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Emerging markets 'surge ahead of UK for social media use'

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By The Drum Team, Editorial

December 16, 2011 | 2 min read

Businesses in the UK, Germany and Canada are trailing behind counterparts in emerging markets when it comes to adoping and using social media, according to a global KPMG report.

Firms in China, India and Brazil are, on average, 20 to 30 percentage points more likely to use social media than their peers in developed countries, the study claims.

The survey found that more than 70 percent of companies globally are now active on social networks and see social media as a viable and effective business tool.

Tudor Aw, KPMG's head of technology Europe, 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. In some cases, inefficient, unreliable or monitored email systems are forsaken in preference of the faster and unfiltered, interactive social network channels. In others, a lack of alternatives may be driving businesses to adopt social networks within the enterprise.

"The rapid adoption of social media in the emerging market countries may also be attributed to a lower dependence on ‘legacy systems’ than in more established markets which tend to bind organizations to their long-established channel strategies, as well as the rapidly declining cost of internet access and devices in the developing world.”

Key findings:

key findings:

• 80% of UK managers in the survey said they use social media at least several times a week (98% in China, 95% in Brazil)

• 48% of UK companies use external social media to communicate for business purposes such as connecting with suppliers, clients and customers (compared to 72% in the US and 83% in China)

• Businesses in the retail sector use social media more than those in other sectors

• 55% of UK companies have policies regarding social media use in place (60% in the US, 63% in China)

• UK companies fare better when it comes to problems regarding social media use such as bandwidth and storage; only 21% of UK companies have experienced problems in the past 12 months (China 57%, India 50% and Canada 44%)

• Exposure to malware is also lower in the UK (25%) than in other countries (41% in the US, 60% in China)

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