UM Malaysia recently unveiled findings from the sixth installment of its Wave study, a measurement of the scale and impact of social media globally, and discovered some critical messages for the business community.
The study reveals that Malaysians are getting comfortable with sharing their personal data using social networks, which has become an integral part of their lives, particularly among those aged between 45 - 54 years. Malaysians are among the most connected people in the world and they are leveraging social media to be in regular contact with friends and family. Malaysia, with a 22 percent penetration, is one of the countries with world's highest tablet adoption.
According to the Wave 6 study, consumers across all age groups view the brand website as one-dimensional and prefer instead to get responded on brand issues and customer complaints.
"Social is not about media anymore, it's about marketing and it's about business. It's about transforming the way brands do product innovation, discover insights, propagate their communication, collect feedback and engage communities."
"Till 500 years back Marketplace was all conversations. Business reputations were built and undone on town squares, at street corners, in fireplace chats, and in coffee shops. Gutenberg's bible changed everything. The overwhelming power of mass media drowned out the subtle trust & love that flowed through such links."
"Facebook is the new fireplace. Youtube is the new town square. Global village is very very social and Wave 6 aspires to be the oracle of the new social economy", says Prashant Kumar, Regional President, World Markets Asia, and CEO UM Malaysia.
Wave 6, which explores ‘the business of social', reveals that companies need to develop more sophisticated social media strategies to achieve specific commercial objectives to reach the ever-growing social network community. Brands gain respect and loyalty of consumers if they offer a personal response to complaints.
The UM Wave study, one of the world's largest and longest-running examinations of the impact of social media in today's global marketplace, explores how consumers across 62 countries use social networks such as Facebook and Twitter to engage with brands - and what they want and expect from their experiences.
The study shows why people want to spend more time with a particular brand, what makes them feel valued as customers, and the incentives that encourage them to recommend a brand to others. Malaysians have a positive perception about brand with pages on social networks. They also expect the best social networking sites to help them find things in the real world.