A crash course in social media platforms Line, QQ, WeChat and Weibo | Man About Asia

"In Asia social media is everywhere, it’s embedded in people's lives every single day; sometimes in very interesting ways, sometimes in quite bizarre ways.” Wayne Arnold, Lowe Profero CEO and chair of the Marketing Society southeast Asia

Asia is home to some of the world’s most and least enabled nations when it comes to social media, and the most popular platforms are largely unheard of in the west. So it’s no surprise that many western marketers working in Asia are in need of some basic coordinates.

In the fourth episode of YouTube series Man About Asia, host Wayne Arnold takes us on a crash course of social media in the region, touching on platforms such as Line, WeChat, Weibo and QQ.

Speaking about Line, Arnold says “Why has it been so successful both from a user perspective and a brand perspective? They’ve mastered the art of visual sociability, using animations and pictures instead of just characters and text”.

The episode goes on to discuss the merging of e-commerce and social media in the region, with QQ’s Q-coin being the prime example of a social platform creating its down digital currency.

“What’s most impressive about these players is that they’re not relying on advertising, and this maybe the real reason why they win the long game globally as well as locally," says Arnold.

“So unlike with Facebook, where we reluctantly scroll past those suggested posts, these players don’t have that problem. Because they’ve mastered the art of social payments – think Candy Crush for gaming, social, stickers, pretty much anything,” he adds.

In the next episode of Man About Asia, Arnold explores the challenge of finding and retaining talent in the region.

Each of the videos, along with their corresponding marketer vox pops, will be available on the Man About Asia hub, in association with Lowe Profero.

To catch the entire series, subscribe to The Drum YouTube channel

The Episodes

  • Episode one, 'What Is Asia Anyway’, breaks the vast and complex region into chunks, focusing on the scale of the opportunities across Asia.
  • Episode two, 'Avoiding Air Miles Disease’, takes a closer look at the opportunities each sub-region presents and the issue of where to invest.
  • Episode three, ‘Same Same But Different’, tackles arguably the greatest opportunity, that of China.
  • Episode four, 'Social Asia’, explores the wonderful, staggering and sometimes bizarre world of social media in Asia.
  • Episode five, ‘The Talent Game’, explains why finding and keeping talent is a ongoing challenge for marketers in the region.
  • Episode six, 'Creativity & The Power of Celebrity', takes a look at the diversity of creative cultures across Asia.
  • The final episode, ‘Lost In Translation’, offers up some tips and hints for those adjusting to Asian styles of business.