New Delhi: India is among the top four nations across the globe where businesses use social media in some capacity or the other and the country is well ahead of emerging market peers China and Brazil in this regard, says a survey.
According to global consultancy firm Grant Thornton's International Business Report (IBR), 64 percent of businesses in India use social media in some capacity, the fourth-highest percentage out of 39 economies surveyed and well ahead of China (48 percent) and Brazil (44 percent).
Interestingly, the research reveals that 43 percent of businesses globally use social media, whereas in BRIC nations, the figure stands at 50 percent. In mature markets, the figures are much lower, at 40 percent in the G7 and just 35 percent in Europe.
"The results are fascinating to note. They show businesses in emerging markets embracing social media much faster than their peers in mature markets," Grant Thornton India Head of Media and Entertainment Aseem Vohra said.
The use of social media for business appears to mirror the economic health of the country, Grant Thornton said.
"Emerging markets, where the pick-up is highest, are experiencing strong growth, whilst the problems facing Europe are well-documented. Social media use is clearly not the cause of Europe's economic woes, but the research points to a split in mindset and attitude toward new ways of thinking and working," Vohra added.
However, the use of the internet among the wider population in emerging markets still trails behind usage in Europe and North America.
In China, there are 485 million internet users, which is only 36 percent of the current population. The situation in India is even worse, with less than 10 percent of the population accessing the internet.
Businesses in India use social media mainly for advertising, followed by communication with customers.
Across BRIC economies, just 19 percent of businesses use social media for advertising purposes, although 15 percent use this channel for recruitment, compared to just 7 percent in India, Grant Thornton said.
The IBR further notes that notwithstanding the rapid proliferation of new media, 91 percent of business leaders in India still read a newspaper at least three times a week, above the global average of 79 percent.
Hard-copy newspapers (68 percent) are also the preferred source of news in India, followed by television at a distant second with 11 percent and online newspapers at 8 percent.