard, president and CEO of Burson-Marsteller Asia-Pacific, believes online social interaction has gone mainstream and now dominates media consumption in many markets. However, Asian companies are lagging behind their global counterparts.

“To take full advantage of this trend, Asia’s top companies must make social media a core component of their corporate marketing and communications, both at home and abroad,” he said.

Marketing Magazine Asia