In China, WeChat and Weibo social media platforms, have become the backbone of everything for
Chinese digital marketers.

 

Sina Weibo, often referred to as ‘Weibo’, is one of the biggest social media platforms of China.
Weibo literally means ‘micro-blog’ and it is often explained as the Chinese equivalent of Twitter or Facebook,
two services that are blocked in mainland China. SINA Corporation developed this microblogging platform
in 2009 and launched it in 2010. Alibaba acquired an 18% stake in Sina Weibo in 2013 with a $586 mn
investment. Despite the strict censorship of media in China, Weibo quickly emerged as an obvious favorite
among a wide range of the Chinese people living in the higher tier cities.

 

For foreign entrepreneurs and foreign talents, choosing the right marketing strategy and applying it in
China require to accept a complicated learning curve.
With the hope of facilitating your entry into the Chinese digital world, we decided to write this guide that
explains how to build a good reputation on Weibo.
Are you an artist?

 

Are you an entrepreneur with a product that has a strong visual impact?

 

Weibo can offer you a marketing channel with guaranteed results.

 

Types of Weibo accounts and Verification
There are two types of accounts which users can create on Weibo social media:
  • Personal account
  • Company account
A personal account is only for individuals. Both Chinese people and foreigners can register on Weibo
and use it.
If you are a business, a corporation, or an organization, you can establish your presence on Weibo as
well through a corporate Weibo account.
In both cases , having a verified account is the best practice.

 

The V-for-Verified logo on a Weibo blogger’s site indicates that the verification of a Weibo account was
successful. This means that the individual is not an impostor. For your company, it means that it was
registered properly and is real. If your business is a Chinese company, you will incur no expenses to
get your account verified.
Weibo boasts of having several user levels, which is a gaming dynamic based on the activity of users.
Every account displays the level next to the name. It shows the number of days the account owner has
been using the platform and for how long. The more actively the user accesses Weibo, the faster they
will reach the higher level.

 

The demography of Weibo
The audience on Weibo social media is diverse and has different backgrounds.
The goals of their presence on Weibo are very different as well.
Audience on Weibo includes:
  • Chinese and foreign celebrities who use Weibo to communicate to their fans;
  • Social-media-marketing agencies and entrepreneurs that use Weibo to reach out to Chinese customers,
    analyze their target audience, and promote their brands;
  • Individuals who regularly use the Weibo social media for entertainment;
  • Business professionals who are looking to make connections before starting to do business in China;
  • Government officials;
Many big foreign corporations created fan pages on the Weibo social media. Companies such as Unilever,
Coca-Cola, Louis Vuitton and L’Oreal use platform with goals that are mostly customer-focused
and business-driven.
Personal Branding on Weibo
Why did so many Chinese and foreign celebrities register on the Weibo social media platform?
Their goals are mostly Fans Growth and Online Visibility:
  • Interacting with old and new followers online;
  • Increasing brand recognition by using Weibo as one of the channels to syndicate their content and increase their visibility in the Chinese market/society;
  • Making more fans hear their brand’s voice;
  • showcase their talent;
  • Boosting their presence in China and attracting business opportunities (KOL);
Corporate Branding on Weibo
Why did so many international companies register on the Weibo social media platform?
Their goals are mostly customer-focused and business-driven:
  • Developing a deep understanding of the Chinese people, as well as learning more about their lifestyles and preferences;
  • Increasing brand recognition by using Weibo as one of the channels to syndicate their content and increase their visibility in the Chinese market;
  • Turn consumers into being brand loyal;
  • Seizing opportunities to convert users to customers by regularly posting and sharing interesting and unique content;
Many foreign companies and brands consider Weibo an integral part of their marketing strategy in China.
Some overseas companies contact celebrities so that they represent their brand in China.
Advertisement on Weibo
There are four main types of Weibo advertising to engage with on Sina Weibo; it’s important to tailor
a strategy for each, specific brand based on budget, KPI expectations & their specific sector.
The main types of strategy to consider are:
  • Display Adverts
  • Weibo Search Engine Promotion
  • Fan Headlines
  • Fan Tunnel
Fan tunnels are the most targeted and intelligent way of reaching new consumers & followers.
You can use this to promote either a specific post or your account. It functions like a ‘headline’
that appears at the top of a user’s news feed.
For new brands that don’t already have a large following, this is the best way to focus on the whole of the
Weibo community, not just existing followers. It will place your content at the top of news feeds based on
targeted audiences defined by age, gender, region, interests and even device types.
You can specify the interests of followers & target other accounts for similar niches. You can select
users who follow specific fashion news & fashion related posts to be targeted (for example).
Costs for Fan Tunnels is typically calculated in CPM (Cost Per Mille).
Fan Headlines are an alternative option and focus on targeting your existing follower base and their
connections. Like a tunnel, the post or account will appear at the top of the news feed of followers
& also their relevant connections.
Thanks for reading; My name is Brizzo and I’m a digital marketer based in Shanghai.
My experience is on Personal Branding & Online Reputation on Social Media.
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