Social media usage has seen unprecedented growth in Asia Pacific in the past year and is now one of the most critical trends in the online sector, according to Nielsen‘s Asia Pacific Social Media Report.
The survey found that three of the seven biggest global online brands are social media sites Facebook, Wikipedia and YouTube. Close to three quarters of the world’s Internet population (74%) have now visited a social networking/blogging site, and Internet users are spending an average of almost six hours per month on social media sites.
Social media is having an increasing impact on consumers’ purchasing decisions in Asia Pacific, online product reviews are the third most trusted source of information when making purchase decisions, behind family and friends. This is particularly so for purchases of consumer electronics, cosmetics and car products where consumers are most likely to base their purchase decisions on online product reviews. But not ever country shares the same way.
Australians flock to online forums
- Australia leads the world in social media engagement, with the highest global average for time spent per month engaging with social media, averaging over seven hours per month
- In contrast to many countries, Australians look to communities of interest such as parenting or sports sites as a key channel for social media discussion 62 percent of Australian Internet users visited a message board or forum in 2009.
- LinkedIn has seen one of the fastest growth trends amongst social media sites in Australia, with unique audience numbers increasing by 99 percent from July 2009 to May 2010
The findings highlight, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that social media is here to stay and needs to be taken seriously by the broader business community, from the CMO to the CEO, notes Megan Clarken, Managing Director of Nielsen’s online business in Asia Pacific. With three quarters of the global Internet population now participating in some form of social media, businesses can no longer afford to simply observe the social media phenomenon, they need to embrace it.
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