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Why Twitter is a great platform for market research in Japan


Gathering Information from social media

Social media has become an essential tool for content marketing. According to a report by the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications in Japan, the percentage of companies and individuals using social media is on the rise. This presents any marketeer with a research opportunity that is representative.


Social media is used to create and maintain connections between individuals, but compared to the United States, Germany, and the United Kingdom, it has been reported that more people in Japan use social media for the purpose of “information gathering” than for connecting with people.


In this article, we discuss Twitter, which has a particularly large number of users in Japan.


Number of active users and active user demographics

With 330 million monthly active users worldwide and 45 million in Japan (14%), it continues to enjoy strong popularity in Japan. 


Although Twitter is mainly used amongst the younger generation, there is an increasing number of users in their 30s and 40s, and the gap between men and women is getting smaller as the number of female users increases. This means there is a large and rich domain for doing local research on Twitter which is why Twitter is a key platform for your social listening, allowing you to understand the Japanese market better. 


As a content marketing agency that helps international companies stepping into the Japanese market, we always recommend social listening on Twitter in order to understand its uniqueness, peoples tastes and local potential competitors.


Unique usage of Twitter

A unique trait to Twitter users in Japan is that few people use it under their real names. Many accounts are anonymous. As a result of this, tweets tend to show the user’s daily life, interests and concerns, and their true feelings about a product or service. Also in Japan, where natural disasters are common, it is also used as a means of sharing information in real-time when a disaster occurs.


Twitter in Japan

Twitter’s functions are more or less the same in all countries. But you can find some unique differences in Japan. The character limit is 280 for alphabetical languages, but in Japanese, you can type up to 140 characters. This is because each Japanese character is counted as a double-byte. Japanese also has 3 unique writing systems. People use Chinese characters called kanji and one kanji character has meaning. “愛” means “love” and “絵” means “picture”. So when you use twitter for local research, you need to understand the differences well. Especially when you are setting up keywords for the research.


A Twitter example

In Japan,  many people have multiple accounts, usually one for private use and one for work. Some of them are influencers with vast numbers of followers and engagements.


Then most businesses also have twitter pages. The ones that do well interact with their followers and take advantage of Twitter’s unique connections. 


An example of a successful business account is SHARP. They recently changed their profile image to the above amid calls for the need to refrain from going outside due to COVID-19. They are also supporting social distancing by putting spaces between the characters in the profile which has become a hot topic among followers.


While there are notable examples of B2C use, there are also B2B companies, such as Husehatu Industries, that post tweets specific to the content of their products, successfully reaching out to the general audience and gaining general followers.


As you can see, Twitter in Japan is an effective tool for B2C products and services, especially those targeting the younger generation. As well as this you can use Twitter to understand a wide range of opinions and to connect with your audience.

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