Although new studies reveal that social media marketing in Asia has doubled over the last year, many companies within the region have yet to take advantage of the medium’s full potential.

Burson Marsteller – a public relations firm – surveyed the marketing and communications activity of 126 of Asia’s leading companies. Countries included in the study were Australia, China, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, The Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, and Thailand.

Results showed that 81% of the companies surveyed use social media, which is up 40% from 2010. Despite its growth, it doesn’t appear that social media is being used as a long term plan with 62% of accounts recorded as inactive. It’s also noted that many of the active accounts aren’t updated frequently.

“Companies in Asia are approaching Western levels of adoption but there’s a long way to go when it comes to community engagement in cultures where “face” remains more important than Facebook,” explains Bob Pickard, President and CEO of Burson Marsteller in Asia-Pacific.

One third of companies are focused on basic outreach to media and influencers about new products, while failing to integrate corporate news and general conversation.

Twitter and China’s microblogging services Sina weibo and Tencent weibo were the most used platforms across the seven markets. China and South Korea both utilize a variety of social platforms with the most noteworthy use of corporate blogs.

While companies in Asia aren’t struggling to adopt social media marketing efforts, they have yet to take advantage of its potential in terms of engagement. U.S. businesses have seen results from creating long term social strategies, and therefore could have an advantage in international markets.

[Via: The Next Web, Image credit: Gerard McGovern]