02/22/2012 01:03 pm ET Updated Apr 23, 2012

Hong Kong Jumps Into Social Media With Both Feet!

Think about electronics, think about Hong Kong. Think about portable radios, think Hong Kong. Portable DVD players, cell phones and smart phones, all have Chinese ancestry. Many other electronics were born in Hong Kong. It's no wonder that social media has penetrated so much of Hong Kong (and other parts of Asia) so quickly.

I have just returned from my first trip to Asia. I was hosting a training session called "Strategic Marketing in Financial Services," which was held in Hong Kong. When I agreed to this engagement, I began my research by investigating social, digital and mobile. The three are so intertwined that the population surveyed recently by We all Social reported that 30 percent of Asians reported using their mobile device even while in the washroom! "Mocial" is the new vernacular for the intersection of social, mobile and and digital i.e., mobile and social = mocial.

Here are some of Hong Kong social media statistics from We all Social:

Digital penetration rates:

--69 percent rate of Internet users of the total HK population
--54 percent are on social networks
--100 percent reported some sort of mobile device (many reporting multiple units)
--9,000 public WIFI hotspots including women's boutiques where men can sit and browse the internet for free, shopping malls, airports, etc.
--Sina Weibbo, a hugely popular social microblogging site, is used by more than 2 million which is 28 percent of the entire Hong Kong population. During one unusually strong week, Sina Weibo picked up 1 million bloggers!

Other impressive stats include some of the most popular Facebook consumer brand pages in Hong Kong. They are:

Ocean Park (an amusement park with an impressive cable car system + pandas = 282,620 likes
Cathany Pacific Airline- ==123.739 likes with 3.5 percent growth in FB likes over last year.
Starbucks-==1231,753 FB likes increased 1.51 percent since 2011
7-11 -==62,065 FB likes but a whopping 56.62 percent over last year.

As expected, portable electronic devices would be prevalent with over 35 percent of the population having smart phones and 77 percent of those devices are loaded with mobile apps and 55 percent smart phone users play mobile games. Another social media wave occurred with group-buying sites making their way to HK, surging 1,620 percent in the past 12 months. One of the drivers behind the mocial growth is the belief by younger generations that mobile behavior is indispensable in a social world.

Paradoxically, business lagged 22 percent as compared with the world wide average of social media adoption. as reported by a Hong Kong study by Grant Thornton Jung du Tianhua. Although, I am certain that its not far behind. Coincidentally, my financial services' training session overlapped with Social Media Week Feb. 13-17 which was simultaneously held in 12 cities around the world. How lucky to be in Hong Kong during this time. I was really jazzed to learn learn these interesting facts about social media usage in Hong Kong. More than 34,000 people checked in to Social Media Week globally.

During Social Media Week, I was able to attend a session of entitled Social Media Compliance and Regulation where I had the good fortune of meeting Merrin Pearse, PhD. Although a native New Zealander he has lived in Hong Kong for five years. Boiled down, he is a sustainability consultant, always looking for opportunities to help companies embed sustainability into their firms .

He is a project manager whose leadership and open communication style engages colleagues and stakeholders across different cultural backgrounds, experiences and ages enabling company objectives to be met, on time and, crucially, within budget. In other words, Merrin is social. No wonder he would excel at creating buzz for his work via social media platforms. Thanks to Merrin, I was able to locate many of these interesting facts.

We met at the Social Media Week session led by Kenneth Kwok of Beehive Strategy, although entitled Compliance and Regulation, once again the conversation turned to the "value" and "ROI" of social media but the lack of measure or facility to tie the efforts to actual revenue. Kenneth noted the usual thoughts of measuring likes, hits, links, etc and tracking the trending of such effort. Merrin and I agreed that there is still much to be done to link up better analytics to measure social media penetration and efficacy.

Kenneth Kwok shared this video and I am sharing it with you. I suggest that you take two minutes and watch this compelling case for social media, click on this link.

Whether attending Social Media Week in any of the 12 locations, the messages discussed via the seminars and lectures all revolved around the theme of globally promoting ideas and adoption of social media standards, regulations and best practices. These themes are universal and the challenges remain the same regardless of the market. According to MDG Advertising, social media has captured the attention and awe of the marketing world with the promise of increased customer engagement and lower marketing costs. Yet behind the buzz lies the question of how to measure its success. With no standard means of measurement, it is difficult to decipher the value of different platforms and determine the true ROI of social media marketing.

In the meantime, I will await the analytics and formulas to measure my own social media success. Until then, I will used the old-fashioned success measurement: dollars in the bank.

All statistics can be found here.