I am here in Saigon, or Ho Chi Minh City, for our next stop in the Social Business Roadshow!    Did you know that in terms of economic growth, Shanghai gets top rating followed by Ho Chi Minh City!  And there are more motorbikes on the road than I have ever seen!  I saw one motorbike with 6 family members on it and then this one … note that the bike is carrying a refrig and a plasma TV AND the guy is on the phone!

Social media has become an increasingly important tool in our daily lives – helping people connect, communicate and share information. This has forever changed the way people interact.  lToday, more than 2 billion people use the internet. By the end of this year, Gen Y will outnumber Baby Boomers….and 96% of them have joined a social network.The second largest search engine in the world is YouTube.  25% of search results for the World’s Top 20 largest brands are links to user-generated content.  And this adoption has happened at an incredible pace. Consider this: to reach 50 million users, it took radio 38 years…it took television 13….it took the internet only 4. Meanwhile, Facebook added 100 million users in less than 9 months…iPhone applications hit 1 billion downloads in 9 months.

It’s clear we are now in the midst of a revolution. People are using these connections as a primary means of communication, in many cases, replacing other more traditional interactions.  Vietnam has only 27.1% social users – however, statistics show that the percentage of connected users who are highly engaged in online activities is high 45% in Vietnam, demonstrating an eagerness to adopt greater Internet usage in Vietnam. The average Vietnamese Internet user is 27.4 years.  According to statistics, most Internet users in Vietnam are Communicators (48%) and Influencers (27%); the popularity of social networking, email and a focus on online communication means there are many opportunities for online marketing and connecting through social platforms like Facebook or Twitter.

The packed out room today shows that leading companies are seizing on these opportunities to create real business value – moving from using social  technologies for basic communication to driving disruptive change in their industries.

Here is the great Vietnam Team!