As we underline in our article about Social Media trends in Japan Twitter has been the most popular SNS platform followed by Instagram and Facebook. In fact, it is the second-largest market in the world with 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), 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 slowly cause the decrease of use by those generations. Users over 40s are expected to increase on the other hand, especially due to the situation of COVID, in which a platform like Twitter becomes an extremely important tool for people to get quick updates.
Being Japanese people really afraid of showing their opinion in public, Twitter allows you to not disclose your real name and use an anonymous account to show the user’s daily life, interests and concerns, and true feelings about a product or service.
Another strong point of Twitter in Japan is that even the character limit is 280 for alphabetical languages, in Japanese, you can type up to 140 characters, but using the Chinese characters, you can type many single-character Japanese words and actually express pretty long concepts!
During the Great Earthquake and Tsunami of 2011, Twitter was an important communication tool for updates on emergencies and after that, people keep using it to get real-time information. And since then, it has become the place where people search for live information and updates about everything, brands included.
In Japan, much more than in other countries, people use Twitter to discuss products. Many websites’ reviews may not accurately depict what a product is really like, so Japanese people use Twitter as a search engine to see what real people are saying. Because of this, Japanese businesses have a lot of success promoting their merchandise on Twitter. It’s also a way to collect information about what customers want, their opinion, needs and request: a way to connect customers with brands.
While in the rest of the world Twitter is also the house of irony and sarcasm (like the tweet exchange between McDonald and Burger King, or the conversation between brands like during the “Zuckeberg down”), in Japan Twitter is a precious source of real-time information.
In the game universe, for example, real-time information about game bugs, technical problems, new releases or tricks are easy to become viral, thanks to the ease of retweeting.
Gamers share problems and solutions, and people expect that the official account of a brand provides and shares this type of information.
Also in the fashion industry, people expect to get information about special sales, discounts or giveaways: by following a Twitter page, you are rewarded as loyal customers, receiving access to exclusive information not open to everyone. Once again, the easiest in retweeting helps to increase the reach and get a significant return.
Twitter is the place for communicating with brands, the core of customer service: Japanese people expect a quick answer from an official Twitter account, so considering a dedicated time is extremely important.
Making people curious, connecting people with similar interests, giving useful or exclusive information, is what attracts Japanese customers on Twitter, and is focusing on these aspects that you should develop your Twitter marketing strategy in Japan.
In conclusion, focusing more on storytelling, having a larger conversation around a narrative, and making the customer feel unique is the best way to keep followers engaged.