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Emerging economies make better use of social media

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Offices across the UK could be using social media sites to boost their businesses, but are lagging behind the rest of the world, according to new research.

The study carried out by KPMG also found that Germany and Canada are failing to harness the potential for business that sites such as Twitter have in the same way that China, Brazil and India have.

These developing countries are 20 to 30 per cent more likely to use social media sites than the well established economies, it was found.

Even though there is a large disparity between countries and cultures to do with who is using the tool and to what extent, managers are increasingly understanding its worth.
In excess of 70 per cent of companies globally are active on social media sites and see it as a viable tool for business.

Despite 80 per cent of bosses professing to use social media several times a week only 48 per cent of them use it to interact with customers, clients or suppliers.

Such external uses are a great way to get a company’s ethos out to the wider public and provide a presence on the web, which is where many people now go for services and products.

By way of contrast, compare this to the 83 per cent who are utilising the tool for this purpose in the emerging market of China.

It is perhaps unsurprising that retail businesses are more likely to make use of social media than firms in alternative sectors.

The aspirational attitude towards social media in this country is exemplified by the fact 55 per cent of companies have a policy with regards to the online platform.

Having a policy is a long way off from actually using the sites though, as many companies regard it as an extra and as resources and staff are cut it is likely to be one of the areas to be neglected.

Social media is currently being used in order to help provide support to those who have lost their homes in floods which have recently hit the Philippines.

Tudor Aw, head of technology Europe at KPMG, said: “The emerging markets seem to be quickly finding that social networks offer a relatively low-cost opportunity to leapfrog the competition in developed markets.”