Vietnam, with a rapidly growing population of almost 100 million, has become a rising star in Southeast Asia. The trend of companies relocating their manufacturing bases from China to neighboring countries, such as Vietnam, has greatly benefited Vietnam’s economy.
Vietnam boasts a highly developed internet infrastructure, with a high rate of smartphone adoption, as well as cellular coverage that is on par with that of many high-income countries. In fact, a significant portion of the population – around 73.5% of adults – uses smartphones to access the internet. This figure leads among developing countries.
The widespread use of smartphones and robust internet infrastructure in Vietnam have played significant roles in the popularity and growth of social media in the country. Vietnam has not only embraced international platforms like Facebook and Instagram but has also developed its own successful social media apps, such as Zalo and Viber, which are used extensively in Vietnam and throughout Asia. These domestic platforms, known for their messaging capabilities similar to WhatsApp, have contributed to the rise of influencers and online celebrities in Vietnam.
A survey from Decision Lab has also shown that the ways in which Vietnamese people use social media are changing rapidly, with many locals now shopping on social media channels. Pierre-Olivier Guy, the CDO of L’Oréal Vietnam, has also shared that Facebook is the dominant social commerce platform in Vietnam when it comes to beauty, fashion, and home décor. This aligns with the survey result where 61% of social-commerce customers said they often buy fashion products on social channels. The second and third most popular categories are cosmetics and home appliances, at 48% and 46%, respectively.
Our team has also found social media to be the most effective tool when it comes to engaging with Vietnamese customers. While they don’t necessarily convert at the first touch (depending on the products), it provides crucial insights into geographic, demographic, and general understanding of what kinds of customers will be attracted to your product and in what way.
Given the latest survey available, in Vietnam there are about 76.1 million active social media users (Log in at least once in a month) in 2022. This is about 78.1 % of the addressable demographics. Also, Throughout 2021 to 2022, the number of users has grown 6.9 %.
The social media landscape in Vietnam is similar to that of many other countries, with some notable differences. For example, WhatsApp is not as popular among local Vietnamese users as it is in other countries. Instead, the preferred messaging app among Vietnamese users is Zalo, which was developed by a Vietnamese company about a decade ago. Zalo, with a 92% penetration rate, is widely used in Vietnam, while WhatsApp is more commonly used by people with connections outside of the country, with less than 15% of people using it.
As it continues to evolve into a “super app” similar to WeChat in China and with the backing of the Vietnamese government’s promotion of domestic technology, it is likely that Zalo will maintain its dominant position in Vietnam’s social media landscape in the coming years.
Although Facebook remains the most popular social media platform in Vietnam, TikTok has seen a surge in usage among teenagers and young adults. In the past few years, the platform’s user penetration has grown from 15% to nearly 60%. This trend is similar to what has been observed in other Southeast Asian countries.
In terms of social commerce, Facebook holds the dominant position, with 94% of social commerce customers shopping on the platform. The second in line is Zalo, which stands at about 49% (2022 data). Zalo experienced a significant boost during the pandemic, as most retailers were struggling to reach customers. Some merchants set up Zalo to continue engaging with customers, and retailers quickly adapted their strategies to boost their e-commerce sales in order to survive. For instance, Big C, a major retailer in Vietnam, adopted Zalo and enabled its customers to place orders over the channel and have goods delivered to their homes.
With the latest data published in January 2023, we can see that at the growth rate of 0.96%, there is now around 77.09 million Facebook users in Vietnam . With male users account for around 49.16% and female users account for around 50.84%.
With the latest data published in January 2023, we can see that at the growth rate of 1%, there is now around 11.42 million Instagram users in Vietnam . With male users account for around 37.43% and female users account for around 62.57%.
With the latest data published in January 2023, we can see that at the growth rate of 1.37%, there is now around 49.6 million TikTok users in Vietnam . With male users account for around 0.457 and female users account for around 0.543.
With the latest data published in January 2023, we can see that at the growth rate of 1.14x, there is now around 4.92 million LinkedIn users in Vietnam.