Japan, with its level of technological advancement is known to be one of the most highly connected nations in the world. In 2011, an estimated 35 million broadband connections were in place making Japan the 3rd largest broadband country right behind the US and China. The country is also considered one of the biggest mobile markets in terms of size, level and speed of innovation. In fact, mobile phones have now surpassed fixed line telephones and PCs in terms of being the most widely-owned device.
Image source: https://wiki.smu.edu.sg/w/digitalmediaasia/images/9/97/JPN215_INFOGRAPHIC.png
Now, how does this impact social media use and companies that are attempting to break into its potential as a tool in reaching Japanese consumers? The level of the country's technological advancement is seen to have an impact on multiple facets of the society including businesses and government. This complexity is even taken a notch higher by the importance technology and digital media have in the lives of 99,182,00 internet and 122.4 million mobile users in Japan.
The fact that the Japanese have a huge online presence does not make them an easy target considering that they are one of, if not the most demanding customers in the world. A business, whether local or foreign, needs to take into account these unique traits and know that a successful social media campaign will be customized, intuitive, of high quality and simple.
Image source: http://www.slideshare.net/jbernoff/social-technographics-defined-2010
The following lists 3 key information in regards to the Japanese digital market.
1. Most Japanese consumers utilize mobile-based platforms.
Approximately 81% of the 122.4 million mobile users in Japan are mobile internet subscribers. This was made possible by the availability of the 3G network, which is accessed by 99% of all mobile users through their 3G mobile phones. As a result, mobile Social Networking Sites (SNS) such as Mixi and Twitter have gained a key role in Japan's digital media platforms. Users update status, upload photos and read and write blogs using their mobiles.
2. Privacy, anonymity and ease are key.
Unlike Facebook where private user details are more openly shared to friends of varying degrees, the most popular Japanese social media platform, Mixi gives more privacy. Mixi users don't normally divulge their real names nor give access to actual photos of themselves to those who don't belong to their first-degree friend list. Function-wise, Mixi users are able to trace every visitor of their pages providing more security. This being done via the mobile makes it even easier.
3. Knowing your target market's social media profile facilitates a more targeted campaign.
Josh Bernoff, Idea Development Senior Vice President at Forrester Research, says that there are 7 levels of social technographics profile in Japan. These levels determine the population's participation as far as using social technologies are concerned. Knowing and analyzing the 7 levels of the ladder; Inactives, Spectators, Joiners, Collectors, Critics, Conversationalists and Creators; allows one to devise the most appropriate social strategy to approach the target market or profile.
The key message is simple. A company that wants to penetrate the Japanese market with social media as its main platform needs to take note of 2 things. First, know its target market's profile. Second, make use of social media initiatives that are simple, secure and most importantly, accessible via mobile phones.
Thinking of launching a social media campaign in Japan? Contact us today or visit the Moonlight Marketing website to discuss the most effective approach.
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