Most APAC Businesses Believe Social Media is Vital to Stay Competitive

Businesses around the world understand the power of social media. After all, over half of the world’s population uses Internet, with 3.2 billion being social media users. Platforms like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram have now become an important platform for organizations to maintain a competitive advantage.

That’s one of the key findings of a report by social media management platform Hootsuite. The Social Media Barometer Report is based on a survey that was fielded to over a million social media users worldwide between February and May this year. The report, which includes responses from 9,278 organizations on their use of social media, says in the Asia Pacific (APAC) region, nine in 10 respondents agree that social media is important to stay competitive. “Use of mobile messaging apps like Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, and WeChat is higher in organizations in APAC and LATAM (Latin America) countries than in the rest of the world,” the report says.

Of Critical Importance

The report says social media is particularly important to APAC and North America organizations. Where North America once led the way in social maturity, other regions are catching up fast when it comes to understanding and benefiting from the value of social. “Importantly for budgets in every region, CEOs are putting their weight behind social. Only 28 percent of respondents said it’s a challenge for them to convince their CEO to invest in social," it says.

“Our social media barometer report confirms what we’ve been hearing from customers large and small; that social media has become a critical channel for delivering a consistent customer experience across a business,” says Penny Wilson, CMO, Hootsuite, in a press release.

“With social increasingly becoming how customers consume media; conduct research, ask questions and seek recommendations; make purchase decisions, engage with brands for support and show our loyalty, this is not a surprise. More organizations are discovering the value of social media within and beyond marketing, and the resulting direct impact it has on their bottom line.”

What’s Working

In the past, social media platforms were considered the domain of the marketing department and could be outsourced more easily to a dedicated social agency. But with the growing awareness, organizations are now using social to drive business goals beyond marketing and across departments.

The report says over 65 per cent of respondents agree that social media will increasingly contribute to their company’s bottom line, with more than 54 per cent of organizations noting social has moved outside the marketing team.

Building Blocks

According to the survey, nine in 10 organizations are using social to build brand awareness; 77 per cent to manage the reputation of their brand; 71 per cent to build and manage an engaged community; 61 per cent to raise lead conversions and sales; 50 per cent to gain market and customer insights; 47 per cent for delivering customer service; 35 per cent to attract job applicants; and 22 per cent to identify crisis and manage communications.

Social Profiles

Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram are the most used social networks, the survey found. Among the three, Facebook still dominates in organizations of all types and sizes. Ninety-five per cent of businesses use Facebook, followed by Twitter (84 per cent) and Instagram (74 per cent). LinkedIn (62 per cent) and YouTube (61 per cent) complete the top-five list.