Top 7 Social Media Channels for Marketing in China
In old times, letters and the cyber net was how people interacted with each other. Public chat rooms filled with advertisement pop-ups and chat messengers like Yahoo and Msn were the best things back in the late ’90s. Now, in 2020, the time has changed, you write an email instead of letters or a quick text on iMessage or WhatsApp, connect with people all over the world in a matter of seconds only!
Social media is a new and effective way to conduct marketing activities. To survive the competition, every business must indulge in social media platforms.
Did you know: Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter are banned in China?
Social media platform across borders does not resonate the way it does in the home country. China has a progressive market, creative enough to come with new ideas for social networking.
As a brand, if you are looking to become a success, then using the local social media platforms is your best chance to do it.
Guideline for Social Media use in China
There are around 673.5 million social media users in China only. This makes China the world’s largest social media market and every day the number increases. People are more actively keen on sharing product reviews, suggestions, and influencing one another. Since the translation game has notched up, brands are focusing on Chinese translation services to partner up so that they can enter China’s local and online markets with ease.
The social media landscape in China is unique and constantly evolving. Here is the list of top 7 social media platforms that are extensively used for marketing in China.
The Super App – WeChat
What started as an instant messaging app in college, it improvised into an ecosystem of making transactions, ordering food, booking movie tickets, promoting ads, and whatnot. On average, 68 million videos are uploaded every day which means it’s a tough competition with Snapchat and YouTube. It’s not just a Chinese Facebook it is the strongest means of advertising and brand promotion.
Make an official account and publish the content, news, or even information about your product or service. This will lead to more sales. Making an official account on WeChat will lead to an increase in customer user engagement and convert the prospects into buyers.
Advertising on WeChat includes coolest features like:
- Moment ads are the news feeds but expensive
- Banner ads target the articles
- HTML5 campaigns such as games, quizzes and more
- Location-based marketing enables brands to target nearby customers and so on.
With active users around 446 million (and counting) Weibo is the Chinese Twitter (it has character limitations). It’s a microblogging platform established in 2009 and one of the popular sites in China.
After WeChat, it is the second most popular social media platform in China and effective for social media marketing. You can upload videos, images, and gifs, like and share the posts without the need to follow any other account.
According to the business survey, it is most popular in use among young white-collar workers and the urban online population. Users are intrigued by information, sharing, and the opportunity to engage with other users is drastically high. The reason why Weibo is a successful counterpart for a brand is that;
- It’s a blogging site and a large source of international content
- Chinese celebrities, powerhouses, and organizations use their Weibo accounts to interact with their followers
- You can boost customer engagement with KOL promoting your brand and so on
- It’s a good tool of communication to interact with customers
It’s a popular instant messaging app similar to WeChat and is used for multiple services like games, music, shopping, microblogging, etc.
The white-collar audience uses its desktop version and the reason s that you don’t require a phone number to register! Before launching of WeChat, Tencent was the primary tool of communication where each user is allotted a unique numerical ID for their accounts.
A brand can open a business account known as QZone. You can opt for paid marketing programs, pay the Tencent, and get content and publish it in different categories of QQ. For instance, advertisements can be published on QZone games, pop-up windows, and banners.
Despite its popularity, it’s not the best choice for advertising luxury products.
Online video marketing is a highly competitive tool to drive sales. In China, Tencent Video is one of three major players for online video marketing; IQiYi and Youku are other competitors.
With an estimated, 500 million mobile active users and 63 million subscribers it has Tencent Video has taken over its competitors.
Its penetration rate skyrocketed to 48%, while Yoku remained low with 30.8%. The striking difference is due to the active users and how much companies are promoting their brands on it.
It focuses to develop original content and support original programs for various brands and other services. It was one of the eight Chinese apps to catch the largest revenue with the App Store and Google Play Store.
Besides Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube there is no Google in China. It sounds utterly shocking but it is true. Like every other major creativity, Baidu had replaced Google. It is the largest communication platform in china and the largest search engine company too.
This forum covers all topics you can ever imagine including social media. Established in 2003, it has now 1 billion registered users. That’s a pretty large number in a short amount of time. Users can create a forum by entering a query in the search bar. Even if that forum or query didn’t exist before, it sure will now after you hit the “search” icon.
One unique perspective of Baidu is that it an AD-FREE ZONE. This means a brand has to make posting as informative as possible to not get kicked out. To target the audience, social media marketers in China utilize it for an organic sharing experience with online users.
Many businesses target their niche audience by answering the question on a specific platform. Zhihu is the Chinese version of Quora and highly engages the user with compelling information.
Users often include charts, statistics other media tools as part of the answers to make the information highly progressive, to improve the quality of answers, and to resolve the queries. Posts on Quora sometimes are in excessive detail, similar in fashion, Zhihu also allows to post over 5k words!
Answering tips are the most popular means to attract the user by sharing detailed information and how to make better use for the product and service. One of the popular features is that a user can open their Column and contribute essays. Readers can also voluntarily tip the authors and a user can go LIVE to deliver lectures or share constructive information. It’s a competitive forum to create brand awareness.
It’s a social networking platform with 300 million active users who are al to express their lifestyle and tips. Users often discuss their favorite books, movies, music, and events and the discussion revolves around it.
The landscape format of Douban keeps shifting (upgrading) as the trend changes and quickly adapts the changes. That’s why it quickly became popular among the local audience. Moreover, users can also book tickets for movies, concerts, download e-books, and listen to podcasts through Douban.fm interface.
For advertising, the brand can rely on banner ads. Businesses can create a Brand Station, a separate page where they can post all about their products, brand story, history, logos, and whatnot.
Douban is perfect for the word of mouth marketing and is known to drive effective sales.
There are tons of social media forums available all over the world. China is not any competitor in developing local tools for social networking, Russia isn’t far behind either. You can choose the social media platform of your choice and healthily promote the brand. China is a difficult market to win but with the right strategy, it’s an overnight success.