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The internet may be a global phenomenon, but browsing habits differ widely from region to region and from country to country. One example: the different ways internet users in various countries interact with brand social network presences, as observed in a recent study.
The November study, by Ipsos OTX and Ipsos Global @dvisor, found that large numbers of internet users in Latin America and parts of Asia-Pacific flock to brands’ social networking pages, while internet users in North America and Western Europe are much more likely to give such pages the cold shoulder.
In Latin America, 70% of consumers in Brazil, 72% of consumers in Mexico and 64% of consumers in Argentina agreed that they were “very much” or “somewhat” likely to regularly check brands’ social media pages. In Brazil and Mexico, just 12% in each country considered themselves very unlikely to check in on them.
Countries in the Asia-Pacific region displayed more variation. In India, 40% of internet users said they were very likely to regularly check brands’ social media pages, and a mere 6% considered themselves very unlikely to do so. In Japan, by contrast, only 4% were very likely and fully 51% were very unlikely.
The varying degrees of enthusiasm for brand social media pages seem to roughly correspond to the maturity of the digital markets in each country. eMarketer estimates that 10.9% of the population in India will be on the internet in 2013, whereas in Japan 76.1% of the population will be.
Corresponding to this trend, internet users in Indonesia and China, both countries where internet use is still developing, appeared considerably more interested in seeking out brand social media content compared to internet users in South Korea and Australia, where the internet is well established. Latin America tends to fall somewhere in the middle in terms of internet adoption: eMarketer projects that 46% of the population will be internet users in 2013.
In North America and Western Europe, where internet adoption rates tend to resemble Japan’s and Australia’s, interest in brand social media pages is similarly muted.
This correlation could be explained by the fact that, in countries where the internet is still largely the province of early adopters, social networkers are more likely to be interested in brand social media offerings than the general population. Another possibility is that countries that are accustomed to the internet have grown numb to brand social media offerings, while in other countries these offerings are still novel and exciting.
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