Though one should always be circumspect about cross-national comparisons of consumer or business behavior, given the distinct governmental, regulatory, social and cultural environments, KPMG’s survey of 1850 managers and 2016 employees from 10 countries suggests that Australian firms, for whatever reason, tend to use social media less intensively than firms in many other countries.

Some 42 percent of Australian business managers polled say their organization has embraced social media, while 50 percent say their organizations do not use social media. KPMG hints that this is a problem. Others might simply say it is a choice.

Whatever your view, social media adoption rates were 87 percent for China, 72 percent for the United States and 70 percent for for India.

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Japan’s adoption rate was 28 percent.

There is a tendency in the software, computing and communications businesses to view “differences” as “problems.” Thougjh that might be the case, it is not necessarily or always the case. In the 1970s and early 1980s , some people thought the low adoption of facsimile machines by U.S. businesses and consumers was a “problem.”

The unstated assumption seemed to be that low adoption was somehow causing a significant productivity gap, as Japan facsimile use was much higher, in comparison. It is probably worth noting that U.S. businesses and individuals did ultimately adopt fax as a tool at a high level, before abandoing it for other tools with higher perceived value.

But some would have noted all along that there were specific reasons, at a time when personal computers had not been invented, to use fax machines in a country where the writing system was ideographic, meaning that typewriters were less useful.

In other cases, mobile phones might not be adopted so quickly for reasons ranging from illitteracy to network effect (if there are few other people to call because few people have phones, the value of a phone is low).

The point is that differences in social media adoption are illustrations of differences, not automatically “problems.”

KMPG conducted a study of business executives in 10 nations, of respondents from organizations with more than 50 employees, and were working at organisations that provided employees with access to Internet-enabled devices.

Of the managers, 13 percent were chief executive officers or business owners, 19 percent were senior executives and 67 percent were managers.

KPMG survey finds lower Australian social media use

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