Chinese social media explained, and why it matters

Chinese social media explained, and why it matters

How do you start to build your social media presence in China? Well, not with Facebook, Twitter or Youtube, which are all blocked on the Chinese mainland. But before removing “write Chinese social media plan” from your ‘to do’ list, you might want to pause and read on a little; social media marketing is more important in China than in any other market in the world. Here’s why:

1. Social media is huge in China!

China is the largest social media market in the world with over 500 million active users.

2. Social media is a key source for decision making in China

In a market where many are sceptical of institutional messages, peer-led social media comment is a huge opinion shaper. According to the German Consultancy

Z Punkt, 48% of Chinese consumers use social media in their holiday planning.

3. Chinese actively use social media to ‘interact’ with brands

66% of Chinese social media “interact” with brands (Insites Consulting) and 61% of Chinese would write about positive experiences and 53% about negative experiences; this compares with 36% and 29% with Americans (Edelman Digital).

So, with Facebook and Twitter out of the picture, just who are the social media players in China? Unlike the west, China’s social media sector is fragmented and regional. All the key players share some characteristics of their western counterparts, though they are often hybrids of the same. In microblogging (or weibo) for example, Sina Weibo and Tencent Qzone are the closest equivalents to Twitter. The instant messaging market is increasingly dominated by Wechat, who have rapidly grown in recent years at the expense of Renren. Finally, in the video sharing market, Youku and Tudou are the closest equivalent to YouTube.

Source: China Travel Outbound