Why is social media such a hit in China? Chinese people spend around 25 hours a week on the internet. Most, if not all of China’s headlines and trends are constantly broadcasted and updated every minute on China’s social media channels, such as WeChat and Weibo. It gives a real-time insight into the lives of Chinese popular culture and, in this technological era, that is what the customer demands.
Social Media’s cutting edge: It’s only the tip of the iceberg!
Westerners use Facebook, Google, Twitter, Whatsapp, Youtube… Instead, Chinese people use Wechat, Weibo,Youku and Baidu.
They are similar to Western social media platforms, but aren’t a carbon copy. Actually, China’s young generation, also known as the Millenials, is more connected than ever with the increasingly populated middle-class,who now have the propensity to buy a smartphone. Social media is becoming a part of life for both young and old people, and is quintessential for brands to exhibit their products.
Why? China now has the most internet users
With 630 million internet users, of whom 70% use social media users and are under 35 years old, plus 575 million people connected by phone, social media is king and is leading the next generation in communication. Moreover, this is a new generation with strong purchasing power who can make or break a brand. So, a good marketing strategy is crucial and also how to optimize your WeChat Social media Campaign
Understanding Chinese social media
We are no longer in the West. We are in China, and thus have to adapt to their culture. The keys to this are: discovering, learning, understanding and adaptation.
Consumption habits are different; it is necessary to understand Chinese culture and adapt your marketing strategy to this audience, whilst connecting with young people who want to engage and communicate with brands and individuals alike.
Tencent group (Weibo : 500 million active internet users, WeChat : 600 million active internet users) understood that and leads the Chinese social media market, increasing its user numbers by improving news functions and advertisements on WeChat…
Guarding its e-reputation
Chinese consumers are suspicious because of frequent scams, counterfeits and fraudulent activities. Internet users trust recommendations from their peers, rather than brand propaganda.
Keeping an eye on competitors, checking your social media account and what is said about your brand is a bit of friendly advice for you to progress your brand’s success. The best advice, however, is to employ social media specialists; they will be able to create a relevant digital marketing strategy, thanks to their knowledge of the Chinese market.
Social Media is your future
25 hours per weeks on social media for Chinese internet users. A real bonanza for brands:
-668 million internet users
-675 million have mobile phones => 574 million are connected on social media by phone
-E-commerce => US $253 billion spent by Chinese consumers in the first half of 2015
Are you convinced? You should be. Social media in China is the key, a must for all brands who wish to conquer the Chinese market. Everything (and so everyone) is on social media!
Warning: Danger Ahead!
You have to carefully plan what you express to your social media followers.
Chinese internet users want real interaction with brands they are following on social media. Your profile must be attractive and post clearly written, targeted messages on Weibo or Wechat to maintain interest.
Brand values and the history of the company are important so that customers can build a relationship with the brand. A brand’s products represent these values and must innovate to keep the consumer’s attention.
Your goal is to engage your customer. You have to interact with them, building a strong relationship, asking them their opinions on social media, organize some activities…. And master their language: few Chinese people speaks English, remember that. Therefore, brownie points will be in order if you can converse in their mother tongue!
Social Media leads the Chinese market, and you must understand it to gain a foothold in this prosperous market, which is, admittedly, very difficult for a foreign brand. One of the best options remains using SEO and community management specialized agencies already set in China.
Read more: how cosmectic brands can use SEO in China