Many consumers have their favourite brands, and are willing to spread the word when they have experienced great customer service and top quality – and also when they have not!
This makes it highly important to build your brand in order to gain a loyal following.
In China, Weibo is a favoured platform for making this happen.
- Weibo has a huge user base, with the company reporting 222 million monthly active users by September 2015.
- While it is similar to Twitter in allowing only 140 character microblogs, it’s important to note that the characters on Weibo are Chinese, which allow for greater expression and information than the European alphabet.
- Weibo is very influential among mostly young, urban consumers for purchasing decisions – especially through word-of-mouth marketing and key opinion leaders (KOLs).
- Reports of corruption and food scares have made many people in China suspicious of formal institutions and local products, which has resulted in western brands gaining favour.
- Consumers in China like to seek out and research trusted brands on social media, and also read opinions and reviews.
- TV and print media is heavily regulated and restricted in China, making social one of the best ways to get information out.
- Weibo provides options for paid ads, such as pay-per-1000 impressions, and pay-per-click advertising.
While there have been reports of Weibo losing traction as a result of a government censorship crackdown in 2013, recent news suggests that it is undergoing a resurgence in numbers.
Building your brand through Weibo
Although Weibo provides a great opportunity for brand building, it can be challenging to get noticed, just as it can be when using Twitter in Australia.
Ideas for cutting through the competition and creating an engaging brand presence include:
- Provide engaging content – including text, videos and images. Injecting some humour and fun in your posts is also important, and make sure to be consistent and constant in your posting.
- Be responsive – make an effort to respond to people’s comments, especially to complaints.
- Find creative ways to engage – such as using instructional videos for using your product, and inviting people to submit photos of themselves using your product along with their story around it, perhaps offering prizes or rewards for the best entries.
- Be adaptable – for instance find out how to adapt your products to Chinese tastes, and test your products on the market prior to making major investments.
- Be recognisable – make sure your brand logo is displayed consistently on your posts so that it becomes familiar.
If you would like assistance in building your brand through Weibo, contact our China Online Marketing division. Our team has had years of experience in Weibo strategy, and marketing to Chinese audiences.