Gateway to scale (updated)

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For many New Zealand businesses, Weibo presents the gateway to scale. “For brands with powerful creative content to capture mass attention, it is the best distribution platform in China,” says Isentia Sydney’s Gareth Kidd, writing for M+AD.

“Before you rush to climb onboard the ‘chinese’ twitter tool, there are a few things you should know:

Location is key
“Weibo takes geo-tagging to the next level, providing pinpoint accuracy to the location of posts. This is important for a number of reasons – it not only allows you to monitor the location of your key audience, but also start region-specific conversations based on trending topics.

“If you don’t know Shanghai from Shenzen, it might be important to brush up on your geographical skills, China is especially difficult to navigate with different provinces, districts and social nuances – don’t let this be your downfall.

Influencers are powerful
“China is home to little millions of microbloggers boasting even more millions of followers. Developing relationships and making these online influencers – known as key opinion leaders – brand ambassadors of sorts is often a more cost-effective strategy than traditional advertising.

“Take Lu Han for example.  Lu Who you’re probably asking? That’s right, he may be little known in New Zealand but Lu Han is an incredibly popular Chinese singer and actor. So popular in fact that he has more followers than twice the entire population of NZ at 11.5m!

Content is rich
“Opportunity is rich in China, and so too is social media content. Like twitter, characters in Weibo posts are restricted; users typically embed up to nine photos with every post and there is a move toward an autoplay function.

“The most important thing New Zealand businesses need to remember is to tailor their content to be specific for the Chinese market – rehashing Kiwi content won’t make the cut. This is where using local influencers can help with your brand messages; along with keeping in touch with local news.  It’s so important to immerse yourself culturally to remain authentic.

Get in the know!
“China is difficult to navigate – both geographically and culturally. Their pop culture is also so different to that of New Zealand. My number one tip is to get educated and stay relevant by being authentic.”

To take part in social media training consultant Gareth Kidd’s runs courses on the use of Weibo and We Chat, contact …

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