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Marketers in South Korea Bulk Up Social Media Budgets

Facebook and Twitter were favorite choices for organizations looking to connect with customers

South Korea’s population has shown a growing affinity for social networks and the use of those networks is likely to rise along with the country’s skyrocketing mobile web usage. It’s no surprise then that an embrace of social media is also being seen among the various organization types in the country, according to an April 2012 survey of social media marketers at businesses, public institutions and nonprofits conducted by the PR consultancy firm KPR & Associates. In fact, more than half of organizations surveyed who were using social media had increased their marketing budgets for those channels in 2012, while only 5% had reduced them, KPR found.

Survey respondents showed an affinity for U.S.-based social media channels. Facebook was overwhelmingly the top choice among organizations, with 91% of them using the social network. Twitter followed, with a 77.5% use rate, and blogs were the next most popular choice at 65.8%. But while Twitter was employed by more companies and organizations, blogs were considered a more important channel, behind only Facebook.

Organizations’ reasons for turning to social media were largely about getting on customers’ radar and then staying there. The most important objective in using social media was to improve customer communications and relationships (67.5%). But more than half of respondents said they wanted to build their brand image, and more than four in 10 wanted to enhance brand awareness. Additionally, more than one-third used social media as part of a strategy to establish a channel for owned media.

Despite all of this effort, organizations thus far have had pretty limited interactions with social media users and influential bloggers. In fact, 70% of respondents either had no dialogue with those groups or only talked with them once or twice a year. That may change as South Koreans’ taste for technology continues to drive up mobile internet usage, leading more people to connect with their social networks.

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Check out today’s other articles, “How Heavy Sharers Boost Facebook Pages and SMBs Hold Marketing Budgets Steady.”

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