Sunday, July 29, 2012

Olympics Post - Be Social from Japan

With the Opening Ceremonies history, the London Olympics are well underway, and so is my Olympics series. In the words of Vala Afshar, "Don't do social, be S.O.C.I.A.L., which means be sincere, open, collaborative, interested, authentic, and likeable." During the Olympics, I am featuring experts from around the world who will share their insights and answer questions about social media. Tune in every couple of days to see which country will be represented and who will be featured. And if you want to comment during the Olympics on Twitter or elsewhere in social media, don't forget to use the hashtag #London2012.

Today's expert is Saul Fleischman, a specialist in social media apps and marketing communications, and owner of OsakaBentures in Japan. You can connect with Saul on Twitter @osakasaul.

Which social network is most popular in your country?

While Mixi has the most registered users in Japan, I read that 40% have not checked in once during the last month. If you’re not familiar with the site, here are the details: Of course, Facebook is huge too. The ability to set the user interface, pop-ups, and buttons into Japanese (from English) is crucial for the Japanese audience.

What ways are major businesses in your country using social media as a marketing tool to promote products or services?

I am disappointed when major businesses use social media to broadcast to the public and miss the chance to engage – this happens when they adopt the “us vs. them” mindset. No one likes being talked at. I tend to see more engagement from small startups. I am working on a new social site, RiteTag, which is currently in beta ( Once users apply with their Twitter sign-in details, they will discover hashtags, categories, or topics all on one page, based on the number of times the tags have been used.

What is the most valuable social media advice you can offer?

It takes knowledge of what a business really does for its customers to represent the entity in social media. It’s not a task to pawn off on a third-party who will “provide content for your stream.” This will not engage the audience you need to keep talking with you.


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