Since both Facebook and Twitter won’t make it over China’s Great Fire Wall, there are social networking platforms that are very similar to Facebook and Twitter in China. RenRen is the Facebook of China, and Weibo is the Twitter of China.
Weibo isn’t only popular within China, it is on also very popular with the Chinese population across the globe. For instance, a lot of the major Chinese-Canadian media have signed up for Weibo and are utilizing it to interact with the Chinese community in Canada.
With approximately 350 million users, Weibo is the leading microblog of China, and “is now driving, in many ways, the entire national dialogue in China” says Kaiser Kuo, the director of Corporate Communicates at Baidu.com (the biggest search engine in China). During the London 2012 Games, there were twice as many posts about the Olympics than on Twitter.
Although sharing similar microblogging concepts, Weibo’s user interface is noticeably different than that of Twitter’s. For sample, all images and videos are visible in the feed, you can click to enlarge or to play. In addition, brand pages allow customizable layouts so visitors of the profile can get the most important information about the brand at a glance.
The image below partially displays Tourism Australia’s Weibo profile. They have 180k followers, or as for direct translation’s sake, fans. Their tag cloud consists of keywords such as Australia, Sydney, travel, etc. They have a simple bio linking back to their official website as well as the Australian embassy in China. Tourism Australia is also utilizing Weibo’s UI that facilities a high CTR of rich media by uploading high quality images and video.
Western Brands are also using Weibo for contesting. Chinese Valentine’s day fell on the Aug 23 this year, many brands are hosting contest on Weibo, including KFC. The contest involves fill in the blanks on the two images posted by KFC to make a complete sentence. Participants need to write down the answer in comments box as well and repost it for a chance to win a camera. The first fill in the blank image received 1376 comments and 1524 reposts, and the second received 747 comments and 913 reposts.
It also makes me very proud to see a British Columbia Weibo account posting all about our beautiful province!
If your brand has already entered the Chinese marketing or is planning on entering it, you should definitely consider using Weibo as a platform to engage and interact with your potential customers. If your brand isn’t planning on entering China, but your target audience is the Chinese community living abroad, Weibo is a good fit as well.
Comment below to let us know what you think about Weibo, and what other cool campaigns you’ve seen on it!