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Get online with your Thai market

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The digital world has significantly transformed the way businesses market their product or service to their potential customers.  One of the first rules of marketing, of course, is knowing your target audience.  As such, this article endeavors to provide a picture of the growth in internet access and use of social media in Thailand, Thailand online marketing, and how you can leverage it in your own marketing strategy.

thailand online marketing

Thailand Online Marketing – Internet access in Thailand

The digital world has significantly transformed the way businesses market their product or service to their potential customers.  One of the first rules of marketing, of course, is to know your target audience.  As such, this article endeavors to provide a picture of the growth in internet access and use of social media in Thailand and how you can leverage it in your own marketing strategy.

As the economies of Asia continue to soar, so to has their access to the internet and social media. When I fist visited Thailand in 2010, the iPhone, which has pioneered modern smartphones, was still relatively new.  It was released in mid-2008 in Southeast Asia and was not yet widely adopted here in Thailand.

One of my first observations upon arriving in Bangkok in 2015:  smartphones have arrived.

Not only have they arrived, they have taken over.  Just try walking along the sidewalks of Bangkok without getting stuck behind a snail-paced pedestrian on their smartphone.

This takeover was aided by the launch of the Android mobile operating system, now owned by Google, and dominated by Samsung phones.  However, the open-source nature of Android makes it adaptable to different hardware, which opened the door for rival smartphone makers to enter the market.

Brands like Xiaomi and Coolpad are cutting costs and selling their Android-based phones for half the price of Samsung and Apple and are already outselling the iPhone in China.  They are only beginning to enter the markets of Southeast Asia where their attractive price tag is sure to make them a popular option.

In fact, in 2012 24 million people had access to internet in Thailand.  Thanks to introduction of smartphones, this has jumped to 35 million in a span of two years.  That is 2/3 of Thailand’s population.

thailand online marketing

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Thailand Online Marketing – What does this mean for your business?

If you are not using social media to market your business online, you are missing out.  Big time.

Facebook is king in Thailand with over half of the population with internet access using it.  In fact, Thailand is ranked 9th of the Top 20 Global Facebook users, which were ranked by ZocialRank.com.

How are the Thai people using Facebook?

  • Photos: 57%
  • Checking in: 33%
  • Posting with links: 21%
  • Videos: 3%
  • Statuses:2%

Another online media form that you should pay attention to in Thailand is the messaging app called Line.

Line started off as a free messaging app similar to WhatsApp and WeChat and has taken off in the Asian market.  With over 18 million registered users in Thailand, it has become the third biggest social media network in Thailand after Facebook and YouTube.

thailand online marketing

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One of its unique features are the stickers that people use similar to emoticons…and people are actually buying them.  You can make your own stickers to sell or give away for free and businesses are cashing in on this idea as a way to lead potential customers to their business. Download the Tesco Lotus stickers for free and you will also get the latest info, promotions and coupons.

Just two weeks ago, Line introduced a business feature that allows businesses and professionals to create their own home page and share news and information with their followers.  It features news feeds and one-on-one chat capability, which are transforming Line into a full-blown social media platform.

Thailand Online Marketing – What you need to do

Great, so now you know how much potential Facebook and Line have for your online strategy, but how should you use them?

Your focus should be on helping your potential customers get to know you and your brand.  Don’t try direct selling people with your social media accounts.  Instead, continually provide links to interesting articles, post funny videos related to your industry, and share your accomplishments. In other words, be a soft, yet consistent voice that reminds your follower that you are there.

thailand online marketing

You’re looking for love here, not a one night stand, so court your readers slowly and show that you can be trusted.

To do this, it is important that you are active.  An out-of-date copyright year on your website is a huge turnoff. In the same way, so is a social media account that exists, but is inactive.  Your goal with social media should be to make sure that when followers need a product or service in the your industry, they think of you.

So be active and keep readers happy with nice little bits, like industry tips, Q+A posts, or even with surveys of products or services that they are interested in.  It shows that you are engaged in your industry and that you are the expert they should turn to when the time comes.

In only a couple years, Thailand online marketing and the use of the internet and social media has soared.  If you are searching for a way to get the attention of the Thai people, using these resources ought to be near the top of your list.  As smartphone sales continue to increase and the numbers of internet users continue to grow, social media marketing will be essential to business growth.  You should be a part of it.

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