Weibo has acquired a lot of popularity since it was launched in the second half of 2009. Though Weibo now no longer dominates China social networking space, it’s still growing very fast (see section below). There are also several other differences that make Weibo particularly effective for KOL marketing. For one, Weibo has an integrated shopping cart system that enables merchants to easily sell their products to the customers who visit Weibo pages. There are also several other special features of Weibo that make this platform particularly ideal for KOL marketing: it has integrated Taobao and small and provides users easy access to popular Chinese TV and movie channels. All these features have been instrumental in Weibo gaining a lot of popularity among Chinese consumers.
Before getting deeper into the benefits of marketing with Weibo, let’s first go over its origin story. In early August 2009, a well-known Weibo user posted the question: “What is the best way to promote Weibo? Any decent marketing strategy will need to take into consideration how to acquire massive audiences. How can we do that with just a few clicks of the mouse?”
The original poster then proceeded to list out some of the methods he or she had used in the past for Weibo marketing, and listed the benefits of each technique, ultimately concluding that the best method so far was to engage on Weibo. What is the latest buzz on Weibo? At the time of writing this article, there have been over one hundred and fifty thousand posts on Weibo – more than double the posts on QQi and Hi5i! The number of daily active users has also significantly risen over the last few months, suggesting that Weibo’s growth in popularity may be continuing.
So what does engage a large audience with a simple Weibo Marketing campaign involve? Like any other micro-blogging platform, users can easily make up their own minds when it comes to sharing and receiving Weibo news feeds. Many marketers would agree that the best news feeds to use on a micro-blogging platform like Weibo are those that provide up-to-date and unique information from a variety of sources, many of which are related to their industry (e.g. news from a specific product manufacturer can appeal more to customers than a news post from an entertainment conglomerate).
To facilitate this, most marketers will host multiple Weibo accounts for different purposes. Some marketers will use Weibo to keep up with the latest news within their own brands; others will simply use the platform as a social outlet for sharing interesting stories with their friends. For these purposes, the most popular and effective Weibo Marketing Strategies is those that encourage users to “tag” their friends (i.e. forwarding an announcement to a hundred or more people will help spread the word about your brand) and “tag” their friends’ friends.
By doing these two things, you will have effectively implemented a viral Weibo Marketing Strategy, which will benefit your brand and increase your visibility in China and across the rest of Asia-Pacific. With over 400 million Weibo users and growing, there is no reason why your marketing strategy cannot be shared by a significant percentage of the Chinese audience. Now is the time to get creative with your Weibo Marketing Strategy!