This compared with a 95% reach for the 100 largest intangible assets in the US. Similarly, whereas 86% of active American brands tweeted in the week before the study, this figure stood at 41% for their Japanese peers.
Equally, a modest 3% of Japanese advertisers on Twitter identified who was making posts, versus 13% of US operators. These ratings came in at 28% and 78% in turn for directly mentioning other users. A fifth of marketers from Japan had retweeted another Twitter member's comments, 17% had used hashtags and 5% asked a question, all considerably behind the US. Coca-Cola, the soft drinks firm, Walgreen's, the pharma chain, MTV, the music broadcaster, General Electric, the conglomerate, and Playboy, the adult entertainment company, also all logged over 150 tweets in a week.
While 28% of US brands posted over 50 tweets in this timeframe, just 5% of their Japanese equivalents did the same. There are an estimated 108m Twitter accounts in the US, falling to 30m in Japan, but the study suggested broader reasons may explain the divergent trends in the two countries.
"We should … remember that Japan is a culture of reservation, formality, harmony and risk avoidance," it said. "Japanese companies are known for their soft selling practices and some marketing executives in Japan might just think it is very intrusive to send out many personal messages or ask questions on Twitter. Another cultural factor we should take into account is the high risk avoidance in Japan."