Marketing via thriving Chinese social media remains very efficient way to reach customers locally but companies should be aware of unique challenges that come with it.

In my previous post, I have discussed which platforms are the must for social media marketing in China. As China’s online population has reached half a billion, vast majority of them uses at least one or more social network account. Reaching your customers via those channels is becoming increasingly attractive to marketers.

First off, below are the main reasons why you should consider marketing via the main social media networks:

  1. As mentioned above the sheer size of Chinese social media user base makes it one of the most important marketing channels, if not THE most important;
  2. Social media landscape is one of the most active today with several competing services that continue to add functionality and interactivity to draw in more users;
  3. The majority of Chinese social media users are mobile-based which creates unique opportunity for marketers to reach their target audience everywhere and faster;
  4.  Chinese consumers are often suspicious of pervasive marketing message of the traditional media such as print, TV or direct email. Word of mouth or recommendations from friends via social sharing is valued much higher;

While opportunities are abundant, some considerable challenges remain:

  1. The first challenge is the complexity and fragmentation of social media landscape in China. If in the West, Facebook and Twitter cover most of the traditional marketing ground, in China presence on at least four platforms (Sina Weibo, Tancent Weibo, WeChat and RenRen) is essential. Each cater to slightly different audience but it is still recommended to be on all four of them to maximize the reach;

    One of the most effective ways to keep your audience engaged is to build a narrative.

  2. Another challenge that is, perhaps, applies to social media marketing in general, is staying relevant and entertaining. With the overload of information, it’s easy to get lost in the noise. Boring ads using standard marketing language are ineffective and risk alienating your potential customers.
    One of the most effective ways to keep your audience engaged is to build a narrative. Estée Lauder’s launched a drama series, Sufei’s Diary, with 40 episodes broadcast daily on a dedicated Web site. The show was received as an entertainment and less of an advertisement resulting in millions of people tuned in daily. As a result, brand awareness of their product was measured to be higher by 27% over competitors;
  3. Negative campaigns designed to damage your brand through social media is a unique feature of this market. In some cases, the negative buzz could be associated with a real problem users may have with your product. Unfortunately, in many other cases, it could be a deliberate attempt by your competitors to drive you off the market or, at least, slow you down. Your competitors may be employing artificial writers whose sole purpose is to spread negative information about your brand and products across the reaches of social media.
    Containing the effects of such campaigns can be difficult and expensive. You should try to identify the source of negative posts and design countermeasures based on whether they came from competitors or real consumers.
  4. Another considerable challenge is measuring the effectiveness of your social media marketing efforts. The reason is the lack of analytics tools (such as those offered by Facebook and Google), and limited transparency of the leading platforms. Hopefully, as the social media market matures, such tools can be developed making estimation of the effectiveness of marketing campaigns easier and more measurable.

Subscribe To Our Newsletter

Want to stay up to date on the state of marketing in China? 

Join our mailing list to receive the latest news and updates from our team.

You have Successfully Subscribed!

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This