Singapore recognised as world’s most evolved social media market

Singapore has been identified as the world’s most evolved social media markets according to research from Firefly Millward Brown. Details below from ZDNet Asia.

The survey findings revealed that Singaporeans’ lives converge online and offline, where their families, friends, interests, work and hobbies could be found in the tangible as well as virtual world.

Christoper Madison, the company’s regional director of digital strategy, said Singapore’s evolved social landscape is due to the fact that its citizens are brand-savvy and genuinely want to be associated with fashion brands even in the digital world.

Hence, he noted that companies and marketers are also more proactive in making their online presence felt by engaging consumers through Facebook and other social media platforms, in the form of viral videos and regular news updates.

Besides shopping, food blogs and banks were also some of the more popular “encounters”, or mentions, in Singapore’s social media scene, according to the survey.

Back last year Singapore was revealed to be the world’s biggest Apple iOS fan with close to 10% of the population owning a supported device with 8%.5 of the population using the iPhone alone.

Clearly there is a lot of synergy between the country’s advanced mobile market and its evolved consumption and usage of the internet.

The report also looked a number of other Asian countries as the ZDNet article mentions:

While the study showed that the experience and behavior of social media users did not vary too much among the 15 countries surveyed, the “shopping association” was less obvious in Thailand and Indonesia.

Firefly’s findings revealed the Thais used social media to create a sense of community, and much of the online conversation revolved around expressions of friendship and connectedness.

Indonesians, however, regarded social media as a way to establish social status, success and as a platform for self-promotion.

Rastrick added that mobile penetration rate is extremely high in Indonesia, and with the constant traffic jams, platforms that provide brief and quick means of communicating such as Twitter are gaining popularity.

And perhaps the inevitable assessment from China regarding its social scene:

And while Facebook might not be readily available in China, the country’s online citizens were still active participants on social media networks, turning instead to local platforms such as Renren for online conversations, according to Firefly.

However, due to the restriction of Facebook, Chinese social media users felt left out of global dialogues, the survey found.

There is no surprise that the Chinese feel a little isolated globally given that, just last week, their government decided to block all references to Egypt online thus limiting Chinese netizens’ coverage of the country’s ongoing social and political protests.

However it is worth stating that a great many Chinese are either unaware, or used to, China’s so-called Great Firewall (GFW) – which restricts content from outside the country – while a large proportion actually support the segregation, though I will avoid going into the political and social reasons for this.

Of course, using the style with which the research was prepared – as below – those questioned were very much aware of the GFW, a more general spread of opinions might have brought a different answer, one which perhaps many of the world does not expect.

Finally just a word on how the research was developing, which is interesting itself:

Covering 15 countries including Singapore, China, India and the United States, the qualitative survey was developed based on the observations of 32 selected bloggers in each country, according to the Firefly.

Using local, expert bloggers is a great way to find local insight but given the subjective nature of media consumption surely a metric – such as usage, or members, as a ratio of the population – would be a better measurement?

For example, Indonesia has the highest Twitter users per population while its high level of mobile internet usage could arguably make it one of the world’s most connected societies? The findings of this Firefly Millward Brown study are interesting in spite the lack of science and figures to back them up.