In terms of US dollars, approximately one-third of the world’s millionaires reside in the Asia-Pacific region. How can luxury brands connect with consumers on social media?
Asia is rapidly becoming a global center for high-net-worth (HNWI) and ultra-high-net-worth (UHNWI) individuals (individuals with a net worth of over $1 million and $30 million, respectively).
There is no doubt that luxury brands that wish to reach HNWIs and UHWIs must market in the Asia-Pacific region.
Reaching HNWIs and UHWIs in Asia requires a customized strategy, as not only do their consumer and lifestyle preferences differ geographically, but so do the social media platforms they use.
In Asia, HNWIs and UHWIs utilize social media platforms specific to the Asia-Pacific region. Numerous social media platforms are essentially unheard of in the West, and the most popular social media platforms vary greatly across countries.
Although large Western social media platforms (such as Meta and Twitter) are popular in the majority of Asian nations, marketers who wish to target HNWIs and UHWIs in Asia must create campaigns for other popular platforms. Marketers must comprehend the nuances of each platform and modify their content accordingly.
Can we get a breakdown of Asia’s ultra- and high-net-worth individuals?
China has by far the most UHNWIs (51,000), followed by Japan (17,00), Hong Kong (15,000), Taiwan (8,000), and Singapore (7,500), according to research by Relevance. China is ranked second globally, Japan is ranked fourth, and Hong Kong is ranked fifth.
Asia as a whole has 7.2 million HNWIs, with Japan having the greatest concentration with 3.7 million. Singapore has 240,000, Taiwan has 220,000, and Hong Kong has 180,000.
Which social networking sites do Asia’s ultra- and super-rich use?
HNWIs and UHWIs in Asia use a range of online platforms, some of which are only used by Asian people. These include the microblogging platform Sina Weibo, the communication app Line, the instant messaging app WeChat, and Douyin, which is China’s version of TikTok.
Some Asian UHNWIs use Western platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube. However, these platforms are banned in China, where most APAC UHNWIs live, but rich people can still use a VPN to access them.
Sina Weibo is a microblogging platform that is utilized by HNWIs and UHWIs in China, Japan, Taiwan, Singapore, and Hong Kong. Twitter is the closest Western equivalent to Weibo. Weibo has surpassed Twitter in monthly active users, with approximately 593 million using the platform each month (compared to Twitter’s global monthly active user base of 336 million). Weibo has more features than Twitter, including stories, enhanced profile customization, games, a digital wallet, and a fitness tracker. It expands on the fundamental features of microblogging platforms such as Twitter.
Line is a South Korean texting app that works a lot like WhatsApp. In Japan, where 68% of the people use the platform, the app is very famous. Taiwan, Thailand, and Indonesia are also big fans.
As of March 2023, 230 million people use Line every month. The app lets you chat, call, order food, pay with your phone, use telehealth, invest, and stream music. It’s a place where Japanese and Taiwanese UHNWIs go. Gucci, LVMH, and Prada are among the luxury brands that have set up official accounts on the site.
WeChat has an amazing 1.67 billion monthly active users, which is a huge number. The app is very popular in China, but it is also getting more and more famous outside of China. Like Line, it can be used for a lot of different things without leaving the app.
WeChat can be used to chat, call, get news, watch short videos, pay for things with your phone, and more. WeChat is important for marketing to anyone, including UHNWIs, in China and some nearby countries. It is still not very well known in the West. Luxury brands like Chanel, Fendi, Prada, Louis Vuitton, and Burberry all get a lot of attention on WeChat.
Bilibili is a Chinese site for sharing videos that focuses on material made by users. Even though it is often compared to YouTube, it is not the same. Bilibili is much smaller than YouTube, with an estimated 315 million daily active users, compared to YouTube’s two billion. Bilibili also relies less on ads and does more to connect content producers with brands.
Danmu is a famous system in China where people can leave comments on a video that move across the screen so that other users can see them. Generation Z uses the platform a lot, and growth is likely to keep getting bigger. European luxury companies, like Christian Dior, use Bilibili to reach wealthy people in China. For example, Christian Dior regularly posts videos on the site.
KakaoTalk is another chat app that has grown to do more than just send and receive messages. In South Korea, 47 million of the 53 million people who use the app are on the site.
KakaoTalk has games and other material from third parties that can be downloaded. Users can also follow brands, buy products, call for taxis, share and receive emails, and do other things. Even though KakaoTalk is only a big tool in South Korea, it is important to use it if you want to market to South Koreans. There are official accounts for major designer names like Gucci, Yves Saint Laurent, Balenciaga, Louis Vuitton, and Tiffany & Co.
Few people outside of China have heard of Douyin, but many have heard of TikTok. The Chinese app Douyin has a version for the rest of the world called TikTok.
Douyin may not have as many users as its sister app, but with an estimated 730 million monthly active users, it is still very famous in China. Douyin is not the same as TikTok in many ways. For example, it is only available in China and has different types of popular material than TikTok. Douyin needs a slightly different method, but short-form video content is still the key. Luxury names like Louis Vuitton, Bulgari, and Dior use it often to connect with China’s Gen Z.
Social media sites in the West
Popular social media platforms in the West continue to attract the attention of highly global HNWIs and UHWIs in Asia, but not necessarily the general population. Instagram, Reddit, Twitter, Snapchat, LinkedIn, Medium, YouTube, Facebook, and Pinterest are included. When targeting HNWIs and UHWIs in Asia, it is crucial to also consider these platforms.
If you are an entrepreneur who are targeting to sell to Asia, you can try to download some of the apps above. Some of the apps are not so internationalized yet, and it’s predominantly in Chinese language.