Japanese Social Media marketing is a significant opportunity for businesses to reach Japanese customers in a cost-effective and targeted manner. By leveraging the power of social media, or SNS as it’s known in Japan, businesses can effectively tap into the immense potential of the Japanese market and grow their customer base.
Understanding Japan’s unique Social Media landscape, with its distinct communication styles, cultural nuances, platforms and content preferences is essential for success.
Japanese Social Media at a glance
Japan’s population is around 125 million and internet usage reached 118 million at the start of 2023, 94% of the total population. In Japan 98% of the population is considered native Japanese, making the market less diverse than many other countries but unique. In Japan, many Western social media platforms are very popular, as are a number of Micro Blogging platforms. If you’re looking for a quick summary of the top Japanese influencers by platform you can also see our other articles for top Japanese influencers on Instagram, YouTube, TikTok and Twitch
Popular Social Media Platforms in Japan (Number of monthly active users)
LINE (93 million)
YouTube (70 million)
Twitter (45 million)
Instagram (33 million)
Facebook (26 million)
TikTok (17 million)
Pinterest (9 million)
Twitch (4 Million)
Linkedin (3 Million)
LINE, with 93 million users in Japan, is a popular messaging and communication app that was developed and launched by Naver, a South Korean online search and technology company. In addition to its main function of messaging and calling, LINE offers a variety of other features, such as news and information, online games, mobile payments, and social media-style content sharing.
Monthly active users of LINE in Japan
10 to 19 years: 10 Million
20 to 29 years: 12 Million
30 to 39 years: 13 Million
40 to 49 years:15 Million
50 to 59 years: 15 Million
60 to 69 years: 12 Million
Gender split of LINE Japan
LINE has a high usage rate across all age groups. One of the main advantages of LINE is the ability to reach a diverse user base, irrespective of age or gender.
LINE is often used by businesses and brands in Japan for advertising and promotional purposes. One of its main advantages is its ability to reach a diverse user base, irrespective of age or gender. However LINE is not used much as a traditional social media, user accounts have low engagement rates and it takes a long time to build fans. We recommend other social media platforms for influencer marketing and social media management.
- Paid advertising
- Community management of LINE account
YouTube, the video-sharing platform, has 70 million users in Japan. Japanese YouTube users typically browse to find interesting content on topics such as hobbies, travel, product recommendations and reviews. YouTube has been localised for a Japanese audience and there is a wide range of Japanese content on the platform.
Monthly active users of YouTube in Japan
13 to 19 years: 10 Million
20 to 29 years: 12 Million
30 to 39 years: 12 Million
40 to 49 years: 16 Million
50 to 59 years: 14 Million
60 to 69 years: 9 Million
Gender split of YouTube Japan
While younger generations tend to have a high usage rate of YouTube, a high percentage of age 40-49 are active on YouTube.
Since the pandemic Japanese users are watching YouTube content on TV with their families or partners rather than just on phones or tablets. The trend of staying at home encouraged artists and celebrities to create their own YouTube channels to connect with their fans. Collaborating with Japanese YouTube influencers is a great way to promote your brand or products to reach your desired audience.
- Influencers Marketing
- Long tail marketing videos
- Paid advertising
Sources: Gaiax, Google ad data
Twitter, with 45 million users in Japan, has a large and active user base in Japan, second only to the United States. It’s often used as a source of news and information, as well as a tool for communication and networking. Twitter has been fully localised in Japan and there is a wide range of Japanese content on the platform.
Monthly active users of Twitter in Japan
13 to 19 years: 9 Million
20 to 29 years: 10 Million
30 to 39 years: 8 Million
40 to 49 years: 8 Million
50 to 59 years: 7 Million
60 to 69 years: 5 Million
Gender split of Twitter Japan
Twitter in Japan is most popular among users aged 20 to 49 years old and is split fairly evenly between males and females, with a slight male skew. Twitter users in Japan tend to be relatively affluent, highly educated with a higher percentage of users in higher income brackets.
Japanese people have long enjoyed the anonymity of Twitter, where users do not need to use their real names. Many Japanese people use Twitter to search for the latest trends, news and other information. Businesses can successfully leverage Twitter in Japan as a marketing channel, by having unique and authentic Japanese content.
- KOL posts
- Paid advertising
Instagram, the photo and video-sharing app, has been popular in Japan for many years, particularly among younger generations, with 46 Million users in Japan. It is often used for personal sharing and for following celebrities and influencers.
Monthly active users of Instagram in Japan
13 to 19 years: 8 Million
20 to 29 years: 9 Million
30 to 39 years: 7 Million
40 to 49 years: 7 Million
50 to 59 years: 6 Million
60 to 69 years: 4 Million
Gender split of Instagram Japan
Japanese Instagram users between the ages of 20 and 29 dedicate an impressive 100 million hours each month to the platform. Notably, Japan also generates a staggering 7 million stories every day, resulting in the second-highest engagement rate in the world. Instagram reigns supreme as a popular and powerful social media platform in Japan, particularly among younger generations.
Apart from sharing personal moments, many Japanese users rely on Instagram to stay updated on their favourite influencers and celebrities, as well as to connect with others who share similar interests. The platform’s image-centric nature and detailed description features further help the discovery and sharing of related information. All of this makes Instagram a perfect tool for influencer marketing to engage with specific target groups and to increase brand awareness. Collaborating with Japanese Instagram influencers is a great way to quickly spread awareness of your brand.
- Japanese Influencer Marketing (Read more about the top Japanese influencers on Instagram)
- Promotional Videos and Images
- Paid advertising
Sources: Statista, KDDI
Facebook, the popular social media network, has around 26 Million users in Japan. It has become a popular and influential social media platform in Japan, with a strong user base and a range of features that are tailored to the Japanese market.
Monthly active users of Facebook in Japan
13 to 19 years: 2 Million
20 to 29 years: 4 Million
30 to 39 years: 5 Million
40 to 49 years: 5 Million
50 to 59 years: 5 Million
60 to 69 years: 4 Million
Gender split of Facebook Japan
In Japan, Facebook has found a surprisingly strong following among individuals aged 30- 50, surpassing its popularity among younger generations.
The fact that Facebook shows real names, has led to the platform being used for business networking, sometimes even more so than LinkedIn in Japan. Facebook serves as a highly effective B2B marketing channel for companies seeking to establish themselves in the Japanese market.
- Promotional marketing
- Paid advertising
TikTok, the entertaining social media platform, has 17 million users in Japan. TikTok in Japan is starting to get very popular and is gaining many more users each month.
Monthly active users of TikTok in Japan
13 to 19 years: 6 Million
20 to 29 years: 3 Million
30 to 39 years: 2 Million
40 to 49 years: 2 Million
50 to 59 years: 1 Million
60 to 69 years: 1 Million
Gender split of TikTok Japan
TikTok is predominantly used by teenagers in Japan, over 6 million of them. TikTok is also gaining more users among a wider generation in the past few years.
What makes TikTok stand out is the amount of quality content and its youthful influencers. So, if you consider social media marketing in Japan, it’s good to look into TikTok. Collaborating with Japanese TikTok influencers is a great way to quickly spread awareness of your brand.
- Japanese Influencer Marketing
- Promotional Videos
Pinterest’s active user base in Japan mainly collects and shares images. It’s a good place to showcase well-designed products.
Twitch, owned by Amazon, is a live streaming platform where users stream can watch a wide range of content, mainly video game streaming. The platform is popular in Japan, as there is a large gaming community. Viewers can interact with ‘Streamers’ through live chat features and can optionally support their favourite streamers through subscriptions and donations.
LinkedIn is the largest Social Media platform in the world that caters specifically to businesses. While the number of active users in Japan may not be significant, the platform is widely utilised for recruitment purposes, as profiles typically include a user’s real name, company, position, and work history. The network is also used as an effective branding tool for businesses looking to expand their presence in the international market.
There are also some local competitors such as Wantedly which focuses more on jobs.
Microblogging platforms, where users share short blogs, are popular in Japan.
The audience of Microblogging platforms is around 70% male and 30% female. The readership is slightly older, 25 years old and upwards.
This format is used to connect with others who share similar interests or opinions and has become an important part of Japanese popular culture. Celebrities, Businesses, Everyday users and Public Figures use microblogging to connect with their followers, making it a convenient and powerful tool for communication and self-expression.
Popular Micro Blogging Platforms in Japan (Visitors per Month)
- Ameblo (179.8 Million)
- Notes (123.9M)
- Hatena Blog (83 Million)
Note, is a website that allows Japanese users to create their own niche blogs. It’s a popular platform in Japan, and users create Notes on various topics such as travel, diaries, child-rearing, food, business and hobbies. Users can monetise their content by setting up a paid subscription model for their followers. Note is a versatile platform and recently many corporate businesses have started to write a blog on the platform. Note Japan can be used as a way to get your brand known among niche business and lifestyle communities.
Ameblo is a popular blogging platform in Japan created by CyberAgent way back in 2004. In recent years it has decreased in popularity, but there are still many active bloggers on the platform. On Ameblo you can still find influencers, celebrities, diaries and business blogs. Often Ameblo can be a good place for creating long-tail content for your business.
Hatena blog has a significant following in Japan, making it an attractive platform for influencers, writers, and businesses to promote their products and services. Hatenablog also offers a mobile app that allows users to create and manage their blogs on the go. Additionally, users can earn money through their blogs by participating in the Hatena Blog Partner Program, which allows them to earn revenue from ads and affiliate marketing.
Japanese social media trends for 2023
- Using AI Tools to boost performance
- Social Media Care
- Japanese Social Media SEO
Using AI Tools to boost performance
AI smart Social Media tools that help both the creation and analysis of social media will see a boom this year. By using AI, marketers can make more relevant and engaging content for Japanese users.
Social Media Care
Paying attention to what customers are saying will be a trend in 2023. This includes responding to social media posts about feature requests and going above and beyond with customer care.
Japanese Social Media SEO
Social media SEO is a technique that involves optimising profiles and content to rank higher in search results. Methods for doing this include including relevant Japanese keywords, hashtags, links, and content.
Brands in Japan will continue to make customers aware of the sustainability goals, such as using environmentally friendly practices, social programs, and sustainable materials. By showcasing sustainability brands can build trust and loyalty, which will increase customer engagement and sales.
How to choose a Social Media Marketing agency in Japan
The first step to running successful campaigns in Japan is to choose a Japanese agency. Choosing a Japanese agency can have many benefits such a high level of cultural understanding, language expertise, Japanese experience, local networks and support. It’s a good option for businesses looking to enter or expand in the Japanese market.
If you’re seeking to establish a strong online presence and connect with your target audience in Japan, our team is ready to help you achieve your goals. With our expertise in the Japanese market and deep understanding of the social media landscape, we can provide tailored solutions to suit your business needs. Please feel to get in touch to learn more about how we can help your business thrive in Japan.