Taiwan: Young and In-the-Know
Taiwanese youngsters are trendy, hip, and in the know. They are adept at using social media not only as a networking tool, but also as a means of self-promotion. It’s also how they keep up with the latest trends in fashion, music, arts, and events — more importantly, social media outlets greatly affect their lifestyle decisions. A site like Facebook is, of course, widely used in Taiwan, and is mostly seen as a place to connect with friends, learn about upcoming events, or to play games like Farmville. Facebook appeals more to younger crowds and event organizers/sponsors who are proactive about promoting certain venues and specific events. Facebook is quickly gaining momentum to becoming the “go-to” website for social networking and will continue to attract and retain users, especially with location based capabilities like Facebook Places, which allows users to “check-in” at a various places and tag friends/post photos on the spot.
Another site that is hugely popular in Taiwan is Sina Weibo. The micro-blogging site gained tremendous traction and following because of celebrity users – including pop stars, talk show hosts, models, and fashionistas. Many users like to follow their favorite celebrities on Weibo, as a means of receiving daily entertainment news and keeping up-to-date with the trendiest things. For example, an influential female celebrity might post about her favorite clothing store, travel destination, or beauty products. Overnight, that product could become hugely popular because young Taiwanese are very affected by celebrity recommendations.
Blogging sites are popular amongst students in Taiwan, particularly middle school and high school students. Wretch (無名小站) is the go-to site for many tweens who like to post pictures of themselves and write daily updates expressing their thoughts and feelings. For the older 20’s and 30’s crowd, browsing various blogs is a way for them to review and to research everything from products to travel destinations. Blogs heavily influence buying decisions and encourage dialogues between a past consumer and a potential consumer.
Finally, forums on online shopping sites such as mobile1, ePrice (比價王), and Taiwan Yahoo are popular places for young Taiwanese to meet both buyers and consumers, thereby engaging in dialogues about brands and products. A high percentage of consumers go on forums and/or read reviews about their target product on the shopping sites before making a decision. In Taiwan, there is a group of youngsters that are referred to as the “Soho crowd” — they are mainly freelancers who work from home, buying and selling things like clothing, electronics, handmade designs, etc. Often, they will also maintain various blogs and social media channels that focus on their area of interest, whether it be fashion, gadgets, or design.
To tap into the Taiwan market, it’s important to know where the various crowds of youngsters are gathered and which social media channels they use. Going online has become such a common part of daily life that the first thing most young Taiwnese do when they wake up is check Facebook, Weibo, or blogs either on the computer or on mobile devices. This should not come as a surprise, since Taiwan is the biggest manufacturer of electronics — particularly mobile devices and laptop computers — in the world. And having a good understanding of how social media networks are used here is also an important gateway into tapping the China market.