I have been part of an exciting Burson Marsteller research on how top Asian companies from the Wall Street Journal’s Asia 200 Index are using social media. The findings are interesting.
Less than half of Asian companies listed has a corporate social media presence. Of those corporate brands that do have a presence, more than 55% of social media profiles are inactive. Only 18% of surveyed companies integrate their social media profiles into their corporate websites. See the press release here.
Here is a summary of how Indian corporates are using social media:
At 6.9% , internet penetration in India remains relatively low, ever greater numbers of people are using social media to network and voice their opinions.
Facebook and Orkut are the most popular social networks. India is a major engine of growth for LinkedIn. Meantime, Twitter’s embrace by politicians, celebrities, film stars and sportsmen has given the microblog massive publicity.
On the whole, Indian companies have moved fast in response to the opportunities afforded by social media. Many top Indian corporates surveyed are either experimenting or already have active accounts on Facebook and Twitter.
Hardly surprisingly, India’s top technology companies are proactively using social media of all types, for both corporate and consumer outreach.
Yet companies in other sectors are also jumping on the social media bandwagon, including FMCG companies, whose product brands are generally active in the social media space, and financial services companies such as ICICI and HDFC banks. The latter are mostly focused on providing customer service support and product promotions.
It is not all Facebook and Twitter. Corporate blogs are seen as a good way for Indian companies to communicate with their many stakeholders, both domestically as well as in other English language markets. Corporate blogs are also seen as a useful means of getting your message direct to the audience, rather than having to communicate through intermediaries such as journalists.
Partly given their international focus, Indian technology giants such as Infosys and Wipro are actively blogging. Infosys has a wide range of blogs, mostly focused on its products, categories and partnerships, but also highlighting and analysing trends around innovation and leadership. Wipro’s blog discusses technology trends and the firm’s sustainability initiatives, amongst other topics.
Using video to tell the corporate story is also gaining ground in India. Here, companies are using YouTube (and increasingly Facebook) to host interviews and speeches by senior management and promote events, in addition to supporting broader marketing campaigns.
Indian companies still put great emphasis on their websites. But only a small minority has sought to integrate their websites and activities on third party social media platforms. While Indian companies appear relatively comfortable with corporate blogs, most companies are still experimenting with Facebook and are not yet ready to join together their various online channels at the hip.