Social media is set to come into its own in 2012 as more UK businesses start to embrace the concept, KPMG has claimed.
At the moment, according to recent KPMG research, just 48 per cent of UK companies are using social media, as opposed to 72 per cent in the US and 83 per cent in China.
Mark Guinibert, customer and channel partner at KPMG, predicted the lines between consumer and corporate use of social media would become increasingly blurred next year.
He also predicted three key changes for social media that UK firms must heed: firstly that the rules of the game will change as industries apply ‘intrinsic motivators’ in the form of games to encourage customer interaction with their brands.
Secondly, he said, participation in social media-based discussions can no longer be ignored by ‘social media laggards’ within businesses.
“Ignoring a problem doesn’t mean it will go away,” said Guinibert. “ Given the impact that public enquiries have had on a variety of industries in recent months, UK plc will accept that the rules have changed and conversations can no longer be controlled. Firms will come to acknowledge that, only by being authentic, can they expect to appeal to customers tired of corporate spin.”
Finally he said transparency will become ‘the norm’ as more firms realise that opening themselves up to scrutiny via social media makes business sense.
“When it is clear they have nothing to hide they are much less likely to be on the receiving end of public criticism and be perceived as trustworthy.”
He added: “It is naive to think that social media has no place in the business world. With multiple channels available to consumers in the shape of smart phones, tablets and laptops, the businesses that will do well will be those that can adapt and adopt. Anything less risks closing off routes to market at a time no business can afford to turn opportunities down.”
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