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Social media campaigns in Japan – Why LINE ads and not Facebook ads might be the correct digital strategy

Did you know that LINE, not Facebook, is Japan’s most popular social media channel? Although Facebook is the world’s largest social media platform with over 2.45 billion monthly active users globally, this does not apply to Japan. The most popular social media platforms differ by country, and in Japan, Facebook is not even in the top 3! 

As a result, digital marketers have the need to localise their social strategy for each country or region. From there, choosing the right channels based on the market’s leading platforms and the company’s target audience is essential for successful promotions. Let’s take a look at how LINE might be a better social platform for your audience in Japan rather than Facebook.

Why run LINE Ads instead of Facebook Ads in Japan?

More use LINE in Japan compared with Facebook

As you can see in the infographic above, LINE has 95 million monthly active users in Japan, whereas Facebook only has 26 million. In fact, you can reach 66% of the entire Japanese population and 90% of all smartphone users in Japan with LINE Ads. What’s more, 85% of those users use LINE on a daily basis1.

Social media used on smartphones in Japan
LINE user demographics app usage

LINE is best for B2C – Facebook for B2B

In Japan, people use the various social media platforms differently. One cannot use Facebook anonymously which is a barrier for many shy or private Japanese users. As a result, it has become a business networking space for professionals, similar to LinkedIn. Therefore, if you have a B2B product or service, we highly recommend using Facebook.

But if you want to reach Japanese consumers, LINE is your platform as LINE is the WeChat or WhatsApp of Japan. Unlike the latter, the Japanese use LINE more like a social media app, such as Facebook. Users actively share updates in their Timelines and go to LINE for the latest news and updates from their favourite brands. Here’s more about the features of LINE messaging app

Why do we think LINE is great for B2C brands? 

LINE demographics show an event distribution in terms of gender and age. The majority of users are employed (not managers or business owners) and housewives/househusbands – the purchase decision makers of households. 

LINE user demographics

Still not convinced in running LINE Ads? Maybe you have questions regarding Japan’s no.1 social media platform? Our team of Japanese digital marketers offer bilingual support and management of LINE Official Account and LINE Ads. Contact us to find out about our competitive management fees and your free initial consultation.

1Source: LINE Business Guide (July 2020)

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