Weibo and WeChat are the two must-have social media platforms in China. However, in addition to these, brands should also consider the many other social media platforms if they want to be known and reach precise target audiences effectively. In this module you’ll be introduced to the other main platform categories such as short videos, forums and live streaming. You’ll be able to understand the characteristics of each, choose the most suitable platforms for your brand and to know how to best establish yourself on it/ them.
1. SHORT VIDEO, FORUMS AND THE LIVE STREAMING INDUSTRY IN CHINA
China’s other major social media platforms can be roughly divided into two types:
Live Streaming is booming in China, reaching 460 million users in 2018. The user growth rate has stabilized recently though the number of users is still relatively high. Popular live streaming platforms include Yizhibo, Douyu, Huya, Huajiao, YY and Zhiniu. Each has unique and specific focuses within different fields, which will be introduced briefly.
The Short Video industry has grown rapidly in China and still has huge potential in the future. There were 358.07 million MAU (monthly active users) of short video social media platforms as of April, 2018. New young audiences and the ease of new mobile payment methods boosted its development. Internet giants are investing in or partnering with platforms like Miaopai, Kuaishou, Douyin, Meipai, Xigua and Huoshan. Additionally, Bilibili, the first video platform to develop real-time commenting, deserves attention.
- Zhihu is the biggest knowledge sharing website (similar to Quora).
- Toutiao is the hottest information platform aggregating news, finance, social trends, music, movies, games, shopping and more.
- RED (Xiaohongshu) is a social e-commerce shopping app.
- Douban is an interest-based social networking platform.
2. LOW-COST ALTERNATIVES TO
THE MAJOR PLATFORMS: DOUYIN AND BILIBILI
Douyin, also known as TikTok outside China, is a short video platform with extremely powerful editing capabilities. In Jan 2019, its MAU and DAU (daily active users) reached 426 million and 250 million respectively. Douyin is a great platform to increase user engagement and collect user generated content and is especially suitable for brands targeting young audiences.
Bilibili, known for its bullet screen function, as mentioned above, is a video platform primarily related to animation, comics and games. It has more than 77.5 million MAU, with 2.5 million average monthly paid users. It is relatively suitable for marketing and advertising.
3. LEVERAGE THE BOOM: CHINA’S HOTTEST NEW PLATFORM - TOUTIAO
Toutiao is an aggregator of diverse content including text, images and videos. It provides a customized information flow based on user data and preference analysis.
Toutiao also incorporates diverse functions that are similar to those on other social media platforms. For example, its brand account is similar to an official WeChat account and brands can publish content, interact with their audience and even sell products.
4. HOW TO WIN ON RED / XIAOHONGSHU
Aimed at young middle class women in 1st and 2nd tier cities, Xiaohongshu helps users discover, purchase, and review products from overseas. It also encourages users to share shopping tips and travel experiences. It’s a community with abundant user generated content that also provides customized recommendations based on data analysis.
Xiaohongshu is a good channel for marketing and advertising. It’s a social media platform that can enhance brand awareness and engage with existing or potential audiences while also functioning as an online marketplace for brands to sell products.
5. B2B MARKETING IN CHINA:
DISCOVER ZHIHU, DOUBAN AND BAIDU ZHIDAO
Gathering followings on social networks shouldn’t be overlooked for B2B marketers.
Zhihu is a platform for people looking for expert knowledge and insight into various topics. Questions are created, answered, edited and organized by users, most of whom are well educated from 1st and 2nd tier cities. With a large, high-quality user base, Zhihu is valuable for driving brand awareness and strengthening engagement with consumers. Siemens, the first B2B company to establish an account on Zhihu, is a good example.
Douban is a community with organic user-generated content, the majority being book and movie reviews or art and hobby-related ideas. It offers interest-based advertising and more in-depth marketing options.
Baidu Zhidao is another question-and-answer website with social features that is also a good place for increasing brand awareness and collecting consumer insights.
It’s important for brands to know which platforms are the most suitable and how to effectively attract audiences on them. If you want to explore the diverse range of social platforms in China, then this module will definitely help.
Live streaming is such a big trend now. Why don't you have a separate module?
There are hundreds of different platforms and features for live streaming. We’ll talk about live streaming when we talk about the platforms that marketers need to know to stay on-trend.
How will I understand which platform I need to be on?
When we discuss different platforms, we’ll talk about the advantages and disadvantages of each platform and also the most suitable promotions, posts, activities and campaigns for each one.
Are the platforms for B2B and B2C different?
There are platforms that are better for B2B purposes depending on the outcome you want to achieve. Some platforms can be used for B2B and B2C purposes.
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