Things you must know about Chinese Social Media

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Things you must know about Chinese Social Media

Digital Media and social marketing are undoubtedly the buzzword nowadays for marketing managers in many countries. China is no exception.

As mentioned in our recently blog, the number of people who are online in China is astonishing. Digital marketing and social media marketing in particular proves to be the most cost-effective marketing method that no marketing manager can afford to ignore.  This week we will publish a series of blogs focusing on social media in China to help you gain a better overall picture. We will introduce the social map in China and focus on the most influential social medial platforms. What similarities do they bear with popular Western social medias and in which ways they differ from them? We will also give some ideas on how western brands can benefit from the booming social media in China and the best ways to promote your products and services using Chinese social media.

What social media platforms are there in China? Let’s take a look. The following China social media landscape graph is published by CIC in 2012. In the centre of this pie chart you can see the popular social platforms that most of us here in the west are aware of.  Twitter, Facebook and Youtube are probably social media marketers favourites.

CIC2012中国社会化媒体格局图CN copy


What do you see?

One thing you cannot miss from this chart is that there are many equivalents of the same social media platforms.  When you look closely it is never that straightforward.  As the IT technology in the west is much more advanced than that of China, a lot of the successful western online concept were brought into China. However the Chinese government censored some of the western media platforms including Twitter, Facebook and Youtube. Therefore the demand for the Chinese to have their own social media and play within the limit of their own domestic cyber law was only natural.

In most cases there is more than one company with the ambition to bring in these platforms, with localised features, to cater for Chinese Internet users. Though the pie chart has outlined the landscape nicely the real picture is much more complicated with different platforms and its own “edge”.

For instance the Chinese equivalent of Twitter is Weibo (the Chinese name for Microblog).  However, Weibo is more like a combination of Facebook and Twitter. There is a limitation of 140 words on each post but users can also upload a picture like they do on Facebook. Your Weibo followers can also comment on the tweets posted on Weibo, which is also a Facebook feature. This made Weibo extremely popular in China whilst the real Facebook equivalents RenRen and Kaixin  are losing its popularity. Most active Internet users will still keep their Kaixin and Renren log-ins but more and more interactions are happening on Weibo.

Another dark horse in Chinese social media is “Wechat” which is even more sophisticated. The registration on Wechat reached 300million 3 month earlier than Sina and Tencent Weibo. Wechat is like a combination of Facebook, Whatsapp and Weibo but with more private audience groups and it is definitely the one to watch.

Now you might be more confused than when you started to read about Chinese social media.

Where to start? How can you or you company benefit from Chinese social media? Which channel suits you the best? This week we will publish a blog a day focusing on Chinese social media to help you answer these questions and show you how to start to get you Chinese social media page going in no time. We welcome any question and queries; anything that has been puzzling you in your China social media strategy.  We will try to answer each one.

Stayed Tuned!

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