Social Media in China
Using Social Media in China is one of the keys to success in the country. In China, more than anywhere else, Chinese users spend more time online and because of that, companies have to deepen their knowledge about social media networks. As reported by OgilvyOne, over 55% of Chinese users had participated in online discussions about brands, and that discussions are able to directly affect businesses.
Nowadays, the importance of understanding what customers are saying about a brand through social media networks has become the only way to be truly visible and stand out from the crowd.
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Content is the Basis of all Social Media strategies in China!
Some of the most important social networks in China are WeChat, Sina Weibo, and Qzone.
Social Media in China: WeChat Marketing
WeChat is the number 1 social network and is known as Weixin in China. This platform includes text messages, voice messaging, video, games, e-commerce, and mobile payments.
In 2020, Wechat counted over 1,2 Billion Monthly Users and is the first App used in China. WeChat has to be considered by brands seeking to engage consumers directly. The platform allows brands to target ads according to age, gender, and region in order to reach more potential customers. One of the most common strategies in Wechat is to offer unique content and access to special offers. Through this strategy, brands have a positive impact on consumer loyalty and help to increase the brand reputation.
In April 2020, the app launched a new feature called “buy now, pay later”, helping the already growing-eCommerce segment inside WeChat become even more powerful. The feature allows users to delay their payment according to a sort of social rating system. Higher scores let users receive microloans from WeChat.
Read: Wechat Marketing Guide
When brands are planing their marketing strategies, they should consider these different points:
- WeChat Content
WeChat is totally different from the Western Social network. If you want to reach a lot of Chinese customers you have to adapt your content to their needs. Chinese customers look for rich, authentic, and relevant content. They are tired to see the same content. So, for an efficient WeChat campaign, you have to work on your content. The WeChat content marketing is must be consistently good.
Like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram…etc, on Wechat you can also make a post. This feature allows you to share all your services or products with all your followers. This is a great way to increase your visibility and engage more customers because they are very interested in innovative and creative posts. You can publish 5 types of content such as video, text, audio, picture, and pictures with text. Actually, many brands incorporate H5 pages into their posts and official accounts. in order to optimize their WeChat and increase the quality of user experience.
- Group Promotion
After the publication of your content, you have to promote it in your Community through some Wechat groups. It’s always important to be a member of some groups. You can also create your own group but make sure you have a lot of followers
If you want to succeed in your business in China, it is essential to have a sensitive and effective presence on social networks. It’s important to understand how WeChat work and the subtleties of this mobile application.
The most familiar way for advertising on Wechat is to promote on WeChat Moments. WeChat moment ads were launched in early 2015. WeChat Advertising is the most effective way to increase engagement in China on the nation’s number one social media tool.
- Wechat Mini Programs & Mini Games
E-commerce through WeChat mini-programs reached an incredible performance in 2020. WeChat users spent a total amount of 1,6 trillion yuan in 2020, the double-spent in 2019. Mini Games are the protagonists in the mini-programs eco-system, able to attract categories of consumers: China’s Tier 3 cities, women, and middle-aged users (according to WeChat data).
Promote your Brand on Chinese Social Media with Sina Weibo
Another popular social platform is the microblogging website called Sina Weibo. This platform is known as the “Chinese Twitter” due to its similar aspect. The same as Twitter, allows members to post 140 characters including videos, pictures, and links.
Sina Weibo has around 520 million monthly and 230 million daily active users. It is ideal for brands in order to get customers’ feedback, engage in conversations with members and promote themselves.
Since people usually go on Weibo to keep up to date on trends, news, and KOLs’ life. Brands must create marketing campaigns that are consistent with this kind of communication.
Furthermore, brands have to focus their efforts on creating relevant and highly shareable content because posts on Weibo have much more chances to become viral than long articles on WeChat.
Weibo, one of the Chinese most famous social networks, is the must-know tool for marketers who want to engage in the Chinese digital marketing area. However, to do advertise on Weibo is not an easy thing due to its various ad options and functions.
There are 4 types of Weibo advertising:
- Banner Advertisements: It’s more like a backlink that leads you to the advertiser’s homepage when you click it.
- Weibo Search Engine Promotion: It’s Weibo search bar which provides the hot search list and the ads search keyword will be listed on the top within a tag “promotion”
- Fan Headline (“Fanstop”): a popular option for advertising on Weibo, it will help to promote your account or the content you post on Weibo directly or via other famous Accounts.
- Fan Tunnel: It could help you target a much larger group of Weibo users. It is not hard to understand because it is based on the whole of Weibo’s users.
- KOL Campaign on Sina Weibo
Influencer marketing in China is changing because now new players are taking part in this new trend. You can call them KOL (Key Opinion Leader) or bloggers, they are the new biggest influencers in China. The performance of KOLs is closely related to their engagement with their followers. They are able to influence a lot of customers decisions just through their articles, the post, videos or comments about a brand or products.
Social Media in China: The QZone
QZone is one of the most successful social networking websites in China with more than 600 million users. This platform allows users to write blogs, watch videos, send photos and listen to music.
Qzone is an attractive social network for brands due to its flexibility. Companies can customize pages, integrate multimedia content and applications, and also they can create fully customizable microsites.
Through this platform, brands have the chance to create original experiences for their consumers.
Social media has become essential in the Chinese lifestyle. Consumers use these platforms to find and share information and opinions about products and services.
For businesses with a presence in China, including social media platforms in their marketing strategies is an effective way to engage with consumers. Social networks are also useful to develop consumer research, launch products, and manage crises.
Little Red Book’: An E-commerce Shopping App for Foreign Products
“Little Red Book” is a social e-commerce shopping app with the aim to target Chinese women aged between 18 and 35-year-old. This platform helps users discover and buy luxury products from overseas, share shopping tips, and swap fashion ideas. With more than 15 million active users and sales of 700 million RMB by the end of September, the app has considerably gained the attention of shoppers and investors both in China and abroad.
Read: Little Red Book Guide
The site has good partnerships with many U.S., Japanese and Korean brands, including Japanese skincare company SK-II, designers Vivienne Westwood and Anna Sui, and nutrition company GNC. Moreover, RED also has mini guidebooks for shopping in the U.S., France, and other fashion Shops.
The way to work on this platform can be compared to the marketing strategy applied to the western social media Instagram. Companies must rely on Key Opinion Consumers (micro-influencers) for being successful on it since the app, before being an eCommerce platform, is a User Generated Content app. LRB users, in fact, love to follow other people’s lives, watch make-up video tutorials, or have amazing travel experiences they can live to. So, natural content and spontaneous tips about products are more welcome than typical marketing campaigns, such as those you can find on Weibo.
Douyin: the protagonist of the video-sharing era
In recent years, short videos have become the favorite way to share content by users around the world. The engagement rate rises according to this new way of sharing content. But is maybe the market entry of Douyin that has changed the rules of the “social media marketing game”?
Maybe it is, considering that the western version of Douyin “TikTok” has become one of the favorite social media in many countries outside of China. The key to its success is not only the introduction of a new format, which is the shortness of the video but the particular possibility of editing a video with numerous tools. This element has been able to stimulate the creativity of the users that love to generate content in the app.
Marketing tips for brands on Douyin
There are no fixed rules in this big game called Douyin, it is demonstrated that users with few followers and little content have been able to sell a huge amount of products just with the luckiness of have shared a video that becomes viral.
However, here are some suggestion to increase the chances to make your videos become viral and your brand popular:
- get a verified account to make your brand look more reliable
- post a lot of content, on one hand, enhance the possibility of connecting with new users, on the other hand, grow your engagement rate
- work with Key Opinion Consumers or micro-influencers rather than Key Opinion Leaders can be more convenient. Considering that unknown products have been sold on Douyin just thanks to a video that becomes viral and nothing else, you should rely on many good content creators with high engagement rates, giving them free products
- Open a Douyin store. Doing it can be useful because let the whole purchasing process becomes easier. Recently, Douyin has also added the Douyin Wallet to simply the journey even more. By the way, you can just link your account to your Taobao online store (Taobao is investing in Douyin for acquiring traffic) or JD.com.
- add links and banners that address users to your online stores. Your brand and also other users (so, also KOCs and KOLs) can add the link during the whole video or a full-screen banner at the end of it.
- personalize your content with Douyin’s unique features such as customized stickers or hashtag challenges.
- adapt the content to your target. The target of Douyin in China is very young too. The majority of Douyin users are young females that love to watch educational videos rather than funny ones. This is an important difference with the western use to take into consideration.
Zhihu Marketing: more than just Q&A
Launched in December 2010, Zhihu is a Chinese question-and-answer website for Chinese internet users who want to seek expert insights into various areas. Basically started as an invitation-only Q&A platform for tech-savvy and entrepreneurial minds, it opened registration in 2013 to everyone. Since then, its topics have diversified to cover popular topics from movies, games, and culture, as well as IT and finance.
2016 was an important transition for Zhihu: they were able to monetize through the launch of new services, including institutional accounts, ads, cooperation with book stores, and Zhihu Live.
Live-streaming is now very popular among young Chinese who view it as an easy way to become famous and make lots of money. Then, there is Meipai, China’s popular short video service operated by the Hong Kong-listed selfie touch-up app Meitu.
Chinese internet users are attracted to live streaming by the prospects of making lots of money. For example, Papi Jiang, one of China’s top online celebrities, made over 50 million yuan (U$7.56 million) in 2016 by posting short videos to entertain her 25.76 million followers on Weibo.
Our Social Media in China Cases Studies
WeWOOD Watches are 100% Natural wood watches made from reclaimed and repurposed woods of various varieties from around the world.
- WeChat: 4 articles which gained 1984 quality followers, 5 906 views per month.
- WeChat store 13 watches sold per month.
- Weibo 15 posts & 1 event which gained total 1 173 followers, 254 525 views, 794 shares, 647 comments, and 366 likes.
- E-reputation 4 posts on different quality social platforms and 2 press releases on 8 top popular media.
- Little Red Book A new store opened in the little red book.
Les Georgettes, a French brand of bracelets with interchangeable leathers to create your bracelet according to your desires.
Daily management / Interactive topic / Special Event
Daily management / Interactive topic / Event
- WeChat: 4 articles which gained 1 259 quality followers, 14 252 views this month.
- Weibo: 21 posts & 1 event which gained total 2 370 followers, 426 004 views, 482 shares, 773 comments and 507 likes this month.
Missions & Results:
We will continue to interact with related followers
Kol promotion is one of the most effective ways to spread brand awareness.
Keep KOL promotion
Target audiences love to engage with us
Now we have good results for E-reputation
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