Most people outside of China are familiar with social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. But, to reach the Chinese consumer market, social media platforms like WeChat and Weibo are the way to go. Also, do you know that you can use Weibo in English?
WeChat is the app that does everything. Without a doubt, it is China’s most critical social media platform. So, is there any need for marketing and advertising on Weibo? Weibo vs. WeChat: Which one is more suitable for your ad campaign? What makes Weibo attractive and indispensable to businesses targeting the Chinese market?
Although Weibo may not have as many users as WeChat, it is still China’s second-largest social media platform. As of 2021, it has 573 million monthly active users, with daily active users amounting to 248 million. This number is not small at all!
Weibo users use the comments section to engage and interact. As a result, Weibo provides an excellent platform for customer communication, branding, and unlimited opportunities for marketing and advertising.
Are you wondering how to use Weibo to optimize your marketing and advertising efforts? Today’s blog post looks at 5 things you must know about the Chinese social media Weibo in 2022.
- The biggest trending topics on Weibo in 2021
- Pros and cons of Weibo social media
- Issues with Weibo advertising that brands should be aware of
- Differentiate between Weibo and Twitter
- Weibo Marketing 2022 – Do’s & Don’ts
I: A quick review – the biggest trending topics on Weibo in 2021
Trending Topics on Weibo 2021
Not just Covid-19 occupied the Chinese social media platforms in 2021. There’s a list of all the topics that became big during the year. To give you more insight, let’s look at these five topics on Weibo that went viral in 2021.
- The US-China Alaska Talks remained one of the most discussed topics on Weibo. And Weibo users were fixated on the interpreter Zhang Jing, taking notes and flawlessly translating long speeches.
- The Chinese blockbuster “Battle at Lake Changjin” was one of the central topics of discussion in 2021 for its all-star cast, unparalleled budget, and production team. Weibo users showed their emotional engagement by posting videos and images of their watching experiences.
- The all-male reality show “Call me by Fire (披荆斩棘的哥哥)” was another hot trend on Weibo in 2021. Weibo hashtag dedicated to the show received an astounding 12 billion views.
- The success of the Edward gaming team was one of the highlights of 2021. The Hashtag “EDG Wins Championship (#EDG夺冠)” had 3.7 billion views on Weibo.
- After donating 50 million yuan ($7.74 million USD) for the Henan flood relief, Erke, a domestic sportswear brand, became the most popular sportswear brand in the country in 2021. The brand’s popularity grew after netizens in China rushed to the online stores and supported the brand.
What are the takeaways from these Weibo trends?
- Brands can reach millions of users daily, as the viewership is enormous on Weibo.
- There is significant potential to increase your reach in the consumer market in China through Weibo.
- Users appreciate genuine content, whether it is the blockbuster of the year or an impeccably translating interpreter.
- Celebrities are influential, with millions of followers on Weibo.
- You can increase your reach with targeted marketing efforts, whether a luxury fashion brand or domestic sportswear.
- With 30% of Weibo users under the age of 20 (Read about demographics on Weibo), targeted marketing based on demographics has unlimited potential to promote your brand.
Weibo Chinese social media can help promote your brand in significant ways. Here are the 4 best Weibo campaign examples to inspire you.
II: What can Weibo do for your brand?
Brand awareness and customer communication are two critical aspects where Weibo can help your brand. As the vital strength of WeChat is “one-to-one communication,” Weibo social media platform is desirable to generate brand awareness and engage with a larger targeted audience. Not only this, Weibo can give the events and promotions of your brand the utmost visibility.
Maintain relationships with your audience
You may like, comment, and repost content related to your brands. Aside from that, account managers can repost positive testimonials from clients. A university client of Adchina.io since 2019, was able to achieve outstanding marketing results by increasing brand awareness through Weibo advertising campaigns (Adchina.io for Education). The client was able to track performance alongside using the critical feature of ad reporting. You can learn more about it by creating a free account with Adchina.io today.
Encourage user-generated content to interact with your audience
Weibo facilitates users with tagged accounts and topics divided into categories. Brands can visit these pages for trending topics. This information leads brands to create relevant and engaging content. Furthermore, it encourages and increases user-generated content. So, your brand can interact with your targeted audience better.
Post video content for targeted Weibo marketing
A typical internet user in China takes great interest in watching and sharing videos. Brand awareness video content can help users get to know your brand. When making video content for your Chinese audience precisely, make sure it is accessible to users in China. Learn more about it at the adchina.io website.
Promote through paid Weibo advertising
To display your post above others in the feed for 24 hours, Weibo charges 2.37 yuan per post. It also gives 40% discounts to posts that mention the platform itself. Here is your complete guide to advertising on Weibo. Don’t forget that an ad account can take time to complete and set up.
Collaborate with KOLs and KOCs
Collaborating with KOLs (Key Opinion Leaders) and KOCs (Key Opinion Consumers) is one of the most effective ways to promote your brand. KOLs and KOCs can effectively promote your content and campaigns that considerably influence their followers.
III: Issues with Weibo advertising that brands should be aware of
Brands looking forward to engaging with Weibo advertising should know every little detail about the platform. Here are a few things that you must know.
You need an email address or a phone number to register an account with Weibo, which has not been used to register to another Weibo account. Aside from that, you need a list of documents to get a Weibo corporate account verified. Find out how to register for a Weibo account outside of China for international brands.
With millions of KOLs and KOCs on a particular platform, finding the right fit in terms of product offering, brand value, and target audience can be difficult. Significant research and insight should discover the right KOLs and KOCs for your brand to reach the target audience.
KOLs are known to have a large number of fake followers, which reduces the data authenticity for marketers. Ensure you can track the KOLs’ performance to get an accurate view of the perceived value with KOLs promotions.
IV: Weibo vs. Twitter
Weibo has always been compared to Twitter. And it’s often referred to as the Chinese version of Twitter. When it comes to microblogging, both are leaders. But, Weibo combines elements of Twitter, Facebook, and Medium, along with other social media platforms.
Weibo and Twitter share similar features. However, there are unique functions to Weibo which differentiate it from Twitter. Weibo has evolved its versatility and user base in recent years. And, Weibo has transformed into something beyond simply being the Chinese version of Twitter to something completely different from any predecessor.
Often, it is difficult to compare Twitter and Weibo as both serve different target markets. More than 80% of Twitter accounts are from outside the United States, whereas Twitter originated in the United States. For Weibo, as the content is in Chinese, it is not easily accessible to non-Chinese speakers. And since 2017, the number of users of Weibo has surpassed Twitter.
Even with similar features, the functions of Weibo make it unique compared to Twitter. Functions like Weibo Fit and Weibo Wallet have increased the platform’s usability. Besides, the Game Centre is big on Weibo, attracting many youngsters to the platform. Another unique feature of Weibo is its engaging interface. Weibo provides more engaging interfaces with detailed filter options than Twitter.
Weibo has also introduced promotional campaigns for brands with limited budgets. Lucky draw and content creation activities on Weibo have made it flexible to cater to the needs of brands with a limited budget.
V: Weibo Marketing 2022 – Do’s & Don’ts
With the fast-changing environment in the social media space in China, it’s hard to keep up with all the updates. There are 6 Do’s and Don’ts for international brands to consider when it comes to Weibo.
- Do stick with a posting schedule that is consistent and well maintained. Evening articles are frequently more successful, but the ideal strategy is to A/B testing at different times of the day to find out the best posting time.
- Do keep an eye on the trending topics as Weibo is based on these trending topics and queries, also known as Weibo hashtags. Take advantage of the trends for your brand!
- Do thorough research to track what your competitors are up to.
- Don’t forget to post more video content!
- Don’t limit your post number. On Weibo, it’s recommended to have at least three original posts per day.
- Don’t forget to share your Weibo account on your website. Keep in mind that sharing Weibo’s logo on some Chinese platforms will result in your account being blocked. For example, you can’t mention Weibo on Douyin. Instead, you can use an abbreviation like ‘WB.’
If you find this information helpful and intriguing and want to set up a corporate account for Weibo branding and advertising, contact us. Or sign up for your free AdChina.io account, and open your Weibo account outside China in the easiest way possible today!