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Covid-19 pandemic continues to change our behavior, especially online. Social media, mobile, and digital have become an indispensable part of our daily life for people living around the world.
According to the Digital Report in 2022 by We are Social, in partnership with Hootsuite, the number of SNS active users in Japan increased by 8.7% over the previous year to 102.0 million. The percentage for the total population was 81.1%, indicating that the social media use has become the standard for many generations.
We would like to note that total spending on digital advertising increased 10.0%, while spending on social media advertising increased 16.3%.
How will the digital and social media landscape in Japan change by 2022?
Last year, we listed Japan’s top Social Media platforms for 2021.
In this article we noted that Japan has embraced a rapid transformation toward the digital, which is still deeply changing both Japanese people’s behavior and business scenarios.
And now, the COVID-19 booster shot (3rd dose) is on the way and cities are opening up again, so we would like to look on the ways in which we can use social media.
Japan is well known to being facing a rapidly aging population: Japan’s population is shrinking at a rate of -0.4% compared to the 2021 report. In our country the median age is 49.2 years and it is projected to increase year after year.
On the other hand, according to the 2021 and 2022 report, Internet and social media use is increasing.
Covid-19 has certainly turned the digital landscape a lot. For instance, while in the 2021 report, one year after the first spread of the virus in Japan, the total Internet users as a percentage of the total population was 93%, with an annual growth of +0.8% (+890 thousand users), and in the 2022 report the annual growth slightly increased by +0.7% (+844 thousand users).
In general, Japanese people spend around 4 hours 26 minutes using the internet, 2 hours 15 minutes watching daily; it was about the same amount of time as the previous year.
This could be interesting if you are planning an advertising campaign in Japan. And it would be important to keep in mind, according to a February 2022 news release from Dentsu Inc. that expenditures for advertising through Internet media services carried by traditional media (mainly provided by newspaper, magazine, radio and TV) companies surpassed traditional means after having posted double-digit growth for three consecutive years since 2018, the first year for which Dentsu Inc. estimated expenditures in this category.
In 2021, Tokyo declared a statement of emergency of COVID-19 three times; its total duration waa 7 months.
Japanese people were forced to spend more time at home than before, and businesses have been continued to allow their employees work from home.
According to 2022 reports, 81.1% of the total population are Social Media users in Japan, which increased 8.7% compared to 2021; 98% of them access social media via mobile phones.
Regarding social media behavior, Japan is in one of the lower positions compared the global average.
For instance, the average amount of time spent on social media per day is just 51 minutes, far less than the global average (2 hours 27 minutes); unchanged from the previous year (51 minutes/day).
In our previous post about Social Media platform in 2021, we listed the most-used social media channels. Has the situation changed in 2022?
As you can see from the graph above, as in the 2022 report, the most-used social media platform in Japan is LINE, with 79.6% of Internet users using it. It is followed by Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. (This time, YouTube was excluded from the scope.)
LinkedIn is slightly decreasing (2.8% of Internet users; the previous year was 3.0%), but, in the B2B world, Facebook is still the preferred social media for business.
15.55 million users can be reached by advertising on Facebook in Japan, around 13.8% of the total population aged +13.
This should be mentioned that its users aged 13+ who can be reached with the advertising decreased significantly compared with the 2021 report (18 million users, as a percentage of the population aged 13+ was 15.9%), and it is lower than the world average (34.1%). Look the other countries, for instance many East Asian countries, and you’ll see it’s the same as Japan; Taiwan was 77.0%, South Korea was 23.1%, and the U.S.A. where Facebook was launched was 63.7%.
If you are planning a Facebook ad campaign, remember to curate your responsive adv design: 98.5% of the Japanese Facebook users access via Mobile!
In terms of engagement, Japanese are quite shy and do not engage very much with posts. For instance, a Facebook advertisement is likely to get an average of 6 clicks. Comments and shares in particular are very sporadic, as well as likes on pages.
Nevertheless, Facebook is one of the most used social media platforms for businesses in Japan. Facebook will continue to lead social media in business this year, and it is a useful tool for networking with potential partners or clients, as well as to communicate with your brand fans.
Contrary to overseas, LinkedIn is not a very often used social media platform for business in Japan.
According to the 2022 report, the potential audience that marketers can reach by advertising on LinkedIn is around 3.0 million, 2.8% of the total population aged 18+.
LinkedIn is the world's largest professional network on the Internet, but it is still not well known in Japan. Furthermore, even if Japanese people are aware of LinkedIn, they may think of LinkedIn as a media for finding a job or changing jobs. When it comes to using social media for business networking, most people in Japan use Facebook rather than LinkedIn, and not many people use both Facebook and LinkedIn.
Japan is Twitter’s second largest market globally, behind Singapore.
With over 58.95 million users, 52.3% of the total population, and both used in private and business, Twitter is the second most dominant Social Media platform in Japan, after LINE.
According to the 2020 report by Japan’s Minister of Internal Affairs and Communication, Twitter usage was higher among younger people, and usage declines as age increases. For instance, Twitter usage was 67.6% of 10’s and 79.8% of 20’s, and 48.4% of 30’s, 38.0% of 40’s. It is probably not good news for B2B companies who were evaluating whether or not to advertise on this social media platform.
Nevertheless, anonymity is the strong point of Twitter, and it ensures tons of Tweets every day, showing true feelings and opinions towards brands, products and services. This is a good point for marketers who want to measure social and brand listening.
With over 1.48 billion of active users all over the world, Instagram is the 4th-most used app in the World, after Facebook, WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger.
In Japan, Instagram is continuously growing at a rapid pace, and its active users have reached 40.9% of all users in Japan.
Instagram is popular in among young people, according to the 2020 report by Japan’s Minister of Internal Affairs and Communication,
As in the previous year, fashion and food are undisputedly the most popular content type among Japanese Instagrammers, and these to industries are particularly suitable for visual storytelling. B2B, on the other hand, is more popular on Facebook than Instagram.
YouTube is one of the most used Social Media channels in Japan.
The potential reach of advertising is 102.2 million and it’s covered 86.7% of aged 18+. Google’s video platform is projected to increase in the coming years. In Japan, after the spread of Covid-19 and the consequent State of Emergency, YouTube’s users have continued to increase to 74%, 3 times the other platforms’ new users.
With the suspension or postponement of many business events or trade shows, as well as the teleworking, many people have started watching YouTube videos to obtain business information. Videos are easier to understand and faster than reading difficult text full of specialized words. For sure, they are a means which cannot be left out of your marketing strategy in the year 2022 too.
When it comes to advertising, B2B ads on YouTube are increasing gradually in Japan, we think. The potential audience that you can reach using advertising on this social media is over 102.0 million people, 86.7% of the total population aged 18+. There is another interesting thing you should keep in mind: YouTube’ audience is quite uniform in Japan, so you can reach almost any age group with your campaign.
YouTube is a full of potential and an interesting social media platform which will be worth keeping and eye on and evaluated for your digital marketing strategy in Japan.
Many of you may probably have never heard about LINE before. It is more of a messenger app than a social media platform, but it is surely worth a mention here.
Made in Japan, LINE has over than 89.0 million monthly active users, more than 70.7% of Japan’s total population and is the 1st mobile app in terms of monthly active users and time spent on app. It is also the 2nd most downloaded app (from the AppStore) in Japan, after PayPay (cashless pay app by Softbank).
LINE’s vision is to become a “life infrastructure” for users, providing them all the services they need. For this reason, LINE provides a wide range of features, starting from the messenger app. It also has a social media feature (Timeline, similar to Facebook feed), news section, a cashless pay feature, game feature and so on.
In addition, LINE provides Official Accounts for companies who can contact users though messages, send them coupons or even loyalty cards.
Also, on LINE companies with an Official Account can advertise. This service is freemium and it could work quite well with B2C industries, especially related to food, fashion, automobile, beauty, etc. We do not suggest B2B brands invest money for advertising campaigns here; at least for now.
It is certain that LINE is trying to deepen its business reach. In fact, it released LINE Works in 2016, a cloud business management tool, where people in the same company can chat, manage their schedule, exchange files and so on.
"How to Write Good Bibliography," We are social; link to here
"Survey on Information and Communication Media Usage Time and Information Behavior in 2020" Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications; link to here
"2021 Advertising Expenditures in Japan" Dentsu inc.;link to here
Bigbeat Inc. has 27 years of experience in B2B marketing. If your company is interested in developing a social media strategy, or advertising on social media in Japan, or if you need further information or assistance, do not hesitate to contact us here!
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