WeChat vs Weibo: Chinese social media part 2

In Part 1 of WeChat vs Weibo, I put the apps side by side and gave you a rundown on their features. In this post, I’m going to explain a bit more about how to harness these differences.

Picking the most suitable Chinese social media platform

Weibo is geared towards discovery of new companies, brands or services to follow, and users go on there to search for new things. WeChat has stolen its thunder in recent times, but Weibo is still a valuable avenue to keep your finger on the pulse of what’s viral. StudyAdelaide is one example of an Australian organisation which has successfully harnessed Weibo to great effect – spreading the word about Adelaide to tens of thousands of potential students in China who do not have many other avenues to discover our city.

WeChat is geared quite differently. Wechat enables brands to have one-to-one, personal communication with followers. However, the app does not have a good search function, so it’s difficult for customers to find you unless they know your specific username (for example, Burberry is “burberry_official”, and Baker Marketing is “SAMarketingExperts”).

Hang on! So how do customers or followers arrive at my WeChat platform? You ask.

How does my WeChat account get found?

This is where having a good strategy is crucial. Amassing a large number of followers quickly can usually be achieved by promoting the WeChat QR Code or ID across other marketing collateral – where users can redeem a free gift or special discount if they scan your QR Code (and become a follower).

How does advertising on WeChat work?

You need over 100,000 subscribers to launch an advertising campaign on the WeChat platform. BMW was one of the first brands to test this feature when it was introduced in January 2015. Other brands invited to test the ad feature include Coca-Cola, Oppo, and Ford.

While paid WeChat ads may not work for your company, strategically-placed advertorials on various high-profile, influential WeChat accounts is a good way to increase visibility. I would argue that it is the best way to get exposure within the Chinese community in Australia.

How does advertising on Weibo work?

Sina Weibo launched in-stream advertising in 2013. The two billing methods available are cost-per-impression (CPM) and cost-per-engagement (CPE).

However, do bear in mind that mobile and social are the dominant vehicles for media consumption in China, where digital ads may not be as effective as they are on Western platforms.

Anything viral must be user-driven: friends sharing with friends.

And that is where a good content strategy sets the winners apart from accounts that fizzle out and die – a principle we hold dear at Baker Marketing!

Our team can help you with content strategy in both Western and Asian markets, export planning & distributor recruitment and much more, so don’t hesitate to get in touch.