5 Chinese Social Media Sites to Explore for Global Marketers (Aside from WeChat) Part 1
Digitally-savvy. Always connected. Updated.
These three words describe Chinese netizens. As a global marketer, you can start building your online presence in these social media sites. WeChat, the ubiquitous, all-around mobile app will always remain indispensable.
But there are also other ways to ensure you get to engage with your audience online. Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram are not accessible in Mainland. Using VPN (Virtual Private Network) is useful, which is usually requires users to pay.
Always remember that each site requires different sets of strategies as well.
#1 Sina Weibo: http://www.weibo.com/
It’s a microblogging platform, known as China’s Twitter. It started in 2009 and grew its users base, as of this writing, with 446 million MAU (monthly active users).
Netizens share their opinions on the platform like how Twitter runs. Influencers and celebrities use it as well to endorse products and services. Global companies would have to maximize the 140-characters to tell their stories.
#2 Tencent QQ: https://www.qq.com/
If you want a more targeted approach on younger demographics, this platform can help you. QQ’s user base are post 95s, and with the right strategy you can reach out and use it using groups and forums.
Netizens get more insights and content on QQ via peer recommendations. They share information and preferences, while you can use it for social listening. It has 708.6 million MAU as of this writing, and 60% of users are born after the 1990s.
#3 Youku Tudou: http://www.youku.com/
Think of it as the YouTube or Netflix of China but with some little twists. Unlike YouTube, this site hosts professional videos that multimedia and production companies produce. It contains less self-published videos.
Most netizens use it to stream, download, videos and watch TV shows. The videos here are from foreign publishers, from American movies to Korean dramas. They have Mandarin subtitles, so they get to enjoy them. The way marketers use it is on video PPC ads. Others produce professional English videos and add Chinese subtitles and upload them here.
#4 Douban: https://www.douban.com/
Another site is Douban. Chinese users love to access and do things within a single app. So, think of Douban like a combination of Spotify, Medium, IMDB, Twitter, Reddit, and Goodreads in one. If you’re targeting the younger generation, this may be the perfect channel for you.
It’s popular among post-90s where they share interests and opinions. They create content related to movies, books, and music that resonate with them. Marketers can use Card Ads to promote products and services. Group discussions, influencers, and city events are useful for targeted marketing.
#5 Zhihu: https://www.zhihu.com/
Think of Quora. That’s the closest we can compare to this platform. With its first features, it started with user-generated questions and answers. Users can use the voting system to vouch for content if it’s helpful, and also has followed options for topics.
How’s it helpful for global marketers? As netizens share their opinions and pain points, you can use it as a way to listen and engage. You can connect to them using the messaging feature. Most of the user base are intellectuals and educated, looking for premium topics. They want to know more about studying, investing, and traveling overseas.
As a global marketer, to be active in this space allows you to share your insights and be a leader in your industry. Other users also consume other topics from culture to education, entertainment and more.