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Social media listening or monitoring is the process of identifying and assessing what is being said about a company, individual, project or brand on the different social media channels. It is used in order to gain insights on customers’ online behavior. From there we can deduce trends and further develop or customize products and services to better serve the target segments.
The Timing of Social Media in China: Listening is Crucial
Social media listening should be implemented multiple times. Implementing social media listening before, during and after a particular event is crucial. Before the launch of an event (could be a new brand segment, new product line, etc.), social media listening helps companies to identify the pre-event successfulness through the identification of the popularity and comments of the keywords of that particular event on social media. During the event, social media listening can aid companies in identifying potential problems. By knowing this, companies can eliminate the problems or reduce it to a minimum to decrease the effect it has on the event. Evaluation of the particular event is also an important step. Through social media listening, companies can analyze the successfulness of the event by the brand image and influence among the social network users. Further improvements can be made by analyzing the social media listening data and determine the falls in that particular event.
By gathering comments from social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, SinaWeibo (新浪微博), WeChat moments (微信朋友圈), etc., companies can determine their brand image and influences. This can also aid companies by encouraging customers to suggest new product features and vote on their favorites, hence companies can have a better knowledge of customer requirements and further develop and implement their products and services in that direction.
The Importance of Social Media Listening
As social network platform become more and more popular, companies should grab this opportunity. Many do not realize the importance of the information that social media platforms are offering. People publically comment on their emotions, thoughts and point of view on something all the time. Through social media listening, we can click that information, slice them, cut them into segments and analyze them. This information will be directly influential to the company’s strategies. How potential or existing customers think about the company, its products and the general market will give the company the opportunity to design it’s products, events, or promotions in that direction. Thus enhancing customer relationship and gain positive brand image.
Social Media in China: Listening Tools
Numerous social media listening tools are emerging due to the popularity of social media platforms. As companies gain more knowledge about social media listening, they want to seek to take advantage of this.
Hootsuite can multi-monitor and post on numerous social media sites. It can track the subscription rate, the number of followers and brand opinions from users. It features “core analytics” measure and analyzes the effectiveness of your social media outreach and campaign.
Social Mention is a social media search analyses and combination tool. It allows companies to search for their brand and events from hundreds of sites and combine the information into one data file.
Wildfire Social Media Monitor
Wildfire Social Media Monitor is another social media listening tool. It allows companies to trace the everyday actions on social media platforms thus you can fully grasp the entire trend. This then can be helpful for companies to compare subscription rate among all social media sites.
Weibo Data Center (微博数据中心)
Weibo Data Center consists of four board categories: Top Lists (风云榜), Wei Index (微指数), Wei Data (微数据) and Wei Reports (微报告). Tops List shows the current “IN” words or phrase in the last hour, day, etc. Wei Index shows trends and geographic influences in particular keywords. Wei Data shows weekly, monthly and year activeness, promotion rate and coverage of your account and further divides your follower by gender, horoscope, etc. Lastly, Wei Report consists a combination of reports on the website, media, and brand.
Wechat Statistics (微信公众号后台统计)
Wechat Statistics is an additional tool offered to Wechat Official Account (公众号)users. It includes user analyzes (用户分析), image and text analyzes(图文分析), messages analyzes(消息分析), etc.
Social Media in China
In China, there are over 630 million Internet users and over 400 million active social media users. This number is still increasing. There is not doubt that domestic and international businesses are targeting China’s online social media as a key marketing tool. Chinese social media users are really active on these platforms; in fact, about 40% of their week is spent online. This poses a big opportunity for marketing, meaning there are more exposure and interaction for companies to the general market.
Due to the censorship in China, Western social media platforms are not expanded in China, thus, the market is dominated by domestic, Chinese-specific platform. The main social media platforms in China are SinaWeibo (新浪微博), Wechat (微信) and Baidu Tieba (百度贴吧).
Chinese social media users are keen on following Key Opinion Leader (KOL关键意见领袖) such as @gogoboi (http://weibo.com/gogoboi?is_hot=1), a famous fashion KOL on Sine Weibo with over 5 million followers. So taking advantage of this should be the priority of most marketers who wants to effectively market on China’s social media. KOL can be recruited by companies and become a marketing tool to share positive message about specific products or the brand itself.
Companies should not only see social media as a way to give information out. Instead, they should see it as a way to gain information from as well. By starting the journey on social media listening, companies can benefit from it.
Daxue Consulting’s Expertise
Daxue Consulting team brings extensive expertise in helping its client in China’s market to extend their brand reputations in social media. Social Media Advertisements in China is very specific and local, deep knowledge of domestic social media platforms is essential for companies to get a high number of Chinese followers. Daxue has helped its client to generate and evaluate high-impact social media marketing strategy in China. It provides the best advice for clients seeking to enter or promote their products and services in China.