Should more Australian businesses be on Sina Weibo?
It’s a question many have already responded to with a resounding yes. Blending elements of Twitter and Facebook (both of which are currently banned on the mainland), the social media network currently has over 300 million users with 100 million posts made each day.
Connecting web savvy Chinese-speakers all over the world,Sina Weibo is now well established as an international phenomenon, with 500,000 users in Australia and 200,000 in Victoria alone. Read on to find out more about who is using the site in Australia, and which high profile Aussie people and companies have already taken the plunge into the Weiboverse.
Sina Weibo has genuine international appeal: unlike other platforms, it is used both in and outside China, meaning it’s heavily subscribed by Chinese companies looking to reach overseas Chinese and by foreign businesses aiming to attract consumers across the world. The site has proven to be a great way for companies to target specific audiences, communicating with them directly and seamlessly building an emotional connection. For example, Chinese airlines used the platform to advertise deeply discounted fights between Australia and China on Valentine’s Day, with the intention of reaching lovesick Chinese students abroad. At the same time, you’ll find profiles for businesses as diverse as Tourism Australia and Monash University on Weibo, proving that any brand can be represented on the site.
Here are some additional facts about Sina Weibo users at a glance:
• 90% of users are 18 – 35 years old
• Top tier cities like Beijing, Guangzhou and Shanghai dominate account distribution tallies
• The number of users in Australia has tripled since 2010
• An estimated 60% of users in Australia are foreign students, with the rest being Chinese-speaking residents
http://thermograve.co.uk/category/prototyping/feed/ Australian Users
This summer, former PM Kevin Rudd made headlines when he set up a profile on Sina Weibo. His first broadcast to Chinese-speaking fans:
“@ruichenggang hello. Thanks for encouraging me to start using weibo! I hope to have many opportunities to chat with my Chinese friends. Lao Lu.”
Despite a few (potentially intentional) typing mistakes in his Chinese, Mr. Rudd is fluent in the language (or at least his ghost writer is), and appears to have succeeded in endearing himself to his Chinese followers. Victorian Premier Ted Baillieu as well as Leader of the Opposition Daniel Andrews can also be found on Weibo, with over 32,000 and 2000 followers, respectively. All three blog primarily in Chinese, but the occasional use of English is not frowned upon.
These politicians have clearly discovered a free, direct way to break down barriers between themselves and their constituents.
Exactly how their efforts will pay off remains to be seen, but with Sina Weibo users known for their voracious sharing habits it is likely that their messages will be seen by many thousands. One study by Technology Review showed that up to 62% of tweets on trending topics are retweeted on Sina Weibo, as opposed to 31% of tweets on Twitter. With statistics like that, it’s hard to imagine many international Australian businesses that wouldn’t benefit from participating in the global dialog on Sina Weibo.