Your your social media strategy for China


Your your social media strategy for China Whether we like it or not, social media is a fact of life. The numbers alone are enough to support this and in China these numbers are overwhelming. Sina Weibo, a Chinese version of Twitter or microblog, has 250+million users and Tencent blog has 530+million (and growing). Chinese netizens are said to spend up to 4+hours a day online and their main activities include gaming, shopping and social media. If you want market share in China, then there is no excuse not to use social media as one of your key marketing channels.

How do you then put together a social media strategy?

Engaging Chinese social media is complex for foreign business owners, not only is the online environment different, but the preferred language is Chinese and culture dictates different consumer behaviour. Without a doubt, the first and most important step is research. You need to understand who your audience is, where they hang out, who influences them and how they make purchase decisions online. A good place to start is by researching your competitors in the China market, this should give you some valuable insight.

Once you complete your research it’s then important to put together a strategy. Social media is not a one off type activity – like simply posting an ‘add’, it requires a plan that engages the efforts of more than one activity over a consistent period of time. You will need to produce regular updates on a scheduled basis to show consistency and keep people interested.

I should reiterate that your content needs to be in Chinese. Chinese netizens, whilst some can speak and read English, more commonly participate in online activities in their own language – Chinese. If you want to get market penetration you will need to converse in Chinese, making your message far more convincing. Even Kevin Rudd knows this and his popular Sina Weibo account has lots of devoted fans following his regular Chinese language updates. There are only a few big stars that persist on Sina Weibo in English, like Tom Cruise, but until you reach that level of notoriety, Chinese is your best option.

With time, if you continue to use a solid strategic approach and remain faithful to your followers, you will start to see the rewards.

One last thing to remember, pay special attention to your call to action – make sure it works. For example; if you want them to link to your site, make sure the link works and the site is viewable in China; if you want them to buy your products, ensure you use online shopping tools they are familiar with & a freight companies that is reliable; if you are asking for their opinion, make sure you give them feedback or reward them. This is common sense social media stuff, but often forgotten. Good luck!

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