The importance of social media marketing in China cannot be underestimated. Over 792 million people in China use social media daily for news, entertainment, information, social interactions, banking, paying bills, booking tickets, shopping, micro-blogging, and more. Given this massive reach, it makes business sense to leverage various Chinese social media platforms to build your brand and spread awareness of your products and services.
Let’s look at some of the practices that have transformed social media marketing into such an important business tool in China:
It takes advantage of social trends
Social media marketers keep tabs on popular and happening trends at the local, national, and international levels. They note what people are talking about and what interests them, and find ways to incorporate the top themes in their advertisement campaigns to capture public attention. They also use the prevailing public sentiment as a measure to alter or add to their business services to align these better with what people actually want.
It mines social connections and social relationships
Traditional ways of advertising and marketing often fall flat in the swiftly changing landscape of social media. Unless a brand is a renowned one, people can become inured enough to ignore repeated calls to action to buy something. One way upcoming businesses can get around this is by building one-on-one trust-inspiring relationships with their prospective customers. People are more likely to pay attention if they think a business understands their wants and is willing to accommodate these.
A growing number of businesses now use social media as part of their customer service to directly engage with customers, answer their queries, and take swifter action to allay their concerns. Many Chinese companies no longer even bother with setting up websites as it is more effective to do business via their social media accounts.
It advertises with paid and unpaid promotions
Paid advertising on social media platforms like Baidu, WeChat, Sina Weibo, Tencent QQ, and many others is one of the quickest, most effective ways of getting a brand before a large percentage of the population. Since these platforms enjoy a high level of trust with their users, people will readily check out the promoted content and click on advertising banners. Given that each of these social media platforms gets millions of daily visits, businesses stand to benefit if the traffic translates into sales.
Businesses can also publish free promotional content in the form of blog posts, videos, and images for their social media followers. Forums like Baidu Tieba offer businesses the opportunity to create their own content and engage with specific niche groups. They can join in on on-going discussions to post information about their brand and get valuable feedback. With regular participation, they can get many converts and build up an organic following.
It targets the right demographics
For marketing campaigns to be effective, businesses need to market to specific demographics. Businesses use social media to find and segment users according to age, interests, buying habits, and other parameters so that they can direct their advertising campaigns towards those that are most likely to use their products and services.
A few things to keep in mind about social media marketing in China
Many of the leading social media platforms in China have a complex sign-up process for business accounts. Business owners must provide copies of their business registration and other documents, pay a requisite fee, and wait for one to two months to have their accounts officially approved. The Chinese government requires this to make sure that only legitimate, law-abiding businesses can market to their citizens.
Harnessing the power of social media marketing in China ( adstochina.westwin.com/Social-Media-Marketing-in-China ) can build up your brand to dizzying heights. However—and it is crucial to keep in mind—that one serious misstep can result in an entirely opposite effect as a few foreign brands have been unfortunate enough to experience. Far from getting lionized, your brand could end up being vilified on social media and summarily shunned. So, tread the waters carefully, take a polite, respectful approach in all your interactions, and avoid making any cultural faux pas. Over time, it will help you to gain followers, get positive reviews, and build strong brand loyalty.
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