Social media crucial to business in emerging markets

Emerging markets are the biggest users of social media to leverage business, according to a new report, and the developed world is lagging behind. 

Beancounters at KPMG have revealed that countries like China, India and Brazil are 30 percent more likely to use social media in business than developed countries. Despite that, businesses are starting to take notice and realise that social media has a lot of applications outside of telling your followers what you had for lunch.

Under half of companies asked in the UK use external social media for business purposes – like contacting suppliers, clients and customers – compared to a staggering 83 percent in China and 72 percent in the States.

However, the respondents did admit that, weighing up the pros and cons, having an open policy and using social media effectively provides greater returns than the business risks it brings. Not only that, it helps workers source information and boosts the company’s public profile. Importantly, it increases job satisfaction and provides another opportunity to make and maintain contacts.

The whole survey can be viewed for free, online, here where KPMG states that social media is increasingly moving into the boardroom.

Simply banning social media in the workplace is a way for companies to shoot themselves in the foot. A third of employees, where social media is blocked, just jailbreak their own work devices and use social networks in secret. A better policy is encouraging and cultivating social media use and understanding the benefits it can bring.

Tudor Aw, KPMG head of tech in Europe, said that social media is a cheap way for companies to undercut the competition in developed markets. “In some cases, inefficient, unreliable or monitored email systems are forsaken in preference of the faster and unfiltered, interactive social network channels,” Aw said. “In others, a lack of alternatives may be driving businesses to adopt social networks within the enterprise.”