For the past decade, numerous global brands have entered China. Your overseas reputation or financial capabilities may grant you certain advantages. However, both global companies and start-ups face similar challenges when it comes to understanding Chinese consumers and their buying behaviours.
It is not exaggerated to say that Chinese consumers are scared of new and unknown brands. Brand awareness should be your priority of focus if you are new to China.
So, how to increase your brand awareness?
95% of people who live in large Chinese cities have an account with at least one social media site with 91% of them saying they had visited a social media site in the past six months. Unsurprisingly for a country with 1.4 billion people, China possesses a massive amount of citizens on social media.
Social media has a larger impact on the buying decisions of Chinese consumers than on those of any other country. If a Chinese consumer sees a product being discussed positively on a social media site, especially by a friend or acquaintance, they are far more likely to actually purchase the product.
Weibo and WeChat
Weibo and WeChat are two largest social networking platforms in China. They both exert a significant influence on Chinese society and play an indispensable role in modern life.
Wechat is the most powerful APP in China. It is the personal messaging app, social media platform, online payment tool, online shopping place and more; all included in just ONE app. Wechat’s ambition is to integrate itself into every aspect of the daily life of customers. It is helping them perform different activities without leaving the app.
Meanwhile, Weibo is a more open social media platform where users come to socialize with friends and new people. So entertain themselves with funny, viral videos as well as discover trendy topics or hot social information. Celebrities, famous bloggers, media outfits, government departments. And ordinary users all create and share contents on Weibo, making it a very bustling and exciting social hub to hang out.
How to generate awareness of your brand through Weibo and WeChat?
After registering an account on both Wechat and Weibo, brands can post content or push feeds to their subscribers.
Weibo is an open platform where even non-followers can view your Weibo posts and the posting default setting is public. In addition, everyone can also see the reposts, comments or likes. Weibo is very suitable for viral campaigns or viral contents, which aim to boost brand awareness extensively.
In terms of content type, on Weibo, businesses can make use of the media-rich nature of Weibo to create multimedia content including things like videos, pictures, live streaming, and adding emojis in their posts. Besides, the “@tag” function enables users to tag relevant parties in the posts, while the “#hashtag” function leads users to a dedicated page that garners all posts with the same topic.
Promotional campaigns on Weibo are very cost-effective as the platform helps you to reach a large population across different regions in China with a smaller budget. Brands can launch re-post campaigns in which fans would repost a certain message from brands on their walls, content creation campaigns where users are encouraged to contribute organic content related to the brand or products or Lucky draw. Lucky participants will receive valuable awards from the organizers. This is an effective way to generate traffic and gain popularity as well as engage followers.
Unlike Weibo, WeChat is a closed community. Normally, WeChat users can only see posts pushed by official accounts to which they subscribe. So your followers on Wechat tend to be more condensed and targeted. Besides, in WeChat, our contact lists are usually the people that we already know such as relatives, friends and colleagues; so we tend to be a bit extra concerned regarding what we share. Therefore, contents on Wechat may not reach a massive audience but can create powerful word of mouth effect. On WeChat, the content that users like to repost is interactive with text and photos/audio/video. This makes it a good place for long, detailed articles to introduce the brand.
On the other hand, WeChat Official Accounts are also capable of hosting unique and creative campaigns with HTML (H5) pages, such as voting, games, quizzes, and more! To motivate your audience and encourage participation, obviously attractive incentives should be offered such as discounts and gifts. However, remember that since WeChat is a closed platform so to promote the campaign you’ll need to encourage sharing, work with KOLs, or invest in WeChat advertising to truly take advantage of the campaign.
No matter which platform you choose to do your branding on Chinese social media, high-quality content that users repost or share is the most important element. Unique, informative and interesting content will engage followers and attract new ones.