Asia Social Media Report 2008 (Can Brands Have A Social Life?)
INTELLECTUAL CAPITAL FROM OGILVYONE WORLDWIDE
CAN BRANDS HAVE A SOCIAL LIFE? HOW BRANDS IN ASIA CAN BENEFIT FROM INTERACTING WITH CUSTOMERS THROUGH SOCIAL MEDIA. Asia Pacific Offices Australia, Bangladesh, China, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Myanmar, Nepal, New Zealand, Pakistan, Philippines, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, Thailand, Vietnam Contacts For general information, please contact Lucy McCabe, Lead Consultant on (+65) 6213 7925 or email firstname.lastname@example.org For media queries, please contact Jane Fraser, Corporate Communications Director on (+65) 6213 7899 or email jane.fraser@ogilvy .com Join the conversation blog at www.the-open-room.com CONSULTANCY SERVICES FROM Ogilvy is a wholly owned company within the WPP Group that provides a full range of marketing services to clients globally. OgilvyOne is the world’s leading one-to-one relationship marketing company, with a proven track record for some of the biggest and most admired brands. It has responded to clients’ changing needs by developing a deeper understanding of customer data and consumer behaviour by developing an integrated Consultancy Offering featuring Customer Management, Data Analysis, and Digital strategies.
Content Foreword The rise of
social media across Asia is not a story about the importance of blogs. It is not Foreword 2 about how people can collaborate on wikis or join in social networks. All of these are just pieces of the story. The bigger trend is that social media is allowing connections between Introduction 3 people in a way that has never happened before. From international friendships to regional What is Social Media? 5 conversations, the web is moving from a static collection of pages to a more social communications platform where word of mouth counts. What does this mean for brands? The Social Media evolution 7 That the world we are all marketing our products and services in is changing around us, because our customers are evolving along with the tools available to them. This is not just Why should brands care? 9 happening in one part of the world, it is a global shift. Asia Market Analysis 11 Yet it is not happening in the same way in every country. The problem with much of the social media advice is that it is based on lessons learned in one part of the world without Social Media dynamics 31 a more local connection. As a global agency, we face this cross cultural challenge often. So much so, that it has led to the collaborative piece that you now hold in your hands. This Social Media planning 33 is a study about the impact of social media across Asia and how it is helping to bring brands Measurement 36 to life. It was prepared by bringing together digital experts from more than 10 countries across the Ogilvy network. Top rated bloggers, digital strategists, public relations pros and Tips for success 37 media planners all shared their expertise to develop a comprehensive look at Asia from market to market. Case studies 40 The result is a surprisingly fresh look at social media from the perspective of 12 different How to get started 48 countries across the Asia region. In this guide, you will see actionable insights, useful statistics, and relevant country-based information. When I first read it, I found it uniquely References 49 useful. Since then, I have kept it beside me as I started to plan global social media strategy as an invaluable cultural resource to understand the state of social media in key markets. Acknowledgements 50 If you are trying to unlock the potential of social media, I suspect you will find this report similarly illuminating. Rohit Bhargava SVP, Digital Strategy & Founding Member of Ogilvy's 360 Digital Influence Group Author, Personality Not Included (a guide for brands on using your personality for marketing)
Introduction All brands can have
a social life. Big brands, small home grown brands, business brands, consumer brands and individuals who want to create their own ‘personal’ brand. Social media is democratic by nature and the barriers to entry are relatively low. This study provides direction to brand marketers and digital consultants on how to design a social media strategy in Asia as part of a brand’s overall digital strategy. It starts by defining social media, as well as giving insights into its similarities and differences across key Asian markets - China, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam. It then provides practical, hands on advice on what steps brands should take to plan their social media strategies along with frameworks and tips for success. As social media is changing, this is a dynamic study which invites you to share your questions, observations and experiences. By exchanging ideas, it will get more marketers to better understand social media in Asia, and in turn deliver more effective solutions that not only enhance consumer’s lives but deliver deeper value to brands. This study does not have all the answers, but hopefully goes some way towards addressing the key questions or at least stimulating the debate. Please join the conversation at www.the-open-room.com
05 OGILVY INSIGHT: CAN BRANDS
HAVE A SOCIAL LIFE? OGILVY INSIGHT: CAN BRANDS HAVE A SOCIAL LIFE? 06 What is Social Media? 1. Social Networking Platforms Sites that connect friends and their peer networks together spurred by user generated content of all forms. These networks are growing by the day to become habitual platforms for people to stay in touch. Often thought of as ‘interactive address books’, big players in Asia include Social Media is the combination of channels, platforms, communities, content1 and tools that Cyworld, Hi-5, Mixi, Friendster, Orkut, Facebook, Bebo and My Space. power the phenomenon of peer to peer communication or ‘word of mouth’. 2. Social Bookmarking Platforms This breaks down into 6 areas [see Figure 1]: This is an emerging area in the region riding on the back of the power of aggregation. These 1. Social Networking Platforms sites aggregate and promote content on the web through indexing, user-collaboration and 2. Social Bookmarking Platforms voting mechanisms to save time. Examples of this include del.icio.us, digg, Yahoo! Answers 3. Content, Applications & Media and Wikipedia. 4. Blogging Platforms 5. Social Gaming 3. Content, Applications & Media 6. Social Connectivity Tools There are a number of sites that are considered the forefathers of ‘Web2.0’, by making it easy to create, store and share content by putting that power in the user’s hands. These entities Let’s describe these briefly in turn. essentially host and store proprietary content of all forms, and because of their richness are becoming destinations in their own right. They also become the source of a lot of the content that users are publishing back into their social networks and include FlickR, You Tube and application developers such as slide.com. 4. Blogging Platforms Blogs and Bulletin Board Systems (BBS) continue to be a major source of social media providing platforms for communities to come together, opinions to be voiced (often anonymous) and discussion on a range of topics. These have evolved from the modern day form of a ‘public diary’ to a ‘broadcast platform’ for individuals to share their news and connect. The personal nature of blogs continues to remain popular particularly for entertainment and educational purposes as well as for citizen journalism. Today bloggers have credibility as public informers and as a result of RSS and micro-blogs, are highly inter-connected and collaborative. Key enablement platforms include blogger, blogspot, typepad, twitter and wordpress. 5. Social Gaming Asia would not be complete without the mention of social gaming and it will be interesting to see how this phenomena will spread. The internet has made it possible for users to connect and escape into gaming worlds where teams can compete and participate realtime against other gamers. These specialist sites include World of Warcraft and Ragnarok, and have a tribal following. 6. Social Connectivity Tools All of the above entities would not be able to operate if it wasn’t for the connectivity tools that power them – email, SMS, RSS feeds, instant messenger and live chat. Each of them fuel the dialogue and connectivity that make it the place to flirt, debate, game, share, exchange, vent. Platforms for deeper connections. Figure 1: Asia Social Media Landscape
07 OGILVY INSIGHT: CAN BRANDS
HAVE A SOCIAL LIFE? OGILVY INSIGHT: CAN BRANDS HAVE A SOCIAL LIFE? 08 The Social Media evolution Social media is an evolution in the development of social connectivity. In the offline world, people buy their newspapers to get their news. They take pictures, print them out, put them in an album and share with friends. They call their family for a chat. They send letters and birthday cards to loved ones. In the digital world, nothing has really changed, it’s just become so much easier. Technology has made things faster, more affordable and is able to deliver it on a larger scale making it accessible to everyone – from individuals to the smallest brand. SPEED – ability to connect faster SCALE – ability to reach far more people than ever before COST – ability to participate, create and generate content As a result, traditional media entities have taken note and seized the potential of the interconnected-ness of the consumer worldwide. BBC is among many to create its YouTube channel, AOL has invested USD850m in Bebo not to mention entrepreneurial players in the region such as Li Ka Shing’s USD120m punt in Facebook, the launch of a dedicated YouTube channel in India and the many VC funded social media entities that are popping up in China, Hong Kong, Korea, Japan and Malaysia. The list goes on. Social media has transformed the way people consume information, and that will continue to happen. News spreads faster, trends gather pace, people connect and information is available – to all - on an unprecedented level. And the implications are significant. If you’re not online for a few days let alone hours, you run the risk of being out of date. Social media launches stars. Take the Backdorm Boys in China, Duk-In Joo in Korea, Wan Wan in Taiwan, Kenny Sia in Malaysia and Mr Brown in Singapore. It also fails them. Take Edison Chan in Hong Kong and the high society exposés by Brian Gorrell in the Philippines. It’s also big for politics and news. Campaigns are being won and lost through social media in Asia, and the web is the platform for a new type of reporter - the citizen journalist. Take the election campaign in Malaysia and the amazing coverage of the China earthquake in Sichuan Province in early 2008. These examples are all evidence that social media is transforming the way consumers interact with each other online, and most importantly that people really do listen and trust what other people have to say. Humans are social beings, they like to share things, talk together and technology lets them do it on an unprecedented level. Ken Mandel Regional Managing Director, Yahoo! South East Asia
09 OGILVY INSIGHT: CAN BRANDS
HAVE A SOCIAL LIFE? OGILVY INSIGHT: CAN BRANDS HAVE A SOCIAL LIFE? 10 Why should brands Right now, the largest single group of users on the Internet today is in Asia. Half a billion in Asia care? Asian users. And that’s only 14% penetration. So when they get to 70% penetration which is where we are in the US and some parts of Europe, we’re talking about a couple of billion people. That’s a very, very big customer base. It’s a very diverse customer base but the internet can reach all of them once we get to that penetration level. So this is a really There are 4 key reasons: exciting place to be. 1. Social Media is big in Asia. Vinton Cerf Brands cannot underestimate the size of social media in Asia. Over 450 million consumers are Vice President & Chief Internet Evangelist, Google Inc. engaging with social media, some of whom are as dependent on it as their Western counterparts, if not more. When social media eventually goes mobile, the numbers reach over a billion, and this scale is something that brands cannot ignore. The consumer can now make a huge stink about something if they are not happy about it. And so if a company isn’t going to be there online monitoring 2. Consumer opinion counts more than ever. that and contributing to the discussion in a positive way, then they’re going Consumers in Asia are talking about your brands whether you like it or not, and that opinion to pay the price. The most obvious examples are that simply a blogger is has a huge impact on their views of a brand and consideration to purchase. 7 of the top 10 unhappy with a product and will post something online and that then through markets that rely most on ‘recommendations from consumers’ hail from the Asia region2. The Google, through search engines becomes a kind of mecca, a big kind of internet is a platform that people listen to and learn about your brand. If you’re not participating water fountain around which other disaffected users and consumers will in the discussion or feeding into it, you are likely to lose. gather. Now if the company doesn’t know that that website exists, or tries to ignore it or worse knows that it exists and tries to crush it, then they are 3. Consumers are highly connected and harder to reach then before. going to experience serious problems. The diversity of Asia needs no reminder, and this further accentuates the need to understand commonalities and differences in media repertoire as well as consumer motivations. Marketers Jeremy Wagstaff are losing the ability to reach consumers in the way they used to as social media starts to Technology Commentator, BBC, WSJ, Loosewireblog.com displace aspects of traditional brand advertising. Building a corporate website and driving traffic is simply not enough, and calls for brands to re-evaluate the way they reach their audiences. Brands that understand social media by creating a web of activity that can influence There’s not the same ability, the same physics of the old days where you buy a few things and surround the target audience are most likely to be effective. [media] and you reach your audience. Today, the audience is an aggregation of in some cases, thousands of individual points, individual blogs, destinations and sites that in totality 4. The Y-Generation3 live their lives in social media and if you’re not talking to them, get the audience that a marketer is looking for. someone else will. Social media creates a huge opportunity for brand marketers where they can connect with Kent Wertime their target audience like never before. Though the importance of this media may be in its President, OgilvyOne Asia infancy with some of the older demographic segments, there is no disputing that for the Y-Generation and future generations, social media is part and parcel of their daily lives. Brands that fail to appreciate this opportunity will risk losing an entire base of consumers in the future You should try to embrace as many different forms of media as possible making social media not just a growth strategy but a defensive one too. because different audiences are in different places. But you will see an increasing amount of, especially the younger generation that’s going to hang out online and be comfortable in communities and social media. And if you don’t market to them, or if you don’t have dialogues with them (not even market to them.) ... then you’re going to lose an entire customer base. Lee Kin Mun Founder & Blogger, Mrbrown.com
11 OGILVY INSIGHT: CAN BRANDS
HAVE A SOCIAL LIFE? OGILVY INSIGHT: CAN BRANDS HAVE A SOCIAL LIFE? 12 Asia Market Analysis: Asia Social Media Market Analysis The size of the pie Internet Penetration Estimated Social Asia Social Media Forecast Internet Population 2008 Forecast Media User Statistics Users 2008 (% Breakdown Forecast 2008 We estimate that just under a 3rd of the world’s online population or a staggering 456M users 2008) in Asia are actively consuming social media. There will always be differences in reported data China 1,330,044,605 253,000,000 19.0% 202,400,000 but irrespective of whether it’s 450m or 470m or even 500m, the numbers are too big to be ignored as social media becomes endemic in internet culture. What’s most important to Hong Kong 7,018,636 4,878,713 69.5% 3,902,970 understand is the vast differences in adoption and use of social media. India 1,147,995,898 60,000,000 5.2% 48,000,000 In Japan and Korea who arguably lead the world in terms of sophistication, it’s all about Indonesia 237,512,355 25,000,000 10.5% 20,000,000 ubiquitous access (mobile and PC internet) and rich functional engagement through intimate Japan 127,288,419 94,000,000 73.8% 75,200,000 social networking, open blogging and gaming. China, on the other hand has its social media Korea, South 49,232,844 34,820,000 70.7% 27,856,000 roots in discussion, information gathering and sharing through public bulletin boards and blogging with broadcast entertainment on the rise, and this pattern is being fast followed by Malaysia 25,274,133 14,904,000 59.0% 11,923,200 Taiwan from a much smaller base. Pakistan 167,762,040 17,500,000 10.4% 14,000,000 Other markets in the region vary significantly. In Hong Kong and Singapore which have high Philippines 92,681,453 14,000,000 15.1% 11,200,000 digital penetration and rich broadband, the role of social media is catching on but splits acutely Singapore 4,608,167 4,026,400 87.4% 3,221,120 between English and Chinese speaking dialects who are consuming the medium in different ways to augment their personal and professional networks. Taiwan 22,920,946 15,400,000 67.2% 12,320,000 Thailand 65,493,298 13,416,000 20.5% 10,732,800 India too has evolved its very own type of social media centering on personal and professional networking. Matrimonial sites are hot platforms for socially engaging, and LinkedIn finds its Vietnam 86,116,559 20,159,615 23.4% 16,127,692 highest demographics are Indians both at home and abroad. The opportunity for entertainment TOTAL ASIA 3,363,949,353 571,625,328 456,883,782 from the home of Bollywood needs no reminding as broadband penetration slowly increases. The Philippines, Vietnam and Malaysia have a thriving social media scene which cannot be TOTAL WORLD 6,676,120,288 1,463,632,361 31% ignored by brands. Social networking and blogging are the key platforms for expression extending from the leading portals. Entertainment is on the rise but still secondary. Even the Sources: i] www.internetworldstats.com [population and internet user forecast Jun 2008] - China, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, likes of Indonesia and Thailand have embraced social media by providing a platform for Japan, South Korea, Malaysia, Pakistan, Philippines, Taiwan, Thailand, Vietnam, Total Asia Pacific and Total World. netizens to collaborate with each other and to reach out and learn from public blogs in ways ii] Singapore population www.internetworldstats.com and internet user forecast - IDA Jun 2008. iii] Social media estimates they couldn’t through traditional media. What is most important is that their high use of mobile based on calculation of 80% of forecast users reflecting endemic nature of social media amongst internet community. has already seen internet-enabled SMS services being offered in these markets to see mobile start to go social. Figure 2: Asia Social Media Statistics Figure 2 provides a macro view of what’s happening in social media to provide a sense of scale. To give a more balanced perspective, working with Ogilvy’s in-market digital specialists and a wide range of desk research, we have pulled together a view by market of the different ‘Who said that Asia was following?’ I mean, what statistics can you show me to prove that? motivations and trends - political, social, economic, cultural or otherwise – to help marketers ...It’s not the highest percentage of the population but the largest total aggregate block is in Asia. better understand what role social media is having in its consumer’s lives, the opportunities, If you look at blogs, a third of the bloggers in the world are in Japan. If you look at the developments and why it is gripping Asia overall. in mobile, a lot of that, the most cutting edge stuff is happening in places like Japan and Korea but increasingly China, India, Singapore, Hong Kong and Taiwan are very innovative new users of technology. Kent Wertime President, OgilvyOne Asia
15 OGILVY INSIGHT: CAN BRANDS
HAVE A SOCIAL LIFE? OGILVY INSIGHT: CAN BRANDS HAVE A SOCIAL LIFE? 16 Cluster 1: Leader Markets China, Korea, Japan SOUTH KOREA CHINA Prevalence of Social Media Prevalence of Social Media The sheer size and economic growth rate in China makes it a country to watch, for all brands in Broadband has determined the future for Korea’s technological advancement. Ubiquitous access to the region. As of July 2008, there were an official 253m4 online users with an estimated 200m broadband from the late 1990s has meant that early adoption of social media services and voice over consuming social media.The total represents a 56.2% year-on-year growth – up by 91 million from IP have become a way of life – when North American and European counterparts - were in their June of last year. Impressively, 84.7% of Chinese internet users are now accessing the Net via infancy. The result is the world’s most advanced digital usage across ages and demographics with broadband5 representing over 214m6 broadband users. The internet has also become a pivotal rich media content at the heart of the service. platform for entertainment along with eCommerce which has come of age, growing from RMB120b Dependence on Social Media in turnover in 2001 to RMB1,020b18 in 2008. All this is set to grow even faster as broadband continues to roll out. Social Networking Leaders Along with internet penetration, there were 500m mobile subscribers by the end of 20077. Out of Social networking is big business in Korea. Cyworld has had a significant effect on the market’s these mobile subscribers, 73.05m owners used their devices to go online8. Access via mobile phone internet culture by being the world’s first successful cyberworld (social network) on a mass scale is still mainly supplemental, and is rarely the main means, primarily leveraging the channel for (>18m accounts28), dominating and creating a consolidated platform where consumers can handle Instant Messenger (IM) and SMS. their social lives and more. Its mash-up of social networking, blogging, music and video-sharing has drawn users whilst monetising itself through eCommerce – video and music – to become the world’s Dependence on Social Media 2nd29 largest music/ video retailer behind iTunes. Speaking Out With approximately 48%30 of Korean’s population having a Cyworld account and 30%31 of its users Bulletin Board Systems (BBS) are at the heart of China’s social media with 10m9 posts published being in their 20s, it’s no surprise that its success has made little space for new entrants. Cyworld daily and 80%10 of Chinese sites running their own BBS. An active BBS is the most valuable has also created a language in Korea. Apart from the abbreviations commonly used in Korea amongst component of a brand’s digital campaign11 and an essential social element to all sites. Monitoring network users, the individuals home page or ‘hompy’ is commonly talked about. Personalised to conversations on BBS is an invaluable gauge to determine what brand perception is. include favourite ‘streaming music’, Koreans now only buy music digitally (CD is for the older generation) and competently stream it as background music to their home page as well as to their Blogging, while not anonymous, has also taken off, with blogging listed among the top ten mobile devices. To date, over 200m songs have been downloaded on Cyworld generating over applications for Chinese netizens. 107m people say they use blogs and personal spaces, approximately US$100m32 in sales revenues. 42.3% of the Chinese Netizenry. Mobile Ubiquity Entertainment-lovers Rich media and mobile come hand in hand. Mobile TV is passé in Korea. What people can do online, An overwhelming majority of Chinese citizens use social media for digital music and video, utilizing they can do via their mobile, and the channel is used to store and view downloaded content from the digital channels as their entertainment superhighway. Of the top ten applications, the three biggest web while on the go. Cyworld, backed by Korea’s largest telco (SK) has ensured ubiquitous access entertainment apps are music, video, and online games. Internet music remains the biggest, with and removed all barriers including pricing so that individuals can really experience the opportunities use rates of 84.5%, or 214m people and internet video use at 71%, and online gaming at 58.3%12. presented by web2.0. The strategy has worked with 43%33 of SK’s revenues coming from Cyworld They are major drivers of internet use growth in China. This is reflected in the rise of YouTube- itself. As a result, high quality mobile phones are used to create content with ease and post them like video broadcasting platforms such as youku.com and tudou.com, which deliver as much as to Cyworld in seconds where they can be voted, commented on and vy for the home page status. 100m13 video views daily to 12m users directly and through national broadcast sites. These channels Trusted Communities address the demand for user and professionally generated content delivered at speeds that are faster than in the United States. Word of mouth is a very powerful phenomenon in Korea. Koreans tend to find safety in numbers so vertical blog forums are core sources for information gathering and sharing through the leading Social Networking portals of Naver (31m visitors/ month34) and Daum (29m visitors/ month35). Being connected is a core part of a young person’s life in urban China with over half14 of netizens It’s not uncommon for a Korean to post a question on one of the popular question and answer sites making new friends online and 90%15 of young people using IM to connect with their friends. such as ‘Knowledge In’ from Naver to request an answer within 24 hours, and to show thanks using The instant connectivity with friends is what drives the growth of BBS, IM usage and in turn, ‘knowledge points’. This type of collaborative usage makes the internet a powerful and dependable social networks. resource. However, unlike Wikipedia which focuses on editorial accuracy and integrity of content, Tencent ‘rules the space’16 having evolved from an Instant Messenger company circa 199917 to a the posted answer will likely have no mechanism to check for accuracy. Instead, the Korean puts social media empire that includes one of China’s most popular social networks, Q Zone, as well trust in the integrity of the online respondent and the speed in getting an answer. as a leading portal and online game platform. In addition to community collaboration, these forums are becoming broadcast platforms and most Two well-funded companies with social networking offerings more like those popular in the west recently have been used for socio-political means to mobilize and generate support. For example, are also vying with Tencent for dominance. 51.com has been successful in penetrating lower-tier Agora, the online forum in Daum was recently used to organize passive, candle-lit protests offline cities and hinterland provinces with 120m18 users and plans to move into the gaming space with against the governments’ decision to resume the import of American beef. Digital media was used ‘Giant’ the online game developer. Xiaonei.com, the Facebook-like, campus-based social network to orchestrate, co-ordinate and amplify the activity, broadcasting the live demonstrations. which raised a whopping $430m and. enjoys a dominant market share in traditional social networking Intimate Blogging according to Shanghai-based iResearch, is now targeting the students and white collar workers. The early movers with large user bases (and war chests) may well continue to dominate the market, The primary motivation36 for blogging in Korea is to communicate with acquaintances by sharing but newcomers like Kaixin001, which has soared in popularity just in recent months, may still play their thoughts. Culturally, there are some cultural differences37 in the way personal blogs in Korea an important role. There is little doubt that social networking will continue to take hold in the way are constructed from those in the West. In general, Western blogs comprise originated content - it has in Japan and Korea, but without one company dominating the way Mixi and Cyworld do in discussions, photographs, pictures – designed to stimulate opinion and discussion. However, most those respective markets. of the content you find on a Korean blog is an alternative form of expression. Blogs tend to comprise a highly personal aggregation of ‘cut and pasted’ content from existing mainstream media sources creating a ‘digital scrapbook’ or virtual filing mechanism. The intimacy of blogging thus makes it a more private platform for marketers.
17 OGILVY INSIGHT: CAN BRANDS
HAVE A SOCIAL LIFE? OGILVY INSIGHT: CAN BRANDS HAVE A SOCIAL LIFE? 18 Gaming Addicts Gaming in Korea is a key pillar and somewhat of a national obsession. It’s not uncommon for teenagers or even young businessmen to head off after school/ work to one of the PC Bangs (or internet cafes) to finesse skills in Lineage II – Korean’s most popular online game double the size of World of Warcraft with 14m users38. Successful online gamers39 are paid professionals becoming sporting superstars in their own right with endorsements and celebrity status. Whilst gaming cuts across all demographics and ages, the alarming appeal to very young netizens with 65% of 5 years old40 using the internet to play online games has potential negative social ramifications. This raises challenges to brands who want to find an ethical and socially responsible means to tap into this passion. JAPAN Prevalence of Social Media Social media has become an important part of modern Japan by providing a virtual extension to its traditional emphasis on personal relationships. Combined with pervasive broadband & mobile (3+G) internet, it provides the basis for a strong social media culture satisfying an estimated 75m users . 19 Dependence on Social Media Blog Nation Japan is a nation of bloggers. ‘Japanese‘ is the most used language in the blogosphere and the highest blog readership in the world (74%)20. Blogging is used habitually to create a positive record of one’s thoughts using pictures, videos and text much the same way as a diary. Anonymous blogging and the creation of avatars indicate that the Japanese do not like to speak out overtly and be seen as confrontational. This reserved cultural reality is starting to change as younger Japanese, brought up with technology, are increasingly using it to share their views and opinions publicly and to speak out. They are also able to plug into what everyone’s blogging about using a Japanese based blog search engine called Kizasi.jp which aggregates the most popular key words from 7m authors and 171m entries. Key blog sites include Yahoo! blog, Ameba, Livedoor, Hatena diary, so-net and cocolog, but the most popular consumer blogs are tech blogs such as Gigazine, Gizmodo and Engadget21 as well as some celebrity or “Otaku” blogs – Akiba and Shokotan. In addition to typical blog sites, Tokyo consistently has the highest daily twitter activity out of all the global cities22 which fits in with its blogging profile. Not so-Social Networking Local Japanese social networking sites adhere to the traditional maintenance of close personal relationships by extending connections to one or two degrees of separation versus western grown sites promoting ‘six degrees of separation’. With 90% of Japanese not being able to read English, it’s no surprise that Japan’s social media users have opted for localized domestic sites and content, for use across PC and mobile platforms. Not surprisingly, social network sites have already consolidated versus other parts of the region due to its controlled ‘invitation-only policy’ and the power of word of mouth popularizing primary sites. Mixi is the ‘de facto’ social networking site for Japanese-speaking netizens with 80%23 market share, having 10m users (1/8 of the wired market) and a staggering 11b page views a month. Mixi provides a bird’s eye view of one’s relations on the net making it easy to connect and maintain contact through the diary, footprint, forum and message functions. It has become an entrenched daily communication tool for young netizens using it to listen, share music, chat and track back to friends. Gree with 4m users24 is its closest competitor and has taken a different slice of the market by targeting older professionals and providing customized content to cater for the more discerning consumer. Both platforms are accessed via the mobile phone with 30%25 of Mixi and 25% of Gree26 users, and this has spurned the rise of dedicated mobile social networking sites such as Mobage-town with 9.87m users27 indicating the trend of things to come.
19 OGILVY INSIGHT: CAN BRANDS
HAVE A SOCIAL LIFE? OGILVY INSIGHT: CAN BRANDS HAVE A SOCIAL LIFE? 20 Cluster 2: Developing Markets Hong Kong, Singapore, Taiwan, India HONG KONG Prevalence of Social Media Hong Kong has one of the highest internet penetrations and breadth of broadband (2m subscribers ) 41 in the developing world, with over 72% of the population online42. There are an estimated 3.9m netizens dipping into social media in Hong Kong. Though they are active, social media in itself is still quite a passive exercise for the majority of Hong Kongers making it ‘not as’ social as one might expect. Dependence on Social Media Social Networking Polarisation Just over half (53.2%)43 of active internet users have a social network profile in Hong Kong. This splits broadly between Facebook (1m users44) frequented by a slightly older, western-educated set and the locally targeted Xanga (1.8m users)45 dominated by slightly younger Hong Kong Chinese. Though these players hold marketshare, the way in which these networks are used varies considerably. Facebookers in Hong Kong tend to be highly collaborative and participative in their networks by ‘poking’ their friends or updating their pictures to keep in touch, and entertain. The motivation for Xanga, however, is far more reserved. For young Hong Kong secondary school students, it’s a way to express oneself and to passively share thoughts on things that matter to them amongst their inner circle – an evolution in some ways from personal blogging and instant messenging46. The novelty for social networking in a country where proximity provides little barrier to communication, and where mobile communication is prevalent (157% penetration47), does beg some questions opening up the opportunity for more mobile social networking similar to Korea and Japan. Knowledge-Thirsty As the ‘advertising capital of the world’ (US$7B48) with the highest per capita spending, it’s no coincidence that Hong Kongers value the open, honest and less commercialised opinions that they find in social forums and professional blogs. This strong faith in ‘word of mouth’ is evidenced with 93%49 of online users claiming that they rely most on ‘recommendations from consumers’ and 65.8%50 of active internet users claiming to have read a blog. This trend has resulted in the birth of homegrown forums such as the highly popular Cantonese site - discuss.com.hk (8%marketshare51) with 1m52 registered users - hosting 9,00053 discussion boards from topics as broad as the military to western art galleries. Other sites include Yahoo’s hk.knowledge.yahoo.com, and interest-led sites such as forum.hkgolden.com and miniforum.org. The accessibility and openness in sharing opinion and information on these exchanges is an important social media success story in Hong Kong particularly amongst Traditional Chinese users. These sites will continue to remain popular, as will sites on the mainland that are accessed through Baidu search. Surprisingly, political blogs or citizen journalism which are gathering pace in mainland China are practically non existent in Hong Kong. This is mainly attributed54 to a relatively open freedom of expression, as Hong Kongers don’t yet feel that they have to treasure or tap these new outlets to get heard. Image-Obsessed Youth The young Hong Kong Chinese are more worried about their appearance than their US counterparts with 39%55 citing ‘looking good’ and 53% citing ‘overweight’ as key fears. It therefore comes as no surprise that this ‘image-obsessed generation’loves to go online and check out Canto-gossip, film, fashion and music hits from entertainment and blog sites in Hong Kong and the mainland. Celebrity blogs such as the (now infamous) Edison Chen Koon-hei and Eason Chan Yick-shun sites are popular amongst fans as are rich media video destinations like YouTube and its Chinese equivalent to view the official and uncut versions before sharing them with their friends.
21 OGILVY INSIGHT: CAN BRANDS
HAVE A SOCIAL LIFE? OGILVY INSIGHT: CAN BRANDS HAVE A SOCIAL LIFE? 22 SINGAPORE TAIWAN Prevalence of Social Media Prevalence of Social Media With over 80%63 broadband penetration, it is hardly surprising that this connected nation has found Taiwan can claim to be the first country in the world to have installed broadband infrastructure space for social media. The Government is supportive of digital as a progressive platform for island-wide, providing connectivity to remote communities. Internet users exceed 60% of the economic growth and its investment in wireless broadband64, the ultra high speed digital highway population and an increasing number, 47% of internet connections are broadband76. The government infrastructure65 and commitment to nurturing digital talent is testament to this. Aided by English- has committed the country to being on a par with the US by 201077. The high penetration of literacy (the country’s official business language), it has meant that Singaporeans have been fast broadband enables Taiwanese to access large amounts of content and empowers a digitally savvy to adopt Western social media behaviours. country with an estimated 12m78 social media users. Dependence on Social Media Dependence on Social Media Blog Express Nation of Newscasters According to a survey, 51%66 of Singaporeans trust a blog as much as they do traditional media In a country where sensationalism in traditional media channels is commonplace, citizen journalism and the Google ‘Blogger’platform now ranks 5th67 on the top 100 most visited sites for Singapore. is growing in Taiwan due to widespread dissatisfaction with the range and quality of traditional Despite the growth of this medium, the reality of the internet being a completely ‘open channel’ news sources. The proliferation of social media channels to express opinions, comment on the for expression is some way off. An unofficial blog etiquette has evolved in Singapore with slanderous news, and share content, has brought about competition and altered the traditional business model bloggers facing extreme penalties. That said, the Government welcomes entrepreneurial thinking of mainstream media. UDN and Chinatimes are at the forefront of this trend with Apple Daily and and positive expression resulting in the evolution of an active and influential blogger community Liberty Times also allowing commentary on their sites. which brands are starting to tap in the City State. Star Bloggers Social Networking Wan Wan. Amaryliss. Amykaku. Taiwan is a nation filled with star bloggers exuding mass appeal. Social networking & forums are the dominant sub-category online, representing 10.2%68 of all Across its active internet base, blogging has become a popular channel for the propagation of Internet visits by Singapore users and evidenced with the meteoric rise of social networks. Friendster individual opinions with 86.6% having read a blog, and 70.9% having started a blog themselves. dominates the landscape with 13.31% marketshare69 and 940k70 unique visitors per month to its Blogging in Taiwan has led to a yearly blogger’s conference “TW Bloggers BoF” over 600 Taiwanese closest rival Facebook’s 495k71 unique visitors (the 3rd largest market penetration for Facebook in Bloggers. The event is self-organized, by local enthusiastic bloggers, and sponsored by the Taiwan Asia Pacific). Though the relative newcomer has continued to grow +7.5% a month since January Government Information Office as well as traditional media like TVBS, China TV, China Times ISP’s 2008, Friendster is not likely to give up its dominance so easily as it invests aggressively to retain and web 2.0 companies79. its young captive audience. Though other social networks do register72 such as Multiply, Windows Socially Charged Live Spaces and Xanga, the reality is that the battleground is firmly set between Facebook and Friendster. BBS in Taiwan is big, with over 1.84m unique visitors a month. What makes these networks so popular is their simplicity and accessibility. Singaporeans spend Social media is also coming of age with 63.1% of Taiwanese maintaining their own social networking a significant amount of time online a day, and being quite a reserved populus, social networks site and engaging with various forms of social media from uploading photos (69%), to watching provide a culturally acceptable way for connecting. Singaporean netizens are the most likely73 videos (89.25) and downloading podcasts (33%). Despite being highly engaged with the most popular people in Asia to visit and check out other people’s profiles on a social network demonstrating entertainment forms of social media, downloading music is not one of Taiwan’s top social media its power as a channel to reach out and connect with others non intrusively. activities.80 Mobile Ready For similar reasons, the anonymity aspect of Forums has allowed them to become important social exchanges for interest groups. One example is the hardwarezone community which is the 18th Taiwan has more than 24m mobile subscribers, with over 6.5m on 3G.81 Despite mobile penetration, most visited site74 in Singapore addressing the needs of technorati. Other specialist forums include mobile internet is still a minority activity with only 9.25% of Taiwanese going online using a mobile fashionation.wordpress.com, singaporecarsforum.com and expatsingapore. These are obvious device primarily because of the high cost82 Among mobile internet users, downloading ringtones platforms for brands to reach niche audiences, and with 24%75 of Singaporeans claiming that the (38.36%) and browsing (21.14%) are the most popular activities. online presence of brands ‘significantly’ increases their interest, becomes a compelling platform for branded placement.
23 OGILVY INSIGHT: CAN BRANDS
HAVE A SOCIAL LIFE? OGILVY INSIGHT: CAN BRANDS HAVE A SOCIAL LIFE? 24 INDIA Prevalence of Social Media India is one of the fastest growing online markets in the region with a total of 60m56 and projected to grow to 71m57 users and 10.5m broadband users by 2011. The internet’s appetite from the Indian populus, centers around its use for socializing (chatting/ networking and Instant Messenger) as well as entertainment, finding matrimonial matches, and professional advancement58. This reflects the demographic skew of the internet in India which favours educated and affluent, English speaking Indians rather than Hindi or other dialects. In terms of mobile numbers India is second only to China in the region, with 142 million59 mobile subscribers, double that of landline owners. The channel promises to be big for the future with licenses just issued for 3G60 circumventing the regulatory issues that, until now, have impeded growth for anything beyond basic SMS and photo uploading for social media. Dependence on Social Media A Happy Threesome. TV. Internet. Mobile. TV, internet, and mobile have found each other. India is one of the few markets that tie on and offline channels in an integrated multi-channel social media marketing mix. With their mobile devices, friends and online buddies send messages via short code to television programs which are displayed at the bottom of popular TV programs. And with the partnership of Zee Dish TV and Shaadi.com, traditional and online integration will be even stronger as brands bring interactive matrimonial services to subscribers – a notable social media trend where real world ‘word of mouth’ has been extended to digital channels. The new service will enable Zee Dish TV subscribers to select from Shaadi.com’s vast profile base and display the relevant matches on the TV screen with daily profile refreshes. With this partnership, the doors open for other joint TV/internet engagements for brands to capitalize on. Brand Evangelism While blogging has not taken off in a big way in India, it is not due to a lack of opinion. Strong sentiments towards brands, whether positive or negative are widely voiced in forums and self- formed groups within social networking sites. Self-appointed ‘brand protectors’ adamantly defend or defame favored or disfavored brands in the social networking space at platforms such as http://pulsar200club.blogspot.com and http://www.team-bhp.com/web/ Climbing the Corporate Ladder The internet is a popular channel for professional advancement. “Job searching’ is the 2nd61 most popular use of the internet with 73% of consumers using it for this purpose – even higher than news. As further proof, the highest demographics on LinkedIn are both resident and non-resident Indians (NRI) who are leveraging their connections on the net to find and develop their careers. Acknowledging this trend, homegrown professional networks such as Ryze have been born but are increasingly losing ground to more established players. Entertainment Channel Biggest Driver Broadband brings with it rich media delivery and the recent launch of Youtube.co.in (India’s YouTube) fuels the reality that social media will take a new life in the coming months. As yet, there is little local content developed, but there soon will be, starting with the entertainment field and the recent Rajshri/YouTube.co.in deal, where full Hindi movies will become available through YouTube. Increased access to dedicated Indian content will accelerate uptake in web usage and power demand. As an interesting twist, Indian entertainment consumption is not occurring solely in India with 30%62 of video consumption in a 24-hour window coming from Indians outside of India – USA, Japan and Philippines in particular- an important consideration for brands wanting to focus on Indian based consumers or opportunity for those wanting to reach Indian expatriates.
25 OGILVY INSIGHT: CAN BRANDS
HAVE A SOCIAL LIFE? OGILVY INSIGHT: CAN BRANDS HAVE A SOCIAL LIFE? 26 Cluster 3: Developing Markets Philippines, Malaysia, Vietnam PHILIPPINES Prevalence of Social Media Social media is thriving in the Philippines. Despite one of the lowest internet penetration figures in the world (15.6%) and only 14m Filipinos92 connected to the internet, social media consumption has still become a prevalent channel with an estimated 11m93 users. Its strong culture of self expression, entertainment, and networking leads to a natural synergy with social media as a platform to express oneself, interact with friends, family and broadcast to a wider community. With IDC estimating the growth of Internet users to grow to 21.5 million94 by the end of 2008, there will be little doubt that social media will be play a much bigger part in the Philippines for years to come. Dependence on Social Media Friendster and Multiply A mix of social networking sites may exist all over Asia, but in the Philippines, Friendster with 10.7m95 subscribers is King. The Philippines makes up over 38.8% of Friendster’s users worldwide. It’s such an important market, that Friendster, recognizing the low internet penetration in the country, decided to complement online advertising with a mobile phone text messaging service exclusively for Filipino users. Friendster also set up a Mobile Broadcast System, a chat application, between the web and mobile phones to extend the use of Friendster Mobile in the Philippines.96 A challenger to Friendster is social media aggregator Multiply. With approximately 2.2m97 registered users in the Philippines, Multiply saw its share of the Philippine market increase rapidly enough to warrant an advertising deal with local media giant ABS-CBN in December 2007, then the launch of Multiply Philippines98 in June 2008. Blog This The prevalence of blogging has become so popular in Philippines, there is a yearly award show – the Philippine Blog Awards – which recognizes top blogging talent globally in a number of categories - Filipino bloggers, mainstream media practitioners, as well as local corporations. Blogging has become a powerful and respected broadcast platform used by media and government. According to Noynoy Aquino99, “The blogosphere has become an extension of our democratic space where we express an opinion. Bloggers are a most compelling force indeed that could shape an informed vote.” Internet Stars With a nation of aspiring stars, it is not surprising to find that YouTube is the 3rd most popular site in the country. More Filipino artists are finding avenues such as YouTube to share their talent online and get discovered. For example, Alyssa Alano, an actress trying to break into stardom, gained fame when a video of her singing Sixpence None The Richer’s “Kiss Me” was uploaded to YouTube, complete with garbled and incomprehensible lyrics. Similarly, Christine Gambito, a Fil-American actress, was tapped by the Department of Tourism to promote the Philippines after her ‘Happyslip’ video blog gained a large following both at home and abroad. But it’s not always good PR. Brian Gorrell100, an Australian, exposed Filipino high society with his posts on their fraud and widespread drug use resulting in a public scandal. Whilst doing them some harm, he himself attained minor celebrity status and now hosts a radio show from Australia.