The Truth About Social Media Marketing in Malaysia

Social media is big business. But you don’t have to be a big business to take advantage of the opportunity it presents. Social media platforms offer unrivalled potential for organisations of any size to reach out to build meaningful interactions with their brand audience.

Yet the foundations of social media rest on shifting sands. An audience is as likely to vote with their feet as vote with their likes. And it’s not just the audience which is changing, shifting algorithms and changing business priorities means the giants of social media are constantly rewriting the rulebook by which we play the game.

Some of us are primed for the battle ahead. As a digital marketing agency in Malaysia, we’re always working to keep up to date with the latest trends in the landscape. So here’s our handy guide to the truth about Malaysia’s social media population, and what that means for your marketing.

How many people use social media in Malaysia?

As of 2018 Malaysia has 24 million social media users, accounting for 75% of the population. It’s also home to 22 million active users accessing social media through mobile devices.

Take a minute for that to sink in. The social media landscape grants you access to an audience of over 24 million potential customers. How often are you offered that kind of opportunity in your marketing activities?   

How many people in the world use social media?

There are almost 3.2 billion active social media users globally, with almost 3 billion of the world’s population actively accessing social media on mobile devices.

Social media marketing isn’t just limited to a domestic opportunity, staggeringly large as that opportunity is. Social media opens up the world. Those 3.2 billion people represent a 13% year-on-year increase in social media users. Social media isn’t going anywhere anytime soon.

How many social media users in the Asia-Pacific?

The Asia-Pacific region has over 1.77 billion social media users. Roughly 1.71 billion users also actively access social media from mobile devices. Around 375 million of those users are in the Southeast Asia region.

The reality for many businesses is that geographical location can still play a part in audience decisions. But that global opportunity may well be far more accessible than you think for Malaysian businesses. Over half of the world’s active social media users live within the Asia-Pacific region.

How does Malaysia’s social media use compare to other countries?

Malaysia’s social media penetration is one of the highest in the world. At 75% penetration it sits amongst the leaders of social media penetration, and 2nd in the Southeast Asia region after the bleary eyed social-addicts of Singapore, where social media is actively used by 83% of the population.

Interestingly regional neighbour Indonesia has actually seen some of the greatest growth in social media usage over the last year, with an additional 24 million people taking to the social media bandwagon over the last 12 months.

How long do Malaysian’s spend on social media each day?

Malaysian’s spend an eye-watering 3 hours a day on social media. That’s 3 hours of liking quirky memes and sharing strange videos of cats falling off windowsills. It’s also 3 hours of opportunity for you to share your brand story.

Don’t worry about Malaysia’s reputation though. We look positively restrained compared to the people of the Philippines, who at 3 hours 57 minutes of daily social media use can claim the dubious crown of the world’s most dedicated social addicts.

Malaysia’s social media users are actually quite an engaging lot though, with 5.84% of users reached by a Facebook post engaging with it. That’s a fair bit higher than the world average of 4.2%. That presents a great opportunity to start to build interactions with your brand’s audience.

What social media do we like the most?

With so many social media platforms out there, it’s sometimes hard to work out which is the best to dedicate your time to. Remember it’s best to fit your social media of choice to your own brand goals, and don’t get caught up in some crazy rush to get involved with every platform out there! Here are Malaysia’s five favourites:

  • 70% on Facebook
  • 69% on YouTube
  • 68% on WhatsApp
  • 49% on Instagram
  • 47% on FB Messenger

What does Malaysia’s social media use mean for your business?

Success in the modern marketing environment is about building engagement and holding valuable conversations with your audience. What Malaysia’s actively engaged and significant social media population represents is a ready-built platform for you to explore and grow that audience.

Brands are increasingly aware of the potential for social media. With 24 million social media users representing 75% penetration across the country, the digital reality is that opportunity goes far beyond just ‘potential’.

Like any area of marketing it’s important to understand your customers to ensure you’re engaging with them in the right way. With social media that means understanding which platforms they’re using, when they might be using them, and what way to build the best engagement with your brand.

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