How to maximize Weibo for my Brand, create community and boost awareness? This complete article will explain Marketer secret strategies to Boost Brand awareness on Weibo, leading social Media in China.
Weibo used by nearly 25% of the Chinese population and The social networking app usage will grow up to 340 million netizens in China this year, accounting for 24.6% of China’s population, according to eMarketer. source
Sina Weibo grow by more than 17% in 2018 and expected to pass 400 million by 2021. The growth is being reflected in Weibo’s advertising online revenues which are also on the rise,(+65% this year to reach $1.54B)
in China Furnitures, Cosmetics, Luxury and Fashion industries offer huge market opportunities for western companies (you already know that right?)
Lifestyle brands realized the importance of social media platforms to provide a good presence on market. Here is one of the largest social networking platforms in China to impact Chinese buying society and play a significant role in modern life.
Weibo is usually known as the Chinese version of Twitter. In Chinese 微博 (Weibo) means microblogging. By September 2016, the number of monthly active users on Weibo had already reached 297 million.
“Weibo has evolved into an entertainment platform that encompasses the features of Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, Reddit and YouTube rolled into one,”
A very successful strategy Fashion Brands are implementing lately is the interaction between Weibo users and celebrity brand ambassadors. “To mention some examples of how top brands have opened their way on Weibo, I will refer to our Fashionbi Magazine Issue No.2 “The Fashion Revolution in China: From Offline to Online” where we find out that the first top international luxury brand to have a presence on Weibo was Louis Vuitton, back in October 2010. And soon, as a ‘Domino Effect’, it was followed by many other big names like Chanel, Gucci, and Burberry,” said Marivi Avalos Monarrez, CMO & Managing Director for Asia at Fashionbi.
Weibo’s Financial Growth
Since 2014 Weibo has been experiencing steady growth of its revenue, with an increase of 76 percent in 2017. Weibo was able to increase its revenues from advertisement and marketing which had been a challenge for the company in the past. However, growth now seems to be slowing down, which might explain the over 10 percent decrease in Weibo’s stock price.
As of Q3 2012, 43 percent of Weibo’s users were women and 57 percent were men.
Besides, Weibo’s audience is mainly composed of young users, as of 2017 Q3, more than 80 percent of its users were less than 30 years old.
Weibo users are not against advertising
Weibo is designed to be a microblogging site. In the past, there was a limit to post not more than 140 Chinese characters and only VIP users could go beyond that. The limit has been relaxed now and any registered user can post up to 2,000 Chinese characters or use the “Article” function, but short posts are still the most common.
Here is a Weibo review of the movie Duckweed written by a KOL.
Interaction with the Audience
- Liking:Account managers may “like” a post that showcases their brand or speaks highly of its products or services.
- Comments:Account managers may comment on a user’s post to demonstrate appreciation and gratitude while drawing attention to the post.
- Reposts:Account managers can repost a KOL’s post about their brand or repost general users’ positive testimonials and questions with a response.
- Messages:This is a more private form of communication that is primarily used as a form of customer service to help customers solve problems.
Key opinion leaders play an important role in both Weibo and Wechat marketing. They’re bloggers, celebrities or professionals in a certain industry that have a huge number of followers. On Weibo, they’re usually paid to generate an original content related to the promoted products or services. The social influence of KOLs is huge. They have the power to convert followers into customers.
Weibo : a Well-established Ecosystem
Weibo’s main advantage is a well-established ecosystem that is deeply integrated into Chinese netizens’ habits and lifestyle. In March 2017, Weibo’s monthly active user reached 340 million users, whilst Twitter’s monthly active user was merely 328 million.
Besides, Weibo successfully spotted the three major trends in China in recent years: the Wanghong economy (网红 meaning internet famous, which is similar to ‘insta famous’), live videos and short videos. The Super Wanghong Festival attracted nearly all the most famous Chinese Internet influencers and got more than 800 million likes.
As for the short video industry, Weibo has achieved impressive results: in 2017 Q3, year on year growth of Weibo video views increased by 175 percent. During the 2018 World Cup, the views of football-related short videos were over 17.06 billion, and the views of topics around the World Cup reached 93.15 billion.
Weibo has partnered up with Alipay to launch a new payment platform called Weibo Payment. It is supposed to make online and offline payments easier for Weibo users. So, when a user shares an item from one of Alibaba’s e-commerce sites on their account, a “buy” button automatically appears that connects to Alipay.
This strategic cooperation allows Weibo to enhance its commercialization model, which was Weibo’s major weakness back in the days. So far, the partnership shows promise. According to official data, 48 percent of active daily Weibo users have already integrated their Alibaba accounts so they can share items from Alibaba’s e-commerce platforms, including online marketplaces Taobao and Tmall.
Weibo is a Must for Fashion and Luxury Brands in China
Weibo has had a positive growth of its Monthly Active Users, and surpassed Twitter in 2017. Although growth for Weibo is slowing down, it remains much stronger than its Western competitor.
Weibo provides many opportunities for fashion marketers to spread the news about the brand and its products to the big community. A solid digital marketing strategy on the Weibo platform is one of the key areas to invest in.
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