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Social Media Advertising in Japan: 5 Steps to Success

When entering the Japanese market, social media advertising becomes an essential tool. However, proper optimization is crucial to create impactful ads that resonate with Japanese consumers. In this article, we will explore five steps for optimizing social media advertising and attaining success in the Japanese market.


Understanding the target audience

It is crucial to accurately grasp the target audience to succeed in the Japanese market. Thorough research of consumer preferences and behavior patterns will enable precise targeting. It will also allow for more cost-efficient advertising.

Download our free white paper and learn more about the Japanese audience:

Understanding Japanese Consumer Behaviour


Platform selection

The social media landscape in Asia varies from what’s popular in other parts of the world. In Japan, LINE, with its 94 million users, is known as the most popular messaging app. Additionally, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube are among the most popular platforms in the country.

We advise that you familiarise yourself with how Japanese people utilize each platform, and which one is best to reach your target audience.


LINE – the King of Japanese social media

  • No.1 social media platform in Japan.
  • 95+ million monthly active users.
  • Powerful reach: 90% of mobile users and 72% of the entire population.



  • Best for organic growth, but not paid or sponsored posts.
  • Used for social listening – the best platform for collecting the honest opinions of Japanese people.



  • Japan has the world’s highest volume of Instagram stories published daily.
  • Great for influencer marketing and B2C or D2C.
  • Most popular among the female audience.



  • Used for business networking in Japan (often called the ‘LinkedIn of Japan’).
  • Best for B2B organic posts.
  • Most popular among the male audience.



  • Most popular social media in terms of time spent on the platform.
  • Great platform for influencer marketing.
  • Watching YouTube is replacing regular TV programs in many Japanese households.


Each social media platform has unique qualities, and businesses must carefully analyze which meets their needs best. Ensure you are familiar with the most popular social media platforms in Japan before choosing which ones to use for your Japanese campaigns. For example, LINE Ads may work better than Facebook Ads if you target Japanese consumers. 


Want to learn more?

Refer to our article on everything you have to know about online advertising in Japan and how to improve social media UI/UX when advertising in Japan.


Creative optimization

Japanese consumers have a strong interest in visual content. To effectively communicate the story of your products or services, it is crucial to employ captivating creatives. For example, when advertising fashion brands, incorporating models and outfits that resonate with Japanese fashion styles while utilizing vibrant color palettes in visuals and photos can be highly effective. 


Additionally, the selection of captions and call-to-action (CTA) language plays a pivotal role. Captivate users’ attention by incorporating alluring catchphrases and compelling words to push users to make a purchase. 


Performance tracking

Measuring and improving the effectiveness of advertisements are essential steps toward achieving success. Introduce data analysis techniques to track key metrics, including click-through rates and engagement rates. 

In cases where ads’ performance falls short of expectations, conducting A/B tests can be instrumental in identifying effective creative elements. By making data-driven decisions and implementing improvement strategies, you can maximize the overall effectiveness of your ads. 


Localization and regional focus

When entering the Japanese market, it is absolutely essential to have a Japanese website, as less than 10% of the population consider themselves proficient in the English language. Relying on Google Translate will not be sufficient, as the Japanese copy needs to be native and, moreover, transcreated. You can find some tips on what not to do for the successful localization of PPC campaigns.


If you are interested in our localization services, please do get in touch as we have bilingual Japanese digital marketers in-house who understand SEO and transcreation. 


With all of the market-specific knowledge and expertise necessary for a successful market entry into Japan, we recommend having at least one Japanese native speaker on your team. Whether it’s a country manager, business consultant or agency, we recommend finding Japanese experts who have experience promoting businesses in Japan. Here is a guide on how to choose the right agency for the Japanese market.



Optimizing social media advertising is crucial to achieving success in the Japanese market. Key factors include understanding the target audience, careful platform selection, creative optimization, performance tracking, and well as content localization.


Incorporating these elements into your strategy allows you to deploy captivating social media campaigns that resonate with Japanese consumers.


Do you need help with social media marketing in Japan?

DMFA is a part of the SoftBank family, and we provide digital marketing services in Japan and the APAC region. If you’d like to learn more about our services or speak with our consultants, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

Simply fill in the form, and our team will get back to you as soon as possible.


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