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Marketing with Weibo: Event Report

BritCham / CBBC
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The aim of this event was to help UK businesses gain an in-depth understanding of Chinese social media and to build an e-profile in the Chinese market. We were delighted to have experts from SINA Weibo Business School join us and show how companies can use Weibo to enhance their digital marketing campaigns.

The presentation was delivered in Chinese by Wang Min, director of the SINA Weibo Business School, and Liu Ping from the Department of Media at the British Embassy in Beijing. Ms Wang gave the attendees an analysis of the current situation and characteristics of Weibo, before demonstrating useful techniques such as data-supervision and website maintenance. Below are some of the key points from her presentation.

The general trend of Internet development in China is rapid growth; it is more socialised, more mobile, and there is a greater emphasis on online trading. Ms Wang said that 75% of mobile phone users can log in to SINA Weibo and upload pictures as they wish. But enterprises and consumers communicate in different ways. For instance, CEOs use Weibo to show consumers their company’s achievements, or to redirect consumers to their website as Xiaomi and McDonald's do on their Weibo accounts.

Four steps for successful marketing

Ms Wang explained that there are typically four steps for successful marketing through Weibo, including:

1 Pinpointing yourself. Know what you are and what you want to do.

2 Finding targeted consumers. The number of followers is not the only symbol of being successful.

3 Dialogue and interacting with fans. It’s best to find out your followers' favourite topics and hot trends. The contents of the dialogue should be as brief as possible. Hiring permanent staff to manage the Weibo account is also advised.

4 Results assessment and resource optimisation. Companies rate their followers, and group them into several categories. Then targeting them with more pictures and video instead of text is also advised. Giving followers rewards will also increase engagement with users.

Ms Liu from the British Embassy in Beijing analysed its official data from Weibo. She gave tips on how to attract new followers and keep current ones engaged. She also gave us some useful information on demographics and user behaviour: for example, the number of female users is larger than the number of male users. The 21-30 age group is the largest and perhaps their ID is the most accurate. And people tend to send private messages instead of tagging pictures.

Attendees seemed keen to use their Weibo accounts more effectively, in the hope of achieving better results from their digital marketing campaigns in future. 

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