The Chinese economy is gigantic, we all know this. What many Western businesses are unaware of though, is the size of China’s online marketplace. There are some 500 – 600 million consumers who buy products and services through their various devices, (mainly mobile telephones).
Social media is incredibly influential when it comes to influencing people into what to buy, just like it is in the West. However, there is a major difference in China, however, and that is that the Social Platforms are predominately Chinese. Some 800 million users of social media, around 25% of the entire social media traffic in the world, constantly interacting, sharing and blogging about what to buy, wear and even think! Any entry into this fantastic market place needs to have a successful social media marketing campaign. Here are three of the top social media sites that are frequently used in China.
Built on the QQ platform, which was a service based on instant messaging, this is easily the largest social site in China. Some 800 million registered users, over twice the population of the USA! It is so popular due to the fact it is so easily accessible, many mobile devices with 2G technology being able to access it. This means that there are many poorer consumers utilising its services. Tencent have recently launched the hugely popular Wechat with its wonderful photo sharing platform, enhancing their influence within China’s social world.
So famous that many western celebrities like Tom Cruise have their own popular accounts there, (with a million more followers on it than Bill Gates who has more Twitter fans!). Nearly 550 million users make up this very influential social site. Utilising videos and images long before platforms like Twitter did, it is a must for those who are looking to gain influence over consumers within the Chinese market place.
The closest thing China has to Facebook. Some 160 million registered users, mainly from the college educated part of the population. Hugely popular with students across the country, this platform is a great way to promote products to the more highly educated amongst the population.
There are many other social media hubs not mentioned, Douban and Diandian for example, (aimed at the intellectual classes within China), with many approaching 100 million or so registered user accounts. Any businesses looking to gain a strong foothold into the Chinese market and successfully start doing business in China, will need an effective strategy to gain influence through these areas. Social media will continue to influence and effect consumer habits all over the world. China is only different in as much as it has its own platforms for this to take place on.