Social Media Trends In Singapore 2011

Cassandra Aw

Remember this post on Singapore's social media scene that we posted last year? Since then, social media trends in Singapore have evolved somewhat. Facebook, Twitter and Youtube remain mainstays of our social media scene, but other social networks boosting functions and features quite different from what we were used to have popped up and are quickly rising in popularity amongst Internet-savvy Singaporeans.

To get a good idea of the current social media landscape in Singapore, let's first take a look at this graph, generated by StatCounter Global Stats.

People have been predicting the death of social media ever since savvy marketers began monetizing this (then) new communication channel a few years back. But this clearly isn't the case in Singapore. As this report on research done by Firefly Millward Brown reveals, Singaporeans' lives converge online and offline, and our families, friends, interests, work and hobbies can be found in the tangible as well as virtual world.

Further backing up these findings is the steadily increasing proportion of Facebook users amongst Singaporeans. According to this blog article by Penn Olson, it rose from 40% to 48.9% from 2010 to 2011. And just take a look at what others have to say about their Facebook usage:

"…Clicking on my Facebook bookmark or typing the word “facebook” in the browser address bar has become so natural and automatic whenever we have an empty gap between tasks,”

– Yan Phun, co-founder of FlickEvents.

All this points to the very simple fact that social media has evolved to the stage where it is completely entwined with our life, becoming part and parcel of the way we live.

Statistics on Twitter usage in Singapore suggest that it, too, is very much thriving.

From the graph given, it is pretty clear that the proportion of Twitter users in Singapore is far lower than that for Facebook. Despite the lower penetration rate of Twitter (16% compared to Facebook's 48.9%!) however, Singapore nevertheless is among the top ten countries in the world using Twitter. And interestingly, this percentage isn't too far off the mark compared to other, higher-ranking countries such as the Philippines and Indonesia. The overall trend is that Facebook is much more widely used than Twitter despite the latter having made leaps and bounds to catch up with it in terms of popularity in recent years. This study by Edison Research/Arbitron Internet and Multimedia Series may shed some light on this intriguing phenomenom.

Looking beyond Facebook and Twitter, we are also spotting some shifts towards other platforms for social media marketing in Singapore.

Facebook Places was officially launched in Singapore in February 2011. The pushing out of this feature is largely viewed as a means to compete with Foursquare, which first launched the concept of checking into places on one's social network. While most of what Facebook Places can do is a duplicate of Foursquare's offerings, the sheer number of Facebook users makes the former a potentially much more viable business concept than Foursquare. And, in the context of Singapore, Facebook Places gives businesses an amazing opportunity to integrate data of their Facebook fans with users who regularly check into their locations. The statistics then can be used to provide discounts and deals through Facebook.

In other words? Location-based marketing is set to become all the rage in Singapore, especially with Facebook looking to roll out Facebook Deals in Singapore in "a couple of months time" (as confirmed by Facebook Singapore to Penn Olson editor Willis Wee). What this means for marketers is that they can essentially tie-up with Facebook in a win-win situation. To put things into perspective:

  • Customers are encouraged to check in onto Facebook Places to get better deals.
  • Customers are motivated to return to a particular, say, eatery or clothing boutique to get even better discounts through Facebook Deals.

Meanwhile group-buying, where sites collaborate with businesses to provide discounts on particular products for a selected number of customers, is quickly becoming the latest social media fad in Singapore. It started off innocuously enough, with sites such as and (which has now joined forces with Groupon to form bringing the tried-and-tested, wildly successful concept into Singapore, and quickly caught on from there.

Since then, numerous copycat competitors have sprung out of the woodwork, eager to leverage on the enormous revenue growth of the business model. This can be party attributed to the pervasiveness of social media in Singapore: each time a new deal is made available, it can be made known to customers through email and social media, which in turn also provides the driving force behind the recruiting of more buyers to purchase the deals.

In summary, social media is still very much thriving in Singapore, and its reach has gone beyond the usual platforms such as Facebook and Twitter. With new concepts such as location-based marketing and group-buying websites rapidly gaining traction in Singapore, firms now have more options for their social media marketing efforts besides simply creating Twitter account to communicate to followers with, or a Facebook page for users to like.

As always, our friendly clickTRUE consultants are just a message away if you find yourself needing some help in planning your social media marketing campaign in the midst of all this social media upheaval. 🙂

2 Comments. Leave new

Julian Chow
July 4, 2011 5:51 pm

Interesting post. One question which I have is about the Twitter penetration statistics. Are these purely for traffic to from the respective countries? If so, I believe it’s not a really accurate reflection as there are so much more people accessing Twitter via clients like Tweetdeck, or even through mobile apps like Gravity

Cassandra Aw
July 6, 2011 10:56 am

Hi Julian, that’s a good point you’ve made there, and in fact it actually has already been mentioned in the article which I linked to in the post. 🙂

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