Companies in Latin America were the most likely to use social media, as 53% of respondents there said their companies currently do so and 78% said they planned to increase its use. Businesses in countries within the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and those in Nordic countries also planned to increase social media use in the coming months, at 75% and 72% of respondents, respectively, according to the Grant Thornton report. Comparatively, 47% of companies in North American countries currently use social media and 60% planned to increase use.
As emerging markets grow economically and internet access becomes more widely available in their countries, companies in Latin America and the BRIC nations—Brazil, Russia, Indian and China—are leveraging social media to reach their target audiences.
Meanwhile, businesses in Europe “are understandably preoccupied with the current economic difficulties, but they shouldn’t lose sight of the longer term opportunities social media offers,” said Mark Henshaw, head of media and entertainment at Grant Thornton UK, in a statement about the survey.
Communicating with customers is only one way companies worldwide are using social media. Overall, 53% of respondents used social media for advertising, 51% used it to communicate with customers and 43% leveraged social media for recruitment.
As emerging markets and regions beyond North America embrace social media and increase their marketing outreach on these channels, look for Latin American, BRIC and ASEAN countries to take a leadership role going forward.
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