How social media marketing differs in Sri Lanka A few pointers on ADapting

Err... Adopting to the geo-social differences. Starting the article off with a pun. Electrifying isn't it? (ohhhh there we go again)

You all have seen tips and even full on tutorials and seminars online, but most online sources are based on western culture. This article isn't going to be long(ish) like the other ones. It focuses on 3 main points to consider when running a social media page in Sri Lanka.

1. The majority of users are aged 18 -34.

This information is for Sri Lanka only

As you can see, the majority of users are between the ages of 18-34. While these users are keen and engaged on social media, provided the content is engaging, the first age set has very little purchasing power while the second age set has medium purchasing power. This replicates on almost all social networks though LinkedIn is considerably better for reaching an older audience.

One of the reasons for this is smart phone penetration.

Heh. Iphone users.

A majority of users are mobile only users while a small percentage of them are desktop and mobile and an even smaller percentage are desktop only. Summing up, 77% of people on Facebook in Sri Lanka are aged between 18 and 34 and 75% of them are strictly smartphone users.

Not to stereotype but smartphones are definitely more popular with GenX and millenials while babyboomers are lagging behind on tech adoption and they probably never will adopt the smartphone as the succeeding generations have.

2. Language

Anyone who's gone to the audience insights page will know that when you change the language filter to English(All) there's virtually no difference in demographics. But here's where the numbers mislead. Logically, a post in English and Sinhalese should have virtually no difference in engagement if the content is the same. However, empirically there is a difference. A big one.

The other side says ddown

Everyone has listed English as a language they're proficient in and it's true. But for some reason, the engagement on a post written solely in English is far below one written in both English and Sinhalese. This is, however, based on our experience. If you see a deviation from this, let us know! Maybe there's an interesting case to look at.

3. Likes are an inaccurate measure of engagement sometimes

In Sri Lanka, a good majority of the online population will "like" something simply to let the owner of the post know that they saw it - a digital nod of acknowledgement if you will. That's great because it increases the rank of the edge (see and that helps spread the word but it also gives false metrics in the sense that the people liking your posts don't really.

It's raining likes.

If likes were a currency, they've depreciated. How to get around it? Measure other types of engagement.

  1. Comments - stating an opinion or further clarifying or adding to information
  2. Shares - belief that the information will be valuable to more people
  3. Reactions - a digital equivalent of how the post made someone feel

Hope this information was helpful! Let message us if you have any questions or have anything to add!

See you next week!

Your friendly neighbourhood OIM company


Created with images by CITYEDV - "plug adapter electrical engineering electricity" • NatalieMaynor - "Language" • Sean MacEntee - "facebook like button"

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