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Japan trails international peers in social media-based marketing


Japanese businesses have struggled to leverage social media during the past year, in contrast to their global peers, according to a new global survey of over 17,000 senior managers and business owners by the workplace solutions provider Regus.

In 2010, which has come to be known as "Social Media Year One" in Japan, Regus found that 30% of Japanese firms were successfully winning new customers through business social networking activity. A year later, despite rapid growth in social media such as Twitter and Facebook in Japan accelerated by the proliferation of smartphones and tablet devices, the proportion of businesses using social media successfully for marketing purposes has declined seven percentage points to 23%.

Key findings of the report are:

In this year’s survey, Japan (23%) replaced Belgium (34%) as the country with the lowest proportion of businesses responding that they successfully use social networks to find new customers.

Only 37% of companies in Japan use social media websites such as Twitter to engage and inform existing customers, compared with 52% of businesses globally.

Japanese businesses (21%) are the least optimistic worldwide about the power of social media to attract unsolicited customer inquiries, far behind emerging economies such as China (65%) and India (58%) and a global average of 44%.

Only 27% of businesses in Japan devote up to 20% of their marketing budget to business social networking activity, compared with two fifths (39%) of companies globally.

Of Japanese companies that used social media to acquire new business, 36% recorded increased revenue in the past year, compared with 21% in the case of those not using social media.

Of Japanese companies that used social media to acquire new business, 30% recorded increased profits in the past year, compared with 21% in the case of those not using social media.

Despite having the lowest proportion of companies reporting successes in social media-based marketing, Japan also had the smallest proportion (39%) of companies who felt that marketing based solely on SNS and online campaigns (to the exclusion of more established strategies) could not succeed, compared with a global average of 69%. Some 67% of Japanese companies surveyed agreed that social networking sites have become an essential aspect of marketing, just below the global average of 74%.

Noriyuki Ikeda, CEO of Tribal Media House Inc, a provider of social media-based marketing services, comments: “Japanese companies are behind for several reasons. First, Japan’s social media user base is itself limited in scale compared to the U.S. or Europe; second, the user base here is not limited to Facebook, but is diversified over a range of internet services such as Mixi, Glee, Mobage and Twitter; and third, Japanese businesses are highly sensitive to the risk management implications of social media. But it is becoming increasingly common for major Japanese corporations to set up official Twitter accounts and use them for marketing campaigns. There has also been a rush of new Japanese users to Facebook so far this year, and Mixi is scheduled to open its account setup process during the summer. All of these factors can be expected to accelerate the social media-based marketing activities of Japanese businesses.”

© Japan Today

©2024 GPlusMedia Inc.

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Japan trails internationally full stop.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Many people in this country, aged in there mid twenty's and don't know how to use a computer or why they should. I think that's alarming for an Industry country - back to stone age?

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

If Facebook had an application that did all the bowing and "you first/no-please-you- first's and a "tsumaranaimonodesuga..." button that dispensed boxes of senbei. Maybe a lot more Japanese would use it. Since that is the only was they seem to know how to get new customers. Oh, and a "wadofcashunderthetable" application might be good too.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

It is questionable whether social media based marketing is that necessary. On top of that there is the question of user privacy.

I do not think it is a big deal for the J companies to trail their peers in this area. Actually I would prefer if other companies stated away as well.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

How nice it would be if you could log on the internet and not be constantly bombarded with ads. Lagging behind the US in marketing - where consumers are bombarded with ads at all times, for everything, everywhere - is not a bad thing at all.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Couldn't agree more. By all means market your products, but don't do it on social media. Social media is for human-to-human interaction. That Japan "trails" other countries in this area, well I see it as civilized.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Dunno about anyone else, but to me companies trying to sell stuff on Facebook are in the same league as door-to-door salesmen. If I want what they're selling, I'll go looking for it myself.

And a word of advice for would-be sellers - when I click on your ad, then try to close your window and I get a pop-up saying 'Wait! Don't go! Special Offer if you buy NOW!) (or whatever) ... it puts me right off if I wasn't off before. No way I'm giving my custom to virtual foot-in-the-door artists.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

OK, Cleo. I don't know why "businesses" haven't caught on that thier intrusive behaviour is losing as many potential customers as it gains. Click-on ads are so yesterday, especially in light of the prevalence of virus attacks that use that technique. I personally wouldn't want to buy something from a street hustler selling expensive watches down a dark alley, so why would I buy something on a social network from a shady identity that seems to be stalking me for my money?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

top-down management style = ( slow decision-making process X missing new ideas ) = getting left behind.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Cleo that's kind of backwards as one of the reasons using social media works for businesses is that it's NON-intrusive. If you don't want to hear from a business you just unlike them on FB, on unfollow them on Twitter or the media of your choice and the connection is broken. No more spam if you don't want it.

But what it does do is build a personal connection between company and customers. Remember most of the businesses involved here aren't going to be large corporations but bars, restaurants, family-run shops etc. Keeping in touch with regular customers outside of business hours is a huge boon for these places. Instead of a faceless email or cold-call you can have a realtime conversation with the person in charge, visible to anyone who chooses to.

Using "Social Media" isn't essential for running a business by any means but do it well and the rewards are there.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I am all for freedom and free market, but I am not sure if this is a good idea for Japan.

First of all, the internet marketing is relatively very cheap compred to other methods. However, what I do not want to see is Japanese internet non experienced users become a good target for international hackers. Be aware that they are all sneaky to get into your bank accounts.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Did they include mixi in their 'research'? Just because J-companies have avoided Facebook, etc. Doesn't mean that they are ignoring the power of the internet. Granted, they do tend to be last on the boat though

0 ( +0 / -0 )

You people are a riot. How is Japan "behind" the rest of the world in anything meaningful? Social media is just a fart in the wind. Japan is still in the top ten in science, math, best places to live, and student acheivement.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Jeff; Guess being behind the world in nuclear safety is meaningful these days.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

"Gaisha" (foreign car) used to be symbol of "blind admiration of western origin". Computer could be a modern version of such xenophobic reactions. (change the term "kompyutaa" into "densanki" could do the trick).

0 ( +0 / -0 )

In my circle of Japanese friends I've found social networking especially on facebook has really helped small sized Japanese companies run by managers under 40 years old such as independent cafes, hairdressers, restaurants, night clubs, clothing shops. They can keep in touch with customers without having to be formal friends. On the other hand I've noticed big business style corporations with fan pages tend to just attract people complaining.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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