In the wake of research suggesting British businesses lag behind their counterparts in the emerging markets when it comes to adopting and using social media*, Mark Guinibert, Customer & Channel Partner at KPMG, has outlined 3 key changes he believes UK organisations must adopt, if they are to boost performance in 2012.
Focusing on the need to build better relationships with increasingly savvy consumers, Mark predicts that 2012 will be a year in which the lines drawn between consumer and corporate use of social media will become blurred. He predicts that:
1. The rules of the game will change: as the use of game mechanics to attract consumers’ attention and generate debate will rise.
Mark says: “We will begin to see industries applying intrinsic motivators in the form of games to encourage much greater brand engagement. Businesses will start to take notice of fast growing mobile social networks like Instagram that are blurring the boundary between content production and consumption.”
2. Wide-scale debate will replace command and control: social media laggards within businesses will reluctantly accept that non-participation in social media is no longer an option. They will gradually facilitate more communication channels.
He says: “Ignoring a problem doesn’t mean it will go away. 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.”
3. Transparency will become the norm: with increasing calls for greater corporate transparency in the wake of the financial crisis, companies will recognise that opening themselves up to scrutiny via social media makes business sense.
Mark says: “When it’s clear that they have nothing to hide they are much less likely to be on the receiving end of public criticism and are perceived as trustworthy.”
Mark Guinibert’s comments follow a KPMG report, Going Social: How businesses are making the most of social media, which found that:
- just 48% of UK companies use social media to communicate for business purposes, compared to 72% in the US and 83% in China
- 80% believe the use of social media delivers significant business returns which outweigh the risks of social media use
Mark concludes: “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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Mike Petrook, KPMG Press Office
020 7311 5271 (t), 07917 384 576 (m) or firstname.lastname@example.org
Notes to Editors:
* KPMG’s study, ‘Going Social: How Businesses are making the most of social media’ is based on a survey of 1850 managers and 2016 employees from 10 countries.
KPMG LLP, a UK limited liability partnership, is a subsidiary of KPMG Europe LLP and operates from 22 offices across the UK with nearly 11,000 partners and staff. The UK firm recorded a turnover of £1.6 billion in the year ended September 2010. KPMG is a global network of professional firms providing Audit, Tax, and Advisory services. We operate in 150 countries and have more than 138,000 professionals working in member firms around the world. The independent member firms of the KPMG network are affiliated with KPMG International Cooperative ("KPMG International"), a Swiss entity. KPMG International provides no client services.