Topic: Marketing and Advertising
China not only boasts an incredibly diverse and rich online landscape but also the largest social media market in the world ( https://adstochina.westwin.com/who_we_are/index.shtml ). Over 800 million internet users in China are looking for a platform for sharing their opinions, connecting with others and asking for product recommendations. That is a hell lot of content. While the top social media platforms continue dominating the western world, China has witnessed the emergence of multiple innovative social media platforms. These include shopping communities like Xiaohingshu, video sharing platforms like Douyin and many others. In this dynamic environment, global brands are looking to build their presence in China must keep a close eye on what is happening on social media platforms.
Importance of Social Media Marketing in China
A study by the Chinese government, the total active internet users in China are 802 million. This amounts to over 57% of the total population. If we compare with the US where there is an estimate of 300 million internet users or over 78% of the total population, China may not have the same market penetration but has a higher potential for growth. Interesting statistics is the level of mobile usage in China. 98% of people use the internet with their mobile devices compared to 73% in the US. This makes social media in China more dynamic and immediate with mobile users looking to platforms like Weibo and WeChat for the latest tips, testimonials, and recommendations. This high level of mobile penetration helps in driving the performance of huge online events like the Alibaba’s Singles Day. For global businesses, the massive size of the Chinese consumer market makes it critical for dedicating energy and time to track trends on social media. Observing and tracking exchanges on social media platforms in China is the best way for brands for building a deeper understanding of local values and perceptions and can also help in avoiding the risk of embarrassment and costly marketing missteps. With this in mind, let us understand why social media marketing in China ( adstochina.westwin/social_media_marketing ) is unique.
The social media platforms in China are highly focused to attract mobile users which means websites are geared for instantaneous and quick sharing. Sadly, this mobile penetration presents obstacles for social listening. Businesses require specialized expertise for analyzing and tracking online discussions about topics, products, and brands. As western social media platforms are struggling to get a foothold in the Chinese market, social media firms in China step up and take this opportunity for innovation. Instead of dominated by a small group of the firm, the Chinese social media landscape is more robust and dynamic with platforms falling and rising on a faster timescale. A great example is a photo touch-up application Meitu. Following a huge loss in 2017, the company switched its focus from simple photo editing thereby allowing users for posting updates and chat I groups. From 2018, Meitu has witnessed a rapid increase in user engagement.