Monday Morning Coffee |The Use of Social Media in Vietnam

In this episode (MMC.009): The discussion about the use of social media in Vietnam. Which platforms are the most popular? How important is social media in business? How can businesses manage them efficiently? 

About 60 million people are active on social media in Vietnam.

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Below is a transcript of the episode, edited for readability.

Listen to the full episode at links below.

Granger: Good morning. It’s Monday Morning Coffee from Saigon. This is Granger Whitelaw and joining us on time is Mr. Cameron Lynch. 

Cameron: Hello. How’s it going?

Granger: Do you have a good weekend?

Cameron: Yeah, that’s relaxing. You know, sometimes you just need to chill. I was by the pool for the majority of the time. So, I look a little bit sunkissed.

Granger: You look good. I think what you look is well fed and relaxed because your mom is here, right?

Cameron: She’s back. She’s saving my life. 

Granger: How great is it to have your mom here? Your mom is definitely one of the coolest moms around. You’re a lucky man. Well, as much as we’d like to talk about your mom and dad all day long, we are here today to talk about the use of social media in Vietnam. 

Cameron: Cool. I use a lot of social media.

Granger: It’s a good subject for business owners to know about. Since we’re a business blog, I think we need to have a little bit of a conversation about the proper use of social media for a business, not an individual. But we can talk about individual use as well. 

Cameron: Yeah, it kind of goes both ways. If we’re getting into businesses, we also have to talk about ads. That’s one of the biggest things for every business. How do we run ads? Or should we? Should we boost a post or should we make a campaign?


Overview of the use of social media in Vietnam

Granger: About 60 million people are active on social media in Vietnam, and they say they spend about two and a half hours on social media daily. I don’t think that’s true. 

Cameron: I think that’s true, 100%. I know for a fact, for example, once I get home I can spend hours on Reddit. That’s a very underused platform here, and I suggest everyone get on Reddit – the front page of the internet. 

Granger: Reddit is definitely a good little blog for sure. I have this app that told me how much time I use online.

Cameron: It’s sort of like Instagram tells you how much time you spend on Instagram. Roughly every day, I spent 17 minutes on Instagram. 

Granger: That’s more than I spend, for sure. Although,  I am on Facebook all the time. It’s always on one of my devices. So it probably records me is always being on, although I’m not actively using it.

Cameron: I did have a Facebook but I’d never really used it, so I deactivated it. And moving here, you can’t live without Facebook. 

Granger: Yeah, Facebook is huge here. People use it here for getting connected. They want to chat, they make phone calls, they get their news, they get entertainment. It is unbelievable. And the highest usage time of Vietnam was after 6:00 PM. They go to work, they checking throughout the day, I’m sure, because I see people all day long on it, and they go home at night and start digesting their news, talking to their friends. Now they have dating on Facebook. 

Cameron: And the marketplace as well, Facebook marketplace. They are creating more ways for you to spend all your time on Facebook. As a marketer, I have many Facebook business pages and basically, I’m on Facebook all day monitoring, managing…

Granger: But it’s for business.

Cameron: It is still connected to my personal, so I’m still there.

Vietnamese spend about two and a half hours on social media daily.
Vietnamese spend about two and a half hours on social media daily.


What are the most popular social media platforms in Vietnam?

Granger: Vietnam is the seventh-largest user base of Facebook in the world. There are 190 countries, and it’s number 7. When I tell people everybody’s on Facebook here, everybody’s on Facebook here. If you want to meet them, you need to be on Facebook. 

Granger: Zalo is big. They are projecting everybody being on it in Vietnam. It’s also a telephone platform. They also have commerce, Zalo Pay,…

Cameron: It’s gonna be the WeChat of Vietnam. Well, it already is. 

Granger: Instagram is growing now. It’s just not that big. But of course, it’s integrated with Facebook, so it’s going to grow just from that alone. But definitely the female users like Instagram more because it’s where they digested a lot of their workouts, celebrity, fashion, and makeup. They go there as well as on YouTube

Cameron: Snapchat is dead. 

Granger: It’s not dead in the U.S.

Cameron:  It’s on its way out. 

Granger: You know what’s interesting? Tiktok has grown so quickly. My daughter’s on Tiktok, a bunch of her friends are on Tiktok. I started seeing it like a year and a half ago, and now it’s exploding worldwide. It’s crazy. 

Cameron: It’s definitely penetrating into Vietnam as well. 

Granger: It’s very similar to Instagram.

Cameron: It’s a live platform with very short videos. So it’s kind of like what Vine was doing but Vine died. So, let’s see how it goes. But it’s really prominent in China under a different name. I don’t recall the name, but it’s definitely doing well.


How important is social media to a business?

Granger: For business owners, entrepreneurs or are startups, social media is a really important aspect to business today, certainly from a marketing standpoint. It is a key for everybody in Vietnam now as we’re growing, trying to get more attention, trying to get the news and awareness out, telling people about the venture and the products you have. And that’s the thought for today as we go forward in the week. How do you use social media and what is your marketing plan? 

Granger: We have a full marketing division here. We have a marketing division in the U.S. We have a full digital agency here, and we offer white label services. It’s quite interesting to do business here and be able to bring the U.S experience and talent to the Vietnamese market. 

Cameron: The thing is every single one of those social media platforms we mentioned have their own bespoke advertising creation policies and actual implementation. So, if you want to make an ad, you’d have to be able to navigate all those different horizons effectively. Knowing that Instagram has more female users between the ages of 20 to 28 is really prominent if you are trying to run a fast-moving consumer good, like yoga mats or something along those lines. You have to know where your market is and how to best attract them. 

Granger: On different social media platforms, different things work. 

Cameron: On Reddit, that’s where they advertise bacon-flavored cheese, a seasoning that tastes like bacon or something along those lines. That is their market, Reddit guys love bacon and seasoning. 

Granger: Video is huge today, right? So, how do you use video properly as a business? Video is hard to use, you have to produce it. And does video work on Zalo? Does it work on Facebook? Does it work on Instagram? Does it work on YouTube? Or how does it work on those? How do you integrate that across your different social media platforms with your picture, GIF… that you’re trying to put out there? Understanding how those work in each of those platforms is a real expertise. 

Cameron: Understanding how to split test those creatives as well. The split testing is the most powerful tool when you’re actually getting into social media marketing. So, you’ve got to know how best to attract people with lead magnets… 

Granger: Let’s talk about this on Friday. Let’s really talk about how you can use social media to grow your business. Let’s get into some details about it on Friday. It may be a little longer than the normal Friday Notes, but I think it’s so important and it’s certainly an expertise that we have here. Whether it’s our podcasting, whether it’s our social media marketing, whether it’s our clients, we use all platforms and we do it ourselves. We don’t just talk about it. So let’s do that and make that our goal for this week. And everyone out there, think about how you use social media and if you think you’re doing it correctly. I’ve spoken to a number of CEOs who have marketing divisions and most of them come and say: Can you help us, Granger? Because they have social media and marketing people, but they’re not deeply skilled. So, being able to help them take it to the next level is the key. 

Cameron: And remember, content is king. There’s something to be said for that. 

Granger: All right, everybody, we hope you have a great week here in Saigon, Hanoi, Danang, Nha Trang, Mui Ne, or wherever you may be in Vietnam or South East Asia. Have a wonderful week. We’ll talk to you on Friday. 

The Lotus Talks is produced by The Vietnam Group. This episode was produced by Granger Whitelaw, Cameron Lynch and Toan Tang.

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