With the rapid emergence of the global Chinese consumer, both brands with an existing China presence as well as those who have not yet entered the market are increasingly turning to Chinese social media to build their brand presence and influence purchase decisions before the consumer leaves China. We caught up with Sage Brennan of China Luxury Advisors to gain perspective on how brands should be approaching Chinese social media in order to attract the traveling Chinese consumer:
- 01. Should brands without a physical China presence establish a Chinese social media presence?
- 02. Will a brand’s social media efforts in the US and other markets make an impact in China?
- 03. How should brands get started with China social media?
- 04. How can brands with an existing China social media presence target Chinese travelers?
01. Should brands that do not have a physical China presence establish a Chinese social media presence?TOP
Absolutely. Brand is the number one driver of purchase decisions for Chinese consumers, and even if you do not have a presence in the China market, it is imperative that you build your brand in China. Social media is an extremely cost effective way to engage the consumer and begin your brand building process.
02. Will any of a brand’s social media efforts in the US, Europe and other markets make an impact on China social media platforms?TOP
The China social media landscape is very unique, and due to government policies is almost entirely composed of local Chinese companies, with most international social media companies like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Vimeo, Google and others being blocked in the market. As a result, only a very small portion of Chinese internet users such as students studying overseas or a small group of very internationalized consumers who access the internet in China with a VPN will ever see your international social media efforts. As a result, brands need to employ a dedicated social media outreach and approach to the China market.
03. How should brands get started with China social media?TOP
Brands should first set-up a basic presence on China’s most popular social media platforms: Weibo (the Twitter of China) and Youku/Tudou (The YouTube’s of China) to start. Brands should set up an official account on these platforms in order to assure Chinese internet users that they are legitimate social media presences. Once brands have these basic building blocks up and running, they can branch out into more robust campaigns and additional platforms.
04. How can brands with an existing China social media presence target Chinese travelers specifically?TOP
There are a number of different ways that brands with a strong China presence can target Chinese consumers. Some examples include: hotels who run different social media accounts for each location highlighting location specific information, social media campaigns that target travel influencers, online campaigns with contests for international trips and other specific campaign ideas targeted to the brand personality and goals.