Weibo isn’t just a typical social media platform. It has a few features that make it dear to much of the Chinese population. Weibo, or Sina Weibo, is one of China’s largest social media platforms to date. Unlike WeChat, however, Weibo is more open and public, which offers greater potential to reach audiences and improve your business exposure in the Chinese market.
In this blog post, we will try to understand how Weibo search engine promotion works and how to master marketing campaigns on the platform, creating an effective Weibo marketing strategy to win the audience and increase your sales in China.
Overview of Weibo: an important social media platform in China
Weibo is a Chinese microblogging website. Launched on April 14, 2009, it is one of the world’s most popular social media platforms. Weibo users can post text, photos, and links to articles on other websites. Weibo is very similar to Twitter in a way, but the platform is more diverse, allowing users and companies to leverage it on many ways.
Weibo gathers around 250 million daily active users and almost 600 million people monthly, making it a great marketing tool for online campaigns and targeted marketing that allows brands to engage Chinese consumers in many interesting events, such as lucky roulette campaign, flash sales campaign and other creative campaigns that can be done on brands Weibo account or through influencers promoting the brand through Weibo posts.
That is why Weibo Marketing is such an important aspect for many foreign businesses that plan to penetrate the Chinese market. Although Weibo does not have as many users as WeChat, its features of allowing users to post, comment, and share photo and video content allow information to flow faster, making it one of the best sources of information among the Chinese customers. In fact, screenshots of Weibo posts or Weibo campaigns are often forwarded to WeChat groups because of their speedy updates.
Furthermore, you can also witness users interacting within the comment sections of Weibo content, making it a grand platform for communication. So, how exactly can you leverage this platform for your brand’s success?
Why Is Weibo So Popular with Chinese Netizens?
If you ask an average daily user what is Weibo for them, you’d probably hear answers that go beyond just microblogging. Weibo offers robust features that enable users (mostly Chinese) around the world to communicate and have fun through numerous subject matters that span diverse industries like education, beauty, and technology, among thousands more.
There are also influencers on this platform called Key Opinion Leaders (KOLs), who stir up conversations with their followers.
Weibo is also a multifunctional platform that takes advantage of the rapidly growing e-commerce industry of China through its own wallet app called Weibo Wallet and its partnership with Alibaba.
A lot of brands are using Weibo Marketing for their strategy as well because of its powerful targeting features that allow them to reach their specific target users without spending much money on advertising. With Weibo Marketing, you can establish a presence and reputation in China. However, you should take note that Weibo can also be a powerful tool to set your brand back so you need to be careful on managing your brand to minimize bad PR exposure.
Who are Weibo Users?
Knowing the demographics of Weibo users is also important for your pivot in Weibo marketing. What does the user base of Weibo look like, anyway?
For starters, more than 50% of Weibo users residing in third and fourth-tier cities in China. Moreover, Weibo has over a million recognized content creators that regularly publish content in over 55 categories.
Additionally, you will see that 48% of the users in Weibo are between ages 30 and 39, followed by users under 20 years old at 30%. These users expect a quick engagement from brands and KOLs and will favor those that are on-trend. On a daily average, 130 million words are being published on Weibo along with 1.5 million videos and live streams.
Setting Up a Weibo Account: Get Yourself Verified
Weibo users are highly sensitive to the verification status of an account. KOLs, Chinese ministry and other government authorities, celebrities, and brands should verify their accounts to prevent any misrepresentation and impersonation. Moreover, having verified accounts increases the user’s trust in brands. This is the reason why verifying your account is extremely important if you want your Weibo marketing strategy to succeed.
Setting up an official account on Weibo is relatively easy. You just have to register using an email address and a mobile number that hasn’t been used yet on the platform.
After registering, you need to verify your account using these documents:
- Chinese Business Registration License
- Certified Letter
- Trademark Registration Certificate
- Internet Content Provider registration
And other supporting documents that verify your business’ identity.
However, if you don’t have a Chinese Business Registration License, your Weibo account can still be verified using Weibo’s Overseas Account Verification process which will require you to have:
- Documents for your company registration along with its certified Chinese translation
- Contact information for your team or the account manager
- An Application letter and authorization from a third-party
The verification should happen within one week after you submitted all the documents necessary.
Furthermore, you will have to pay $1,000 as an entry fee if you are setting up a verified Weibo account using the platform’s Overseas Account Verification. However, this fee will be worth it if you are looking to increase brand awareness and trust among Weibo users.
Having a verified account is also the only way to run marketing campaigns, such as content collection campaign options, system campaigns, Weibo ads and more. Having a verified official account will also allow you to check Weibo’s trend data SEO, account management platform and other tools that will help you gather meaningful feedback about your followers.
Marketing Strategies To Grow your Brand on Weibo
There are numerous ways to scale your presence on the platform. Weibo marketing can be done in 4 ways, which can effectively help you reach your target audience.
As we said before, KOLs and KOCs (Chinese influencers, respectively Key Opinion Leaders and Key Opinion Consumers) are a major contributor to conversations on the platform. Given their reputation and authority in each of their niches and industries, KOLs can be great at influencing their followers to check out your brand or to even generate patrons and increase your visibility in their industry. With appropriate Weibo Marketing, KOLs’ authentic content can amplify your reputation among your target audience.
A micro KOL can have around 200 000 impressions per Weibo post, while a top-tier KOL may have one million impressions. KOLs can be classified according to their influence and followers into four classes in China: Stars (Top-tier), Mid-tier, Micro (Micro), and Stars (Top-tier).
Weibo KOLs can be a part of your marketing campaigns but they can also help you with some creative campaign ideas, as they are professionals in their segment and know exactly how to market different types of products to their audience. Influencer campaign encourages audience members to check your brand, because they trust influencer marketing more than Weibo advertising or foreign brands’ promotion on Chinese social media platforms.
Users from all walks of life are enticed by rewards and giveaways, and Weibo users are no different. They are highly engaged in brands that promote sales, discounts, giveaways, and rewards. This is why if you are looking to quickly build your fan base in China, advertising giveaway events and other promotional materials can be a great way to start.
One example would be Weibo’s Lucky Draw which is an option for brands that are tight on budget but are looking for a way to get exposed to a wider audience base. There are many types of creative campaigns where you can offer rewards and promotions to engage consumers on Weibo. Try running flash sales campaign or lucky roulette campaign with interesting rewards and prize incentives. This type of marketing campaigns on Weibo encourages users to engage and repost your content further, helping you grow your follower count.
Use Chinese Festivals for Content
Creating content on a social media platform can only be effective if you know who you’re dealing with. Weibo’s users, for instance, are mostly Chinese people, so it would be a great idea if you generate personalized content around Chinese holidays as well like the Chinese Valentine’s or Chinese New Year.
Generating this content collection campaign as part of your Weibo marketing strategy can help you get more loyal followers and fans and increase your presence on Weibo even more. Chinese people love sales during special events and there are many shopping festivals in China, when every brand offers discounts and special offers to attract attention of consumers. There are many ways to prepare creative campaigns for all those festivals and it’s been reported that companies are earning millions during just one day thanks to marketing campaigns carried on around those holidays.
If you manage to prepare an engaging and creative content during holidays, you can be sure that many users will repost campaign of your brand, helping you reach bigger audience. Especially if you offer discounts for reposting!
it’s important to post content regularly if you want to grow your Weibo following. Part of the reason for this is that the algorithms used by Weibo to rank posts are based, in part, on how often an user engages with a particular account. So, if you want your posts to be seen by more people, you need to make sure that they’re seen by as many people as possible.
Another reason it’s important to post regularly is that Weibo is a very fast-paced platform. The average user scrolls through their feed quickly and doesn’t spend a lot of time on any one post. If you don’t post often enough, your followers will likely lose interest and start scrolling past your updates
Search Engine Optimization and Weibo Search Engine Promotion
Weibo is one of the few social media platforms that actually offer SEO content. With the help of Baidu’s indexing, you can optimize your content to appear prominently in each user’s search bar. Weibo has an advanced search capability that allows users to filter their search to a certain keyword. This feature presents brands like yours with a great opportunity to increase visibility among Chinese users through the Weibo search engine. Your keyword should be visible all throughout your content to receive a higher ranking in a user’s search results.
Advertising on Weibo
There are many types of Weibo advertising, allowing brands to create any marketing campaign with targeted advertising that will help it reach relevant connections and increase exposure among people that might be interested in this type of content.
This advertising tool functions similarly to Facebook’s promotion tool where you will create ads that are targeted toward your existing and potential followers by displaying them on top of a user’s home page for a whole day. It’s a simple banner ads type that allows you to reach millions daily active users.
While the targeting option can be more limited compared to Fan Connect ads, a fan headline is a great Weibo advertising method to create an ad without going through the hassle of being a verified account and setting up an ad account. This way, you can still generate exposure without paying as much.
Fan Tunnel Ads
If you have worked as a search engine marketer before, then you will be familiar with how Fan Tunnel Ads operates. Think of Fan Connect Ads as the more intelligent and precise cousin of Fan Headlines as it allows you to create targeted ads based on a user’s demographics, device, location, interests, and even their stage in life.
Furthermore, Fan Tunnel Ads will give you a variety of options for your CTA, unlike Fan Headlines. You can drive users to your websites, a photo grid, a card, or even a video, among much more. However, Fan Tunnel Ads are of course much more expensive to set up compared to Fan Headlines. If this is not an issue for you, then use this powerful tool for your Weibo marketing campaigns!
Display Ads on Weibo
Brand Share is the most expensive advertising option here, but it is also the most interactive one. With this tool, Weibo will prioritize displaying your ads over others, and even allow you to display ads in the comment sections of popular articles. Furthermore, you can even unleash your creativity in your ads using emoticons, GIFs, pictures, and videos. These ads are then displayed on top of your comment sections as a CTA that encourages people to be creative as well.
With this type of ad, users will be redirected to the advertiser’s homepage when clicking on it. Pricing depends upon how much space you want for your campaign and what keywords they relate back to; we can offer targeted approaches with these selected based on user searches or feature displays in other relevant accounts that boast followers within our niche field (For example Gaming).
Just a few things to remember before you start spending money on your Weibo marketing:
- Research what established brands in the same industry are doing, and flag content that is the most successful.
- Be more consistent with your style. This way, your followers can easily identify you and it increases their chances of loyalty.
- Make sure that your graphics and videos are entertaining. Weibo is not a great platform for very formal videos.
- Localize your content for Chinese users. You don’t want to introduce highly Western content since this may cost you your followers. Instead, you can revise your existing Western content to fit the Chinese audience.
- Regularly organize online activities to increase your exposure and to keep your followers engaged.
Following these tips and the above Weibo marketing strategies will greatly help your brand to make the most out of Weibo. Keep this in mind to succeed in the platform.
Weibo Marketing is Essential for Beauty brands in China
There are a few key ways that beauty brands can benefit from using Weibo to sell more in China. First, Weibo provides an effective platform for reaching a large and engaged audience of Chinese consumers. Beauty brands that use Weibo to engage with their target consumers can build strong relationships with these customers and create loyalty among them. Additionally, Weibo allows beauty brands to effectively target their advertising efforts, helping to ensure that they are investing their marketing resources in the most efficient way possible.
Need help with your Weibo Marketing Strategy?
We specialize in helping brands create a presence for themselves on popular social media sites like Weibo. From fan headlines and content to paid advertising campaigns or Weibo – our team has you covered! We worked with over 600 brands from different sectors, helping them enter the Chinese market and grow their businesses in China.
We offer many different services on Weibo, basically covering everything that needs to be done to succeed on the platform.
Here are our Weibo services:
If you are interested in more thorough approach, contact us and schedule a free consultation with us to discuss your project in China. Drop us a request and let’s chat about your future in China!