A look at the major social media players in Japan and the country's role in social media marketing.
In 2010, there's no doubt that social media is a very important part of a company's Internet marketing program. This may sound bold, but I think that social media marketing really started in Japan. It's no surprise since the Japanese are very sociable people. We value communication and social interaction, and love to belong to groups with people who share similar interests. And, of course, we practice these in a very harmonious way.
I'm sure that many of you have heard about Mixi, one of the most popular SNS (define) sites in Japan. It launched in 2000, years before MySpace and Facebook. GREE is another big one in Japan. But I believe Japan's social networking culture really started when 2channel opened its door in 1999 as a massive BBS (define), offering forums ranging from hacking to cooking. Here, people discuss and exchange information on different topics of interest, which are neatly organized into easy-to-follow threads. Businesses are starting to adopt Facebook and Twitter for their social media marketing efforts, but many businesses in Japan have been monitoring and responding to these threads related to their business or products for more than 10 years. Many popular elements of Japanese online culture and slang originated here. 2channel holds the distinction of being the world's biggest BBS site with over 12 million users.
Social Media Groups
The above three sites are not the only major social media players in Japan. Let's review the key players in different social media groups:
Keep in mind that most of these services are available for both PC and mobile. Unlike many other markets, mobile marketing isn't local search marketing in Japan. Mobile is a key part of our online lives. Your social media marketing won't be complete without targeting both PC and mobile.
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Since Motoko established AJPR in 1998, she has been providing the online marketing services targeting Japan and Asia to companies from around the world, helping them to enter the regional market using the Internet. Her search marketing consulting services with her extensive knowledge of Asia and Japanese market have been highly valued and made big impact on some of the world's popular multi-national brands' search marketing campaigns.
A number of her articles have been published on industry websites and printed media including Multilingual Computing and International Journal of Localization. She also writes about the Japanese online market on her blog and Multilingual-Search.com. She's a frequent speaker at search marketing conferences globally, and gives seminars and trainings about search marketing targeting Japan and Asia.
Prior to entering the online marketing industry in the mid 90's, she worked as a senior marketing manager at a traditional marketing and trading firm, marketing U.S. products to Japanese government and heavy industries.
She believes in giving back to the community and volunteers her time for industry organizations. She served as a member of Board of Directors of SEMPO (Search Engine Marketing Professional Organization), and is a Chairman of SEMPO Asia-Pacific Committee. In March 2009, she received the first SEMPO President Award for her support and dedication to the search industry and SEMPO organization.
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