English is not the be-all, end-all language for Asian Americans on Facebook, as 42 percent of them communicate with friends and family in their native tongues, according to a recent study by IPSOS MediaCT, commissioned by Facebook.
IPSOS MediaCT studied Facebook users who identified themselves as having heritage from Bangladesh, Burma, Cambodia, China, India, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Laos, Malaysia, Nepal, Philippines, Pakistan, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, Thailand or Vietnam, and they found that:
- One-half of respondents use social media as a daily form of communication.
- One-half connect to their culture via cooking or eating, 23 percent more than the overall U.S. population.
- 46 percent connect to the culture through family.
- Asian Americans spend an average of 19.1 hours per week online via computers, smartphones or tablets, 0.8 percent more than the U.S. average.
- 44 percent said accessing cultural content not available on other media was an important reason for using Facebook.
- 38 percent share links to news articles via the social network, more than any other multicultural group.
- 45 percent of Asian Americans list Facebook as an important place to express things they wouldn’t feel comfortable expressing in-person.
- 46 percent of Asian Americans’ Facebook friends are predominately within their own generation or younger.
- 55 percent use Facebook Messenger to connect with friends and family outside of the U.S., with 82 percent of Asian Americans born outside of the U.S. using the application in this fashion.
- One out of five Asian Americans participates in group chats on the social network, more than the overall U.S. average.
Facebook IQ pointed out in a blog post that Asian Americans account for 5.6 percent of the total U.S. population, with buying power of more than $700 billion in 2013, seen approaching $1 trillion by 2018, and the social network offered the following takeaways for marketers looking to target this growing group:
- Embrace the diversity of backgrounds: Asian Americans in the U.S. hail from many countries, each representing unique cultural values, beliefs and languages. Marketers should respect the diverse tapestry that makes up the Asian American community and tailor messages accordingly.
- Make online a destination: Asian Americans lead the charge for the most time spent online across devices. Digital media has provided a platform for discovery, expression and community. Creating an enticing and engaging presence across digital media will help brands capture the attention of this active online audience.
- Showcase culturally relevant content: Integrate content that reflects the Asian American experience. From celebrating holidays like Lunar New Year to viewing movies produced by Bollywood in the U.S., Asian Americans stay connected to their culture and heritage, and brands can help by providing relevant content on Facebook that’s unable to be found elsewhere.
Readers: What did you think of the findings by IPSOS MediaCT?