We have seen how the Covid-19 affects the usage of social networks worldwide, Japan includes. But despite the growth of popularity of some “western” social networks like Instagram and Facebook, the situation still looks pretty different from the rest of the world.
If you are interested in entering in the Japanese market. you’d better to consider that the way of using and spend time on social networks of Japanese people is pretty different from the rest of the world.
Despite Facebook is the social network with the highest number of users worldwide, followed by Instagram, which is having its golden age right now in many countries of the world, in Japan is not really a MUST, and it’s more consider a networking platform.
Instagram instead is exponentially growing in popularity and active users, even if the way of using it it’s quite different compared to western country, with several tricky aspects, mainly regarding the “influencers” and fake followers.
Read also: Why buy Follower is a bad idea
To successfully enter the Japanese market through digital marketing, is then important to understand the social media trend in Japan and choose carefully the strategy and the social network more effective for your business. Having an expert that guides you in this decision and supports you in entering in the Japanese market, really makes the difference.
Contact Hatago Consulting to discuss the best strategy for your business.
Let’s have a look at the social media trends in Japan, and how each social network is used and can help your digital marketing strategy for the Japanese market.
86 million users, over 60% of the total population in Japan are using LINE app as a daily communication tool. It also has 50 apps available to associate with an individual LINE account, such as LINE Pay, LINE GAME, Shopping app, LINE TV, LINE Music, LINE Business, LINE Manga, LINE gift, LINE ticket, LINE travel JP, LINE careers, LINE mobile, etc.
Unlike any other SNS platform, LINE is designed specifically made for Japanese. It has all the major features of what Japanese users look for, resulting in becoming the messaging app for the big majority of the population.
Line is popular among all ages, from younger generations to over 40 years old. Including also a messaging system, everyone in Japan uses Line for communicate, as Whatsapp in western coutries.
It’s also essential to note that LINE enables you to reach those who use the internet solely on smartphones. According to research conducted by LINE, 49% of smartphone users in Japan use the internet solely on smartphones while 42% use both a smartphone and computer.
1. Targeting direct consumers
2. Looking for an engagement with customers.
3. Already done a full localization of your business
4. Planning on the budget around $3,000 monthly
No need to mention that LINE ad is purely targeting direct consumers, so if you are selling your service/product for corporates, it is not a suitable solution.
Also, it is not the best use when you are looking for quick acquisitions as the biggest advantage of LINE marketing is strong engagement with customers. Using it for rising brand awareness, building a relationship with customers, improving a loyalty would make a successful promotion.
Important to note that LINE only accepts Japanese credit cards and payments. In addition, most of their supports and sales materials are only available in Japanese, so if you are only new to Japan market with no local support, it would be difficult to start.
Since the number of users is vast, your advertising budget should be at least $3,000 monthly in order to reach a decent amount of users within your target category.
Twitter has been the most popular SNS platform followed by Instagram and Facebook. In fact, it is the second-largest market in the world. 58.7% of Japanese men and 48.7% of women use it regularly.
Compared to western countries, celebrities, actors, and influencers enjoy much more popularity (36% of the top profiles). This is followed by the entertainment industry, gaming, music, and art. The last spots (but still relevant and widely popular) belong to news sources and accounts related to the food & drink industry, for example, Japanese convenience stores (Lawson, Seven Eleven, FamilyMart) and Starbucks.
Twitter is also used for communities around a specific topic or subculture, it’s a powerful instrument to reach a specific target.
Twitter is mainly popular among younger people, however, those generations are actively using other social media recently as well, such as TikTok and it may cause slowly the decrease of use by those generations. Users over 40s are expected to increase on the other hand, especially due to the continuous situation of COVID, in which a platform like Twitter becomes extremely important tool for people to get quick updates.
1. Targeting direct consumers in broad segments
2. Aiming to make a buzz rather than acquisitions.
3. Developing contents for a specific campaign (e.g Limited-time promotions, contests, giveaway)
Considering the fact that hashtag searches in Japan are more than 5 times the global average, Instagram can be the best place for businesses to engage with users and at the same time find potential new users.
There were about 27 million Instagram users in Japan in January 2019, which was about 21% of the total Japanese population.
The largest group was women between 25-34, which took up 56.8%. which accounted for 21.4% of its entire population. The majority of them were women – 56.8%.
According to research, in 2020 72% of users said they spend more time on social media, 65% of which said they tend to use Instagram more than other platforms. In addition, 41% said that Instagram posts would highly motivate them to buy products online.
Especially, Instagram is the perfect place to target young Japanese women interested in fashion, beauty, music, art, food, and entertainment. In fact, 80% of users follow some kinds of business accounts to get updates on the products/services.
Note that in Japan Instagram is “less inspiration” and “more magazine” style, so consider this point when you create your content.
The main segment nowadays for Facebook is the male 40s and 50s. Many of those users use Facebook daily as a business networking, sharing information related to their business and professional fields.
Communities and groups with the same interests are also actively used and are important functions for Facebook users.
On the other hand, young people tend to be moving away from Facebook as younger generations use SNS for an entertainment purpose rather than business connection.
Facebook marketing in Japan is used dominantly by retail, e-commerce and service provider categories.
Many advertisers take advantage of leveraging Instagram ads together with Facebook ad placements to retargeting users on the both platforms.
Although Facebook is getting less popular among young people, keep in mind that generally speaking, 40s and 50s have the highest purchasing power among all generations so it is considered as a useful platform for marketing if using properly.
Facebook Ad can be recommended for various types of business, but mainly for B2B target model would work better than for a direct consumer. The budget can be set as low as 10,000 a month so it’s the best way to try out and figure out the way to improve what/whom to promote your service/products to.
Considering that from Facebook Ad center, you can advertise also on Instagram, it’s always recommended this option for any business aim to want in Japanese Market.
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