Study Finds Low Social Network Engagement Among Large Asian Firms

Asian companies listed in the Fortune Global 100 show the greatest year-on-year increase in official Facebook presence, though many are still reluctant to engage stakeholders through this platform, according to the Burson-Marsteller Global Social Media Check-up 2011.  The study examines the Fortune Global 100’s use of popular social networking platforms such as: Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, corporate blogs and local and language-specific social media.


While a global increase of 18% in Facebook engagement was driven by a 25% increase in Asian companies on the list building a presence on the social network, Asian companies continue to miss opportunities for engagement with online stakeholders.  Although Asian corporate Facebook pages saw a 406% increase in stakeholder “Likes” and 60% of Asian companies in the study allow fan posts to their Pages, only 28% of these pages routinely responded to fan posts.


“While the increase in social media adoption in Asia is in part due to greater investment in this area for local marketing, much of the growth is driven by established Asian multinationals using social media to reach new audiences abroad,” says Bob Pickard, president and CEO of Burson-Marsteller Asia-Pacific.  “We expect to see this trend continue as other Asian companies become more comfortable with the interactive nature of social networks and take the opportunity engage their stakeholders directly on these platforms.”


On Facebook, 74% of companies allow users who “like” their page to post on their page “walls,” and more than one-half (57%) of companies are responding to these posts and comments. The U.S. companies lead the way on Facebook interaction with 89% of companies allowing posts and 72% of companies responding back.


In terms of growth of adoption, 67% of Asian companies in the Fortune Global 100 are now using at least one social media platform, up from 50% 12 months earlier, while the number of U.S. and European companies using social media remained virtually flat at 89 and 84% respectively.


“Global companies are now demonstrating greater comfort with the interactive nature of social networks and are more willing to engage their stakeholders directly on these platforms,” says Burson-Marsteller Worldwide CEO Mark Penn.  


According to the study, one-half (50%) of Asian companies on the Fortune Global 100 list now have Facebook pages compared to 40% last year. In addition, the average number of “likes” per Asian corporate Facebook page increased 406% from 23,971 “likes” to 121,257 “likes.”


The percentage of Asian companies in the study with Twitter accounts grew 68% from 40% in 2010 to 67% in 2011. Seventy-seven percent of Asian companies with Twitter accounts are using the “@” mention function to open channels of communication with other users. 62% of these Asian companies are re-tweeting content to followers.


Eighty-four percent of the companies in this year’s study are active on at least one social media platform considered, compared with 79% last year.


Another finding is that 25% of companies are using all four platforms studied, compared to 20% in the prior year’s study.


Globally, corporate participation in Twitter increased the most (to 78% in 2011 from 65% in 2010), followed by YouTube (57% in 2011 v. 50% in 2010), Facebook (61% in 2011 v. 54% in 2010), and corporate blogging (36% in 2011 v. 33% in 2010).


Eighty percent of the Fortune Global 100 were being talked about by Twitter account holders, almost twice as many as one year ago (42%).


On Facebook, each corporate page boasts an average of 87,979 “likes”, up from 40,884 “likes” in 2010.




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