Social Media Trends in Thailand 2023

Hi everyone, Justin St-Denis here. Director of Digital Storytelling at Lexicon. I’m here today to talk to you about the online platforms we all have at our disposal to reach our target customers and tell our stories.

Of course, we have the more traditional online tools of Google and Email. And then we have a plethora of social media channels in Thailand. Now, all of these platforms are equally interesting, if not equally infuriating. But as I’ll explain later, depending on what you’re trying to achieve, some of these platforms are more equal than the others. So let’s go through them one-by-one. 

34% of brand discovery in Thailand is attributed to search engines. Google is the search engine of choice for 99% of internet users in Thailand. And the top 3 Google search results account for 55% of all clicks from Google searches

So, Google is as important as it ever was. If you want to rank well on Google, you need a nice-looking, user-friendly website that loads quickly and has regularly updated content pointing towards key service pages that are optimized for the search terms you want your site to rank for. So in other words, make sure your key service or product pages have good SEO, and then publish regular blogs that include those SEO terms that are hyperlinked to the relevant service pages. It also helps to include hyperlinks to other credible sites in your blog content. Also, if you can get your content published on other credible websites, with hyperlinks that direct back to your website and your service or product pages, that’s also a tremendous help. 

Google Ads campaigns can also be really useful. It starts with targeting the right audience, creating relevant and compelling ad copy, and using the right keywords or phrases. Google Ads also provides powerful analytics and metrics that can help you understand the effectiveness of your campaigns and make data-driven decisions about how to optimize them to get better results.

A newsletter sent by email is a super effective marketing tool with high ROI, especially for organizations in the B2B space where marketing tends to be more challenging. As the trend towards greater privacy increases, having a proprietary contact list is more valuable than ever. You can also grow that contact list by getting people to provide their emails to download a whitepaper or attend a webinar or a live event. But make sure people are opting in to receive your emails and be careful not to spam. Provide helpful monthly or quarterly content designed to address your audience’s pain points and help them succeed in an area in which you specialize. 

Facebook: 93% of the internet audience in Thailand is using the platform every month. As of early 2023, Facebook’s metaverse expansion plans haven’t really worked out. The company recently announced that it would seriously reduce expenditure on the project, which has so far cost the company over $100 billion in research and development.

Apple & Google’s shift to advertising opt-in privacy rules has meant more bad news for Facebook/Meta. The company’s total advertising pool has diminished in response, especially with regards to accessing browsing habits and metadata like geolocation.

Plus, due to privacy concerns Facebook removed many of its best targeting and retargeting options like targeting users by nationality and preferred newspaper or TV channels.

Nevertheless, Facebook is still a great advertising tool for SMEs and B2C organizations looking to target a broad audience with demographics like age and general interests. 

From a B2B marketing perspective, advertising choices are more limited, as it’s not possible to target adverts to people based on job titles or industry. If you’re in the B2B space, generally speaking, you won’t have as much luck reaching potential clients here. But, regardless of what kind of company you have, the platform is very useful for employer branding. Potential employees will often look at your Facebook page before applying. So you can use Facebook to share photos and videos of your company culture, training activities, celebrate birthdays, employee milestones, company parties, and so on. 

66% of Thailand’s internet users aged 16 to 64 are active on Instagram every month. The platform is great for a B2C audience. Think beautiful people at a beautiful hotel in a beautiful location. Again, if you’re in the B2B space, you’re not going to have as much luck reaching decision-makers, CEOs and potential clients on this platform. But it’s still useful to post content about your internal culture, because, just like Facebook, you can still reach potential employees here. 

Twitter. Forget about it. 53% of Thailand’s internet users are on the platform. But it’s an extremely noisy environment and it’s difficult to stand out. Plus, people have to actively seek you out to follow you on Twitter. You can’t ask them to follow you. So, it’s only really useful if you’re already a celebrity or public figure. 

TikTok has 39.5 million users in Thailand (and counting…fast). Pretty impressive reach: TikTok ads reach 17.9% of all internet users aged 18+ globally. So very useful for B2C, especially for younger audiences. Not yet useful for B2B. User demographics skew very young. You don’t have many CEOs on there dancing to Justin Bieber songs. Like Instagram and Facebook, it can be great for showcasing your company culture, and you can encourage your staff to make their own videos on the platform. There’s also the small matter that the platform is almost certainly Chinese Communist Party spyware. But that’s a topic for another discussion. 

YouTube has over 43 million active users in Thailand. And video content is an excellent way to increase engagement, generate leads, and ultimately convert. But it takes a lot of time and effort to build an audience on this platform (and there’s no guarantee of success). However, it’s still very useful to host your long-form videos here. Short videos do better on the other social media platforms, so you can take snippets from the long videos, post them on other platforms, with a caption encouraging viewers to watch the full video on YouTube. 

LINE is the most popular messaging platform in Thailand, with 95% of internet users in the country on it every month. I’m one of them and I’m sure many of you are too. 

LINE is great for B2C businesses, especially SMEs. It enables you to send messages and share content to customers and potential customers in real time. It’s a simple yet powerful tool because it allows you to connect directly with your customers in real time. 

There are plenty of ways to leverage LINE for brand awareness in Thailand for the B2C market, from stickers to LINE points, that are unique to the LINE app and the target audience it can reach.

But there’s limited potential for reaching B2B clients here. The platform doesn’t lend itself well to long-form thought leadership-style content. And, B2B purchasing decisions typically aren’t a spur-of-the-moment type of thing. 

Finally, that brings us to LinkedIn management in Bangkok, which is by far the best social media platform for B2B Marketing. There are only 3.6 million users in Thailand. But, if you’re in the B2B space, these are exactly the people you want to be talking to: Business leaders, C-Suite individuals, directors, and decision makers. It’s no surprise that in a recent survey of B2B marketers, 93% said LinkedIn is the most effective lead generation website. But to make the most of it, you have to harness the power of individual profiles, or what we call Executive Branding.  

Individual pages enable you to add up to 400 connections per month. And you can filter these by location, industry, and job title. If you want to connect to every CEO in Thailand, that’s possible. If you want to connect to CFOs in the auto-manufacturing sector on the Eastern Seaboard, you can do that too. So, in not much time at all, you can build yourself a large audience of potential clients. Then you can create and post content that speaks directly to their pain points. So when the time comes for them to make a purchasing decision, you’ll be top of mind. 

A great example of this is Lexicon’s Founder & CEO David Norcross. You’re probably all connected to him on LinkedIn. He has well-over 20 thousand connections. These are all clients and potential clients and he’s constantly posting helpful content. Each individual post can be seen by thousands of people. That has the same value as making an equivalent number of cold calls to potential clients. In terms of ROI, you just can’t beat that. 

Here’s an example from one of our clients in professional services. These are the engagement and impression numbers from all of last year on both the main corporate page and the executives pages combined. The personal pages of the company’s executives got nearly 5 times as many engagements, and nearly 10 times as many impressions. Now of course, in this case, we’re managing several executives. But that’s the power of individual profiles, you can have multiple leaders talking about the same key themes, but from their respective areas of expertise. It’s a fantastic way to build credibility.  

I’m sure you’ve all heard of some version of the 95-5 rule. Where 95% of your potential buyers aren’t ready to buy today. They’re “out-market” today, but they will be “in-market” sometime in the future. That’s why it’s so crucial to be constantly providing potential clients with content that speaks to their pain points. To do this effectively, you’re going to need a strategy and you’re going to need to plan ahead. Everything you produce and publish needs to have a purpose, and it’s all about positioning you as the ideal guide for your target audience. And I’ll conclude by saying that LinkedIn and all the other social media platforms I’ve mentioned are just one piece of the puzzle. If you really want to stay top of mind with your potential clients, you need to adopt a 360-degree approach. So that includes social media, outreach, newsletters, email marketing, ads, and, perhaps most importantly at a time when robots are threatening to steal many jobs, in person events. You have to meet your potential clients where they are at every touchpoint, and tell them a compelling story. Do this effectively, and the 95% will be thinking of you when it’s time to buy. Thank you.    

About the Author

Justin St-Denis is Lexicon Director of Digital Storytelling, a former journalist and an experienced social media strategist.


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