How To Manage Your Social Media Channels Prior To China Market Entry
The number one question that brands should be asking themselves prior to entering the China market is: What is our brand awareness in China? The answer is often surprising. Well-known brands in their home market often find they have near zero awareness in China, while some more niche brands can be surprised to find out that their brand has organiz buzz and awareness in the market without their knowledge.
And once the brand knows their awareness level, how do they boost this prior to entering the China market?
The first thing that brands should do is seek to increase their presence on China’s largest social media channels, namely Weibo, WeChat and Little Red Book.
Little Red Book: This is the first place consumers, partners and retailers go to find out about a new brand. Consumers, KOCs and KOLs all post about brands in “notes” on Little Red Book. Brands should see how many notes they have about their brand, and seek to increase this number through KOC and KOL gifting and engagement. Brands should also consider creating an official presence on Little Red Book to post their own content and engage with their fan base on this important platform, but an official presence is not required for consumers and KOLs to post notes about the brand.
WeChat: WeChat is most similar to an email list for a foreign brand. The numbers of followers and impressions will be much lower than the other platforms, but the engagement will be much greater. These are typically avid fans who love your brand and want to read weekly articles about your brand. Establishing a presence on WeChat takes time to build, but is the best way to create a brand community prior to executing your China market entry strategy.
Weibo: Weibo is the closest platform to Instagram or Facebook, and the easiest way for global brands to port their social content into a Chinese social platform for market entry. Weibo lacks the consumer engagement that the other two platforms provide, but it is a ripe platform for celebrity and KOL engagement and for building general brand buzz and awareness.
There is no “one size fits all” for China market entry strategy, and social channel adoption follows the same pattern. Each brand must evaluate its brand positioning and identify the best strategy for jump starting this awareness to support your China market entry strategy.
China Luxury Advisors Inc (CLA) is a China strategy consultant that advises and works collaboratively with luxury and premium brands, retailers, streetwear brands, tourism brands and more to develop their China market strategy.
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