China is the world’s most populous country and a rapidly growing economy, which makes the opportunity to do business there deeply appealing, so here’s how to market your company in China with social media.
China has the world’s largest Internet user base which makes the use of digital marketing not just appropriate, but essential for those looking to enter the Chinese market.
When it comes to using social media for your business in China, it’s far from straightforward though…
The Chinese have no access to these and a lot other platforms. Due to the strict control that China’s Government applies to internet usage, numerous foreign social media platforms are banned in the country. So, Chinese citizens don’t use social networks? Of course, they do. The restrictions simply brought about the development of local ones.
If you have a glance at the recent social media statistics, you will notice that among the most popular social media companies worldwide there are platforms you probably haven’t heard of before.
QQ, WeChat, QZone, Weibo. These social platforms dominate the Chinese market. They make the Chinese social media landscape unique and tough to understand and operate within.
Despite the fundamental similarities between the Occidental and China’s platforms, Chinese social media seems to be sort of upgraded. It’s adjusted to the needs and demands of the domestic users, and consequently, has features that its external rivals don’t, such as own webpage design personalisation and online payment services (although Western platforms like Facebook are phasing this in).
Some of the networks are even more of hybrids than clones of a single platform. Weibo, for example, is considered a Twitter equivalent, but it actually also took from Facebook what Twitter lacks – threaded comments, instant messaging, etc.
What does this mean to you? Well, you need to know how each of the social networks function and how you can take advantage of each of their unique features. Furthermore, the fact that a platform is a Western equivalent, doesn’t necessarily mean that it has the same user base and user profile. So here’s how to market your company in China with social media…
So, you know social media is important for your business and is a very cost-effective tool to reach your target audience. That applies to China too. But with a slight adjustment – social networks have even greater influence on purchasing decisions in China. This is a Chinese consumer behaviour characteristic you can definitely benefit from. Make the most of it!
Getting to know China’s social media landscape might be of use, even if you aren’t entering this market. In fact, instead of you going to China, China might come to you, sooner than you think.
Chinese social networks are successfully competing against their Western rivals and are constantly expanding. It’s not outwith the realms of possibility that the Chinese heavyweights might just try to take on their western counterparts in their own backyard. That might just mean you could already be ahead of the curve.