These days, bringing your business online is no longer a luxury, but a necessity. It is essential for any business to have an online presence.
Being online as a brand usually means having an account on one or more social media sites. The more sites you’re on, the better.
However, not all social media sites are immediately suitable for your business. As a business, you have to determine which social media platforms best suit your products, services and target markets.
In Malaysia, about 28 million out of the 31 million people who live here are social media users, meaning that they’re on one type of social media platform or another.
The top four most popular social media platforms in Malaysia are Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and TikTok. Usually, brands would choose to be on at least one of these platforms. The reason for this is simple. These social media sites are the largest and therefore have more potential consumers to target.
Here is a list of the most used social media sites among Malaysians, so that you as a Malaysian brand can explore which sites will benefit your business the best.
14 Top Social Media Sites in Malaysia To Consider For Your Business
These social media sites are where you’ll find most of the social media users in Malaysia, as well as in the world. They have different concepts with regards to user interaction, and the best way to determine which platform(s) are suitable for you is to experience them for yourself.
Preferably, you should have your own personal accounts on one or more of these sites to begin with. Here are the top social media sites you need to know about:
Facebook has 2.7 billion monthly active users – that is almost a third of the world’s population! Facebook is the world’s biggest social media platform, and also one of the oldest surviving ones.
Facebook is pretty business friendly, in that it has an option for you to set up a business centric account.
As a business account, you can post ads, and boost your posts.
Facebook has an option called facebook ads which allows you to run paid ads, with costs depending on the parameters you set.
You’re allowed to determine which geographical areas, age group and more to target, as well as how long you want the ads to run.
Ads can also take several forms- from image, video, carousel, collection and instant experience ads. Instant experience and collection ads are unique to Facebook, whereby the ad will become full screen on mobile when interacted with.
Additionally, you can also boost your posts. This option will then allow your boosted post to appear on the timeline feed of your followers’ friends.
Suitable for: Small Medium Enterprises, neighborhood stores, online businesses, service based businesses, local businesses.
Instagram has about 1 Billion active monthly users worldwide and 11.5 million users in Malaysia alone. The demographics of Instagram users are mainly those between 21-35 years old.
It’s a largely image based platform, whereby users post images of their daily lives, meals or anything else and those following them can interact with these images.
In addition to images, Instagram also allows users to post short videos of less than 1 minute. Videos longer than a minute will go into another section called IGTV.
For businesses, Instagram provides an option for you to create an IG business account. This account has many features not found in a regular user’s profile.
These additional features include the ability to track your user interaction and content performance, as well as add information about your business to your profile. Links to your website and other social media pages can also be placed in your profile.
Apart from that, you can also create ads for both the Instagram feed and Instagram stories. Instagram stories is a reel of transient content that appears on every user’s top row. The more a user interacts with an, the more the stories from that account gets pushed to the front of the feed.
As a business, your stories, which are 15-30 second pictures or videos will appear if a follower interacts with your brand a lot. Otherwise, you can put out a story ad that will appear on non-followers’ stories, wedged in between regular stories.
Another feature that you can really benefit from as a business is the IG live option, whereby you can live stream from anywhere at any time, and have your followers tune in.
Suitable for: F&B businesses, arts and craft, SMEs, online sellers, etc
TikTok attracts about 1 billion active users monthly. This is a social media platform developed by Chinese company ByteDance, and is known as Douyin in China. In Malaysia, TikTok users tend to be younger than both Instagram and Facebook users.
TikTok in Malaysia has 4 million users, the majority of whom are under 25.For those who’ve yet to experience TikTok, it is a platform whereby users post short videos and other users will be able to like and comment on them.
For businesses, TikTok offers a business account where you can post different types of ads. A business account also lets you monitor content and follower metrics so you can make better marketing decisions.
Thirdly, a TikTok business lets you set up as a business profile, so followers and other users can recognize your brand.
There are many types of TikTok ads that will benefit you, like in-feed ads, brand takeovers, top view, brand hashtags challenges and brand effects.
Suitable for: businesses targeting younger users, beauty brands, services, fashion and more.
Twitter is a social media platform where users communicate via short text posts. It attracts 336 million active users per month, and about 5 million users in Malaysia.
Each post on Twitter has a character limit of 280 characters including spaces, and they’re called tweets. This means that Twitter content has to be brief and to the point.
Although Twitter allows users to share pictures and videos, they are often not the main focus of the post, and are included to inform viewers or to prove a statement.
Twitter content that is longer than 280 characters are often posted as a thread. In Malaysia, the demographics of users on Twitter are much more urban and intellectual, most of whom are interested in current affairs and news.
Twitter marketing strategy depends a lot on hashtags, which are terms tagged with the # symbol. Twitter trends depend on which hashtags are trending, and being used at a particular time.
Therefore if you would like your brand to be noticed by more Twitter users, using trending hashtags is one way to do it. In Malaysia, the hashtags that trend most often are related to football, politics, entertainment and kpop.
Another way for businesses to be recognized on Twitter is through Twitter ads, These types of ads will show up as sponsored posts in the timelines of users that are part of your predetermined target audience.
Another type of advertising channel on Twitter is sponsored trends. This allows you to create a hashtag, which Twitter places at the top of your target audience’s trending hashtags list.
Suitable for: News portals, Data services, IT services, tech businesses, gadgets, apps , beauty and fashion, entertainment, etc.
LinkedIn is the top social media platform for professionals. It attracts about 294 million active users monthly. LinkedIn has many functions that are actually similar to Facebook, whereby users can connect by adding one another.
However, what makes LinkedIn inherently different is the fact that LinkedIn is meant for corporate networking whereas Facebook is more for social connections with friends.
For regular LinkedIn accounts, they’re able to request and add each other as connections. Usually, those working in the same field, the same job, within the same company or with the same educational institution will connect with one another.
With a user account, you’ll be able to start a free business account too. Employees in your company will be able to tag the business page in their profile, as their workplace. Additionally, you’ll be able to post content that enriches your followers.
Anyone who’s interested in establishing a working relationship with you will be able to send messages to your business page, and you can also post job vacancies for other LinkedIn users to apply for.
There are several marketing tools you can use to increase your brand awareness on this platform. These include sponsored content, sponsored messaging, text ads and dynamic ads.
Sponsored messaging is a tool that’s unique to LinkedIn. It allows you to send personal messages into the inboxes of your target audience, for a small fee.
Suitable for: B2B businesses, service providers.
Everyone knows Youtube to be a place where they stop by to watch funny and entertaining videos. Youtube has about 2 billion monthly active users.
Malaysians are also big fans of Youtube, with a report several years ago stating that Malaysians spend an average of 80 minutes a day on the platform, which is one of the highest in the world and double the global average of 40 minutes.
The majority of Malaysians on Youtube are aged between 16 to 34 years old. Youtube is home to many influencers in Malaysia, who benefit from monetizing their content through ads.
Some of the biggest influencer channels in Malaysia are Omar & Hana, Namewee, and Syahmi Sazli. Some of the biggest Malaysian brands on Youtube are Les’ Copaque Production, TV3 official, KiniTV and Astro Gempak,
Many may not know that Youtube functions as a social media platform too. This is because users can now sign in with their Google account.
Once users see a channel they like, they can subscribe to that channel. Non-video community posts will now appear on their feed from these channels. They’ll also receive notifications if the channel posts any new content.
There are many ways to market your brand on Youtube, beyond just turning it into a video hosting site for your other social media platforms.
One such strategy is to ensure that your Youtube profile is properly filled out with information about your products, or links to other sites with complete information.
Another strategy is to optimize SEO terms related to your business and place them in the video title so that it will show up to those searching for the topic.
Suitable for: All types of businesses, SMEs, multinational corporations, home based businesses, influencers, vloggers and more.
WhatsApp is a chat app used in about 180 nations , and has about 2 billion monthly active users. In Malaysia, WhatsApp is a common chat app that is used both among family and friends, as well as in corporate settings for easy and fast communication.
WhatsApp has been helping businesses connect to their clients easily. With the WhatsApp business API, you can communicate even more effectively with potential clients.
For starters, WhatsApp allows businesses to create a customized business profile for their phone numbers, which clients can refer to.
Apart from having a business profile, you can also automate responses, and add a product catalogue.
Suitable for: All types of businesses for click-to-chat link.
Pinterest attracts about 459 million active users worldwide, as of the end of 2020. In essence, Pinterest is a social media platform that allows users to post and collect images. In the past, they used to be the go to platform for those looking for home decoration ideas, recipes and other arts and crafts related needs.
However, Pinterest offers a lot more than just collecting and posting up pictures, called ‘pins’ on the platform. There are many opportunities to market your products here too.
Pinterest is particularly useful for businesses that have very aesthetically pleasing products. Examples include food, beverages, household décor, carvings, pottery, handicraft and clothes.
There is a Business Pinterest account available that you can sign up for if you’re a brand.
It allows you access to analytical data, tips on creating pins that stand out, as well as an option called rich pins – where user can pins that have your business website tagged to it, as well as other features that make them stand out.
This allows users to immediately be attracted to your pin.
Rich pins come with easy interaction points too, such as subscribe buttons.
Suitable for: Handicraft businesses, Food and beverage, fashion, furniture, household products and more.
Facebook Messenger, also known as Messenger, has 1.3 billion active users per month. It used to be part of Facebook, but has since been separated as an independent app on its own. Messenger is purely used to send private and group messages.
Keeping your messenger app active is part and parcel of good FB marketing. This means that if you have a business FB page, your messenger has to be responsive to any queries that come in.
Some ways to improve messenger marketing is to provide automated responses, and ensure that these responses are suitable. You also have to ensure that you provide a human answer to these messages as soon as possible.
Messenger can also be used to send updates, notifications and value added content to your followers. Remember that if you keep your customer relationship at the best level and quality, you can convert more queries into actual sales.
Suitable for: Any business that has a presence on Facebook.
10. Sina Weibo
Sina Weibo, or simply known as Weibo, is a micro blogging site that is almost exclusively used in China. However, it is one of the largest social media sites in the world, attracting about 523 million active users per month.
Weibo was an almost exact clone of Twitter when it was first launched in 2009. However, over time, the app has taken many features of its own.
The most significant difference between Weibo and Twitter is that Weibo has no character limit when it comes to posts.This means that some Weibo posts tend to be very long.
Weibo also makes it much easier and more common to share long videos and multiple images with the post. This makes it somewhat similar to how Facebook presents content.
92% of all Weibo users use it as an app on their mobile phone. Businesses who are interested in marketing their products in China should consider setting up an account here.
Weibo’s marketing strategies are very much similar to Twitter, whereby you can rely on hashtags to make your content more visible. The platform is almost exclusively run in Mandarin, so a knowledge of this language is necessary for you to be active.
Suitable for: Businesses who want to market products and services in China
Telegram is a messenger app that is heavily encrypted. Worldwide, it has attracted about 400 million users per month.
In Malaysia, Telegram is a pretty popular messaging app, just a little behind WhatsApp – especially during the Covid-19 pandemic as important notices from the Malaysian Ministry of Health would be made via telegram
In addition to just being a messenger app for individuals or groups, businesses have been using Telegram’s ‘follow’ option to market their brands. This is because Telegram provides an easy way for the public to scan a QR code or click a link and immediately be added to a Telegram group.
Telegram groups can be used to send announcements, ads, updates and more. Group members can then ask any questions by messaging the host.
Suitable for: SMEs, online enterprises
Reddit is an online platform that attracts about 430 million monthly users. It started in 2005, and therefore employs a very classic format of interaction.
On Reddit, users register and then choose different forums or rooms called ‘Subreddits’ to join and interact with others. You can join as many subreddits as you want. Subreddits are grouped according to different topics.
To start a marketing campaign on Reddit, you’ll have to be familiar with the platform. This is because you have to know the right subreddit to start posting in. Also, Reddit users tend to have their own terms and lingo to use that’s pretty niche.
Suitable for: Tech and Gadgets businesses, niche businesses
Quora has about 300 million active monthly users and is the biggest question and answer site in the world. It may not be the top social media platform for business, but it does have potential.
You’ll be able to use Quora to soft sell your products and services, as well as promote your brand. You can do this by providing useful answers to questions that involve your business type.
Additionally, Quora does have several ad campaigns you can run. One of these is promoted answers, where your answers can be promoted on the relevant questions.
Suitable for: All type of business, especially for marketers that intends to do outreach for white hat link buildings
Just like Youtube, Vimeo is a video sharing platform that has about 170 million active monthly users. However, unlike Youtube, Vimeo has a subscription plan for creators who want to upload, and you’ll have to pay a monthly fee.
The platform is geared towards original content, such as graphic based, animation and design videos. Vimeo encourages and markets original creators much more.
Brands can use Vimeo as a platform to reach out to other Vimeo users with creative videos, since the community here is a lot more art-centric.
Another thing you can do with Vimeo is live stream your brand’s events, or organize a live streaming session.
Suitable for: For marketers where creation of community of like-minded users to share videos is preferably.
So Many Social Media Platforms to Choose From, But Which Is The Best For My Business?
With these and so many more social media platforms available for your business, the list of social media sites seems to be endless.
The important thing to keep in mind here that you should pick the best social media site for your brand.
Than doesn’t necessarily mean that you should pick the most popular social media site, or the one with the most users.
It does mean finding your perfect fit and the platform where your target market is most comfortable with.
This often means having a presence on more than one social media site at a time. The list above is not comprehensive, but it does represent Malaysia’s top social media sites.
These sites are where you can get started on.
Did we miss out on any important social media platforms? Let us know in the comments.
Also which top social media site you would want to see your brand on?
If you want to know how to take your online marketing game to the next level, here are some helpful digital marketing blogs to check out.
Frequently Asked Questions in Social Media Platform Marketing in Malaysia
1. What are the top 5 social media platforms in Malaysia?
The most popular social media sites in Malaysia are Youtube, Facebook,WhatsApp, Instagram and FB Messenger.
2. What is the most widely used social media site?
Globally, the site with the most monthly active users is Facebook, whereas in Malaysia the most actively used platform is Youtube.
3. What is the best social media site for my business?
This depends on what your business niche is, and which demographic you are targeting. This question does not have an easy answer as all businesses are different in character and nature.
4. What are the benefits of social media for your business?
There are several benefits, but the most significant one would be that you can reach a greater audience with less cost than mainstream, traditional advertising channels. Many social media platforms also provide key analytical data that will help improve your marketing decisions.