Less than half of the Asian companies listed on the Wall Street Journal’s Asia 200 Index have a corporate social media presence, said a new study by Burson-Marsteller, a public relations and communications firm.

According to the study, social media profiles are inactive in more than 55 percent of the corporate brands and only eighteen percent of the surveyed companies integrate their social media profiles into their corporate websites.

By contrast, Burson-Marsteller’s Fortune Global 100 Social Media Check-Up study, conducted in February this year, showed that 79 percent of major global companies use branded social media sites as part of their corporate communications mix.

“Asian companies need to take bolder steps to leverage the exploding use of social media channels in the region,” said Bob Pickard, president and CEO of Burson-Marsteller Asia-Pacific.

In India, top companies are still experimenting with social media, said the study.

While some have active accounts on Facebook and Twitter, corporate blogs and video are also increasingly being deployed. Corporate blogs are considered especially effective in communicating with the companies’ many stakeholders, within India as well as in other English-speaking markets.

India’s leading technology companies are using social media for both corporate and consumer outreach.

FMCG companies usually have their product brands active in the social media space, while financial services companies often focus on providing customer support and product promotions.

“It is encouraging to find that some of the top Indian companies are adopting social media to tell their corporate stories. However, it should now become a long-term strategic and not only a tactical tool for companies in India to communicate with their various stakeholders.” said Prema Sagar, Principal and Founder, Genesis Burson-Marsteller.

The study also said only 12 percent of companies surveyed maintained a corporate blog, compared to 33 percent of global companies. Social channels are most frequently used to communicate corporate responsibility initiatives.

Only 8 percent of leading companies in Asia have set up dedicated channels on top video sharing channels such as YouTube, Youku in China or Nico Nico Douga in Japan. This compares to 50 percent of global companies using such channels.

The study reviewed social media activities of 120 major companies across 12 markets in Asia-Pacific; Australia, China, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan and Thailand.