Chinese Social Media

Chinese Social Media Platforms You Need to Know About

It’s 2019 and China’s population sits comfortably at 1.4 billion people. Another interesting fact that makes digital marketers salivate: there are over 1 billion users of social media in China. For a Western business, it’s a great opportunity to expand its user base to include a Chinese audience. But the fact of the matter is, that penetrating the Chinese social media landscape is no easy feat.

Everything you need to know about Chinese Online Platforms

By now you have probably heard that Google, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and Twitter are all blocked by China’s firewalls. That means that China has had to create its own alternatives to satisfy the need for online platforms and social networks.

Which platforms are used in China?

China has hundreds of social media, networking, and commerce platforms available on the internet and mobile platforms. Furthermore, the most recent statistics show that of all the mainland internet users, a whopping 98% are mobile users. This data suggests two things. The first is that Chinese users seek applications and sites that ease the convenience of daily life. The second is that businesses (both Chinese and foreign) have a lot of potential for success if they establish themselves on the right platform. So without further ado…

Here are the Chinese Social Media Platforms You Should Know About:

1. Tencent WeChat
2. Sina Weibo
3. Tencent QQ
4. Douban
5. Baidu Tieba
6. Xiao Hong Shu
7. Youku
8. Dianping

The Two Behemoths: Tencent WeChat and Weibo

The two main social media platforms, by numbers alone, are overwhelmingly WeChat and Weibo with 1 billion and 431 million users, respectively.

1. WeChat

WeChat_logo
Source: wikimedia.org

WeChat is a closed-circuit voice and text messaging service, similar to WhatsApp, but with additional features like games, shopping, and financial services. It is a platform not only for individuals but also for businesses and celebrities who have official accounts for promotion purposes.

2. Weibo

Source: wikimedia.org

Weibo, on the other hand, is a microblogging site and application that can be thought of as something between Twitter and Facebook. Unlike WeChat, it is most used by a younger, more urban population and contains much more informational and trending content. A big draw for businesses is that Weibo allows businesses to set up official, verified accounts to interact with users. Find out more about Sina Weibo in this fresh blog article.

3. Tencent QQ (869 million users)

Source: wikimedia.org

QQ is another instant messaging app, similar to WeChat. Its services include games, shopping, music, and microblogging. One of the key differences from WeChat, however, is that a user on QQ doesn’t need a phone number for registration. Additionally, QQ has a desktop application making it popular with business professionals working in offices.

4. Douban (154 million users)

Source: wikimedia.org

Douban is a social networking platform that focuses on lifestyle expression and social commentary. It is a large platform where users can discuss media, brands, and events. It also prioritizes community building and allows its users to connect and form groups based on similar tastes and interests. This makes it very appealing for businesses because companies are able to create brand pages where they can share their brand’s history and vision.

5. Baidu Tieba (660 million users)

Source: wikimedia.org

Baidu Tieba is the largest communication platform created by the search engine, Baidu. It is essentially a large discussion forum where users can search for topics using keywords. It is something of a mix between Quora and Reddit in the West.

6. Xiao Hong Shu (150 million users)

Source: wikimedia.org

Xiao Hong Shu is a social media and e-commerce platform that allows its users to review luxury and foreign products, leave travel suggestions, and shop. Loosely comparable to a mix of Instagram and Pinterest, it differs from the aforementioned by allowing users to purchase products and services directly from merchants. The app has many official partnerships with international brands and is seen as trustworthy in the eyes of Chinese consumers.

7. Youku (580 million users)

Youku_png
Source: alicdn.com

Youku is a video sharing platform, comparable to YouTube. Youku’s main difference from YouTube is that it contains far more professionally created content than self-created content by its users. It’s often used as a site to download and stream TV shows and movies.

8. DianPing (290 million users)

Source: wikimedia.org

Dianping is China’s review and feedback site for restaurants, similar to Yelp. However, as it’s developed and added more features, it now allows users to review hotels, beauty salons, gyms, and companies providing services. Dianping allows businesses to post promotional offers and interact with customers. It is mainly used by white-collar, urban populations with disposable income.

How do I get started?

There are a few things you need to keep in mind if you want to enter the Chinese market through Chinese Social Media. The first of which is choosing the right platform for your needs. Since there isn’t always an exact Western equivalent to a Chinese platform, doing thorough research is more important than just following the numbers.

Knowing your Audience

Chinese consumers are different than Western consumers in many ways. Most notably, they are less brand-loyal and are always looking for the best price. The median annual salary in China is slightly less than 9000 US dollars, but when you compare incomes around the country, Western cities are considerably less wealthy than the Eastern ones.

Scaling it Down

This may lead you to conclude that focusing on the major Eastern metropolitans is the way to go but cities like Beijing, Shanghai, and Tianjin are oversaturated with businesses marketing through social media and commerce platforms. Smaller cities such as Chengdu and Guangzhou, on the other hand, are good opportunities for Western businesses because they will have less competition but still provide a large consumer base.

What about the content? How do I adapt to Chinese style?

In our previous blog articles, we’ve talked about how important content marketing strategy is for your business’s social media channel. So does that mean that you can just extend the strategy onto a Chinese platform? Yes and no.

Localizing Your Content

Whatever product or service you offer, you will have to localize it to your new audience. For example, a Chinese audience prefers “cute” cartoon style content far more than a Western audience. But changing too much can take away from the appeal of a foreign product, which is often perceived to be better in quality than a Chinese one.

The Takeaway

Social media marketing in China on Chinese Social Media platforms can be very fruitful for companies that are ready to gain exposure overseas. Doing market research, choosing the right platforms, and localizing for the Chinese market are the first steps businesses need to take if they want a chance at success. This article is the first in our series on social media marketing in China. Check back in the future to learn more about choosing the right platform and creating a marketing plan for your business.

Does this sound overwhelming? Tenba Group is here to help you develop the best strategy to harness the potential of the Chinese market and to promote your business on Chinese Social Media. Contact us for more information.

Leave a Reply

  Subscribe  
Notify of
Scroll to Top

Free Website Audit

Are you curious? Test our agency services with our FREE audit of your website. It’s a unique manual screening of your online presence. We check everything from your website’s security to user experience, SEO and legal GDPR compliance.

免费网站检查

好奇吗?通过我们对您网站的免费检查测试我们的代理服务。这是一个独特的方式手动检测您的线上运营情况。我们会检查您网站的安全性、用户体验、搜索引擎优化和法律GDPR合规。

月度辅导

注册我们的月度辅导和培训服务。

小时辅导

注册我们的小时辅导和培训服务。

Hourly Coaching

Sign up for our hourly personal coaching and training.

Monthly coaching

Sign up for our monthly personal coaching and training.