Developing a Successful Multi-Market Social Campaign for APAC

The Asia Pacific region encompasses a diverse and flourishing range of social channels. Its population accounts for more than half of all social media users worldwide, and almost 100 percent use their mobile phones to access their favourite networks

Couple this with the fact that the most popular networks such as China’s WeChat, Sina Weibo, South Korea’s KakaoTalk, Japan’s Line (and not forgetting Facebook and Twitter, which currently dominate in a number of territories) have built-in marketing, commerce and payment facilities worth billions of dollars to brands, and it’s clear that social campaigns have tremendous potential in this market

Social Campaigns in APAC

With this active, vibrant market as a backdrop, put simply it’s the three ‘r’s that drive social campaigns in Asia Pacific: reach, recognition and revenue.

Reach:

• Close to 1 billion active social network users in the region

• According to a report by Waggener Edstrom Communications, 78 percent of Asian digital consumers say they got information about products and services via social media, 74 percent looked for deals and promotions, 69 percent took part in contests and giveaways and 68 percent shared information about products and services

Recognition:

• Waggener Edstrom reports that brands can expect an average 74 percent engagement with paid media on social networks

Revenue:

• Waggener Edstrom’s research shows that consumers in the Asia Pacific area who actively follow brands spend as much as 25 percent more on their products.

• It’s possible to run a successful multi-market campaign on a relatively small budget – according to a benchmarking report by Salesforce, the overall average CTR for Facebook is 3.2 percent, and average CPC is $0.04 for sponsored stories.

Business Opportunities

It is evident that engaging Asia Pacific consumers where they ‘live’ online – on their favourite social networks – should be central to any brand’s ambitions to expand into the territory, opening up a number of business opportunities:

• The size and variety of networks allow for the development of multi-market campaigns which can be deployed relatively easily across a wide range of territories

• Self-selecting audiences who group themselves socially enable brands to target specific communities with specific campaigns – a targeted, cost-efficient approach to raising brand profile

• The popularity of social interaction within the Asia Pacific area means that clever campaigns can generate a real ‘buzz’, which can often expand outside the original market

Business Challenges

However, as with all worthwhile endeavours, it takes a degree of effort to set up and run a successful social media campaign:

• Businesses should take the time to develop a clear brand vision for the territory, and stick to it

• They should know what they want to sell and who to, whether it’s product, service or brand awareness

• Without a precise message for a precise audience, selecting a network from the plethora of options available will be very difficult, and there is the risk of fragmenting and diluting brand identity

In a territory where there’s plenty of choice, brands could become invisible.

Project Development

Before embarking on a social media campaign in the Asia Pacific, brands need to spend time and effort researching the social networks available, and their audiences. Each has its own demographics and audience traits.

Territorial variations aside, Facebook is hugely popular in a number of Asia Pacific markets – sometimes it is best and most cost-effective to opt for a tried-and-tested global platform for a multi-market campaign.

China is the exception to this rule – brands will need to use its national networks, which are relatively tightly targeted. Fashion brands might look at beauty and fashion website Meilishuo, for example, with its predominantly female audience of enthusiastic fashion pinners, whereas a brand wanting to promote male grooming should consider Sina Weibo, which has an older, more masculine profile.

Competitor analysis is vital, as well – businesses with a clear idea of what has worked for their peers can use this information to either use it as a best practice guide or, conversely, develop a unique route, which will help to differentiate them.

Once businesses have chosen the relevant social networks, it is important to work within their parameters.

For example, what looks good on Facebook is unlikely to translate to WeChat and vice-versa.

Being flexible enough to avoid a ‘one size fits all’ approach and play to the strengths of each network will deliver better and more profitable results.

Social in Action: Results

To illustrate how a social campaign can work following these guidelines, here are some key points from a social campaign we ran recently across eight separate Asia Pacific markets, including Australia and New Zealand, Japan, Korea, Taiwan, Singapore, Hong Kong, India and China:

• The aim was to reach a specific audience of creative people

• Following audience analysis and because of the diversity of territories, Facebook was selected as the social platform with the greatest reach and best opportunity for engagement

• In most markets, use of images increased engagement as did asking a question in the headline which related personally to the user

• Overall impressions across all territories exceeded 125 million

• Social buzz about the campaign extended beyond the campaign, with videos and images appearing in ‘real world’ situations

*Image via Shutterstock

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