In my post The time is right for SEO in Thailand I mentioned that the %penetration for internet users in Thailand is growing rapidly due to the rapid growth of Broadband connectivity and Mobile online marketing. These factors have also had a significant effect on the number of users of Social networking services in Thailand as can be seen from the following chart.
The above statistics demonstrate that Thai users of Social networks is increasing dramatically. In the Year 2011, the most popular Social network in Thailand is Facebook, with the second being Youtube and the third being Hi5. From the graph above, we can analyse the trends of each social media network in Thailand:
Actually Hi5 is the first social network that Thai users used and has been very popular since 2009. The graph shows that the number of Thai users of Hi5 in 2009 was more than Facebook and Hi5 could attract users by by enabling them to create their own profiles, upload photos, and share them with friends. At that time this feature was quite new and very attractive to Thai users. Therefore in the year 2009 Hi5 was the most popular social network in Thailand, that is, until Facebook started gaining more popularity.
The improvements in, and spread of, broadband speed and connectivity in Thailand has been the most important factor in making Youtube more popular in Thailand, as it is now more faster and easier for for people to upload and watch videos than was previously the case.
The concept of Twitter is quite new to Thais and at this stage the number of Twitter users is still significantly less than for Hi5, Facebook and Youtube. However, in 2011, the number of Twitter users has begun to increase with most new users being Celebrities, Actors/Actresses, Reporters, and Politicians. The below graph shows the statistics for the Top 20 Thai Twitter users based on followers:-
1. @Thaksinlive (Politician) – 26,512 followers
2. @PM_Abhisit (Politician) – 21,300 followers
3. @Suthichai (Reporter) – 11,342 followers
4. @WoodyTalk (Actor/ Celebrity) – 11,150 followers
5. @Kalamare (Actress/ Celebrity) - 8,340 followers
6. @KornDemocrat (Politician) – 7,858 followers
7. @Nuishow (IT specialist) – 6,782 followers
8. @punlapa (Actress/ Celebrity) – 6,494 followers
9. @apirak_bangkok (Politician) has 4,962 followers
10 @Ceemeagain (IT Specialist) has 4,289 follwers
11. @Sugree (IT Specialist) has 4,133 followers
12. @Mktmag (Marketing specialist) has 3,875 followers
13. @Panraphee (Celebrity) has 3,536 followers
14. @Jjetrin (Actor/Celebrity) has 3,380 followers
15 @ Dungtrin (Dhamma) has 3,363 followers
16. @Macroart (IT specialist) has 3,349 followers
17. @GTHChannel (Entertainment) has 3,345 followers
18. @iwhale (IT specialist) has 3,249 followers
19. @GybzyGB (Celebrity) has 3,050 followers
20. @Bayfridoy (Celebrity) has 2,511 followers
From my point of view, the number of Thai users for social media will continue to grow rapidly as incomes continue to increase and more and more people get broadband services. There is a great opportunity to use social media in Thailand to do marketing. Already there are companies using Facebook to do promotions or games to attract customers to join their fanpages and increase the awareness of their brands and products.