The overwhelming majority (87 percent) of Chinese companies say they use social media on a daily basis, although the frequency of social media use varies significantly depending on the type of ownership and on the industry, with non-traditional industries and small and medium-sized enterprises having the highest acceptance and use of social media, according to a survey conducted by PR Newswire.
E-mail, search engines and instant messaging remain the most popular ways of using new media in companies, the company reports. The number of microblog and mobile application users has been growing rapidly, with comparable frequency of usage well above that of traditional media applications such as blogs, social communities and RSS subscriptions.
More than 77 percent of the surveyed businesses have set up formal microblogs, of which half have had their credentials (as the real owner of the microblog) validated by their ISP. However, a follow up with a random selection of the respondents revealed that most companies are not highly competent in managing their microblogs. Seventy percent of companies still focus on announcements and information sharing through their social media platform.
Compared to microblogs, social networking sites are far less popular among China's firms and business executives, with a usage rate around 30 percent that of the market at large. Only 20 percent of the respondents said that they have set up formal pages on social network portals, such as Kaixin001.com and Renren.com.
Nearly 80 percent of the companies surveyed are using social media communications, for the most part, for communications such as improving brand visibility and gaining media attention, however, they are also highly aware of the role of social media in building interactive and marketing relations with clients and consumers, confirming the general trend of the growing integration of PR and marketing in the new media environment.
Almost 30 percent of the companies interviewed said that, over the past 12 months, social media significantly contributed to their increased corporate website traffic, and half of them felt the new media platform had an impact on increasing the number of clients and the level of product sales, but not significantly, while some 20 percent believed that there is a clear improvement. In addition, 18 percent said that media pickup has sharply increased.
According to PR Newswire: “Competition in new media marketing going forward will focus on content. Companies are advised to create content based on the profile of their audiences and engage in ongoing communication and interaction with their audiences via new media. Companies can select and use professional tools and providers according to their own unique needs, in order to achieve targeted reach on a large scale, and to track, monitor and evaluate the feedback concerning their content, allowing them to use the feedback to continually improve the quality.”