Singapore, 15 September 2015

Companies across South-East Asia are increasing their social media budgets, but measurement is still seen as a major stumbling block, according to research published today by Econsultancy in association with ClickAcademy Asia, the Digital Commerce Association of the Philippines (DCOM) and the Indonesian Digital Association (IDA).

Across the region, over two-thirds of responding organisations indicated they plan to increase their social media budgets over the next 12 months. However, marketers are significantly more likely to describe their ROI measurement abilities as ‘poor’ than ‘good’, which means that many South-East Asian organisations might be struggling to justify further investment.

According to the vast majority of survey respondents, measuring the impact of social media is very important, yet less than a fifth of organisations based in Singapore (11%), Malaysia (12%) and the Philippines (19%) describe themselves as ‘good’ when it comes to measuring the ROI from social media marketing.

The State of Social Media in South-East Asia report, which is accompanied by country-specific presentations for Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines and Singapore, takes a close look at the extent to which companies are committed to social media, the platforms and technologies they are using, and the challenges they face in improving their capabilities in this area.

The research explores the objectives South-East Asian organisations are trying to achieve with social media marketing, the platforms and technologies they are using, and how well they are performing in various areas. The report, based on a survey of nearly 550 marketing, digital and ecommerce professionals based in South-East Asia (including client-side and agency respondents), also looks at spending trends, challenges and measurement abilities.

Jefrey Gomez, VP APAC, Econsultancy, said: “There are over 200 million active social media users in South-East Asia, equivalent to one in three people using social media to some extent. The market is ripe with opportunities, offering organisations tremendous potential to deepen relationships with consumers and create positive conversations.

“The research shows that while social media investment is on the rise and organisations are starting to adopt a more strategic approach, many marketers still struggle to develop or acquire more sophisticated methods of monitoring and measurement of social media impact.”

Further findings include:

-) Among the four countries surveyed, Indonesia will witness the highest average increase in social media budgets (27%), with organisations based in the other countries increasing their investment by less than a quarter on average.

-) There’s evidence that in many cases investment in social media is being shifted away from other marketing budgets generally, with around half of marketers in Indonesia (50%) and Singapore (44%) saying that’s the case.

-) The vast majority of South-East Asian marketers expect ‘increased use of mobile by consumers’ to have a significant impact over the next 12 months.

-) As part of their overriding strategy for social media, three-quarters of organisations based in Malaysia and the Philippines feel the ‘need to improve’ their abilities for ‘engaging customers in dialogue’.

-) South-East Asian companies are most likely to integrate social media activity with their search engine optimisation (SEO) and email marketing efforts.

-) In Malaysia and Singapore, ‘lack of resources’ is the most commonly cited barrier, with nearly three in five (56% and 57% respectively) organisations saying that this prevents them from engaging in social media activity more effectively. ‘Company culture’ is a top barrier for half of Indonesian companies.

-) For many organisations, ‘engagement (number of followers, comments, time spent, etc.)’ is the deepest level of social media impact that they can track.

-) Organisations based in Indonesia and Singapore are most likely to have larger dedicated social media teams in place, with 47% and 24% respectively indicating that these consist of more than five persons.

The full State of Social Media in South-East Asia report and the country-specific presentations are available for download here:

For more information about the report, contact:
Monica Savut, Senior Research Manager, Econsultancy
monica.savut AT


Jefrey Gomez, VP, APAC, Econsultancy
jefrey.gomez AT

About Econsultancy

Econsultancy’s mission is to help its customers achieve excellence in digital business, marketing and ecommerce through research, training and events.

Founded in 1999, Econsultancy has offices in New York, London and Singapore.
Econsultancy is used by over 600,000 professionals every month. Subscribers get access to research, market data, best practice guides, case studies and elearning – all focused on helping individuals and enterprises get better at digital.

The subscription is supported by digital transformation services including digital capability programmes, training courses, skills assessments and audits. We train and develop thousands of professionals each year as well as running events and networking that bring the Econsultancy community together around the world.

Subscribe to Econsultancy today to accelerate your journey to digital excellence.

Call us to find out more:
• Singapore: +65 6653 1911
• New York: +1 212 971 0630
• London: +44 207 269 1450

Published on: 2:00AM on 15th September 2015