With online mobile consumption on the rise, Asian market trends have bypassed western platforms and jumped straight into mobile purchasing, using social media apps like WeChat and Weibo to communicate and interact with customers. This has allowed brands the gateway to connect with perspective consumers on a more intimate level, advertising whilst they are conversing with friends, as appose to diverting attention whilst someone plays a game or reads an article.

Gold Age of Social Media

Therefore, in an age of social media, internet and Apps, phone numbers are the Holy Grail in marketing. Here there is a genuine person linked to the number and a conversion of one to one in terms of marketing numbers. This form of 1-to-1 communication with a real customer on the other end is the number one priority for brands looking to bridge the offline and online relationship they have with consumers. WeChat in China is a great example of an App that bridging such divisions. It allows brands to advertise their products whilst the consumer is socializing or making plans. What’s more important is that the odds of the consumer being a spam account is extremely rare, as WeChat is linked to one’s mobile phone and has to be set up by an actual person. Thus, one would have to purposefully buy  sim card in order to create a spam account.

“For the China market, we have decided to get in direct contact with our target audience by leveraging the WeChat platform. Connecting with these fans through their phone number is building a much more intimate relationship and allows us to provide content that will be more tailor-made and segmented. “says the head of digital at Clarins.

Social media faces to some opportunities and weakness

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Social media is still a minefield when it comes to legitimacy. On Facebook products and adverts rely on likes, comments and shares to be shared and increase popularity. However, friends usually affiliate on social media with people who like the same things s them. Thus it can be hard for companies to break the bubble and enter their products into new pockets of consumers.  As well as this likes and comments are hard to quantify with the issue of spam accounts and those simply no longer using the platform.

Social platform Weibo has suffered greatly from such issues. They averaged that less than nine percent of Weibo users are “active”, so whilst its ecosystem is 650 million users it’s difficult to estimate how many are being connected with brands and marketing. Social platforms are not the only ones suffering to estimate their reach. Email is just as difficult due to many people using secondary email addressed for signing up to websites. Most people have one email that they use for work and connecting with people and then use a secondary email to sign up to gaming websites, dating apps and food stores. Thus advertisement emails are being sent but not opened, whilst the other email more active email is unreachable.

New Form of digital Marketing

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This new form of marketing allows brands to market directly to consumers at the right moment. If the weather suddenly drops in the north of China, clothing companies are able to advertise directly to consumers that are in need of warm attire. Simultaneously if the weather peaks in the south, the same company can advertise lighter wear. Phones are specific to a location primarily and being used constantly throughout the day. Whilst some people may activate social media to upload a status or photo every few days, or even weeks, phones are a constant for most people, whether it’s to connect, do business or shop.

Yet despite these advantages, brands still need to identifying Key Opinion Leaders (KOLs), advertising to the right people at the right time, as well as understanding market trends in specific locations. It is time to strike whilst the iron is still hot for marketing and branding companies, to mobile based advertising. The trends of consumers are shifting and brands need to shift with them or be left out in the cold.

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