Trendstream, a research firm based in the UK, has published global trends on social media usage. The firm’s Global Web Index, based on 32,000 online interviews across 16 countries, shows that online marketers in the Asia Pacific region have tremendous opportunities as their audiences trust and engage with brands that communicate with them through social media.
As compared with the global average, consumers in the Asia Pacific region indicate that brand-driven communities, fan pages and blogs improve their opinions of that brand. They feel similarly if a brand takes note of their mentions and starts following them on a microblog (e.g., Twitter).
This trend may well be based in certain Asian populations’ positive attitudes towards technology and the Web, coupled with their preference for privacy. For instance, when asked about brand communication methods that improve their opinion of brands, Chinese and South Korean respondents are unlike anyone else. While in the US, Latin America, and in Europe, consumers are more likely to be impressed with face-to-face communications, Chinese and South Korean consumers prefer online recommendations from a contact or a friend.
The Global Web Index data have strong implications for programs that need to work across multiple countries. Marketers need to be attuned to the ways in which their audiences prefer to receive communications and make necessary adjustments in each local market. Brands that can decipher cultural attitudes towards information sources, knowledge and experience are bound to communicate more effectively and build global equity.