Sina Weibo is China’s answer to Twitter. Sina Weibo marketing has long been one of Chinese marketers’ favourites, due to the platform’s unique characteristics.
But how can a business craft its Weibo marketing strategy plan? To answer this question, let’s first get a good understanding of what Sina Weibo is.
What is Weibo?
This micro-blogging social media platform has been compared to Twitter since forever. Weibo’s name in Chinese can be directly translated as “micro blogs”.
However, since its launch in 2009, Weibo has grown into a complex social network. It combines the micro-blogging and hot topic features of Twitter; plus the page and group engagement features of Facebook.
Unlike WeChat – which is mostly used to communicate with family and friends – Weibo is more like a media platform in China. Users go to Weibo news feed to discover the Hot Topics (热搜), latest news, emerging trends and engage with other users. The content on weibo is very time sensitive and often echoes with the current trends.
Throughout its development, some subcultures and topics have proliferated to be most popular and concentrated on Weibo. If your business is related to any of the followings, you should not overlook Weibo in your marketing strategy:
- Music & entertainment
- Fashion & beauty
- Gaming & e-Sport
- Technology gadgets
- Motherhood & child care
Why is Weibo important for your business?
Weibo serves a very unique role in the Chinese digital marketing channel mix. There is no other platform that can reach out to millions of users instantly, with such potent social sharing capability. To better understand how Weibo can make a difference to your business, let’s break it down into 3 sections:
- The user base
- The star power
- The paid ads
1/ The User Base
Like WeChat, Weibo is an ubiquitous social media platform in China. Its Monthly Active Users level has reached 520 million by the end of 2020. Nearly half of which are Active Daily Users.
More specifically, 80% of its users are the Gen Z and millennials who have been exerting great purchase power. Weibo is prevalent across all regions in China – more than 50% of the users reside in third- and fourth-tier cities.
This gives us a clear image of the target audience that businesses can reach on Weibo: The young and vibrant trend-seekers, who are susceptible to FOMO and look for opinions online. For brands that want to take their first foray into China, these new-generation consumers are mostly likely to be interested in an emerging brand.
2/ The Star Power
Where do Chinese users go to get the latest updates from their beloved celebrities and influencers? Almost everyone will tell you: It’s Weibo.
Weibo has gained its initial hype because of organic celebrity endorsements. Celebrities such as Yao Chen first saw Weibo as a new channel to build a personal image among their fans, and hoped to grow their popularity with the help of Weibo.
Today, it’s the other way around. It is now the fans of celebrities and key opinion leaders (KOL) who sustain the platform. Followers log onto Weibo everyday to check out the latest posts of their favourite public figures and discuss with fellow fans.
Such a unique fan base renders Weibo one of the best platforms for celebrity endorsement and KOL/influencer marketing. As consumers actively seek these star-studded content on Weibo, endorsed marketing messages would result in higher effectiveness.
3/ The Paid Ads
Just like Facebook and Instagram, Weibo allows verified accounts to distribute Weibo advertisements. It’s advertising platform is well-developed and offers a range of targeting options and advertising forms. No matter what your goal is – brand awareness or instant conversion – Weibo has an option for you!
Depending on your budget, you can choose from an array of display ads, including Hot Topic, Branded Search Result, Splash Screen Ads and Banner ads.
However, the most common and budget-friendly paid ads method is the FansTong (超级粉丝通). It is very similar to Facebook Business Manager, using which you can create precisely targeted ad campaigns with desired captions and visuals.
How can you use Weibo to grow your business?
Weibo is very flexible and ever-changing. In fact, having seen the rise of short videos, Weibo immediately added short video features to its app.
Then, how should you reign over this versatile social media?
Based on our experience as a Weibo marketing agency, executing Weibo marketing strategy for all kinds of businesses, we have summarised the following list of Sina Weibo marketing solutions:
- Weibo Official Account Set-up & Verification
- Weibo Official Account Content Creation
- Weibo Official Account Community Management
- Weibo Paid Ads
- KOL & Influencer Outreach
- KOL & Influencer Sponsored Content
But what is the right Weibo marketing strategy for YOUR business? If you struggle to answer this question, we are more than happy to help!
Contact us to get started on Weibo marketing for you.