E-reputation, a necessity
With the rapid growth in the number of Chinese Internet users (about 600 million people), social medias in China became a strategic issue for brands wishing to enter the Chinese market.
You should know that a Chinese netizen follows an average of eight brands through social networks and 43% of individuals are interested in brands that their friends follow. Thus 38% of Internet users are buying because or thanks to reviews from social networks.
With these figures it is necessary, therefore vital, for a brand that wants to operate in China to use all the social tools available carefully in order to develop a real digital strategy in China.
Then forget about Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, Twitter and all that makes our digital ecosystem in Western countries. The goal here is to adapt your methods to the market’ criterion and of course to Chinese consumers!
The huge social media market in China
There are countless of social networks in China and it is necessary to use the right channel for the right target. Everything will then depend on the objectives that the brand wants to reach by launching a campaign for the Chinese digital. This is not very different from what we know: every strategy need networking.
So if you wish to promote yourself in China, working on your online reputation, and create a real brand/consumer connection you can use Weibo. Weibo can be described as the “Chinese Twitter”. Like our western social network, it is a micro-blogging platform where brands can share content. The difference is that Weibo also integrates applications, games, social commerce features (features that are also available on Facebook).
To follow the brand/consumer link logic, it is necessary for the brand’s Weibo account to be an “official” one, which will reassure the netizen in a context where counterfeiting is raging. Like Twitter, Weibo is the trendy network, if you’re wishing to establish a KOL strategy, where opinion leaders will use their fan base to share a message in the brand’s name. What will be interesting for the brand is that by using a network like Weibo with a KOL strategy will strongly help them in targeting consumers. Depending on the opinion leaders, their fans will fit in the core target.
In the same spirit a brand may also use Qzone which is more focus on visual content, like pictures or videos through brands. It is also required to operate a WeChat presence as part of his “social media” strategy. WeChat is THE mobile network par excellence: instant messaging, various features (with the Moments, payment account, geolocation or bottle into the sea). This tool is incredibly rich and can really be interesting for brands. For example, Starbucks is a model to follow in terms of marketing by using WeChat: using instant messaging to create personalized songs to consumers, creating interactive app for the Chinese New Year … The brand is always creating and reinventing a consumer/brand link and it works!
WeChat can also be a direct marketing tool, such as some nightclubs who are using it for this purpose: when entering the club, the consumers’ Qrcode is scanned and therefore they can win a free drink, after they can access to the club’s most recent news or news of the organising agency.
And finally for the integration of video content, this will not happen on Youtube but on Youku.
The choice of social network in China is extremely important, but it is also important to achieve a deep consumer study to understand the Chinese consumers, his habits and his needs on these networks. Establish a Western communication strategy on a Chinese network would be a strategic mistake that could cost an entire brand communication campaign.
You want to be sucessful in China? Let’s talk about your project and see what we can do for you to be successful.
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