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Hong Kong marketers slow to tap social media potential

Social media use is higher in Hong Kong than in the US, according to a new BlogHer 2011 Social Media Matters Study.

The report indicates that 92% of Hongkongers visit Facebook and 77% are reading blogs on a weekly basis.

Hongkongers recognise the positive impact of social media on their life and admit that it plays a significant role in addressing their challenges to work-life balance, the report stated.

It is hard to spend real time with real persons during busy weekdays and 68% of people in Hong Kong surveyed said they spend the same or more time with friends online than they do in person.

“When face time is being squeezed, people switch online to share stories, gossip, tips and advice,” said Simeon Mellalieu, general manager, Ketchum Hong Kong. “Supporting this trend is smartphone penetration which in Hong Kong is double that of the global average. Teenagers, businessmen and grandparents are using even two minutes of downtime to stay connected and share experiences with friends and loved ones.”

Social networking sites such as Facebook are also influence purchasing decisions according to the survey, 50% of respondents had made a purchase based on a blog recommendation.

Although so many people in Hong Kong are actively engaged in social media, marketers in this city have been slow to take up the opportunity.

“One of the barriers for initiating digital communications strategies among Hong Kong marketers is that, until now, there hasn’t been sufficient quantitative data to provide a deeper understanding of online behaviour and the influence social media has on target audiences,” said Mellalieu. “The utilisation and influence of digital tools revealed by this research fills this knowledge gap and should help encourage the incorporation of digital channels into any PR campaign in Hong Kong in future.”

The BlogHer 2011 Social Media Matters Study was co-sponsored by communications consultancy Ketchum. The study was fielded by BlogHer, a participatory news, entertainment and information network for women online, and Nielsen Company in Hong Kong, the US, Germany and Brazil.

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