When you think about Chinese social media marketing, popular platforms such as WeChat, Weibo, and TikTok most likely come to mind. Due to the utter popularity surrounding these platforms, the marketing competition is high and brands are using the promotional features on these platforms to the fullest. Finding your niche through all the marketing campaigns from competitors can really put your marketing skills to the test. Which is why you should stay open-minded and utilize alternative platforms such as Baidu Tieba. Baidu Tieba is one of the largest and most underutilized top social media platforms in China.
Created by Baidu in 2003, Baidu Tieba is a keyword-based community discussion forum where posts on any and every topic can be found. Tieba literally translates to “let’s post” and many consider it as the equivalent to Reddit. Users can interact with individual Tiebas based on their interests and it can be a cost-effective way for new businesses to get started in the Chinese market. However, Baidu Tieba has lost a lot of traction in recent years due to the rise of its competitors including Douban and Zhihu.
These platforms have sophisticated communities and deliver high quality content to facilitate discussion. Baidu Tieba has become more mainstream and its user base has shifted to young users and users with a low education level. What separates Baidu Tieba from its competitors is that it’s backed by Baidu. Baidu is still the number one used platform for search in China and allows searches from Baidu Tieba to rank incredibly high. Baidu Tieba also takes advantage of keyword search segmentation for a users’ interests.
How does Baidu Tieba differentiate from Reddit
Similar to Reddit, Baidu Tieba combines aspects of social media, news and message boards to create a community that is driven by interaction and sharing. Both platforms are broken into many different categories and individual sections that focus on specific topics and themes. The main difference is that the content presentation on Tieba is much richer with various channels and is mobile only.
Special features on Baidu Tieba
- Interactive platform that’s UGC focused: Due to the high level of user interaction on the platform, brands don’t need the help of KOLs to gain brand exposure. The community on the platform is enough to produce, drive and promote content. Brands just need to make sure to post content that is interesting enough to get community users to interact with their post.
- Hyper-targeted marketing: Baidu Tieba is a great place for niche brands to reach smaller segments of interested users based on interests. The platform is setup in a way that allows each Tieba or post to be catered specifically to its own little community and Tieba Host. Therefore, there is no distraction when it comes to users focusing their attention on what you have to say.
Important Baidu Tieba jargon to know
Baidu has a wide range of special features and here are some that you should get familiar with when getting started with the platform.
- Tieba Host: A Tieba Host is the person in charge of a Tieba and is selected by Baidu Tieba webmasters based on the users’ level of community engagement. The responsibilities of a host include regulating posts, attracting new members, and establishing relationships with other Tiebas. Hosts are also allowed to make rules and standards that all community members must follow.
- Experience Points: Experience points are used to measure a users’ rank in an individual Tieba. You can increase your ranking through initiating a post, replying to a post, organizing a poll, and logging in to name a few.
- Experience Level: Once you have enough experience points within a Tieba, you will eventually move up to a new level in the platforms ranking list. Each level has its own perks and rewards.
What does Baidu Tieba look like
The homepage of Baidu Tieba has a standard community forum layout with a search bar at the top. You can see key subpages on the main page such as Tieba recommendations, real-time stories, and selected topics. You can play around with the search feature to see what the interface looks like without having an account.
If you would like to engage more with the Baidu Tieba community, you will need to create a Baidu account. A Baidu account gives you access to all of Baidu’s products including Baidu Wenku (site for sharing documents), Baidu Cloud (similar to Google Drive), Baidu Zhidao (similar to Quora), and Baidu Advertising. You can get a better understanding of how to setup a Baidu account by visiting our Baidu Advertising post or contacting us for more details.
Top Baidu Tieba categories
Since Baidu Tiebas are independent of each other, every Tieba focuses on different content and topics. The function of each Tieba can vary quite extensively and categories can even be broken down to subcategories. To give you a glimpse of some of the things Chinese users are interested in, here are a few of the top categories.
- Interest Groups: Interest groups are great for brands with niche needs. They range from gaming experts to sports fanatics to book readers. Mobile gaming is one of the most used categories where users share strategies and receive gaming rewards for interactions.
- Celebrity Tiebas: Celebrity Tiebas are very popular among Chinese users and are often filled with positive comments due to the high chance of getting banned by Tieba Hosts.
How to create free & effective posts on Tieba
Baidu Tieba has quite a few ways brands can utilize their paid advertising features, but organic content on Tieba can be a great way to expose your brand and save on costs when promoting your business. Since one of the features of Baidu Tieba is to segment users, you have the opportunity to reach your exact target audience and become a top post with long-term success. Here are some important tactics to keep in mind when making a Baidu Tieba post.
- Build creditability first: Establish a creditable account before making your own post. Make sure your biography is accurate and complete. It is recommended to post and interact in other Tieba posts before posting one of your own. This will also help you earn experience points.
- Stay creative: Make sure to create a Tieba with a creative title and a post that is short and informative. Don’t rush in with aggressive advertisements as it will push users away from your post.
- Quality posts always win: A high quality post will be way more beneficial to your brand than making multiple posts with a lot of low quality content.
If you have never actually used Baidu Tieba before, you might have a hard time understanding the value it can bring to your brand. Getting this type of UGC exposure works well for brands especially ones new to the Chinese market. Baidu Tieba is still one of the top social media platforms in China and it can be a great source for generating traffic at a low cost to your business. All you need to do is have a thorough understand of it and you will be able to leverage the platform effectively for building your brand.