Although social media will play a more important role for businesses this year, teams are struggling with reduced resources and leaning more heavily on AI tools, according to the APAC edition of Meltwater’s latest State of Social Report.

The APAC edition of Meltwater’s State of Social Media 2024 report found that more than half of APAC businesses (55%) see artificial intelligence (AI) as important to their social media programme – a notably higher percentage than their global counterparts (44%). 

Across APAC, marketing and communication professionals are embracing AI tools to enhance their social media work. More than half of the people surveyed (55%) say they plan to increase their use of AI tools in 2024, 64% in APAC said that AI tools help them to save time on writing content, and 36% indicated that AI tools have helped them improve their copy.

The struggle to execute

Though almost half (48%) of APAC teams surveyed said that social media will play a more important role in their company this year, many teams are struggling to maximise their social programs due to reduced resources. The survey showed that even respondents from large companies with more than 1,000 employees operate in small social media teams of 2 to 5 members. Further, many social media teams find strategy and execution a challenge, with 34% of respondents saying that they are still working on defining a strategy, while a quarter are in a tougher spot of having a strategy but lacking the resources to execute it. 

Other key findings:

  • Instagram is the highest channel of interest (45%) for APAC teams, closely followed by TikTok (43%)

  • Teams in APAC are more likely to dedicate the same budget to social media that they did in 2023, unlike teams globally who are increasing social media budgets

  • 64% of respondents in APAC agree that social listening is a key component in strategic planning. A majority indicated they use social listening to better understand their target audience or to manage brand reputation.

Though video is widely accepted as the format that is more engaging on social media, Surprisingly, companies in APAC are more keen on written content and single imagery over video. This could be a reflection that most companies are operating with smaller teams and have fewer resources to create assets.

This dovetails with the Digital 2024 report finding that TikTok has the highest average time per Android user of any social platform globally, clocking in at an impressive 34 hours per month on average – equating to more than an hour per day using the platform. In second place is YouTube, with the average user spending just over 28 hours per month on its Android app. 

Given this popularity around videos, teams in APAC will need to consider their strategies carefully, and balance the possibility of higher return on investment against production time.

“Social media teams are in an unenviable position of doing a lot more for their organisations this year with limited resources and budget. Concerningly, not having a defined social media strategy is a more prominent challenge in APAC than other regions. With the typical social media user using 6.7 platforms each month, brands need to understand the usage intent of their target audience for their platform of choice. With bandwidth being a major concern, it is crucial that teams identify which are priority channels and customise content accordingly, ” shared Mimrah Mahmood, Vice President - Enterprise (APAC) and Partner at Meltwater Asia-Pacific

Download the full APAC State of Social report here.