Known as one of the largest international finance hubs globally, where an urban-centric & cosmopolitan lifestyle meets a fusion of East & West cultural influences, Hong Kong is one of the most digitally connected regions with active social media usage in the world for both leisure and business purposes.
This insight article highlights the key facts about social media penetration and usage in Hong Kong, in order to help brands & marketers reach, navigate and understand local audiences better.
In January 2022, we conducted a research survey in Hong Kong in partnership with Standard Insights, a market research company to look at the Gen Z & millennials segments of the local population (18 to 40 years old). The study aimed to understand their current social media perception, preferences, opinions, and usage. Discover the full report for a comprehensive overview.
Social Media Adoption & Usage in Hong Kong
According to the latest report by DataReportal, Digital 2022 Hong Kong,
- As of January 2022, 88% of the people in Hong Kong were using social media (equivalent to 6.68 million users), which increased by 3.7% compared to 2021.
- On average, Hongkongers use 7 social media platforms each month.
- Hongkongers spend about an average of 2 hours a day on social media.
- The top 5 types of social media accounts Hongkongers followed are:
- Friends, family, and people they know
- TV shows or channels
- Bands, singers, and musicians
- Influencers and experts
- Actors, comedians, and performers
💡 Takeaway: In Hong Kong, the role of influencer marketing is significantly high; most often, the media value of the influencers falls to their strong attachment to their target audiences. Brands are recommended to use influencers and micro-influencers to serve different purposes. For instance, influencers raise brand awareness while micro-influencers drive sales.
Among the local Gen Z & millennials:
What are their favorite social media platforms?
2022 Top Social Media Platforms Used by Gen Z & Millennials in Hong Kong (18-40 years old)
- The top 5 platforms used are Instagram (86.1%), WhatsApp (85.5%), YouTube (77%), Facebook/Meta (58%), and WeChat (40%).
- Instagram is their favorite social media platform. It is also the top platform for both, males and females.
- When it comes to the apps individuals use the most, WhatsApp (41%) & Instagram (33%) take the lead.
What are their main reasons to use these social media platforms?
Main Reasons To Use Social Media in Hong Kong by Gen Z & Millennials (18-40 years old)
- Reading and sharing fun/entertaining content is the main reason to use social media platforms (70%). It is followed closely by messaging and chatting with friends (69%).
- Shopping as one of the main reasons to use social media platforms is more popular for women (38%) than men (23%).
- In general, women have more reasons to use social media platforms (877 answers in total) than men (730 votes in total).
- The professional aspect is the least popular reason to use social media platforms. Only 20% of respondents use social media for business/work purposes. The top 3 platforms are WhatsApp (53%), Instagram (34%), and Facebook (24%), respectively.
What are the key channels for different social media usage in Hong Kong?
Top 3 social media channels used by Gen Z & Millennials for different purposes (18-40 years old)
Overview of Each Social Media Platforms
Instagram plays a multifunctional importance in the daily lives of Gen Z & millennials. According to our survey result, Instagram is mainly used to read, share content/news, follow KOLs/influencers, and shop. This highlights the high versatility of the platform for its users.
Here are some additional key facts about the use of Instagram by the audience in Hong Kong:
- The potential Instagram ad audience reach has the highest growth, which sees a year-on-year increase of 29% (+800,000 audiences) in their reach (DataReportal, 2022).
- Most Instagram users in Hong Kong are female, comprising of 55% of the ad audience reach. It is similar to Singapore’s, with 54% of its ad audience on Instagram being female.
View this post on Instagram
💡Takeaways: Topping the list, Instagram is the key channel to reach the younger segment in Hong Kong. Since it has already penetrated various areas of youngsters’ daily lives, brands could consider activating an all-rounded marketing strategy on the platform. For instance, live streaming events, influencer campaigns, engaging content & paid advertising are highly relevant to the population.
Looking for the right content to resonate with Generation Z? Here are some key social media insights on decoding Generation Z.
WhatsApp Messenger remains one of the most popular personal messaging platforms in Hong Kong despite its data privacy concern. Among Gen Z & millennials, WhatsApp is the platform they used the most (41%) among all social media platforms for both men and women.
- To communicate and send messages with other people, WhatsApp is their favorite platform (65%), far ahead of Instagram (14%) and WeChat (9%).
- WhatsApp is also the most popular for professional purposes. Among respondents using social media for business/work purposes, more than half use WhatsApp (53%).
💡Takeaways: It is essential for brands to use WhatsApp Business to interact better with their customers and boost business. For SMEs, It serves as the key channel to provide more information, updates, and automated replies (entirely free of charge). For medium to large businesses, it elevates customer services by offering sales support and delivering important notifications to consumers.
YouTube is Hongkonger’s leading destination for online videos. The platform influences viewers across their purchase journeys. With 83% of Hong Kongers turning to the platform for ratings, reviews, or product information said it helped them decide what to buy. Among Gen Z & millennials, YouTube is mainly used to follow influencers and KOLs (29%) and product research or shopping purposes (13%).
Here are some additional key facts about YouTube in Hong Kong:
- The potential YouTube ad audience reach in Hong Kong is 6.68 million (equivalent to 88% of the total population), which is the highest among other social media platforms.
- YouTube is at the center of Hongkongers’ entertainment world, where 75% of the population watch TV every day, and among them, 65% also watch YouTube videos every day.
- 55% of Hongkongers find influencers’ or creators’ content are original and interesting.
- Music, celebrities, and gaming categories are seeing the greatest search activity on YouTube in Hong Kong.
💡 Takeaways: Given YouTube plays a crucial role in Hongkongers’ purchase journey, brands are recommended to leverage this platform and activate video/influencer marketing for product promotion. Brands should associate themselves/projects with local YouTubers as this will drive audiences’ awareness and can significantly increase performance. Examples of engaging videos could be unboxing videos, giveaways, how-to tutorials, vlogs to launch events, reviews, etc.
Here is a complete guide to getting started: YouTube Ads 101 – Effective Video Types for Awareness and Conversions
The platform has the highest share of web traffic referrals at 58%, far leading Twitter (16%) and Instagram (4%). It was a rise of 16% compared to 2021, which proves its effectiveness in driving traffic to third-party websites.
- The potential Facebook/Meta ad audience reach in Hong Kong is 4.45 million (equivalent to 59% of the total population).
- Among Gen Z & millennials, the platform appears more to be a heritage app than YouTube & Instagram, and is mainly used for product research or shopping purposes (18%) and to read and share content/news (17%).
💡Takeaways: Facebook/Meta remains essential to local consumers’ purchase journey for product research. To boost sales, brands are recommended to continue leveraging this platform for driving traffic to their eCommerce website or marketplaces.
This city has a very fast-paced life, where the locals value high convenience, making Hongkongers eCommerce native and very active online buyers. 85% of the population (6.5 million) purchases consumer goods online, with a year-on-year increase of 7% (+435,000 people). In addition, 52% of the population bought a product or service online weekly. The top 4 categories that the local population spent the most on eCommerce annually: fashion, electronics, furniture, and toys or hobbies.
In general, Hongkongers rely heavily on social media channels to search for information about brands and products, of which 69% of the population uses different social media platforms for brand research (datareportal, 2022).
Among the local Gen Z & millennial consumers:
- Most respondents (71%) have purchased an item they have seen or researched on social media at least once in the past 6 months. It highlights the significant influence social media can have on purchasing or searching for an item.
- Women are more likely to purchase an item after seeing or researching it on social media. Indeed, 76% mentioned buying an item they have seen or researched on social media compared to 66% for men.
💡Takeaways: Whether you are promoting your business on YouTube, Instagram, or Facebook through influencers, ads, or organic content, here are some key messages that brands should highlight to boost conversion – free delivery, promo codes (especially effective via influencers), customer reviews and easy returns.
Explore our other Market Researches in Asia
🇲🇾 Malaysia Social Media Insights:
- ① Cultural social media insights in Malaysia [ Research ]
- ② Social media penetration in Malaysia [ Research ]
- ③ The popular Social Media trends in Malaysia [ Research ]
🇹🇭 Thailand Social Media Insights:
- ① Cultural social media insights in Thailand [ Research ]
- ② Social media penetration in Thailand [ Research ]
- ③ The popular Social Media trends in Thailand [ Research ]
🇸🇬 Singapore Social Media Insights:
- ① Cultural social media insights in Singapore [ Research ]
- ② Social media marketing in Singapore [ Research ]
- ③ Online marketing in Singapore [ Research ]
🇻🇳 Vietnam Social Media Insights:
- ① Cultural social media insights in Vietnam [Research]
- ② Social Media Penetration in Vietnam [ Research ]
- ③ The popular Social Media in Vietnam [ Research ]
🇮🇩 Indonesia Social Media Insights:
- ① Cultural social media insights in Indonesia [Research]
- ② Social Media Penetration in Indonesia [Research]