China arguably has the largest social media base in the world and it is totally different from its Western counterpart. This creates a lot of confusion and also lot of apprehension among the western companies to use Chinese social media to promote their products. China does not use the world’s most popular social media platforms like twitter, YouTube and Facebook. They have their own base of social media and that makes it extremely important for all those people trying to break into the Chinese market to engage buyers, suppliers and consumers. It is the world’s second-largest economy only after the US. Thus, everyone wishes to tap the unused resource there. However, it is a relief to find out that even Chinese consumers follow similar decision-making process like the consumers of other countries and that the basic rules of engagement are the same.
However, if you thinking of doing business in China or have any kind of ties with the Chinese manufacturers, you have to know certain things which will keep you from making mistakes and also provide some edge. These points are:
- Take Advantage of Celebrity Social Power- Celebrities have a loyal fan base and that fan base can be used for doing business and for promotional purposes. You can use their fan base, it is allowed. However, think properly and draw a good contract to use the celebrity power to your advantage. This is a good promotional strategy.
- Provide Info on Lifestyle- Chinese consumers use social media not just to know about brands but also to gather information about lifestyle products. In fact, using the Chinese social media is a great way to gather information on a number of things related to every day life.
- Chinese Consumers are Informed- Just because the Chinese do not use the social media platforms the other parts of the world use, there is no need to think that they are absolutely uninformed about anything going around them. The consumers there know a lot about the products, their market and each and every up and down regarding the products and their market. They keep themselves informed regarding the price structure. This is great. However, they always want to buy products that are suitable for China.
- Do not Believe in All the Predictions- Do not enamored with a single medium so that it hampers your idea of buying. Always compare before believing in anything, that is, any kind of forecast. Do not get completely sucked into any of the social medium so that you deprive yourself from the opportunity of gathering info from other social media. For instance, Weibo is still China’s most popular social medium; thus, avoiding it may not be a good idea.
China boasts of having the world’s most active environment for social media apart from being the biggest social media base. Over 300 million people use it everyday in the form of blogs, microblogs, online communities and social networking sites. Additionally, Chinese people spend almost 40% of their time online on social media. This figure is continuously rising as well. This has allowed the Chinese people to use their social media in a way that the westerners could not until recently. Yes, the Chinese people have used several features making their social media experience enriching unlike the west which has just started using those advanced features.
Chinese consumers have their account set up with mostly local players. Also, they use mobile phones to access their social media. The number of people using social media from mobile phones is absolutely staggering and the number is growing day by day. Thus, the China social media has a huge role to play in influencing the consumers’ choice which in turn influences the business.