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It’s no secret that the Chinese love their social media and forums. The number of monthly users for platforms like Weibo and Zhihu more than proves this fact. While the aforementioned sites may be popular, the (arguably) largest online community in China is no other than Baidu Tieba.

If you’re a brand or business operating within or outside the country, it would be prudent and beneficial for your organization to take a look at Baidu Tieba being a worthy alternative to the other massive platforms available.  Other platforms may get you a ton of followers if you play your cards right, but Baidu Tieba will get you right in front of your target market if your strategies pan out.  Why don’t we discuss Baidu Tieba further so you have a good idea of what you can take advantage of? 

Baidu Tieba Basics: Everything You Need To Know About It!

Baidu Tieba belongs to the Baidu ecosystem. We’re pretty sure that you’ve heard about Baidu and its massive market share in the search engine industry. Baidu accommodates about ⅔ of all the search traffic in China and that gives you a very good idea of the potential of its online community: Tieba. 

Last September 2021, the platform had about 43.7 million active users and a total of at least 1.5 billion accumulated in their online forums. That’s a lot of potential clients or customers that you can reach, and you can target them easily to boot. Especially true when you look at the traffic of the website, for instance in December 2021, Baidu Tieba registered 466millions visits!. 

source

Backtracking a little bit, what does Tieba mean? Well, Tieba is a made-up word that roughly translates to “let’s post.” The word is also then used as a suffix for the forums on the website which then gives it another meaning, i.e. forum or group. 

So, of course, being an online forum, its primary function is to connect people with similar interests, but there are two main qualities that set it apart from its main competitors (aka Zhihu). 

  • Baidu Tieba is, of course, backed by Baidu and has the capability to rank its forums high on searches and give it a lot of visibility to online users.
  • Also, Baidu uses search keywords that effectively segment online users’ interests accurately. 

These are two massive advantages of Baidu Tieba and something that not a lot of its competitors can easily replicate even if they try.

They have popular categories that brands can easily penetrate and get a glimpse of what their target market wants or needs currently. This can serve as a shortcut for your market research and give you tremendous data on the ever-changing taste of your ideal client which will help your marketing strategies tremendously. 

Main Features of Baidu Tieba

Here are some of the unique features of Baidu Tieba that you may integrate into your strategies as you build or grow your brand in the country. 

Baidu-Tieba - chinese social media and forums

Its Interactivity and Content Driven Nature

What’s interesting about Baidu Tieba is that it’s not really a platform that is user-driven but it’s rather content-driven. That means that you don’t have to be a KOL to get the favor of the algorithm or keep your topics busy.

Once you put up content that’s interesting and resonates with your target audience, it will be kept alive. The platform allows for engagement and interactivity and you can post anything on it from Q&As to short stories.

And, on top of it all, everything is live. For your part, your content can’t be just something that you post and ghost. You need to be active on the platform. It requires a lot of work but, rest assured, it should all pay off. 

Baidu Tieba Has a Vertical Structure

What does having a vertical structure mean and how will this help you in your strategies? Well, this means that each Tieba is governed by its host as its main coordinator. 

So, essentially, it is its own website, with each Tieba not having any interaction with each other. 

Access To the Local Communities

The largest advantage that Baidu Tieba will give you is access to the local communities through its billions of users. And, of course, what better way to interact with them than by knowing the varying jargon used on the platform.

You need to know about words like experience points, level, Tieba host, Tieba rules, add to digest, and friends list. 

The experience point system that Baidu Tieba utilizes is the indicator of your tenure or, more accurately, your seniority on the platform. You can boost your experience points by logging in to the platform consecutively, posting, replying to posts, organizing a poll, participating in a poll, and engaging with others.

Once you’ve accumulated enough experience points then you may level up and boost your seniority in the platform even further. Every time you level up, you will get a special privilege reward. 

You will also get status badges according to your seniority to show to everyone. 

A Tieba host is then the main or top authority of the Tieba and imposes all of the Tieba rules. 

Lastly, you can connect with other Tiebas by adding them as friends. This will further promote interactivity within Tieba. 

How Can You Take Advantage of Baidu Tieba as a brand in China?

You can take advantage of the various categories within Baidu Tieba. Let’s take for example the platform’s celebrity Tiebas, which is mostly categorized in two, i.e. the die-hard celebrity fan groups and the Tiebas that are essentially for gossip.

There are also films and TV programs that are a haven for researchers. Please do take note that there are a ton of Western culture-related discussions on these Tiebas, too. For investors that are on the outside looking in, this can be a place to take advantage of.

There are also interest groups for gaming professionals as well as book lovers. Also, not all Tiebas are for shared interests but there are also ones that are created for shared social purposes.

One thing you have got to know about Chinese consumers is that they like a brand with a narrative. If you are in support of certain advocacies that a lot of people support then that will be a huge chance to spread the word about your business. 

How Can Brands Use Baidu Tieba To Boost Their Reputation in China

It can be simple yet complex to build your reputation in Baidu Tieba. There are two things that you need to do, one is that you need to do a lot of work. Second, you need to always create fresh and creative content on the platform.

To build credibility in Baidu Tieba you need to engage with people. Engage on other posts and not just your own. Make sure that your biography is as accurate as it can be and directly tells people about who you are and what you are trying to accomplish. What are your products and services?

Nike Tieba
Ads from Nike on Tieba

Make sure to keep your messaging clear through your content and make sure to keep in step with the latest trends. Always remember that high-quality posts will win at the end of the day. 

Please also take note that aggressive ads or being too pushy with your offerings will just, in turn, push users away from you. Being too sales will also be counter-productive. Patience, as they say, is a virtue. We think that that applies to working on building your reputation on this platform. 

Baidu Tieba: our Conclusion

Baidu Tieba is definitely a platform and online community that businesses and brands cannot overlook. If they do, then they’ll not only miss out on the massive following but also on the opportunities that may have come their way.

Baidu Tieba may not offer immediate rewards and may need a ton of hard work to fully understand and implement your strategies, but it’s definitely worth the hard work and patience.

Localized communities take time to understand, but take note that you may not have the same access to them on other social media platforms or online forums. So, what is it that you’re waiting for? Start exploring and taking advantage of Baidu Tieba now.

Need help with your online reputation in China?

gma - DIgital Marketing Agency China

If you need assistance in proliferating your brand or business into the massive market of China by reaching out to specific communities, contact us today so we can start bridging the gaps ASAP.

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