Selling to Thailand's Facebook users

How Businesses Can Profit from Thailand’s 46 Million Facebook Users

Any business looking to increase sales should put Facebook high on its list of marketing priorities. In the 12-month period between January 2016 and January 2017 the number of social media users in Thailand grew by an incredible 21%. With 46 million registered users in Thailand spending an average of almost three hours per day using social media, a captive audience clearly exists.

What must your business do to transform these users into customers?

Know Your Audience

As you’d expect, most of Thailand’s Facebook users are in Bangkok: 30 million to be exact. This statistic is likely somewhat inflated due to the fact some people have two or three accounts; nonetheless, the numbers are substantial.

Here are some of Thailand’s most intriguing Facebook user stats:

  • Chiang Mai and Nakhon Ratchasima are the second most Facebooking cities in Thailand with 1.3 million users each.
  • There’s a 51/49 split overall in favour of male users, while the largest single age group is 18-24 year olds with 14.8 million users.
  • 13.7 million people using Facebook in Thailand are between the ages of 25-34.

The beauty of all this data is that you can leverage it to segment audience groups and target content at specific users’ newsfeeds. For example, did you know there are 98,000 UK expats using Facebook in Thailand or that 3.4 million people ‘like’ Manchester City Football Club?

If you’re selling a product targeted at diehard fans of Manchester City Football, who just so happen to be UK expats living in Thailand, you can leverage this data to feed them tailored ads or content. Can you imagine what this does to your product sales? Relevant content fed to the perfect target equals sky-high conversion rates.

Speak to Your Audience

With an endless stream of content available, why should anyone pay attention to your Facebook business page? The good news is there’s an audience for any and all types of content. But as noted with the Manchester City Football example, figuring out who you’re trying to connect with must be your first priority.

You can define your ideal client broadly, such as expats living in Bangkok, business owners in Thailand, or women aged over 40. Or you can define your audience narrowly: housewives in Udon Thani with children aged below 6, Peruvian men living in Surat Thani, septuagenarians who enjoy golf.

Using this information to build demographic and psychographic profiles of your ideal customer helps ensure you create content your audience loves. As for the content you produce, brainstorm common issues and objections people have about your industry, and then offer your solutions for free. By giving free advice, you’ll establish your authority as an expert. Over time, your audience will trust you more and more, at which point they’ll be more inclined to purchase your services or products. This process is called Thought Leadership, which we’ve written more about here.

With a clearly defined audience, you’re now able to develop an effective social media marketing strategy, which can save you a fortune in advertising spend as you can now exclude irrelevant people from your campaigns.

Video Content

Every day 45% of the internet-enabled Thai population watch video content online, primarily through Facebook and YouTube. Viral videos regularly receive millions of views organically and generally need to be either sexy, funny or heart-wrenching to gain traction. Some videos naturally become overnight sensations – particularly when an attractive and provocative street vendor is caught on camera – and others go viral as the result of expensive and carefully orchestrated marketing campaigns.

Video 1 | Heart-Wrenching | 30 Million Views

Video 2 | Funny | 40.5 Million Views

Video 3 | Sexy | 141 Million Views

Your company has a story to tell. Is it a visionary leader in its field, or a quirky startup with an inventive twist to shake up an old industry? Is it family-run? Are its materials sourced locally, and assembled in local factories? Is it involved with the community? These nuances and others are difficult to convey with a typical social media post of an image and a few sentences.

Video marketing is an ideal way of navigating these obstacles. Reassuring music or narration can ease viewers’ natural wariness of new things. By telling your story visually, customers can connect with you on a personal level, gaining an immediate understanding of your brand, products and people. Video lets you show your product (or your company and its offices) from many different angles – a form of transparency that gives psychological confirmation that you’re a legitimate business, which is becoming increasingly difficult to prove online.

Even small companies can have great success using video for social media marketing in Thailand. As discussed earlier, you can target your content at very niche audience groups. These videos can take the form of short explainer videos, interviews with key people in your organization, or even direct interaction with your audience using Facebook Live.

Buying Online

Over the last few years, e-commerce has really started to catch on in Thailand with companies like Lazada and Tarad blazing a trail for other retailers to follow. Thailand has an excellent e-banking system, which makes payments online hassle-free and easy to track. In fact, 51% of people surveyed for Digital in 2017 reported purchasing a product or service online in the previous 30 days.

Selling through Facebook is a relatively simple process and is ideal for companies just starting out. As ever, the key is to know the demographics of your target customer, which ensures you maximize the efficiency of your content creation efforts and advertising spend.

Conclusion: Go Native

The first lesson in social media marketing is to go native with your content. Going native means creating the type of content that your target audience typically interacts with in their newsfeed. People use Facebook to be entertained, educated and informed, so ensure your content meets at least one of these requirements.

If your target audience is scholarly, create compelling articles on topics they’re interested in and that connect somehow to your business, however tangentially. If your audience is younger and more visually-inclined, invest in quality picture and video content in order to grab their attention.

There’s a lot to consider when using Facebook for business; we have written a few primers elsewhere on the site that you can read here, here and here.

If all this sounds like too much of a hassle, don’t be afraid to get help from an expert. Lexicon has achieved proven results with customers, and we’re sure we can do the same for you. Get in touch with us today at +66 223 588 68.

Lexicon is a full-service digital marketing agency in Bangkok, offering copywriting, social media marketing and graphic design services.

Data used in this article is derived from Digital in 2017 and our own research.

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