Chinese people are the most connected population. They live and breathe social media. Every time, they look, post, and search for something. The new generation is called Chinese digital natives. The increased access to information and travel has opened their minds. They want to break their routine and be surprised every day. If you want to become a big company in China, you need to know how the Chinese market works. Choosing the right strategy and applying it in China is very complicated. Given the paramount importance of Chinese social media, you have to get acquainted with Weibo and more specifically Weibo marketing.
WHAT IS EXACTLY WEIBO?
Weibo is one of the most famous social media platforms in China. In the Chinese language, the word ‘Weibo’ (微博) means ‘microblog’. It refers to mini-blogging services in China. That’s why the platform is called Weibo.
Launched in 2010 Weibo, is considered Twitter in our countries. It’s a unique platform in China, where users can express themselves. Due to the strict censorship of media in China, Weibo has quickly become a favorite among a wide range of Chinese people. Government and police have an account to communicate and receive information.
Weibo is more evaluated than Twitter because you can write a long post (10.000 characters) and customize your post, add videos, pictures… In addition, Weibo surpassed its competitor in the number of daily active users. It’s a social media very appreciated by users and also by celebrities and businesses.
WHO IS ON WEIBO
The web audience is very diverse and versatile.
- Individuals who use Weibo for entertainment.
- Business companies who are looking to see if they will do business in China.
- Journalists (monitored Weibo every day, search for new ideas, do investigative reporting…).
- Media, to obtain and give information.
- Celebrities who want to communicate with their fans.
- KOL (Key Opinion Leaders) also communicate with their communities and give trends and advice.
- Companies that use Weibo to reach out to Chinese consumers, analyze their audience, and promote their brands.
- Government to supervise information and also send information.
WHY DO YOU HAVE TO BE ON WEIBO?
Weibo is an effective tool to establish your presence in China.
Many foreign companies have Weibo accounts to communicate with their fans, and announce products launching… Big firms such as L’Oreal, Unilever, Louis Vuitton, or Coca-Cola have an official account.
The goals of most of these companies are to be customer-focused and business-driven.
Being on this social media allows you to understand and know the Chinese consumer who is very different from the others. It’s the key to performing in this market.
It also allows you to :
- Interactive with your consumers.
- Increase your brand recognition by using Weibo.
- Send content to increase your visibility (pictures, advertising, videos…).
- Seizing opportunities to convert users to customers.
- Boost your presence in China to attract new customers.
Weibo needs to be included in any marketing strategy when you do business in China because it’s the most powerful social media.
HOW TO CREATE A WEIBO ACCOUNT?
You can do 2 different types of Weibo accounts:
- a personal account.
- a company account.
A personal account is only for individuals. Everybody can create a Weibo account, even foreigners can register on Weibo and use their account.
If you are a business, a corporation, or an organization, it’s a bit different. You need to create a company account. Because Weibo is one of the most consulted platforms, you need to include Weibo in your marketing strategy.
If you want to start the Weibo adventure, go on this page and fill out the form. If you are an individual, you will receive a pop-up to verify your account via a mobile phone number. If you are a company, the process is mildly different.
THE WEIBO ACCOUNT VERIFICATION
In the beginning, it’s easy, fill in your name, a little introduction of your company, insert links, and include your contacts and logo.
After that, it’s a bit more complicated, you have to register your company.
As with WeChat, you have different options to register your company.
- Verifying an account as a local company
If you are a Chinese company, it’s easy and free to verify your account. You just need to provide the following documents for the verification:
- Official name.
- Registered address as stated in the documents of incorporation.
- An email address.
- Business license (registration number of your business license, company’s address, postcode, set-up date…).
- Copies of the company’s license and certificates.
Go to the Weibo verifying website and follow the instruction to confirm your registration. It takes 5 business days to confirm the process of verification. After that, you will have an official Weibo account.
- Verifying an account via a distributor
If your trademark is registered in China via a distributor, you have to verify your Weibo account via your official distributor. It’s also free, but your distributor can request some expenses.
You need to provide the following documents for the verification:
- Certificate of the dealership to prove the legitimacy of your distributor.
- Chinese business license of your distributor.
Go to the Weibo verifying website and follow the instruction to confirm your registration. It takes 7 business days to confirm the process of verification. After that, you will have an official Weibo account.
- Foreign verification
If your company is not registered in China, the process is longer and more expensive. You will have to pay the fee which depends on your country. On average you will pay between US$800 and USD$1,100. It could be more.
You need to provide the following documents for the verification:
- All of the company’s registration documents and business licenses and their Chinese translations.
- Application Letter and Third Party Authorization letter that should include the company’s seal and/or legal person’s signature.
- Purchase order form.
- Official website URL.
- Detailed introduction to the company’s products or services.
- Operation person or team contact information.
You have to send all the documents to this address: firstname.lastname@example.org. It takes 3 business days to confirm the process of verification. You have to pay the fee for the verification of your foreign company. After that, you will have an official Weibo account.
It’s very important to have a verified account (when it’s done you will have a V-logo for Verified on your Weibo site) because it proves to users that you are not an impostor. Chinese users, because of all the scandals and counterfeit are watchful of this. Verification has become a powerful way to gain trust. Furthermore, verification also ensures that your identity is well protected by the Weibo social media.
THE DIFFERENT LEVELS OF STATUS
The particularity of Weibo is that you can have different levels of accounts. Every account displays the level next to the name. It shows the number of days the account owner has been using the platform and for how long. If the user is often on Weibo, he will faster reach the next level.
You can also have VIP status for a fee. VIP accounts have a little crown next to the username. Many celebrities have this status.
PARTICULARITIES OF COMPANY ACCOUNT
The company account has more services than a personal account. With your company account, you have a dashboard to manage your content and pages. You can also personalized page display to choose the best way to attract customers. Weibo offers also a data analysis with more than 60 types of data to analyze the performance of the page. You can conduct the analysis on three levels: posts, fans, and followed accounts. It’s a very useful tool to improve your marketing strategy.
Because there is more and more creation of companies’ accounts, Weibo decided to create a new option. Weibo developed the “Enterprise Weibo Page” exclusively for corporate users of the Weibo social media platform. This application allows corporates to better leverage Weibo for business purposes. It also allows you to explore business opportunities and build meaningful contacts on Weibo. It becomes easy to collect customer feedback and respond to their questions.
Weibo: to summarize
Weibo is today the most important social media in China and maybe in the world. In February 2017, Weibo’s market capitalization exceeded Twitter’s, and its user numbers are more important than Twitter’s.
If you want to establish your presence in China or just boost your presence you have to be on social media like Weibo. You need to contact specialists in the Chinese market to help you boost your brand in China.
Weibo Agency in China
We are a specialist Weibo agency based in Shanghai, the capital of Marketing in China. We understand Social media and the real methods for success in this difficult market.