Weibo, was once herald as the only social media platform in China, but has since been overshadowed by the rise of WeChat and the growing popularity of Toutiao. It is true that we barely hear about Weibo marketing anymore, but Weibo is the second most popular social media platform in China. The company is continuing to experience significant growth with its user base nearing 500 million users. Weibo is still a must have platform for your Chinese marketing strategy.
Beginner Basics with Weibo Marketing
Weibo is mostly used for spotting the latest trends and entertainment and for users that like to follow famous celebrities or influencers. The platform is also a source for news consumption and a gateway to speak freely about social issues. Users can open their own accounts and post up to 2,000 words or multimedia content (pictures, videos, gifs, etc.). The makeup of Weibo users are mostly younger with 56.3% of them being male.
Since its initial launch, Weibo has absorbed many features of other social media platforms and has really expanded its reach to become a comprehensive social platform with its own niche. Multimedia content consumption on Weibo has also seen sustainable growth, with the popularity of its short videos, e-commerce integration, live streaming and Weibo Story, which is similar to the story function on Instagram.
Setting up a Weibo Business Account
In order to start marketing on Weibo, you need to register an official account for your business. For registration, you can visit this site and input your basic information. Once your account is approved, a blue “V” will be displayed next to your account, similar to the verified badge on Twitter. Verified accounts can enjoy benefits like campaign management, advanced page customization and detailed information postings about your brand.
For foreign companies with a Chinese business license, the verification process takes about 5-7 working days and cost around US $ 43 a year. For overseas companies that are new to China, the verification process takes about 10-15 working days and includes a one-time verification fee of US $ 1,000.
After verifying your account, you can customize your Weibo page to fit your brand image. You can choose between different banners, backgrounds and company information to market your account page. Weibo has been very effective at merging social media with e-commerce. Your business can also take advantage of Weibo Window (Weibo’s e-commerce platform) to sell products and raise sale conversions when a user visits your account.
Marketing your Business on Weibo
Weibo offers a ton of avenues for businesses to build brand expose and gain popularity among Chinese users. The platform offers many different packages that you can add to your Weibo marketing campaign such as social search engine promotion, KOL marketing and display ads. Before you get to this stage, developing a solid content strategy is vital. Weibo is an open social media platform that requires consistent and frequent user engagement to get the most out of its features. Sometimes it can be difficult to create effective marketing content that attracts the full attention of your users. It’s essential to develop a content marketing strategy that is personalized and truly resonates with your target audience. Here are a few content types you should utilize when marketing on Weibo.
Content backed by influencers (KOL)
Weibo KOLs are a great option for marketing your business. They are not as well-known as celebrities on the platform, but many of them have a respectable amount of followers. Some are experts in niche fields and can lead more followers to your brand with personalized, authentic content. The possibility for your business to gain awareness can be endless with the right marketing strategy and KOL.
Content that promotes festivals
Brands can create their very own personalized content that revolves around important Chinese holidays or festivals such as Chinese Valentine’s Day or Singles’ Day. By taking advantage of these types of events and providing creative content for your users can significantly increase the loyalty that Chinese consumers have with your brand.
Content that offers rewards
Campaigns that involve giveaways and rewards are extremely popular on Weibo. It’s a common way to build up your follower base and generate sales especially if you are new to marketing on the platform. These types of campaigns usually consist of users reposting articles for the chance to be entered in a lucky draw. Lucky draw campaigns are held by the Weibo lucky draw official account and are great for brands that are operating on a limited budget.
Social Search with Weibo
With its posts being indexed by Baidu, Weibo is one of the few social media platforms in China that currently offers search engine optimization. Weibo has a discover page that can be used as an internal search engine. It allows users to perform advanced searches by typing in keywords to filter though related posts, pages and accounts. Weibo also allows brands to “purchase” keywords that are then recommended to the user in the search bar. This offers a very effective way to boost brand visibility for new users. The content of your posts should be strategized with keywords that are visible throughout your post in order to receive the highest ranking possible when users search for keywords.
Marketing on Weibo can give your business a streamlined opportunity to penetrate the world’s largest e-commerce market. Weibo provides comprehensive marketing features and tools that are certainly beneficial for any brand marketing to China. To get deeper insights into marketing on Weibo or getting your business account setup, contact us!