5 Chinese Social Media Strategies to Grow Your Business

China is a huge market for foreign businesses in this day and age. Many are now operating successful campaigns and attracting many new Chinese consumers through their digital efforts. With a huge population of 1.3 billion combined with a growing middle class of consumers seeking to spend money on quality products many brands are seeing great potential and results.

The key to success in China is digital, the digital revolution in China has been unprecedented, over 60% of the population now have access to the internet with the traditional brick and mortar shop being sidelined in favour of e-commerce and online business.

In terms of putting together a comprehensive digital campaign social media in China is the key. Social media platforms are so integral that without a presence here you are virtually unknown in the new, digitally orientated modern China we now find.

Here are 5 strategies to help you grow your business in China on social media.

1)    Be present on a number of different platforms.

The largest platform in China is WeChat with over 700 million active users. Ensure you set up an official account here and disseminate quality, content. Users follow official accounts and will often share content on their feed. 

Weibo (literal translation �micro blog�) is a more open social network than WeChat as users can see content from anyone, they do not have to be connected first. Here you can post content but crucially cross promote your WeChat account by embedding a QR code which links to this.

�QQ� is another platform that for marketers that functions more like a forum for e-reputation and building relationships with consumers.
Developing a presence here is about cross promotion, quality content, answering questions and offering online incentives such as discounts and offers, the Chinese like to feel rewarded and special and often follow brands on social media because of such incentives. WeChat is the most important site for promotion so link consumers back to your fan page with your specific QR code.

2)    Utilize WeChat�s micro e-stores

The WeChat e-store is growing phenomenon. Users increasingly will access brand stores through micro stores within the WeChat application. This has the added benefit of being linked with the E-wallet, users WeChat accounts are now linked to their banking so it is simple to make purchases. The stores are highly customizable with a user friendly layout and this is a growth area for brands, consumers making purchases via a social media platform is a relatively new phenomenon.

3)    Manage E-reputation

Reputation in China is key and consumers will turn to social media and forums to research products before buying. You need to cultivate a positive sentiment towards your brand on QQ forums, WeChat, Weibo and on other general forums. Chinese consumers care greatly about the opinion on other consumers, especially their circle of family and friends. If positive reviews of your brand are shared within social circles you will attract many more customers.

4)    Utilize the QR Code

The QR code as previously mentioned is very important, it is a huge phenomenon in Asia largely because WeChat as the largest social platform developed with QR as a key element of their functionality.

Offline to Online campaigns are particularly effective with QR codes placed on physical products that when scanned link users to your WeChat page. Again it is important to offer promotional incentives and competitions as a reward for scanning the code.

5)    Tailor your content to the Chinese Market

In China there are certain tastes and types of aesthetics that the Chinese consumer is drawn to. Cartoon graphics remain very popular as do short humorous videos. Content needs to be translated into Mandarin Chinese and tailored to their interests. Spend some time looking at Chinese social networks and the type of content that is popularly shared.

It is important to realize that, with regards to social media and the Chinese digital landscape in general, this is a very different online eco-system to what we are used to around the world. This is because it developed under state regulation. Having said this a lot of traditional marketing strategies are still effective in China, they just need to be altered and tailored.

Benji is a digital marketing specialist based in Shanghai, China. For more information see his blog and website here


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