I had a chance to catch up with Thomas Crampton, Asia-Pacific Regional Director, Social@Ogilvy, yesterday to discuss Social Media Matters, an event that’s taking place on September 7th in Hong Kong. This one-and-a-half-day event will help senior corporate decision-makers assess the true business value and opportunity of social media in Asia.
Here’s how my conversation with Thomas Crampton went:
ADAM KORNBLUM: When you look at social media’s use across Asia today vs. five years ago, what’s different? What’s changed?
THOMAS CRAMPTON: The biggest change in social media across Asia in the last five years is the recognition by companies that they need to get involved. Consumers in Asia have long been enthusiastic about connecting and communicating online, but the companies are now more aware and eager to get involved. In previous eras it was Friendster, SMS or MySpace. Now it is a range of regional platforms, along with the giants like Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Foursquare.
AK: For brands, especially global brands, what do they need to do differently in some of the Asian markets than they would in, say, France or the US?
TC: We all hear that Asia is “different,” but give us an example.
Yes, Asia is different, but not in all ways. The platforms vary and the intensity with which they are used varies a great deal, but the underlying approach to social media does not change. That said, China is the most different of all markets, with an entirely unique set of social media platforms. Many began as clones of western social media but have evolved a great deal since then. Sina Weibo is a great example of such innovation, a Twitter-like platform that is now more innovative than Twitter.
AK: What do you think brands participating in Social Media Matters will take away with them that is applicable to their business today?
TC: The key objective of Social Media Matters is to discuss how real businesses can use social media effectively and measurably. This is not about Twitter followers or Facebook likes, but the ways that a business can transform itself using social media. Our speakers and participants come with great expertise and experience that will be shared with the brands taking part.
With all that being said, you can find more details about the Social Media Matters event here.