Ever wondered how to effectively utilize Social Networking Service to build brand awareness and increase marketing power of your business? As Japan plunged into a new imperial era of Reiwa, the level of significance of the SNS has definitely been increasing. In fact, it is safe to say that modern social media sites now require new strategic approaches, because new online contents are being uploaded constantly. In order to enter into the Japanese market, it is essential to understand the country’s social media landscape so that one can effectively put time and effort into contents creation. While the Japanese SNS industry hold on to many of the global trends as a whole, it still possess unique characteristics that reflect the culture and society of the nation.
What is SNS Marketing?
There have been numerous rise and fall of social media sites in recent decades, but it can be regarded as certain that three social media platforms in particular have established their status over the years: Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. According to Liskul, these apps have changed the trend of BtoC marketing leading more consumers to engage in SNS rather than traditional search engines to obtain goods and services. In fact, SNS can raise brand awareness and gain popularity by getting the consumers connected with the marketers. By obtaining consumers’ personal data, the suppliers can effectively match their demand based on preferences and search history. In addition, these connections can also lead to diffusion or spread of posts when consumers can feel the empathy towards the contents. Unlike the traditional organic search, there is even a possibility of overnight increase in access based on the reactions from the users.
Let’s Take a Look at Each Major Social Networking Service
Facebook is generally regarded as the biggest Social Networking Service around the world, and it is often used for business purposes. Companies can create their accounts for free, and it allows them to communicate with their customers easily. It also enables the users to make connections with friends or even friends of their friends and establish a community online. According to App Ape, Facebook is generally popular among middle-aged males and females, particularly among 40’s males sector in Japan.
Although many people have installed the app on their phone, it is apparent that inactive users constitute more than half of the active installs. In fact, data regarding MAU suggests that growth of the platform has stagnated in Japan, just like the rest of the world.
Nonetheless, the size of the users show that Facebook is still a crucial platform for companies to reach and connect with a wide range of audience, both domestically and internationally.
On the other hand, Twitter is regarded as the most popular service among Japanese SNS users out of the three dominant SNS apps. According to App Ape, MAU of Twitter is significantly higher in Japan compared to those of Facebook and Instagram’s.
It is apparent that no matter the age group, Japanese people tend to engage in Twitter most frequently. This raises a question of what exactly makes Twitter so attractive among the Japanese users. According to Plus Alpha Digital, Twitter’s anonymity and word limit contribute to the app’s domination in Japanese society. As a matter of fact, Japanese people tend to regard privacy rather seriously, so the fact that Twitter allows the individuals to register anonymously makes it an attractive platform to express their opinions. Another reason why Twitter is so popular in Japan is that in Japanese language, character limit of 280 words can convey more information and meaning than the same number of words written in English can. Accordingly, the sheer number of users proves that Twitter should not be overlooked easily in near decade as well.
Another Social Networking Service that has been dominating the world is Instagram. In fact, App Ape illustrates that it is the only app in which MAU of females overtakes males out of the three prominent SNS.
This phenomenon may be explained by the outstanding quality of pictures that the app is able to provide to the audience. Businesses targeting female audience are growing rapidly as Instagram enables them to take their products to the next level. While posting their products, the businesses can use various filters to draw their customers’ attention. Consequently, it leads the users into EC sites to purchase the products they are interested in. In addition, Japan has seen an emergence of the so-called “influencers”, who promote products that companies offer to their large number of followers. Plus Alpha Digital suggests that “Influencer marketing is now being utilized by a majority of companies in some capacity, with 84% of marketers saying they plan on implementing an influencer campaign in the next 12 months”. By paying close attention to the brand image and characteristics of the followers, businesses utilizing an “influencer” can significantly expand their market online.
Future of SNS: What’s Next?
Consequently, the increasing number of SNS users not only suggests that the relationship between companies and consumers has become more intimate, but it also explains that firms can hear the voices of purchasers directly. Businesses are able to build brand awareness and increase marketing power by choosing the suitable social media service to attract attention and capture the potential consumers. Utilizing these platforms is considered more convenient than the traditional organic search engine; on the other hand, SNS gives new set of problems to the users. In order to match the consumers’ demand with their search history, they have gained access to the users’ personal data. Disclosure of private information becomes a topic of discussion because it allows the dominant platformers to manipulate the lives of the masses. Accordingly, understanding the unique landscape of social media platforms in Japan is essential for the firms to reach their full potential.
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