With over 126 million daily active users, Weibo is an important social media platform in China. For companies seeking to engage consumers, advertise their products and and expand their follower base, marketing campaigns on Weibo are critical.
Weibo users participate in campaigns for fun, as a form of social interaction and for the prizes offered by the advertisers. For brands and campaigns organizers, they can collect feedback, learn about their customers, gather original content, promote their brands and products and direct traffic to online or offline stores.
Types of Weibo campaigns
There are two major types of marketing campaigns on Weibo: system campaigns and creative campaigns.
System campaigns have basic formats and rules defined by the Weibo team. Only verified accounts can launch system campaigns.
Creative campaigns are created and customized according to the organizer’s needs and goals. Creative campaigns can be initiated by verified and non-verified accounts.
It’s free to launch online campaigns on Weibo. The budget mainly depends on the prizes the organizer has prepared for the winners. Let’s take a closer look at some marketing campaigns on Weibo:
I. System campaigns
There are six types of system campaigns on Weibo:
1. Lucky Roulette Campaign (幸运转盘)
They allows users to spin a roulette wheel for a chance to win a prize immediately. A wide range of prizes are usually offered.
China Mobile launched a Lucky Roulette Campaign in December 2016. Each Weibo account was given the opportunity to spin the roulette wheel three times a day to win different amounts of free data, ranging from 1 GB to 150 MB. Once a user won a prize, they could no longer participate. The free amount of data traffic was added to the winners’ mobile account 15 working days after the campaign ended.
2. Flash Sales Campaign (限时抢)
They are similar to a Lucky Roulette Campaign. However, it’s more suited to e-commerce and O2O corporates looking to launch marketing activities. During Flash Sales Campaigns, users can win gifts or a special discount for the promoted products but only for a very limited time.
Hisense launched a Flash Sales Campaign. For a limited time, users could spin the roulette wheel to win either a Hisense Internet TV or a yearly or monthly Hisense Juhaokan (聚好看) membership.
3. Repost Campaigns (有奖转发)
They require users to repost a designated Weibo post. Sometimes users are also asked to follow the brand’s account or to mention/tag three friends on an article repost. The winners are randomly picked after the campaign period.
Hollywood Universal Studios launched a Repost Campaign requiring users to follow the account and repost a designated Weibo post. One participant won an iPhone 7 (32GB) after the campaign was over.
4. Content Collection Campaign (有奖征集)
They encourage users to contribute original content related to a brand or product. This includes reviews, pictures, videos or slogans. The organizer picks the winners based on the quality of their content and they receive prizes.
YunOS, a mobile operation platform developed by Alibaba, launched a Content Collection Campaign. Users were asked to take pictures of FIFA Club World Cup ads, sponsored by YunOS Auto, in Shenzhen, Shanghai and Hangzhou airports. The prizes ranged from a Meilan 5 Smartphone, to a Youku membership, to a series of little dolls.
5. Preordering Campaign (预约抢购)
In these campaigns, only users who have preordered are qualified to purchase designated products. This type of campaign is most suitable for the release of high value products, like 3C (Computers, Communications, Consumer Electronics) products.
Yuexin Electronics, a company based in Shenzhen, launched a Preordering Campaign. Users were asked to make an order in advance to purchase the Bluetooth speaker from November 18th to 30th, 2016.
6. Free Trial Campaign (免费试用)
They allow brands to distribute product samples to their target audiences. To get the samples, users are required to present reasons why they should be selected. This is one of the more rewarding marketing campaigns on Weibo, and it can be particularly beneficial. Product samples serve as prize incentives and brands can also collect valuable feedback on their products before they’re officially released.
GearKr, a website that focuses on the evaluation of electronic products, launched a Free Trial Campaign, inviting users to try out the Spartan Ultra Sports Wristwatch of Sunnto. Winners were not required to return the wristwatch after the trial.
II. Creative campaigns
You can also create your own campaign on Weibo – a creative campaign. For a creative campaign, you can adjust the format and rules to suit your purpose.
Astana Expo 2017 launched a Creative Campaign, encouraging users to repost a designated Weibo account and express their good wishes for the expo. Users had the chance to win a Kindle, an energy-saving electric heater or recyclable water bottles. It was essentially a combination of a Repost Campaign and a Content Collection Campaign.
Advantages of Weibo Campaigns
Quick and easy to spread information
Overall, the biggest advantage of marketing campaigns on Weibo is that the spread of information is effective and efficient. After a user participates in a campaign successfully, they usually share the campaign by creating a new Weibo post. This is usually optional but for participants in a Repost Campaign or a Content Collection Campaign, these are required steps. In this way, campaign information is spread rapidly so that more Weibo users learn about the campaign and become participants.
A Lucky Roulette Campaign launched by Xiaomi promoting Mi Air Purifier 2. After participating in the campaign successfully, users share the campaign information and follow the campaign organizer.
Second, campaign organizers can also customize post content when users share the campaign information. Creative content makes the campaign stand out and attracts more users to participate. Usually a hashtag will also be added to increase campaign exposure.
Campaign information shared by a participant. The post content was customized by the brand with the hashtag “The quality of the air I breathe is up to me” (#我的空气我做主#), as the promoted product was an air purifier.
A fair platform
Finally, Weibo offers a fair platform for lucky draws. The platform chooses credible accounts in a systematic fashion that account managers can’t interfere with and fake accounts are effectively excluded.
What other topics do you want to learn about? Do you want to learn how to spot fake accounts? What are the best Weibo advertising options? Leave a comment below and we would be happy to answer any questions you may have.
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