In Asia, life is increasingly digital. Social media has taken a large place in the everyday lives of millions of people. In Eastern Asia, 64% of the population are on the mainstream Asian social media networks of each country, and 55% for Southeast Asia, according to Hootsuite. Those percentages are approximately the same as in Europe. It is a significant advantage for enterprises, who can leverage insights from social media listening to build a successful business strategy.
However, global social media networks like Facebook and Twitter are not the only sites popular in this region. The new made-in-Asia media have succeeded in entering the competitive market, providing even more data about the populations of the Asia Pacific region. International and Asian companies need to adapt to these changes of habit and track Asian social media networks in their social listening analysis to get an accurate view of the mentions about them and of the industry as a whole.
Here are 5 Asian social media networks that you should be following:
Sina Weibo is a Chinese social media website, created in 2009, and similar to Twitter. Weibo means ‘microblog’ in Chinese. The platform enables you to post short sentences with a maximum of 2,000 characters, plus pictures and videos. Just like on Twitter, you can use hashtags, tag people on posts and re-post content. However, Sina Weibo differentiates themselves with additional features. Weibo users can communicate more easily than on Twitter, by commenting on posts. You can also easily create polls that your followers can take part in. You can find games on the platform, create photo albums, learn about the latest trends and more.
WeChat has become the most popular social media platform in China. It serves over a billion monthly active users and 902 million daily users. Most of them live in China (more than 90%), but the app is also used in Southeast Asia and South Africa. In a country where international social networks like Facebook are blocked, it answers the need for communication in the growing population. WeChat offers more than the average social media app by providing a wide variety of services to cover everyday needs.
Here are a few of them:
- Messaging: You can send messages, pictures, videos or voice recordings to anyone. The app also has a call and video-call feature. It can even be used by companies to communicate internally.
- Social network: Just like on Instagram and Twitter, you can follow celebrities or brands, and their posts. You can also share content on social media from the WeChat app. The social feed is called “Moments,” which is where you can see your friend’s updates.
- Payment services: “WeChat” Pay allows you to pay bills digitally, for goods and services online or in stores that have the WeChat payment option. You can also transfer and receive money.
- City services: Within the app, there’s a feature called City Services. It enables you to access many different services in the city, including taxi bookings, food delivery, doctor appointments bookings, utility payments, etc.
Naver started in 1999 as a search engine in South Korea. It is used by more than 70% of the population of the country, making it the most popular search engine in South Korea. Nowadays, it also offers two social media services called Naver Cafe and Naver Blog.
On Naver Cafe, you can create an account and post content, just like on a forum. You can share your interests and opinions in order to start a conversation with people reading your posts. They can interact with you by asking questions or posting comments.
Naver Blog is the more popular of the two. It was launched in 2003, under the name “Naver Paper.” Here, companies and individuals can describe themselves. The “profiles” then appear in the form of articles that anyone can read. There is a search bar to type in keywords based on the type of content you want to read.
Line is a messaging application that started in Japan following the earthquake in March 2011. Telecommunication lines were cut due to the disaster, and an internet-based communication platform needed to be created. It would ensure that contact could be kept in the future during such events. The app is mostly used in Japan but is also popular in Thailand, Indonesia, and other Asian countries. In addition to the classic features of messaging apps such as calls and texts, you can follow celebrities, brands and TV show accounts. There are also gaming and payment features, taxi booking and food delivery services.
Launched in 2005 by the Chinese holding conglomerate Tencent, Qzone is a social networking site and application that offers various services. Users can write posts, keep diaries, watch and send pictures and videos and listen to music. It uses a freemium model whereby the application and website are free, but you have to pay to gain access to premium features. Qzone allows users to customize their experience, from background music to wallpaper on personal pages. The Asian social media also allows users to express their interests and tastes on their profiles. Like Facebook and Facebook Messenger, Qzone has its own messaging platform called QQ.
These Asian social media networks are already widely used in their origin countries and are spreading to the entire region. With the massive population in Asia and growing access to the internet, these networks continue to attract more users. Because of this, it’s essential for any companies doing business in Asia to include these sources in their social listening programs.
Synthesio’s social listening tools track thousands of sources in more than 80 languages across the world, including these very important Asian social media networks. Request a demo to see it in action.