Recently, China’s biggest microblogging platform, Sina Weibo, is facing the challenging competition for popularity and engagement against WeChat. Many marketers are saying that it is no longer necessary to give a strong focus on a brand’s Weibo campaign, however this is a completely wrong perception, since Weibo still has an important and high influence over Chinese consumers.
Brands presence in Chinese Internet are crucial
What is the key behind this influence? Transparency! Even if there is a strong and growing Government presence in Weibo feed, the information about services, brands, and products is publicly available, no matter if it is a positive or a bad review. This means that Chinese consumers know they can find real opinions from other consumers on Weibo, which is strongly important before they take their purchase decisions.
Knowing that, it can be said that any Western Fashion and Luxury Brand that’s aiming to expand their business in China, should care and plan strategically the best way to manage their content on this microblogging platform.
“Sina Weibo provides many opportunities for the fashion marketers to spread the news about brand and its products to the big audience. For the Chinese local brands, having an account on Sina Weibo is a must. Sina Weibo is even used as a Search Engine in China and if companies don’t want to loose the opportunities for business, the marketing strategy on Sina Weibo is one of the key areas to invest in.
Fashionbi Analysts conducted a research to find out the best performances of Western Fashion and Luxury brands on this platform and know which market segments have a strong presence there. The study was a released in a publication format delivering important and impressive facts about the brands presence on this Chinese platform.
According to the statistics, 9.7% of all worldwide brands are present on Sina Weibo, which seems not so much, taking into consideration a fast growing interest of Chinese consumers to fashion and luxury, in general
Evidently, Western brands are missing the “many opportunities” to nurture Chinese consumers about their brand storytelling, products, events, store openings, celebrities endorsement, special collaborations, just few examples to mention. All that marketing efforts which include a big investment are not getting the attention they deserve, if they are not communicating in the right way. Nowadays having presence in Chinese social media is not an option, it is a “must”! Some brands might say: “well we don’t have an expanding plan to open stores there”, but they shouldn’t forget that Chinese consumers like to travel and they do it frequently, but most important they spend big when they do. According to World’s Tourism Organization in 2012 Chinese spent 102 $US billion while traveling, that represents a 9.5% of Market Share in the list of the top 10 World’s Tourism Spenders.
According to the analysis, every fifth brand from sport or watches and jewelry market segment has an account on Sina Weibo.
Fashionbi Analysts discover there is not a remarkable difference in the presence of fashion and luxury brands according to their market segment. The luxury market segment of brands has a 12.08% of presence on Sina Weibo, while the Premium Market Segment is next with 11.76% and lastly the brands categorize in the Bridge market segment have a 7.69% of presence.
On the other hand the study uncovered the fact that according to a brand’s core business every fifth brand from sport or watches and jewelry has an account on the microblogging platform, while the brands which have beauty as their core business have only 3.50%.
This percentages means two things, one is Jewelry brands have clear that China is going to be the world’s largest luxury market by 2020, consuming 44% of all luxury goods, and they are working strongly to continue building a strong awareness there. Second one is how Fashionbi Analysts just found out one more reason why Western beauty brands were not able to succeed in this market, as the recent news about Revlon and Garnier leaving the country is a good example to quote.
The market segment’s content strategy
Having said that it was important for analysts to show how are these two segments handling their content on Sina Weibo. Therefore, we can mention the example of the Luxury Watches brands on Sina Weibo, which brands count for the 19% of presence of the Luxury Segment?
What these brands are posting there is based on storytelling visuals, they pay attention to communicate the values of the brand and of the company behind it. It’s a nurturing strategy to educate Chinese consumers about the important facts that make the brand so special and world wide recognized. According to Fashionbi Insights the Luxury Watches brands do an average of 12 posts during a month, which are able to generate an average impact of 57.22 per post and reach an audience of 82,201 per post in a day.
The other example from April’s publication is the case of Beauty brands which according to their market segment, the Western Beauty brands belonging to Premium segment (La Prairie, Sisley, La Mer, etc.)have a higher percentage of presence in Sina Weibo, compared to those from the mass market segment(Avon, Rexona, Oriflame,etc). These brands post an average of 48 Sina Weibo posts a month, getting an impact of 50.94 and having the possibility to reach an audience of 324,722 users as an average.
The type of posts beauty brands are doing is about promoting how the products are the solution for the clients needs.
Other type of good posts that beauty brands do on Sina Weibo consist on rewarding the followers activity as these examples:
These are just two of the many examples presented on the publication, in order to find the most valuable tips and strategies for fashion and luxury brands presence on this microblogging platform. Because as it was said before, not because SinaWeibo it’s facing engagement competition it means that is no longer important. What is necessary is to know how to manage brand’s content there and get the best advantage of it, especially know that the company has announced its IPO in the New York’s Market Stock.
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