South Korea has one of the most digitally savvy and social populations (Korean internet users spend an hour a day on social media), but luxury brands in the country are not very active in local or social channels. Just 25% of brands in the Korea Luxury Index are present on Facebook and 15% are present on Twitter. Japan is slightly less social than Korea, and but brands in the Japan Index have a higher social media adoption rate. Forty-six percent of brands in the Japan Index are present on Facebook and 39% are present on Twitter.
But brands in both countries’ Indexes are making inadequate social efforts. Less than 10% experiment with local channels even though they can lead to larger community sizes. The four brands present on LINE yield a larger average community size than those on Twitter and Facebook.
Much of that average community size relies on Uniqlo, whose account has 5.5x the followers of Ralph Lauren (with the second-largest community on the platform). Uniqlo is also a leader on KakaoTalk Plus Friend, where it has 6x the followers of MCM.
These platforms are mobile-friendly, and brands can engage fans with discounts and coupons. Uniqlo was the first to offer incentives through KakaoTalk before Calvin Klein and Ralph Lauren followed.
Perhaps cost is why only four brands (Uniqlo, Ralph Lauren, Dior, Lowe) have active LINE Official accounts, which cost $14,000 to maintain after an $18,000 setup fee. Though these local platforms might be well worth the cost. LINE has doubled its user-base in the past year to 500 million, and 67% of the Japanese population use the app daily. Social leader Uniqlo has had far more success on local platforms than on global ones. Its KakaoTalk and LINE fan bases are 10x its Facebook fan base in Korea and 3x its Facebook fan base in Japan.
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