It is not just social anymore; it's now also commercial. Social media channels are now being used more and more for commercial purposes. At least that is how it is in Hong Kong where a new survey shows that more firms are tapping the social media to grow their business.
More than 200 respondents from Hong Kong who participated in a global study revealed that almost half of Hong Kong companies are using social media for their business with much success. Some 48 per cent of respondents said they are "successfully" winning new customers through social media. Worldwide, the proportion of businesses successful in winning new customers rose by seven per cent.
The survey was conducted by Regus, a provider of office space products and services in over 1,100 locations worldwide.
Social media sites, such as Facebook and LinkedIn, are being used by companies worldwide to connect with their customers. The Regus study showed that 52 per cent of global businesses do this compared to 55 per cent in Hong Kong.
The study further revealed that some companies are even encouraging their employees to go into social media websites as companies try to create a mix of traditional and social media to reach out to their customers.
Regus said social networking has already become a "necessity" to the majority of the survey respondents -- 78 per cent of businesses in Hong Kong and 75 per cent around the world. The Regus study also noted that companies "agree that without social media activity, marketing strategies cannot hope to be successful".
Sixty-one per cent of Hong Kong firms encourage their employees to join social networks compared to only 53 per cent of companies worldwide.
Hans Leijten, regional vice president, Regus East Asia, said social media has become a core business tool as leverage "to increase the loyalty of existing customers, and as a successful acquisition tool for new business."
Hong Kong firms are also using other social media websites, such as local Weibo, a microblogging site similar to Twitter, and Xing, a professional networking site founded in Germany.
Sign up for Computerworld eNewsletters.