Do you want to enter or develop your business in China ? Are you a company active on Chinese social Networks ? In that case, don’t forget to include in your strategy the fact of being active or present on social media.
The importance of the Internet and mobile phone in China
With more than 660 millions of Internet users, China is one of the most connected countries in the world. 88.9% of Chinese Internet users use their mobile phone to go on internet. According to China Internet Watch, in 2015, 374 millions of Chinese purchased on the Internet of which 70% bought products or services on their mobile phone. Thus, it is important to take into account the place of the mobile phone in China. It actually happens often in China that friends don’t talk to each other and prefer to focus instead on their mobile phone.
The main social media in China
Social media in China are like those we have in our western countries: powerful with numerous users. The main social media and the most used one in China are WeChat, Weibo, QQ and Baidu Seiba. The most widely used is WeChat with more than 690 millions active users all around the world. Their first market is of course China with more than 65% adult Chinese internet users using the mobile app.
Chinese believe strongly in comments and other’s opinions
As you may already know, Chinese strongly attach much importance to GuanXi (Chinese social networking) and MianZi (面子) or “Face” in English. The reputation, image we reflect to the outside world are very important in China, and this even more than in Western countries. That is why they value their friends, relatives and other people like famous celebrities’ opinions even if it’s online. Having a presence on these platforms is great but you should also build your reputation. The Key Opinion Leader should not be forgotten. They are people (celebrities, bloggers or online famous persons) who are naturally listened to by the audience when looking for information or advice.
Some useful features
Companies are using more and more social media platforms to improve their brand awareness or even to sell their products/services. In fact, one out of many interesting add-ons on some of them is the possibility to have an e-wallet on WeChat and thus to purchase easily on the social network.
It’s also possible to create professional accounts on WeChat and Weibo. WeChat also enables the user to make calls for free via Internet and above all, which can be interesting for a company as well, is the ability to share “moments” . These “moments” are very similar to Facebook posts. However, you have to post a picture with your post. This allows users to share their advice, opinions and overall their daily life. Concerning Weibo (similar to Twitter), users are not only professionals who want to share information to show their expertise but also regular people who simply want to share articles, videos or pictures with their followers.
To conclude, if a company really wants to improve its opportunities in China, it has to act on social media, take care of its online reputation and finally use KOL (Key Opinion Leader) like Piaget and Baume&Mercier did, to position itself correctly on the targeted Chinese market.
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