Building brands in a changing society

Why social media can never be a regional effort

Why shouldn’t regional marketing leads in Asia look for regional marketing solutions, even when it comes to social media? It just makes good business sense to standardize the approach, particularly in a fragmented region where local marketing departments are often underfunded and under-resourced. After all, Facebook holds a comfortable lead in the majority of markets—with the exception of China, Korea, and Japan—and Twitter frequently holds second place. It should be a straightforward proposition to extend the same content plan or contest or promotion across markets, ensuring brand consistency and making more efficient use of budgets.

There’s just one problem with this approach: social media simply doesn’t lend itself to a one-size-fits-all solutions, particularly in a region as diverse as Asia. There are the obvious differences between markets, of course, including culture, religion, income, education, and more. Like all other marketing, social media activation becomes more effective the more closely it ties to local audience insights. There are also the differences in the degree to which social media is integrated into everyday life. Social media penetration in the region ranges from over 60 per cent in Taiwan and Hong Kong to a mere 7 per cent in India, according to We Are Social. Time spent on social media also varies considerably: it’s a solid four hours a day in the Philippines but just 48 minutes in Japan.

Even more importantly from the marketer’s perspective, consumers in each country have very different reactions to a brand’s presence within the semi-private, semi-public space of social media.

Read the rest on Campaign Asia.


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