Weibo, one of the Chinese most popular social networks, is the must-know tool for marketers who want to engage in the Chinese digital marketing area. Although there are many different microblog service in China, Weibo is the hottest one. From the report did by China Network Information Center recently, the number of registered Weibo users was around 600 million, over 300 million monthly active users and over 130 million daily active users.
Nowadays in China, real estate competition is no longer limited in the sales gallery. Weibo as the hottest platform is the place where developers are enhancing their branding and increase fan interaction. Next, let’s see how to use Weibo for marketing in China.
1.Verified Weibo corporate accounts
Businesses can verify their account on Weibo for a one-off fee of USD 1,000.. Once verified, your account will have a bright blue “V” on your Weibo page, proving to users that your page is legitimate. You will also get access to monitoring widgets, various customer relationship management tools and post analytics. Brand trust is extremely important in China, it is worth the cost if you’re serious about the Chinese market.Authenticated Sina Weibo will be more easily recognized by netizens. In this way, your posts and ads can be more easily reached，and can better harvest fans.
China’s real estate developers such as Country Garden, Vanke and Agile Property have verified their accounts on Weibo and published various news on them.This is one of the best ways for them to doing their branding.
2.Basic Features of Sina Weibo: Personal/Official Account, sharing and commenting
Users can register their own accounts and upload text or multimedia content (pictures, videos, gifs, etc.). Apart from standard posts, they can also hold live-streaming sessions or upload “Weibo stories” (similar to Instagram stories). The story function allows users to upload a 15-second video/story that disappears after 24 hours.
To foster communication between users, Weibo introduced functions such as: “Like”, “Comment”, “Repost”, “Share” and “Chat” (inbox). Users can also subscribe to particular accounts and keep track of their posts or join chat groups with topics that they are interested in.
It is noteworthy that users can comment with lots of fun emojis, stickers, and GIFs, which further enhance users’ experience and engagement:
To compose an engaging message, businesses can make use of the media-rich nature of Weibo to create multimedia content like videos, pictures, live streaming, and adding emojis in their posts. Besides, the “@tag” function enables users to tag relevant parties in the posts, while the “#hashtag” function leads users to a dedicated page that garners all posts with the same topic. To lead users to a specific website, you can also insert a link in the message.
Hashtags just like on Twitter are very powerful for raising the public’s awareness towards different subjects. For example, Country Garden has tagged #家的模样# (the image of your home)in the post. The Hashtag generated a total of 810 million readings and 156, 000 discussions. The Hashtag can make the brand interact with fans, attract the publics’ attention, and improve exposure and brand awareness.
The Weibo Lucky Draw is very beneficial to brands or even individuals as the procedures of setting up online campaigns are very convenient. Weibo’s official accounts @Weibo official events and @Weibo Lucky Draw platform can deal with the whole process and answer any inquiries the organizer has.
In terms of campaign effectiveness, the biggest advantage is that the spread of information on the platform is very quick. The event message and information of the organizer can reach a lot of people rapidly, given that there are more than 462 million MAUs on Weibo.
As a lucky draw initiated by Country Garden, users only need to follow the official account and forward Weibo, and then they can get the house buying coupons of Country Garden. The lucky draw resulted in 21800 times of forwarding, which is undoubtedly one of the best ways to promote the brand.
As a social media platform that earned 1.5 billion in marketing and advertising revenues last year, Weibo has done very well in providing advertising solutions for businesses on the platform. It has introduced several advertising packages which include display ads, search engine promotion, newsfeed ads, and video ads, which are popular among companies in different industries.
Weibo Advertising: Display advertisements
Like many other social media platforms, Weibo also features display advertisements, which include pop-up advertisements (support pictures, videos, and gifs) upon opening the app, traditional banner ads, etc. Businesses can further add value to the advertisement by adding an “interactive function”, such as a “click here” button that directs users to a dedicated page (internal or external link).
Display advertisements are very popular as most operate on a cost per click model, which results in only paying for performance. The upon app-open display advertisement is also particularly useful for catching users’ attention as it pops up immediately upon opening the app. Overall, display ads are some of the most popular forms of Weibo advertising.
Weibo Advertising: Search Engine Advertising
As mentioned before, Weibo has a “Discover” page that acts as a comprehensive search engine within the platform. It showcases hot topics around the community and sorts them into different categories. Users can perform advanced searches through keywords allowing them to browse related posts, accounts, and fan pages on the platform.
Weibo has helped businesses to make use of the function by introducing “Trending Topic Promotion”. Businesses can “buy” a search topic/keyword, after which their chosen post will be recommended as the top listed result in the search bar. Once the topic is searched, users would be directed to a designated page, which may be the brand account, fan page, etc.
6.Key Opinion Leaders (KOLs)
Generally speaking, Chinese KOLs prefer Weibo as a social media platform, as the openness of the platform allows them to reach more people, and they tend to have much higher follower numbers on Weibo than on other platforms. Brands that are serious about Weibo need to make KOL engagement a key part of their strategy, as engagement with a wider audience is key to this platform, and relying solely on brand content is not enough.
Weibo is by far the hottest place for brand promotion and celebrity collaboration. And when the right marketing strategy is combined with a suited Weibo celebrity spokesperson for your brand, the possibilities for your business to soar in China are limitless.
In conclusion, Weibo is an excellent platform for increasing brand awareness and connecting with your Chinese customers. It can certainly be valuable and beneficial to China’s marketing. If you have different opinions, please comment below or contact us：firstname.lastname@example.org