Forty-three LIMRA member companies, representing the Europe, Middle East, Africa (EMEA) region, Latin American/Caribbean region, and Asia participated in the survey. The study did not include China because the social media platforms used are unique to the country.
A majority of companies said their main objective for social media is to draw attention to their brand. Objectives of “communicating brand position/personality” and “community building” also ranked high as Latin American companies rated these two as their most important. In prior LIMRA research, U.S. companies listed these same objectives as their top three.
Among international companies, Facebook is the social media platform of choice as 9 out of 10 EMEA companies use it, as well as, all the surveyed companies in Asia and Latin America. YouTube, then Twitter followed to complete the top three. Among U.S. companies, Facebook is also the top choice, followed by LinkedIn and Twitter. (Chart)
International companies gave Facebook high marks for being effective in gaining referrals. YouTube was favored for its ability to easily share videos and Twitter is considered powerful when "the right conversations are occurring with the right people."
Concerning their return on investment (ROI) 7 in 10 Latin American companies said their social media efforts met their expectations as did 64 percent of EMEA companies. Asian companies had the most varied responses as 38 percent said their ROI “exceeds” expectations and another 38 percent said their return “falls short.” Only 13 percent of Asian companies felt their social media initiatives met expectations.
Half of U.S. companies said their social media initiatives met expectations while 30 percent said their efforts exceeded expectations.
Like their counterparts in the U.S., financial services companies throughout the world use social media as an important tool to keep their brand in front of potential customers and to monitor the attitudes and preferences of today's consumers. By having a social media presence now, companies strengthen their position for future consumer engagement.