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HOW TO PROMOTE YOUR BRAND ON CHINESE SOCIAL MEDIA

As of today, it is no longer a secret that social media has developed into a tool for brand promotion and marketing as part of the digital age. In particular, this phenomenon is illustrated in China, where the use of social media platforms has grown at an exponential rate and can seamlessly be integrated with all daily lives of millions of Chinese consumers. Therefore, it is crucial to know how to promote your brand on Chinese social media.

HOW TO PROMOTE YOUR BRAND ON CHINESE SOCIAL MEDIA: THE ASCENDING POWER OF CHINESE SOCIAL MEDIA 

Over the past decade, there has been an extraordinary rise in popularity and influence of China’s Internet platforms. 
These platforms, which distinguish themselves from their Western counterparts by taking into account the particular needs and preferences of users in China, are able to design a digital environment that is unique.
We are talking about platforms that are shaping China’s online landscape, namely, WeChat, Weibo, Douyin (China’s TikTok), and Little Red Book (Xiaohongshu). Let’s look at how these social media work: 

WHAT IS WECHAT AND HOW DOES IT WORK?

WeChat is the most popular social media in China. It’s an app where users can get everything they need by staying within it, which is why it’s also called a “super-app.” 

It counts an amount of 1.17 billion users and is considered one of the top five most used applications.

One can summarize the service offered by WeChat through:   

Tailoring WeChat Content

Adapting content for WeChat is imperative because of its distinctiveness from Western social networks. Chinese consumers are attracted to rich, authentic and relevant content and increasingly value uniqueness.

Utilizing Brochures 

WeChat offers a platform similar to Western counterparts such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, allowing users to create posts. Taking advantage of this feature is a valuable way to showcase your services or products to your followers, thereby increasing your brand visibility and engagement.

Leveraging Group Promotion

In addition to content creation, it is essential to promote your content through WeChat groups. Group promotion plays a key role in expanding the reach of content and generating greater engagement.

Utilizing WeChat Paid Ads for Advertising

One of the most common advertising methods on WeChat is the promotion of content within WeChat Moments. These ads have been available since early 2015 and are very effective in increasing engagement on China’s leading social media platform.

Exploring WeChat Mini Programs and Mini Games

WeChat’s Mini Programs are compact, native mobile applications designed for a variety of functions. They integrate seamlessly into the WeChat platform and can be accessed through WeChat’s dedicated “Mini Programs” directory. These applications are a valuable tool for enhancing e-commerce experiences.

LITTLE RED BOOK (XIAOHONGSHU): THE CHINESE INSTAGRAM

Little Red Book (Xiaohongshu) is a social e-commerce platform. It serves users to explore and purchase luxury products abroad, exchange shopping tips and share fashion knowledge. 

With over 200 million active users, Little Red Book has partnered with U.S., Japanese and Korean brands. The platform also provides mini-guides for shopping in fashion destinations such as the United States and France.

Involvement in this platform follows a marketing strategy similar to that of Instagram. And its success is often based on Key Opinion Consumers (micro-influencers), because the platform relies primarily on user-generated content.

Little Red Book users like to follow other people’s lifestyles, watch tutorials, and travel virtually. Therefore, authentic content and spontaneous product recommendations are more enthusiastically received on this platform than typical marketing campaigns, such as those on Weibo.

DOUYIN: A NEW ERA IN SOCIAL MEDIA MARKETING

In recent years, content sharing around the world has undergone a transformation: short videos have become the preferred means of engaging users, leading to increased interaction. Douyin’s entry into the market has redefined the social media marketing landscape, especially given the impact of its Western counterpart, TikTok. 

For brands that want to thrive on Douyin, there are no strict rules. The only goal you want to achieve is to go viral, so here are some tips to increase the chances of your videos going viral enough to elevate your brand presence:

Obtain a Verified Account

A verified account adds credibility to your brand and fosters trust among potential customers.

Frequent Content Posting

Consistently posting content not only increases your chances of reaching new users but also elevates your engagement rates.

Collaborate with Micro-Influencers

Partnering with Key Opinion Consumers (micro-influencers) can be cost-effective. Given that obscure products have succeeded on Douyin purely through viral videos, collaborating with multiple content creators who have high engagement rates and offering them free products can be advantageous.

Establish a Douyin Store

Creating a Douyin store streamlines the purchasing process. Douyin has introduced the Douyin Wallet to further simplify transactions. Linking your account to an existing Taobao or JD.com online store can also be an effective strategy.

Adapt Content to Your Target Audience

Adapt content to the target audience: Recognize that Douyin’s user base in China consists primarily of young people who prefer educational videos to humorous ones. This distinction is essential to personalize content effectively and engage the predominantly youth audience of the platform.

WEIBO: THE CHINESE FACEBOOK AND TWITTER

Sina Weibo, often referred to as the “Chinese Twitter,” is a popular microblogging platform in China. It shares the same features as Twitter, allowing users to post concise messages with a 140-character limit, embedding videos, images and links.

With about 573 million monthly users, Weibo offers brands a robust platform to engage users, gather feedback and promote their products or services. The platform’s popularity stems from its role as a hub to keep abreast of trends and activities of Key Opinion Leaders (KOLs). 

To effectively connect with Weibo’s audience, brands need to adapt their marketing campaigns to this type of communication. In addition, it is crucial to create highly shareable content, as posts on Weibo have a higher virality potential than longer articles on platforms such as WeChat. However, advertising on Weibo can be difficult because of the platform’s different advertising options and features. 

BAIDU: THE CHINESE GOOGLE

Baidu offers an advertising solution known as Baidu Tuiguang (百度推广), similar to Google Ads, which works with a Pay-per-Click (PPC) system

As a matter of facts, this system allows companies to present their products or services on Baidu using a variety of advertising formats, such as search ads, display ads, and more, thus enabling them to effectively connect with their target audience.

Therefore, Baidu is much more than a search engine; it’s an indispensable part of China’s online ecosystem. When attempting to exploit the enormous opportunities offered by the Chinese market, it is important to recognize that Baidu has a significant impact on your business.

A deeper understanding of the different algorithms, preferences and user behavior necessary to unlock the potential of Baidu’s search engine. Your website’s visibility and visitor traffic can be significantly improved, as well as your company’s profitability in the Chinese market, by customizing your search engine optimization strategies to align with Baidu’s requirements.

THE IMPORTANCE OF SOCIAL MEDIA IN PROMOTING YOUR BRAND IN CHINA

As it was just said, it is crucial to know how to promote your brand on Chinese social media. Through them brands can revolutionize the connections and recognition between themselves and the public.

Unparalleled access to a massive consumer market is made possible by China’s 1.05 billion Internet users, and 1.2 billion cell phone users. Consumers in China have a strong interest in discovering products, interacting with companies and making buying decisions through social media. In doing so, brands have a direct way to interact with their target audience, build loyalty and provide personalized experiences.

All this is possible mainly because of these advanced advertising tools, which we have just seen, that each social media platform offers. 

In fact, if well used, it is possible to accurately target audiences, improve brand visibility and create significant opportunities for business expansion.

But how to make maximum use of these advertising tools? Through a well-thought-out strategy that consists of a few guiding aspects.

HOW TO PROMOTE YOUR BRAND ON CHINESE SOCIAL MEDIA: GUIDE ASPECTS

There are two macro points to consider: creating a social media marketing strategy that suits the brand and its goals, and taking local culture into account when promoting the brand.

Crafting a Precise Social Media Marketing Strategy

Clear Goals:  Clear and quantified objectives must be set in order to guarantee a successful brand marketing strategy. Define the desired results, whether they are to enhance awareness of brands, drive traffic on websites, generate leads, increase sales or strengthen customer loyalty. In order to clarify goals and facilitate progress monitoring and evaluation of strategy effectiveness, use SMART Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Timebound criteria.

Target Audience:  In creating a strategy for brand marketing, it is important to precisely identify the target audience. You can design and deliver customised and meaningful marketing campaigns based on your understanding of their demographics, preferences, behaviour and needs.

Trends and Competitors:  A comprehensive analysis of competition and current industry developments is essential if you want to remain competitive and differentiate your brand. You will discover gaps and opportunities that can be exploited within a strategy, through analysis of your competitors. 

 Adaptation to Local Culture for the Promotion of a Brand

Aligning Content with Chinese Preferences and Values: This is an essential aspect of marketing in China. Understanding the nuances of Chinese culture and consumer expectations is critical to making your brand more appealing. This requires conducting extensive market research to learn about Chinese consumer behavior, cultural norms, and prevailing trends. Pay attention to elements such as aesthetics, color symbolism, storytelling techniques and cultural references to ensure that your content resonates deeply with your target audience..

Don’t underestimate Chinese Traditions and Holidays: Chinese holidays and traditions are of considerable cultural importance and offer excellent opportunities for promotion. By integrating them seamlessly into your marketing strategy, you will demonstrate your respect and appreciation for Chinese culture. Identify key holidays and create campaigns or promotions tailored to these cultural celebrations. 

Establish a Notorious Presence on the main Chinese social media: To effectively promote your brand on Chinese social media requires meticulous planning, precise strategies and a deep understanding of culture. Therefore, marketing agencies like Long Advisory can assist you in planning a personalized strategy for your brand, based on your goals and targets.

In conclusion, to effectively promote your brand on Chinese social media requires meticulous planning, precise strategies and a deep understanding of culture. Therefore, marketing agencies like Long Advisory can assist you in planning a personalized strategy for your brand, based on your goals and targets.

Long Advisory digital marketing agency in China

Long Advisory supports Western companies in China through digital marketing. In fact, our experience has led us to believe that today, the best and most convenient approach to making your brand well-known in China is through a digital approach. Furthermore, thanks to our know-how, we know how to make your brand known to potential Chinese consumers. With the effective coordination of Long Advisory, your company will see a new rise in the largest market in the world: China.

Long Advisory is a digital marketing agency specializing in developing digital marketing solutions tailored for the Chinese market. 

Interested in expanding your brand in China? Contact us for more info and details at info@longadvisory.eu

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Over the years, Chinese preferences have undergone a transformation due to globalization and rising disposable incomes. Once considered a rarity reserved for special occasions,
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