ASIA-PACIFIC CORPORATE    SOCIAL MEDIA STUDY   2011                                 HOW                                ASI...
Burson-Marsteller Asia-Pacific                                                              is the leading consultancy for...
CONTENTST   A   B   L           E                O         F                	 2	   Introducton                	 3	   Execu...
INTRODUCTIONW            h e n 	 w e 	 c o n d u c t e d	                                                       To	 reach	...
EXECUTIVE SUMMARYSocial media is now a key channel for corporate                            Continued corporate focus on p...
METHODOLOGYT         his	 study	 assesses	 corporate	 marketing	 and	         communications	activity	on	top	social	media	...
CORPORATE USE OF                     SOCIAL MEDIAS         ocial	 media	 has	 been	 a	 buzz	 phrase	 for	 some	           ...
How companies are respondingSocial	 media	 provide	 an	 opportunity	 for	 organisations	 to	                  Research	 fo...
Preferred social media channels                                                    of	 purposes.	 Asian	 companies	 are	 a...
Figure : Corporate social media channels by market - 011      Australia                    90%                            ...
On	 the	 whole,	 north	 Asian	 firms	 are	 the	 more	 aggressive	           corporate	 behaviour	 and	 quality	 of	 produc...
Corporate	 Social	 Responsibility	 (CSR)	 is	 another	 area	                      complaints	 and	 other	 issues	 to	 esca...
The	 management	 of	 official	 social	 media	 profiles	 takes	considerable	 time	 and	 effort,	 and	 demands	 organisation...
A CASE FOR    OPEN DIGITAL LEADERSHIPF         o r 	 c o m m u n i c a t o r s , 	 f e w	                                 ...
space	remains	ripe.		The	findings	of	this	study	appear	highly	consistent	 with	 my	 university	 research—few	 companies	ha...
AUSTRALIAT        his	 year’s	 findings	 show	 that	                                  Carly Yanco                       on...
CHINAC                                                                                   Leon Zhang         h i n a ’s	 I ...
HONG KONGH             ong	 Kong’s	 love	 affair	 with	                                      Terence Yam                  ...
INDIAS         o c i a l 	 m e d i a 	 i s 	 t h e 	 n e w	                     Salil Jayakar                       2011	 ...
INDONESIAD         u b b e d 	 t h e 	 m o s t 	 Tw i t t e r-                                    Natashia Jaya           ...
JAPANC         ontrary	to	some	commentators’	                                                           by	 target	 audien...
MALAYSIAM            a l a y s i a n s ’ 	 g r o w i n g	                                   Kelvin Lim                    ...
B-M Asia-Pacific Corporate Social Media Study 2011
B-M Asia-Pacific Corporate Social Media Study 2011
B-M Asia-Pacific Corporate Social Media Study 2011
B-M Asia-Pacific Corporate Social Media Study 2011
B-M Asia-Pacific Corporate Social Media Study 2011
B-M Asia-Pacific Corporate Social Media Study 2011
B-M Asia-Pacific Corporate Social Media Study 2011
B-M Asia-Pacific Corporate Social Media Study 2011
B-M Asia-Pacific Corporate Social Media Study 2011
B-M Asia-Pacific Corporate Social Media Study 2011
B-M Asia-Pacific Corporate Social Media Study 2011
B-M Asia-Pacific Corporate Social Media Study 2011
B-M Asia-Pacific Corporate Social Media Study 2011
B-M Asia-Pacific Corporate Social Media Study 2011
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B-M Asia-Pacific Corporate Social Media Study 2011


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New research shows Asia’s top companies double their social media presence compared to last year.

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B-M Asia-Pacific Corporate Social Media Study 2011

  2. 2. Burson-Marsteller Asia-Pacific is the leading consultancy for organisations communicating in Asia-Pacific and internationally. With a presence in the region dating back to 1973, Burson-Marsteller Asia-Pacific today includes 34 offices and affiliates in 16 countries integrated seamlessly into a global network operating in 98 countries. Our evidence-based approach to communications provides our clients with effective, data-driven programs delivered through multiple channels and focused on tangible, measurable results. Our team of more than 700 professionals offers a powerful combination of local knowledge, sector expertise and© Burson-Marsteller Asia-Pacific, 2011. All rights reserved global communications reach. ForThis study is made available under a Creative Commons more information, please visitAttribution 3.0 Unported License.
  3. 3. CONTENTST A B L E O F 2 Introducton 3 Executive Summary 4 Methodology 6 Corporate Use of Social Media 1 3 A Case for Open Digital Leadership 15 Use of Social Media by Market 16 Australia 17 China 18 Hong Kong 19 India 20 Indonesia 21 Japan 22 Malaysia 23 Philippines 24 Singapore 25 South Korea 26 Taiwan 27 Thailand 2 9 Approach to Corporate Social Media & Next Steps 3 3 Company-Market Index 3 4 Further Reading 3 5 Acknowledgements & Contacts
  4. 4. INTRODUCTIONW h e n w e c o n d u c t e d To reach and persuade stakeholders Burson-Marsteller’s first today, it is not just the vocabulary and annual Corporate Social tone of corporate marketing that must Media Study in 2010, it evolve. More important, companies was striking that Asian companies must adopt a mindset that puts were eyeing social media tentatively, listening and acting genuinely and even skeptically, fearful of what transparently front and centre. And might happen should someone post they must understand how to deal something negative on their online with negative feedback expressed front-door. publicly that could resonate and escalate.This year, despite many more firms dipping their toes in the social swirl, When the upside is a greater ability it is clear that Asian firms remain to reach and influence corporate Bob Pickardreluctant to get involved in open online stakeholders of all types, and the discussions, in part because they downside is appearing disinterested tend to be highly conscious of their or irrelevant, companies have little image and fearful of publicly losing face, in part as they realize option but to participate on social platforms.– correctly – that committing to social media is not something to be done lightly. I hope you enjoy this study. If you have any questions, comments or suggestions, feel free to post them to our Let’s face it, social media isn’t for every occasion. Using the Facebook page at:web to lobby governments accustomed to hammering out deals in smoke-filled rooms will probably miss its target, and may simply alienate officials. The business media remain a We’d love to hear from you.more credible source of information, news and analysis than Sina Weibo or YouTube for board directors. Most senior Sincerely,decision-makers are uncomfortable with the concept of blogging on industry issues and having to defend difficult or controversial decisions openly.But for most audiences, the Internet and social media are indispensible to their working and personal lives, for talking, Bob Pickardsharing ideas, meeting new people, conducting research and President & CEOmaking decisions. If you’re under 30 you’re unlikely to pick Burson-Marsteller Asia-Pacificup a newspaper – news is consumed in bite-sized chunks bob.pickard@bm.combetween stretches of work, networking and gaming. @bobpickard | BURSON-MARSTELLER ASIA-PACIFIC
  5. 5. EXECUTIVE SUMMARYSocial media is now a key channel for corporate Continued corporate focus on pushingmarketing and communications across Asia information, rather than stakeholder engagement• Top Asian companies are placing greater emphasis on deploying social media channels for corporate marketing • Social media provides companies with an opportunity to and communications, with 81% of firms covered - double use content and dialogue to drive user interest, sharing the number across Asia in 20101 and almost on a par with and advocacy. However, most firms are making little effort 84% of Fortune 100 companies2 - now using branded to engage audiences in corporate-related discussions, social media channels. preferring instead to push content at users in a manner consistent with ‘traditional’ public relations and marketing.• South Korean and Chinese companies are most active in their use of social media for corporate marketing, • The most popular use of social media for corporate especially to domestic audiences. However, many purposes across Asia is to reinforce and extend companies also view social media as a means to build ongoing media and influencer outreach. Engaging core awareness amongst international stakeholders. stakeholders on ‘softer’ topics such as Corporate Social Responsibility or Thought Leadership as a means of • While few top Asian companies have no corporate stimulating questions or feedback take a back seat. presence or voice in social media, firms in Taiwan and Singapore continue to use social media sparingly, a • In a similar vein, other than in South Korea and China, reflection of their conservative business cultures. very few Asian firms use overtly two-way communications channels such as corporate blogs for corporate marketing Corporate social media strategies remain short- purposes, despite their value in helping explain complex term and piecemeal topics. Micro-blogs are the preferred standalone corporate marketing channel.• Despite corporate marketing taking advantage of an ever greater array of social media platforms, over half of Corporate digital storytelling remains in its these branded accounts are ‘inactive’. The great majority infancy of social media channels are used primarily for product marketing campaigns, which are rarely updated after the • While video is hugely popular on the Internet, the great campaign has ended. majority of company video sharing channels are product marketing vehicles. Corporate use of video in Asia is • Few Asian companies have set up social media channels mostly limited to illustrating good social deeds and some specifically for corporate marketing or communications leadership communications. purposes, with most opting to piggy-back on consumer channels. While this one-size-fits-all approach enables • Accordingly, companies are missing a significant firms to reach an established community quickly, it opportunity to bring alive their activities in ways that also means that it can prove more difficult over time to audiences can relate to and might want to share with segment users and target them with relevant corporate others. news and information.• Most firms are failing to promote their social profiles through their websites, implying that they continue to regard their efforts as pilots and remain wary of negative discussions ‘over-spilling’ on to their core owned assets.1 Asia-Pacific Corporate Social Media Study 2010, Burson-Marsteller – October 20102 Global Social Media Check-Up, Burson-Marsteller – February 2011 CORPORATE SOCIAL MEDIA REPORT 2011 |
  6. 6. METHODOLOGYT his study assesses corporate marketing and communications activity on top social media channels by 120 of Asia’s leading companies. Companies were selected from the Wall Street Journal Asia 200 Index of Asia’s leading companies as determined by executives and professionals across Asia-Pacific. The top 10 companies per country were selected. A full list of companies surveyed is available on page 33 of this study. The countries studied were: Australia, China, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, The Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan and Thailand. Corporate marketing is defined as: Media and Influencer Relations; Corporate Social Responsibility; Thought Leadership; Leadership Communications; Crisis and Issues Management; Recruitment Marketing. Social media channels analysed comprised the top social networks, micro-blogs, video sharing and corporate blogging platforms per country – hosted on third party platforms and/or website-based. Data was collected in July 2011 by Burson-Marsteller’s Asia-Pacific digital and research teams. Accounts were considered ‘active’ if they had at least one post by the company on or between July 1st and 15th, 2011. | BURSON-MARSTELLER ASIA-PACIFIC
  8. 8. CORPORATE USE OF SOCIAL MEDIAS ocial media has been a buzz phrase for some The growing challenge of reputation time now, yet its impact and its relevance remain management questioned. For some, these new channels are a byword for disruption and loss of control, for others Accelerated information flows make it much harder for it’s a wonderful opportunity to expand cost-efficiently into new companies to manage their reputations. With journalists, customer segments and markets and to build real interest bloggers and other opinion-formers assiduously tracking and loyalty in one’s brand. micro-blogs for breaking news and combing discussion boards for story ideas, companies must approach the Consumers are pointing the way forward, taking to micro- Internet as a core tool to track topics and issues relevant to blogs, social networks, mobile social applications and other them and as a channel to build relationships with existing and tools with ease and often breathtaking new influencers.enthusiasm. Social media of different types now dominate Inter net use, Social media are a I n p a r a l l e l , i t i s c l e a r t h a t N G O s with Facebook leading online time in and activists, as well as disgruntled Australasia, Hong Kong and across a crucial part of the new customers and local communities, have swathe of Southeast and South Asia, become much more adept at using the while domestic players such as Tencent, weaponry for NGOs, many low-cost channels and tools at Naver, FC2 and Wretch are hugely activists and disgruntled their disposal to share their experiences, popular across North Asia3. voice their opinions, organize campaigns customers and raise funds. Social media are a Asia is shaping the Internet and social crucial part of their new weaponry. media in terms of technology and behaviour. Sina’s Weibo (micro-blog) platform is considerably In addition, large and especially publicly-listed companies more technically sophisticated than Twitter. Asian-based are under pressure to become more transparent and social networks and online gaming platforms introduced accountable, in part due to government intervention, in part virtual currencies and online transactions long before their due to increased stakeholder and consumer expectations of western counterparts. Smartphones are already near good behavior, and in part due to ever greater demands for saturation point in Japan, South Korea, Hong Kong and information and dialogue. Singapore. This raises the question as to how organisations should One of the most conspicuous aspects of social media in structure themselves to participate with the multiplicity of Asia is its highly contributory culture. According to Forrester stakeholders actively using social media. Most organisations Research, Koreans and Chinese are the most active creators are struggling with questions such whether engagement of online content in the world4, uploading vast quantities of should be handled centrally or locally. Who are the video, photographs, and blog posts every day. Indonesians appropriate spokespeople? What are the skills and tools love to share news and updates using Twitter. required? How to measure success? Who pays? Clearly, organisations looking to target consumers, especially the under 30s, must now incorporate social media into their marketing mix or miss their target. It is equally clear that the Internet and social media are now critical tools to communicate with corporate stakeholders. 3 Asia-Pacific Social Media Infographics, Burson-Marsteller – August 20114 Consumer Social Technographics, Forrester | BURSON-MARSTELLER ASIA-PACIFIC
  9. 9. How companies are respondingSocial media provide an opportunity for organisations to Research for this year’s study shows that more top Asian increase awareness of their activities and to build interest, companies are using branded social media channels for trust and advocacy amongst their stakeholders. That they corporate marketing and communications, with 81% of firms can also do this direct with their audience and by-pass covered (Figure 1) - double the number across Asia in 20107 conventional gatekeepers is also an attractive proposition. and almost on a par with the 84% of Fortune 100 companies8 - now using branded social media channels.Yet enthusiasm amongst companies in Asia has been muted. Last year’s Asia-Pacific Corporate Social Media Study5 by It is clear that Asian companies are also leveraging a greater Burson-Marsteller identified that top Asian companies had number of the channels at their disposal, with just under a largely been hesitant to use branded social media channels third using three social media channels or more, compared to communicate with corporate audiences. to only 3% in 2010. Conversely, only 19% of firms are not using any form of branded channel for corporate purposes – This hesitancy is also evident in more recent research 6 a significant increase on the 60% identified in 2010.showing that most companies believe they are poorly prepared for crises that emerge and spread online, despite believing that digital has made them more vulnerable and made responding to a crisis more challenging. Figure 1: Number of social media channels with Number of social media channels with corporate corporate activity - 011 activity - 010 Number of company social media channels used solely or in part for corporate communications marketing purposes5 Asia-Pacific Corporate Social Media Study 2010 – Burson-Marsteller, October 20106 Reputation In The Cloud Era: Digital Crisis Communications Study – Burson-Marsteller, June 20117 Asia-Pacific Corporate Social Media Study 2010 – Burson-Marsteller, October 20108 Global Social Media Check-Up, Burson-Marsteller – February 2011 CORPORATE SOCIAL MEDIA REPORT 2011 |
  10. 10. Preferred social media channels of purposes. Asian companies are also starting to develop standalone profiles for product brands and specific corporate Social networks are proving the most popular social channel functions, notably recruitment.for corporate marketing and communications (Figure 2). This might be regarded as surprising, given that Facebook – the Micro-blogs are also popular as they are typically seen top social network across much of Asia-Pacific – tends to be as an additional information ‘push’ tool, enabling broader regarded more as a consumer marketing channel. Yet many dissemination of content and messages across the Internet Asian firms have opted to focus their activities on a single and, increasingly, to mobile devices. Better still (from a branded profile that is used for both consumer and corporate corporate perspective), there seems little need to engage in marketing. sustained discussions – for most Asian companies the main forum for dialogue is face-to-face.In our experience, the principal reason for this is that social networks were mostly first used by firms looking to increase This reluctance to enter into public dialogue is testament to a awareness and buzz about their products or services. widespread conservative business culture; it also means there Corporate teams then piggy-back on these established is less chance of firms losing face in front of others. Hence channels, often in addition to advising on messaging and also the general lack of enthusiasm for corporate blogs, governance. where conversation is expected – even if it actually tends to be limited (in many instances, almost non-existent).It is also true that many firms have started (and continue to start) their official social network presence without considering And while video sharing platforms rarely attract significant carefully their target audiences and objectives. In this ‘me levels of corporate-related discussions, they remain in the too’ scenario, companies develop a channel in the corporate minority across much of the region, despite the very high name and see how it evolves based on a combination of its popularity of online video in most markets. popularity, user feedback, resources and content available. For many firms in Asia, the slick corporate paean to superior Less surprising is the fact that Asian companies are deploying leadership and products remains the video of choice rather micro-blogs for corporate purposes. Twitter, the weibos than the more ‘genuine’, on the ground feel that is now (‘micro-blogs’) in China or me2day in South Korea tend to be commonplace amongst Western companies.seen more as influencer networks of journalists, bloggers and brand advocates, while also being used by media outlets and Local differencespublishers to extend their online presence. The use of social media for corporate marketing and Given the relative ease of resourcing micro-blogs and their communications is by no means consistent across Asia-search engine-friendliness, firms are more likely to set up Pacific; some markets are very aggressive, the majority are a dedicated corporate channel that serves a broad range active if cautious, a few remain highly conservative.Figure : Top corporate social media channels used for corporate marketing communications 30% 28% 20% 18% 12% 12% 9% 8% 2011 2010 2011 2010 2011 2010 2011 2010 Micro-blogs Social Networks Corporate Blogs Video SharingActive (at least one post during the period July 1-15, 2011) use of company social media channels for corporate purposes | BURSON-MARSTELLER ASIA-PACIFIC
  11. 11. Figure : Corporate social media channels by market - 011 Australia 90% 50% 50% China 80% 90% 50% 30% Hong Kong 60% 70% 10% 30% India 70% 70% 20% 40% Indonesia 50% 40% 20% 30% Japan 70% 40% 70% South Korea 90% 70% 90% 60% Malaysia 80% 100% 20% 80% Philippines 50% 40% 10% 40% Singapore 30% 30% 50% n Micro-blogs n Social Networks Taiwan 20% 40% 30% n Corporate Blogs Thailand 70% 90% 10% 70% n Video SharingPercentage of companies using the four major social media channel types across Asia-Pacific in 2011Figure : Corporate social media channels by market – 010 Australia 30% 10% 20% China 20% 30% Hong Kong 20% 50% 10%10% India 30% 30% 20% 10% Indonesia 30% 40% Japan 10%10%10% South Korea 50% 30% 40% 20% Malaysia 100% 20% Philippines 10%10% Singapore 10%10% n Micro-blogs n Social Networks Taiwan 10% n Corporate Blogs Thailand 20% 40% 10% n Video SharingPercentage of companies using the four major social media channel types across Asia-Pacific in 2010 CORPORATE SOCIAL MEDIA REPORT 2011 |
  12. 12. On the whole, north Asian firms are the more aggressive corporate behaviour and quality of products and customer users of social media. Often focused on managing costs, service. Leading companies in these countries realise they they view social platforms as a cost-effective route to build must at least have a presence in these conversations.short-term market share in their domestic markets. And for both established and emerging players in China, Japan and Push and pull communicationsSouth Korea expanding into foreign markets, social media is now a critical component of the marketing mix to reach both Questions that corporate communications professionals corporate audiences and consumers. (rightfully) ask before participating in social media include: What are we going to speak about? What’s going to resonate Leading north Asian companies are also more likely to use with users? Do they really want to hear about our company video, though this tends to be more a reflection of their news and point of view? How often do we have to post? Who impressive broadband networks than their desire to use video, should answer feedback, and how often?graphics and other visual formats to tell their corporate story. As we saw in last year’s study, Asian companies are – Compared to last year, Australian and Indian firms are placing and remain - much more focused on pushing news and greater emphasis on social media, especially in their use of information at users rather than responding to comments or micro-blogs and, to a lesser extent, social networks. In both actively engaging them in conversations. markets, journalists, activists and business decision-makers are actively using Twitter, which are seen as central to the This reluctance to get into online discussions has many evolving online reputational ecosystems. By contrast, social explanations, not least the lack of dedicated resources networks are regarded principally as consumer vehicles. with the necessary skills and remit to reach out across the organisation for a response, express it in an appropriate The most startling change has been in Southeast Asia - manner and be able to manage the necessary follow-ups. notably amongst Malay, Thai, Philippino and Indonesian firms – most of which were barely using social media at all twelve It is also likely that many corporate communicators do not months ago. What’s behind this shift? fully appreciate the interests, requirements and behaviours of their audiences (other than some key journalists). What about Their fast expanding local online Internet populations and product marketing? Few invest in qualitative or quantitative improved telecom infrastructures are one reason. Playing research that can yield invaluable insights into stakeholders’ catch up with peers and competitors in the region has also interests and content preferences.doubtless spurred action. At another level, the reluctance to get into conversations is The relative volatility of their online cultures may also also evident in firms’ preference to use their branded social have played a part. All these markets have witnessed the media channels primarily to relay corporate news direct to emergence of a more vocal, and politicized, citizenry, who are opinion-formers (Figure 5) in the hope that they will report it more willing to express their views on their political systems, and share it with their own online networks. Figure : Focus of corporate social media activity Percentage of corporate marketing or communications posts to company social media channels across Asia-Pacific10 | BURSON-MARSTELLER ASIA-PACIFIC
  13. 13. Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is another area complaints and other issues to escalate overnight into full-where companies feel relatively comfortable when using scale problems. Some Asian firms are monitoring and social media. Examples of local community programmes or responding to negative posts, albeit on a largely ad hoc basis. business commitments to reduce electricity use or to recycle But the majority feel they are unprepared to handle online water are naturally ‘Like’-friendly and can work well as short crises11.videos. Even better if people can be persuaded to contribute their own suggestions or ideas, as Pepsi has done with its Long-term commitment and short-termRefresh Project9. campaignsWhile CSR can help paint a softer picture of the entity, Similar to last year, this study reveals high levels of inactive companies need to also be aware of the risks of being seen branded social media accounts (Figure 6) that were either to over-claim or misrepresent the facts. As market research not updated during the research period or that had been agency Nielsen has shown10, the Internet is fertile ground for registered but not used.activists and others looking to pick apart corporate claims, especially concerning ‘green-washing’ and the environment. Clearly, many firms continue to struggle to identify the content and topics of conversation that will help sustain interest Another notable area of corporate social media activity is over the long-term – indeed, developing a regular stream of crisis and issues communications. While crises are rare, engaging, relevant content (especially video) and dialogue is issues of different types need to be handled regularly, a tricky challenging for many organisations. proposition when it is taking place in the full glare of your Facebook page. There is also another explanation for the high levels of inactive accounts: the large numbers of social media profiles that With the corporate rumour mill now real-time and global, were set up to support product marketing campaigns and companies are profoundly aware of the potential for customer were abandoned once the campaigns had run their course.Figure : Levels of activity on social media channels n Active Accounts n Inactive Accounts 77% 62% 53% 54% 47% 46% 38% 23% Micro-blogs Social Networks Corporate Blogs Video SharingPercentage of companies with active (at least one post during the period July 01-15, 2011) or inactive (with no company posts or activity during the period July01-15, 2011) social media channels used solely or in part for corporate marketing or communications purposes9 Greenwashing: Who’s Winning and Losing the Green Race Online? – Nielsen, April 200811 Reputation In The Cloud Era: Digital Crisis Communications Study – Burson-Marsteller, June 2011 CORPORATE SOCIAL MEDIA REPORT 2011 | 11
  14. 14. The management of official social media profiles takes considerable time and effort, and demands organisations think carefully about their marketing and communications objectives, marketing mix and channel strategies. Despite this, the high percentage of inactive accounts indicates that many Asian organisations are yet to develop a sustainable social media strategy that places social media in the context of the broader marketing mix, including ‘traditional’ PR, internal communications, knowledge sharing, marketing, customer service and sales.In the meantime, a high proportion of top Asian companies continue to treat their corporate social media as pilot projects, keeping them deliberately separate from the company website (Figure 7). While firms may remain wary of the capacity for users to say what they want, keeping their social channels at arm’s length also makes it more difficult for users to find them and reduces their effectiveness.Figure : Integration of social media channels with corporate website n Homepage Integration n Social Sharing Tools 70% 60% 60% 50% 50% 50% 40% 40% 40% 30% 30% 20% 20% 20% 20% 20% 20% 20% 20% 20% 20% 10% 0% 0% Australia China Hong Kong India Indonesia Japan S. Korea Malaysia Philippines Singapore Taiwan ThailandPercentage of companies promoting their branded social media channels via their homepage or using page sharing tools1 | BURSON-MARSTELLER ASIA-PACIFIC
  15. 15. A CASE FOR OPEN DIGITAL LEADERSHIPF o r c o m m u n i c a t o r s , f e w So what does all this say opportunities today are as about a path forward? e x c i t i n g a s s t u d y i n g t h e corporate use of relatively new First, I think it’s very likely that digital channels across Asia’s many companies in Asia who want to get emerging markets. serious about their online presence might first re-examine their preferred I w e l c o m e t h e o p p o r t u n i t y t o metrics in order to encourage the right contribute to this report not only tactics and management approaches. because we have so few useful If we want a sustained presence and studies of corporate social media meaningful engagement, then we in Asian markets, but also because must begin with metrics which can of the study’s design. In this age of reveal any improvements along these fast data and quick white papers, I lines. Perhaps most importantly, a Michael Netzleybelieve in some ways we could be revised dashboard must also be well making it more difficult for marketers aligned with the corporate strategy. and communicators to craft wise strategies when faced with so much fragmentary evidence. We can especially see in the year-on-year comparison that some companies are putting digital channels to good use. I This report is different. Replicating the 2010 study, Burson- am encouraged to see significant growth in activities such as Marsteller offers us a year-on-year look at corporate uses of media and influencer relations and thought leadership. These digital channels. For me, several findings stand out. can be great investments of time and resources trusting that the messaging strategy is aimed at something more than • The top activities for companies in Asia, by percentage simple push, one-way announcements. In other words, of posts, are: media and influencer relations, thought having enough content for sustained corporate engagement leadership and CSR. These are all meaningful uses with stakeholders means that we must all start operating like of digital channels which can help shape a company’s we are a media company. We need quality narrative content operating landscape. that evokes a response.• The data also reveals how many more companies have Delivering sustained narrative content over blogs or video created multiple social media channels and appear to be channels, however, is not easy. The growth of media increasing their online presence. channels revealed by this study also suggests that we need talented staff who can deliver such content. My sense is that Creating the channels is an important first step, but perhaps such people can be in short supply in Asia’s many emerging the easiest. The findings also reveal opportunities for markets. So in addition to revising our measurement companies to use these channels more fully. dashboard, the increased adoption of more digital channels along with the high levels of inactivity lead me to ask about • Channels which allow companies to develop a rich our talent schemes. Are we attracting, developing, and narrative (e.g., video sharing and blogs) appear to be retaining enough skilled storytellers to maintain an on- used less frequently than do short-form communication going dialogue with stakeholders? Perhaps not. Until channels such as micro-blogs. that happens, the partnership between organisations and agencies will be critical to any successful online presence.• Additionally, sustained use of the digital challenges appears to be an on-going challenge. While more And while I am encouraged to see more companies dipping companies have a presence over many channels, the their toe in the digital media pool, I believe the opportunity levels of inactivity are surprisingly high. for a company to firmly establish itself as a leader in this CORPORATE SOCIAL MEDIA REPORT 2011 | 1
  16. 16. space remains ripe. The findings of this study appear highly consistent with my university research—few companies have really established themselves as genuine leaders in the digital sphere. The early mover advantage still appears to be available in many markets and industries, but the increased adoption of digital channels indicates the clock is ticking.I have little doubt that in the coming years digital channels will reshape more than just marketing and public relations. These channels are set to impact all aspects of business. Today we can see increased use of digital channels for customer service and employee engagement as two obvious examples. But companies are also increasingly adopting enterprise communications to increase speed and efficiency of operations. Social networks are being leveraged to make companies innovate and shorten the time it takes to bring a new product or service to market. And university researchers are busy discovering how we can mine big data for better insights.Digital communications are making businesses more social. Companies are immersed in a web of stakeholders who are all aware of each other and talk about organisations. This study delivers one of the few comparative year-on-year snapshots of how Asian companies are coming to terms with this changed environment. Much work remains. Those who exhibit leadership, learn the quickest and become the first to capture the benefits of digital communications will, no doubt, gain a significant advantage.Michael Netzley, PhDAssistant Professor of Corporate Communication (Education)2010-11 Research Fellow, Society for New Communication ResearchSingapore Management | BURSON-MARSTELLER ASIA-PACIFIC
  18. 18. AUSTRALIAT his year’s findings show that Carly Yanco on Facebook, and dedicated resources A u s t r a l i a n c o m p a n i e s a r e Head of Digital to maintain and facilitate the accounts, taking an ever more integrated Qantas Airways manages to keep a p p ro a c h t o s o c i a l m e d i a . @carlyyanco c u s t o m e r s u p d a t e d , re s p o n d t o Having initially dipped their toes in queries, communicate latest offers the water and set up sole-purpose and promotions and suggest travel social media accounts, focusing on Corporate (and marketing) content itself and holiday destinations. Accordingly, brand marketing or customer service, must also be interesting and relevant. It Qantas’ audiences are more engaged companies are now taking a more is very simple for users to share content and responsive to intermittent corporate sophisticated approach. with their friends and colleagues (the messages. desired ‘network effect’), but the Major Australian companies such as reality is that much content fails truly As Australian consumers continue Westpac and Qantas have increased to engage the user. However, the jury to move online thanks to improved the number of branded channels they is out as to whether it is the nature of broadband infrastructure and rising offer, while using these channels to Australian audiences that is driving the smartphone penetration, it is only to support a mix of brand, corporate reluctance to ‘engage’ with corporate be expected that more businesses content and customer service functions. content online, or whether it is based will take advantage of social media as on the nature of corporate content a means to communicate with their The study also finds that corporate itself. audiences, at a lower relative cost.content tends to resonate strongly with Australian audiences, with users Australian companies that are weaving W e a l s o e x p e c t t o s e e m o r e largely disinterested in or reluctant corporate messaging into their brand A u s t r a l i a n c o m p a n i e s t a k i n g a n to comment on or share corporate marketing and/or customer service integrated approach to social media, content with their own networks. efforts appear to be most successful, with accounts evolving true online Why? For one, levels of online dialogue suggesting that an integrated approach representations of the company, giving amongst Australians are lower than the increases engagement levels. audiences a more authentic and holistic global average12. Another reason could brand that Australians are by nature fairly For example, with close to 35,000 cynical about marketing. followers on Twitter and over 85,000 Westpac – Thought Leadership Corporate Use of Social Media Channels n Active Accounts n Inactive Accounts 67% 60% 60% 12% Source: 40% 40% Westpac uses its YouTube channel to support its thought leadership 33% communications, posting weekly economic news updates and business information and insights. The channel is also used to showcase the firm’s Corporate Social Responsibility efforts. The channel averages approximately 0% 300 views per video and supports the bank’s broader stakeholder Micro-blogs Social Corporate Video communications. Networks Blogs Sharing12 Digital Life, TNS, October 20101 | BURSON-MARSTELLER ASIA-PACIFIC
  19. 19. CHINAC Leon Zhang h i n a ’s I n t e r n e t i s g ro w i n g surveyed having one or more of these Digital Strategy Insights Lead explosively, with 485+ million channels. Yet only 20% of these blogs Internet users of which some were active during the research period, 235 million are social media @digimarketing pointing to a larger issue – the paucity users, with a year-on-year growth rate of skills to man these channels and of 33.7%13. So it is little surprise that feed them compelling content on an more and more companies in China proving popular for marketing and ongoing basis, and a general lack of – both local and international – are communications purposes. China commitment to fill this need. jumping on the social bandwagon. Merchants Bank, for instance, now counts well over 300,000 followers of The fact that social media channels in This year’s study shows that all the its Weibo account. mainland China are rarely promoted, companies surveyed are now using let alone integrated, with the corporate at least one corporate social media Yet while the weibos are in vogue website also indicates that companies channel, most often a corporate blog, for both consumer and corporate remain cautious in this area. In China, sometimes a social network profile and, marketing and communication, and there are good reasons for caution, not increasingly, a weibo (micro-blog profile). some firms can boast high numbers of least due to the uncertainty surrounding followers, actual dialogue with users the weibos – will they be regulated? Or Micro-blogs, in particular, have been remains very thin, certainly on corporate has the government let the social cat the talk of the town over the past marketing and communications topics. out of the digital bag? twelve months, with huge numbers of users (Sina and Tencent both now The relative lack of dialogue is precisely Meantime, Chinese companies would state they have over 200m users for why many firms feel comfortable using do well to clarify who they are aiming at their respective weibos), and playing weibos in the communications mix – and why they are using social media. A an active, and highly visible role, in the they are primarily used to disseminate common mistake is simply to focus on Zhejiang high-speed train crash and a information as far and as wide as the quantity of fans/followers, ignoring series of protests, scandals and natural possible, rather than truly ‘engage’ their quality and influence. This may disasters. users. be a reason why “zombie followers” (inactive or fake followers manipulated The weibos – especially Sina, which T h i s m a y s e e m t o c o n t r a d i c t by some companies / individuals for is seen to have a more educated companies’ (ongoing) use of corporate business purposes) have become a n d i n f l u e n t i a l u s e r b a s e – a r e blogs, with half of the companies prevalent in China recently. Alibaba Group – Corporate Social Responsibility Corporate Use of Social Media Channels n Active Accounts n Inactive Accounts 67% 60% 60% 100% 12% Source: 20% In addition to a dedicated website, Alibaba Group has an official blog specifically to highlight its Corporate Social Responsibility activities, 8% 10% providing a stream of CSR-related news, updates and reports on Micro-blogs Social Corporate Video volunteering, disaster relief and environmental protection programmes. Networks Blogs Sharing13 28th China Internet Development Report – CNNIC, July 2011 CORPORATE SOCIAL MEDIA REPORT 2011 | 1
  20. 20. HONG KONGH ong Kong’s love affair with Terence Yam fun and engaging content, the ‘weibo social media is a little more Digital Strategist fever’ that has been sweeping mainland muted than in some other China does not apply to the same markets, perhaps because @terenceyam extent in Hong Kong. it is a small place and people meet in person frequently. This is perhaps surprising, as Hong principally for short-term product and Kong-ers prefer content that is short N o n e t h e l e s s , c o m p a n i e s a r e brand marketing campaigns, with and contains a lot of graphics (in increasingly keen to use social media, some companies also using it for contrast to the reading habits of especially for consumer marketing general stakeholder communications mainland Chinese). They are also c a m p a i g n s . A n d t h e H o n g K o n g and to highlight their Corporate Social used to a style of media reportage that gover nment is also placing much Responsibility programmes. favours fewer words and more pictures.greater emphasis on Facebook and In addition to a general conservatism, other channels for its own public However, active and sustained use of this relative lack of substantive media communications, perhaps spurred by Facebook and other social media for output and online content might also a well publicised campaign against a corporate purposes remains thin on the explain why so few firms are using proposed high-speed railway. ground. dialogue – either on Facebook, micro- blogs or on dedicated corporate-blogs While consumer brands are actively Why this conservatism? It is partly due to communicate with stakeholders.using social media, Hong Kong- to a lack of skilled resources, partly based companies are lagging in their due to the perceived loss of control All of which points to video as perhaps use of social media for corporate that social media represents. There the best opportunity for companies communications and marketing, with is also the added difficulty of needing looking to bring alive their corporate few exceptions, notably Cathay Pacific to manage social channels using marketing messages. YouTube is highly Airways, which uses a variety of social traditional Chinese as well as English popular in Hong Kong, as are some of platforms to communicate with a broad and perhaps also simplified Chinese. the Chinese online video channels such spectrum of stakeholders. as Youku and Ku6, and the mainstream Equally, while Sina Weibo has gotten media are busy launching video news Facebook is much the most popular some real traction in Hong Kong over channels. Yet companies seldom use s o c i a l c h a n n e l , re a c h i n g a ro u n d the past few months thanks to its user- video to promote their brands – a big 77% of the population 14, and is used friendly interface and abundance of missed opportunity. Hong Kong China Gas – Corporate Use of Social Media Channels Corporate Social Responsibility n Active Accounts n Inactive Accounts 73% 43% 100% 100% 57% 12% Source: 27% Hong Kong China Gas uses a variety of social media tools to raise awareness and encourage its customers of its ‘Towngas Low Carbon Action!’ campaign to save energy and adopt a generally more environmentally- Micro-blogs Social Corporate Video friendly lifestyle. Networks Blogs Sharing14 Asia-Pacific Social Media Infographics – Burson-Marsteller, August 20111 | BURSON-MARSTELLER ASIA-PACIFIC
  21. 21. INDIAS o c i a l m e d i a i s t h e n e w Salil Jayakar 2011 saw India suffer its fair share of buzzword in India amongst Digital Strategist social media crises and there is no c o n s u m e r s , c i t i z e n s a n d reason to believe that 2012 will be any companies. India now counts @salilicious different. over 32 million registered Facebook users, nearly 52% of the local online The challenge many companies face population. Twitter and LinkedIn especially true of social media. Some is how to deal with such an open and now have around 10 million users of India’s largest companies remain volatile environment. Few firms in India respectively15. family-owned, for which traditional have much idea how to respond during marketing formats such as TV ad spots a public onslaught on the Internet, and In the past twelve months, more and and posters have worked well. in our experience few have prepared for more Indian companies have started this eventuality.using social networks and other media. Moreover, decision-making is often But corporate use remains at an early controlled by a single individual (more T h a t ’s n o t t o s a y t h e r e a r e n ’ t stage, with the focus largely on product often than not) who has little time to companies prepared to take a risk. In marketing and customer service. study a new medium that appears to particular, India’s leading technology have little immediate impact on the firms (for instance, see Wipro below) Indian companies’ preferred channel bottom line, and the top management are actively using corporate blogs is social networks, with almost 60% / policy makers in these companies and other social media for thought of companies using Facebook, as te nd to be senior members who leadership companies, and to help drive well as Google’s Orkut, as opposed have little exposure to social media awareness and credibility in foreign to some 30% using Twitter. Only 10% tools. For them, evaluation of social markets, especially English-language of companies surveyed are using media presents a learning curve and ones. online video in any way for corporate a risk-investment-gain analysis to be marketing or communications. conducted. For those Indian companies yet to make the social media jump, the There can be said to be something of In addition, many firms are worried waiting time has been getting shorter. a herd mentality generally that applies about the risks of overly exposing And, there’s an elephant in the room, to marketing in India, and this appears themselves in these public domains. and one they cannot choose to ignore. Wipro – Thought Leadership Corporate Use of Social Media Channels n Active Accounts n Inactive Accounts 57% 29% 50% 75% 71% 12% 50% 43% Source: 25% IT company Wipro’s official ‘Applying Thought’ blog features regular posts from India and foreign-based senior executives, experts and guest bloggers. The blog aims to positions the company as an expert on a range of topics, Micro-blogs Social Corporate Video from business strategy and organisational design to sustainability. Networks Blogs Sharing15 Various sources – Bloomberg, LinkedIn,, September 2011 CORPORATE SOCIAL MEDIA REPORT 2011 | 1
  22. 22. INDONESIAD u b b e d t h e m o s t Tw i t t e r- Natashia Jaya Additionally, there is still a big question addicted nation in the world, Digital Associate mark amongst companies on how to Indonesia’s prolific use of measure ROI for corporate use of social social media and its general @natsii media.influence on society continues to garner considerable attention globally. Ye t w h i l e I n d o n e s i a n c o m p a n i e s purposes only rather than stakeholder continue to shy away from detailing L a s t y e a r, a t t e n t i o n f o c u s e d o n communications. their corporate activities on the Internet the ‘ A C o i n f o r P r i t a ’ m o v e m e n t a n d t h ro u g h s o c i a l m e d i a , m o s t waged against a hospital in Jakarta; One of the reasons behind the general established companies are well aware this year was the turn of enraged reluctance to use social media for that they are increasingly expected to H a r r y P o t t e r f a n s c a s t i n g s p e l l s corporate purposes is that most be in this space whether they like it or on Twitter after the announcement companies still prefer traditional media not. Hence, the majority of Indonesian that the film would not be screened channels, notably print, broadcast companies surveyed have either a i n I n d o n e s i a . M e a n w h i l e a c t re s s and, increasingly, online media to build Twitter or Facebook account, or both, Emma Watson tweeted in support emerging domestic markets and market though rarely for corporate marketing of the #IndonesiawantsHarryPotter share. There is also a distinct lack of alone – product campaigns dominate movement. qualified local personnel to devise and social media thinking and doing here. manage social media programmes.Despite the fact that Indonesia has With a population of over 240 million, one of the highest levels of Twitter The growing concer n that social Internet penetration at 16% 19 and penetration in the world 16 and the media will result in a loss of control massive enthusiasm for all things largest number of Facebook users of messaging and content has also social, there is untapped potential that in Asia (over 40 million 17), data from h i n d e re d c o m p a n i e s f ro m u s i n g companies in Indonesia can address. this study indicates that companies in t h e i r s o c i a l m e d i a c h a n n e l s f o r As consumer access to broadband Indonesia continue to use social media c o r p o r a t e p u r p o s e s . C o m p a n i e s becomes more pervasive and mobile sparingly for corporate activities. In are uncomfortable their corporate broadband services reduce, companies line with last year’s results18, popular information the public where it might are going to find it harder to say no in social media channels are principally generate uncontrolled conversations the future.b e i n g u s e d b y t o p I n d o n e s i a n or questions that may undo their companies for consumer marketing reputations. Garuda Indonesia – Recruitment Marketing Corporate Use of Social Media Channels n Active Accounts n Inactive Accounts 100% 100% 100% 100% 12% Source: Garuda Indonesia, the national airline for Indonesia, uses its Facebook account mainly for recruitment marketing. In addition to posting information about new openings, the company also directs its followers to the Garuda Micro-blogs Social Corporate Video Indonesia’s career website where prospective employees can apply online. Networks Blogs Sharing16 Twitter Growth Worldwide - Comscore Media Metrix, August 201017 - September 201118 Asia-Pacific Corporate Social Media Study 2010 - Burson-Marsteller, August 201019 | BURSON-MARSTELLER ASIA-PACIFIC
  23. 23. JAPANC ontrary to some commentators’ by target audiences and companies opinions, Japanese firms of all Kyoko Toyoda alike. shapes and sizes are actively Strategist using social media to market Of the options available, micro-blogs their brands and products. - especially Twitter – are the channels of choice, chiefly as they are so But it remains true that Japanese firms set of audiences both in Japan and easy to use and require little effort to remain slow in using social media for elsewhere. maintain and promote. It is also worth corporate communications. There are remembering that it is possible to three main reasons: For the moment, the focus is on setting express much more in Japanese than up the core social infrastructure and many other languages within the 140 First, Japanese companies continue looking for opportunities to engage character limit. to think that social media is only about with online media and bloggers. Actual consumer marketing. Second, local engagement with stakeholders on the There is also a widespread belief that firms of all sizes remain worried about Internet remains thin. news and information added to Twitter the possible loss of control that social will somehow miraculously spread media entails. Third, they lack the Corporate dialogue can also suffer from out across the Internet like fairy dust. requisite resources and skills, especially being inappropriate. There is much talk Yet many corporate Twitter accounts in the corporate communication arena, now of so-called ‘soft-touch (or casual struggle to attract large followings.despite the international footprint of social media) accounts’. Commonly many of the companies surveyed. found on micro-blogs and social Overall, Japan’s use of social media networks, these corporate accounts will follow the contours of its path as Nonetheless, there’s no question that do little more than engage in what can a culture and as country: the more Japanese companies have started appear to be fairly pointless chatter open we become, the more likely we to consider corporate use of social with fans/followers, as if to fill space in are to express ourselves openly. This media more seriously having seen the a conversation that seems to be going applies to ourselves as people, and as role that social media played in the nowhere. While this approach has been businesses. This may take time. But Great East Japan earthquake, as well popular since the first wave of company with Facebook increasingly popular, as by a spate of digitally-driven issues social media accounts in 2009, it has and Japanese firms look outward for and crises driven by a more vocal only recently started to be questioned growth, the future is promising. Softbank – Leadership Communications Corporate Use of Social Media Channels n Active Accounts n Inactive Accounts 14% 50% 57% 86% 12% 50% 43% Source:!/masason Masayoshi Son, CEO of telecoms company Softbank, uses Twitter to talk about company news and activities, and to gather feedback on its services. 0% He also sheds light on his private life and his thoughts on politics, business Micro-blogs Social Corporate Video and the environment to his 1.3 million followers. Networks Blogs Sharing CORPORATE SOCIAL MEDIA REPORT 2011 | 1
  24. 24. MALAYSIAM a l a y s i a n s ’ g r o w i n g Kelvin Lim As brands continue to extend their acceptance and enthusiasm Digital Strategist online presence into the social space, for social media has created channels such as Facebook, Twitter p e r s i s t e n t c h a l l e n g e s @kelameity and blogs will increasingly serve as key for companies looking to engage communications hubs, where corporate a community long accustomed to m e s s a g i n g i s s p r i n k l e d a m o n g s t basic value hunting and the pursuit of expectations. Rising living costs and promotional consumer content. personal and social causes. recurring political turmoil has coloured consumer sentiment, and brands are Meantime, other corporate channels, As excitement over the promise of now faced with larger pockets of highly including corporate blogs and video social media engagements begins to opinionated consumers that are more and image hosting sites, often remain abate, consumers and corporations unforgiving of corporate mishaps than dormant. This is attributed mainly to alike are faced with increasing exposure ever before. low traffic and engagement levels, fatigue and a general lack of strategic leading to difficulty in justifying return on sophistication. I n a d d i t i o n , a g e n e r a l l y re a c t i v e investment. approach to online issues management In turn, corporations have adapted together with a lack of understanding to the predominantly incentive-driven of digital crisis management has caught local culture by running campaigns many Malaysian companies unaware, focused on simple metrics. By contrast, leading to consumer flare-ups on long-term relationship building is often Facebook and Twitter.pioneered by the consumer product or services sectors, where fresh content It comes as no surprise that service a n d e n g a g e m e n t t a c t i c s c a n b e i n d u s t r i e s s u c h a s a i r l i n e s a n d routinely deployed sustain activity levels. telecommunication providers are among the most active participants in This often leads to brands under-valuing social media, while banking institutions their corporate assets and messaging. shy away from online engagement, This is by no means a reflection of lack mostly opting to limit their activities to of will, but rather, adjustment in lieu corporate social responsibility efforts on of Malaysian netizen behaviour and their corporate websites. AirAsia – Media Influencer Outreach Corporate Use of Social Media Channels n Active Accounts n Inactive Accounts 92% 80% 50% 100% 12% 50% Source: 20% AirAsia uses a mix of social media channels, including a company blog, to provide insight into its staff and working culture, as well as to announce 8% product news and promotions. AirAsia also encourages its customers to Micro-blogs Social Corporate Video share their experiences through the blog using videos and photos. Networks Blogs Sharing | BURSON-MARSTELLER ASIA-PACIFIC