Twitter is ‘overvalued’ by APAC marketers, finds Forrester study

Twitter is among the most heavily used social media by marketers in Asia Pacific, but it also one of the least satisfying in terms of meeting business objectives for brands’ campaigns, a study from research group Forrester suggests.

The microblogging platform is second only to Facebook as the most commonly used social medium among marketers in India, Indonesia, Singapore and Australia. But Twitter falls behind the likes of LinkedIn, YouTube and Instagram in terms of how happy marketers are with the business outcomes from using it.

Source: Forrester’s Q4 2015 Asia Pacic Social Marketing Online Survey

Source: Forrester’s Q4 2015 Asia Pacic Social Marketing Online Survey

Marketers’ frustration with Twitter – which Forrester labels “overvalued” – is partly due to a mismatch in objectives; marketers wield it for social reach, but users use it for social relationships.

Meanwhile, WeChat – which is relatively nascent outside of China – Pinterest and Tumblr prove to be satisfactory from a business perspective, but not many marketers in the region use them.

Facebook and LinkedIn are both widely used and deliver for marketers, the study finds.

Snapchat and Line are both infrequently used and don’t deliver for marketers in these countries, the study found, although the results are likely to differ in countries such as Japan and Thailand, where Line is hugely popular among consumers and marketers.

Google Plus is by some margin the least satisfying platform for marketers, although it enjoys higher adoption than Line, SnapChat, Weibo, Pinterest or Tumblr.

Marketers use an average of five social platforms, and are only moderately happy with those they use, with respondents giving their social efforts out of five a satisfaction score of 3.43.

The reasons for this is that while APAC marketers herd to the most popular sites with the biggest reach, they find that they are beholden to the site owners’ whims and have little choice but to play by their rules, Forrester suggested.

The biggest challenge for marketers in using social media is ROI. The report reads: “While some social tools, such as viral videos, can be effective at increasing awareness, they are typically more expensive than other social media tools. They’re also more difficult to scale than traditional media buying campaigns. And unlike ad buys, these tools come with no audience guarantees, making it difficult to set expectations and ultimately deliver ROI.”

The next biggest challenge is measurement, followed by working out social strategy and tactics.

The most popular ways of measuring social success are the number of fans, likes, comments, shares and click-through – significantly ahead of site traffic, brand impact surveys or number of leads in terms of popularity.

Spend on social will stay relatively flat this year, although that will vary significantly by market. Spend on social by Indian marketers will grow at double the rate of spend from Australia marketers between 2015 to 2020, Forrester data suggests.

The findings were the result of a study of 32 marketers in Australia, Singapore, India and Indonesia.

The report emerges a few weeks after Forrester released a similar report on social marketing in China, which also found that marketers there are using social media heavily that they are not necessarily satisfied with from a business perspective.


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