Weibo is the largest open social media in China. Along with other social media and e-commerce platforms, Weibo has reshaped Chinese modern lives. Besides social networks, Weibo has also developed into a powerful and essential marketing tool. However, marketing on this platform is not easy for foreign brands, as the social ecosystem, as well as the culture, are different in China from Western ones.
Gentlemen Marketing Agency is an expert in Weibo marketing. We help brands and businesses open official Weibo accounts and manage promotional content and other marketing campaigns. So if you’re standing in front of a task of opening a Weibo business account, this article is for you!
KPI and Results focused. We are the most visible Marketing Agency for China. Not because of huge spending but because of our SMART Strategies. Let us help you with: E-Commerce, Search Engine Optimization, Advertising, Weibo, WeChat, WeChat Store & PR.
What is Weibo?
Weibo is a Chinese microblogging website platform, launched by Sina Corporation on 14 August 2009. As of 2023, there is an estimated more than 580 million monthly active Weibo users, of which 40% are between 23 and 30 years old.
Users use Weibo as a platform to share and get social information. They can follow those people in whom they have interests or be followed by others. It works quite like its American counterpart but is more functional. The content shared on a Weibo page can be textual, visual, video, and live streams.
How does Weibo work?
In some ways, Weibo is very similar to Twitter and Facebook, as it shares the same features, such as a “Discovery tab”, user statistics, a main feed with all the news and updates from friends, different content types, a comments section, and more.
Weibo is an open social media platform, where anyone with a personal account can post a Weibo story in the form of photos or videos. In recent years, thanks to a big potential of virality, it became a very important platform for Key Opinion Leaders, that communicate with their target audience and create effective marketing content for brands.
Why Weibo is crucial for your branding in China?
The development of the Internet has greatly changed and reshaped Chinese people’s lifestyles, ways of exchanging information, consumption behaviors, etc. As the Chinese deeply rely on online reviews, friends, families, and their trust KOLs’ opinions about which products or services are worth choosing, social platforms play an important role in this exchange of information. What’s more, because of scandals that happened in China, the Chinese consumer is wary of those unknown brands.
It is thus crucial to create your brand awareness and promote your brand reputation in the market. Weibo, as the leading open social platform in China, is no doubt your first choice for your branding.
With its open social platform essence and giant user base, Weibo can help you to reach a short time many targets and your content will go viral with the help of well-chosen KOLs. Weibo is very suitable and popular for KOL marketing, to a point that almost every KOL that you can name has a Weibo account.
Why Should You Use Weibo for Business? Benefits of Having a Weibo Official Account
Weibo stands prominently as a beacon for brands and businesses. As a microblogging giant, Weibo offers a unique blend of content dissemination, user interaction, and diverse advertising tools.
If you’re contemplating entering or expanding in the Chinese market, here are the compelling reasons why having an official Weibo account is indispensable:
Stamp of Authenticity
An official Weibo account elevates your brand’s standing by providing an official badge, signaling authenticity. In a market where counterfeits are rampant, this establishes immediate trust and recognition among consumers.
Direct Consumer Engagement
Weibo’s platform is built for real-time interaction. It enables brands to directly engage with their audience, address concerns, share updates, and cultivate a loyal brand community.
Customizable Marketing Campaigns
Weibo isn’t just a platform for posts; it’s a versatile marketing tool. With your official account, you can:
- Weibo Advertising: Craft targeted ad campaigns using Weibo’s advertising suite, which allows segmenting based on user demographics, interests, and behaviors.
- Influencer Partnerships: Collaborate with key opinion leaders (KOLs) to boost brand visibility and leverage their follower base for wider reach.
- Sponsored Content: Promote your brand’s content to appear prominently in user feeds, ensuring higher visibility and engagement.
Advanced Analytics and Tools
Beyond basic engagement metrics, Weibo offers in-depth analytics to gauge campaign performance, audience insights, and content reach. This data is pivotal for strategy refinement and to ensure the ROI of your Weibo marketing strategy. Furthermore, Weibo’s array of tools, from polls to livestreaming, can be employed to diversify your content strategy.
Diverse Promotional Mechanisms
Weibo’s platform is brimming with varied promotional tools. Whether it’s Flash Sales, contests, or interactive quizzes, brands can innovate and keep their audience engaged continually.
How to Create and Verify Your Weibo Official Account?
All legal companies in the world, either Chinese ones or foreign ones can be registered on Weibo, but the entry fees are different for those two kinds. If it concerns a foreign entity, you have to pay 1,000 USD to be registered, while Chinese ones, only need to pay an entry fee of 300 USD.
Setting up a business account on Weibo can significantly amplify your outreach to Chinese consumers, enhance your brand visibility, and facilitate promotion efforts. Below are the sequential steps to help you establish your Weibo business profile:
- Navigate to Weibo’s Business Portal: Access the specialized Weibo portal intended for foreign businesses to initiate the process.
- Identify Your Business Category: Define your business structure, be it an enterprise or a solo entrepreneur, and select accordingly.
- Provide Business Details: Populate the form with essential details like your company’s official name, communication channels, sector of operation, and more.
- Attach Necessary Documentation: Ensure you submit essential credentials, encompassing your business registration certificate, the identification of your company’s chief representative, and any other pertinent paperwork.
- Opt for a Suitable Validation Technique: The method for validation can vary based on your business’s nature and geographical location. Opt for what resonates with your business.
- Forward Your Registration: Upon ensuring all details are correctly populated, click the “Forward” option. The validation period might span from several days to a few weeks.
- Cover the Associated Costs: There might be costs linked to account registration or validation, contingent on your chosen account type and specific business requirements.
It’s essential to recognize that exact steps and prerequisites might shift based on your operational region, business nature, and Weibo’s prevailing stipulations.
Considering the intricacies of the procedure, it’s often advised to collaborate with a regional expert or agency well-versed in Chinese digital platforms, like Gentlemen Marketing Agency. We can assist in bridging linguistic gaps, decoding local mandates, and efficiently managing your Weibo promotional activities.
Why should you verify your account?
Once you have your brand account, you’d better get your account a “V” in the lower right corner of your profile photo, as the above picture shows. This means that you have gotten your brand account verified. We can help with the verification process if needed!
An official Weibo account verified can demonstrate to viewers that your identification is affirmed by Weibo so that you can have access to more Weibo tools. Moreover, this can promote your account’s credibility and get more followers.
Best Tips for Weibo Marketing with an Official Account
Here are some of the best tips for Weibo marketing using an official account:
Content Variety and Engagement
Weibo thrives on diverse content. Mix text, images, videos, GIFs, and Weibo Stories to keep your followers engaged. Short videos and visually rich posts often generate more traction.
Additionally, interactive features like polls and surveys can not only keep your audience engaged but also offer you insights into their preferences. Consider hosting live streams, a hugely popular trend in China, to give followers a real-time interaction with your brand, showcase products, or conduct Q&A sessions.
Leverage Weibo’s Advertising and SEO Features
An official Weibo account provides you access to its sophisticated advertising tools. From display ads to promoted posts, target specific demographics to ensure maximum reach.
Moreover, just like optimizing content for search engines, Weibo content can be optimized with relevant keywords. This Weibo-specific social search engine promotion ensures your posts get higher visibility in platform searches.
Localize and Relate to the Audience
While global appeal is good, local resonance is better. Ensure your content speaks to the Chinese audience in a culturally relevant manner. Direct translations can miss nuances, so craft messages that truly resonate with local interests, festivals, and trends.
Collaborate with Key Opinion Leaders
One of the quickest ways to gain visibility on Weibo is by collaborating with Key Opinion Leaders (KOLs) or influencers. These individuals have built substantial followerships and can introduce your brand to a larger audience. When choosing a KOL, it’s essential to ensure that their followers align with your target demographic.
Consistency and Interaction
In the digital age, out of sight often means out of mind. Maintain a consistent posting schedule and make sure you’re regularly interacting with your followers. This not only keeps your brand prominent but also fosters a sense of community among your followers.
Analyze, Adjust, and Improve
Weibo provides detailed analytics on audience behavior and engagement metrics. Routinely check these statistics to understand what’s working and what’s not. Adjust your strategy based on data-driven insights to continuously enhance your Weibo marketing efforts.
Weibo’s Censorship System – Important for Your Branding in China
Like all platforms in China, the giant censorship net is everywhere, including Weibo. Those contents not aligned with rules will be blocked or limit traffic and can bring problems. So in your content creation, pay attention to those sensitive words and sentences. They are always changing and not easy to know, but there are several categories that can give you an idea:
- Words invoking violence, racism, terrorism, etc.
- Pornographic contents
- Certain political names or contents
- Sensitive financial words like bank account, money transfer, etc.
It is not easy for foreign brands to be aware of all those sensitive words or sentences. GMA can take over all the content and community management so that brands invest almost nothing in the undertaking. We are capable to provide premium marketing and interacting content to attract and engage your targets.
We are Your Trusted Social Media Agency in China!
Our agency is headquartered in China, Shanghai., with subsidiaries operating in Shenzhen, Paris, and London. Our team is a mix of Western & Chinese specialists in the Chinese market and online marketing solutions for Social Media.
We can provide you with a full-package Weibo services as follows:
- Weibo Opening Account and Verification
- Weibo Official Account Design
- Weibo Advertising (all types)
- Weibo Events & KOLs
- Weibo Content Creation
- Weibo Community Management
- Monthly report about Weibo KPIs
We help brands to connect with Chinese community
GMA is a Full Digital Marketing Agency for International Businesses targeting Chinese consumers. With Weibo advertising, we can help you to target a specific Chinese audience, and get your brand high exposure. Contact us today to get started!