How Asian Companies Use Social Media

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Burson Marsteller recently released the “Asia Pacific Corporate Social Media Study 2011, How Asian Companies are Engaging Stakeholders Online”and here’s the shorter presentation.

Burson Marsteller recently released the “Asia Pacific Corporate Social Media Study 2011, How Asian Companies are Engaging Stakeholders Online”and here’s the shorter presentation. There’s some interesting information here, including South Korea is the most active, with Malaysia, China and Thailand next. Micro-blogs and social networks are the most popular channels to engage. However Asian businesses are lagging behind global peers and competition overall, and the integration of social media on corporate Websites is slow to gain momentum.  

The key findings highlighted include:

  • 81 percent of top Asian companies have a branded corporate social media presence, over double the figure for 2010 and in line with the 84 percent of Fortune global 100 firms
  • 31 percent of companies 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 in 2010
  • 28 perent 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

However, the most interesting part for me was this – most businesses in Asia Pacific are still focused on pushing information rather than engaging in dialogue. To succeed as a social business, marketing executives need to change both their approach and corporate culture. As I’ve said it before on this blog in different ways, pushing information (the old way) is out, so now with every piece of information we want to share with the world or any opinion we want to express, we need to ask ourselves:

  • Why does that audience want this information?
  • Why is it relevant to them?
  • How will this excite or motivate them to act?  

It’s not about what we want to say but about what they want to hear – if we can always keep that front of mind, we can win. Challenge any member of your sales, marketing and communication teams to think and ask the question – why is this relevant? They need to step back from what the company wants to achieve and ask this question objectively. It really does require a different way of thinking, one I’m sure business people in Asia Pacific can excel at once they get the mindset right.

As I have been known to say:

[quote]Buyers are no longer reliant on your company for the information THEY need to solve problems or determine which vendors make the short list.[/quote]


[quote]It’s about mixing what you want to say with what your audience wants to hear in a way that engages your targets, AND it’s about creating opportunities for two-way dialogue, especially in the B2B space.[/quote]

Check out the research. There’s some good advice on next steps, but the most important advice is always, ALWAYS think from the customer’s point of view.

Andrea Edwards is managing director of SAJE, a Singapore-based strategic communications consultancy focused on professional writing and content development, messaging and positioning, and high class boutique events. You can check out SAJE’s blog at

About Andrea Edwards PRO INVESTOR

Andrea Edwards has worked in marketing and communications all over the globe for 20 years, and is now focused on her passion – writing. A gifted communicator, strategist, writer and avid blogger, Andrea is Managing Director of SAJE, a digital communications agency, and The Writers Shop – a regional collaboration between the best business writers in Asia Pacific