Five Friday Facts #37 [updated]


Tencent sets record, beating [catching up with] Facebook
It is a milestone moment for Tencent, the Chinese social media giant surpassed [took another step closer to] America’s leader yesterday in terms of market capitalisation (i.e. the total value of its shares). Tencent’s market capitalisation is currently at S$83.6 billion, while Facebook is sitting at S$78.13 billion. 

[UPDATE: it turns out there was a bit of currency conversion confusion in the original report, and the actual figure for Tencent’s capitalisation is US$55 billion – still very impressive, but not quite enough to take Tencent past Facebook… yet!]

A number of China’s biggest social networking services are run by Tencent – China’s 300 million-strong weibo (microblogging) service,  their biggest social gaming service and  the country’s 100 million-strong group messaging service are amongst Tencent’s top services. Tech in Asia outlines Tencent-run services amongst the other largest players in the country as shown below:

Consumers in Asia Pacific more responsive to social endorsements
A study by global research firm Ipsos revealed that consumers in China were twice as responsive to social endorsements as compared to an average Asia Pacific consumer. 54% Chinese said they would buy a brand because a friend “liked” or followed it on a social networking site, while the average for Asia Pacific stands at 28%. This is significantly higher than North America’s 15%. Likewise, the survey registered 44% of Indians and 39% of Indonesians likely to buy a product or service due to a friend’s endorsement. Social media users in this region are surely warming up to online purchases, it is no longer sufficient for brands to just be present on the social networks but they would also need to actively direct their traffic to their respective e-commerce websites.

Is Facebook really winning in Japan?
According to Impress R&D, the total social media population grew by 143% in Japan over the last year. The country now has more than 50 million social media users, out of which 65% are said to be active users. With an increasing usage of smartphones, 40% of Twitter usage and 33.5% of Facebook usage are from the mobile. Japan’s own Mixi has a larger market than Facebook with more than 21 million users. However, Facebook is the fastest growing social networking site in Japan as its market share tripled from 8.3% in 2011 to 24.5% in 2012. While Twitter has the highest number of users in the country, by growth and traffic Facebook has seen the biggest change.

Twitter the number one social network for global companies
A study by Burson-Marsteller found that 80% of the world’s biggest brands are using social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter, and a majority of them are also already utilising Google+ and Pinterest. Organisations that engaged with Facebook ran 10 brand pages each on average as compared to only 4 pages in 2011. YouTube also saw a lift from 2 channels in 2011 to 10 channels per brand on average in 2012. However, Twitter saw the highest uptake with 82% of Fortune 100 companies preferring Twitter over other platforms. Despite the global companies realising the leverage that social media has for their business, a study found out that 70% of fortune 500 CEOs have no social presence. It won’t be long before we see this number decreasing as their companies start to grow their social presence online.

Apparel brands have social opportunity
When it comes to feedback on shopping, the Millenials said they would trust advice given on social media even if it didn’t necessarily comes from their peers. Brands have been tapping on this trend to influence and engage their respective communities. A study published by Facebook and comScore reported that 266.4 million people in Europe accessed the social networking sites of apparel brands during May 2012, as compared to only 121.1 million directly viewed apparel websites. In Asia, 65% of social media users are already using brand pages to guide their shopping decision. For instance, brands like Lyst use social media to allow you to follow your favorite designers, boutiques, bloggers and stylists to get their latest updates in a style feed, get alerts for sales and see what’s trending. Zappos Tweetwall  on the other hand, shows product tweets that can be searched by product and category. The very popular ASOS with ASOS fashion finder allows shoppers to connect via Facebook to message each other, share outfits and looks, see all community activity via a live feed.