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Navigating the Social Media Landscape In China

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China's relatively strong economy and its growing middle class means more Chinese citizens have money to travel and spend, according to tourism experts. The middle class in China numbered 247 million people in 2011, or 18% of the population, and is projected to grow to more than 600 million by 2020.

To bring it home to the United States, Chinese tourists spend an average of $2,932 per visit to California, compared with $1,883 for other overseas visitors, according to the latest statistics by the U.S. Office of Travel and Tourism Industries. A big chunk of their spending — about 33% — goes for gifts and souvenirs.

So, reaching this audience before they get to the United States can be a big priority for many brands and marketers. Given the internet firewalls, it can be near impossible to reach Chinese people in China. Facebook and Twitter are pretty much nonexistent; however there are in-country options to consider. We break it down for you.

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Navigating the Social Media Landscape In China

  1. 1. 1 Social Media Landscape In China
  2. 2. 2 Summary • While many brands use social media, – Few have a living, breathing social media strategy and plan. – Fewer are succeeding in monetizing social media efforts. – Even fewer use social media to its fullest extent. • Brands are succeeding in social media by, – Delivering relevant content. – Engaging with users. – Developing and managing a social media program that adjusts the changing environment, even in China.
  3. 3. 3 Social Media Discovery
  4. 4. 4 Social Media Landscape in China RenRen Leading Chinese social networking site. Its history as a student social network has helped it to develop a presence across the whole of China. Douban Largest Chinese website devoted to movies, books, music and general creativity, and its objective is to connect people based on shared interests. Kaixin001 Appeals more to Chinese white collar workers. It invests a great deal of time and resource into creating in- network games. Sina Weibo Largest micro-blogging site in China, and growing rapidly. Its users are white collar workers, aged between 20-30 years old, and 48% of users access the micro-blog on their phones.
  5. 5. 5 Expanded Social Media Landscape QQ Also known as Tencent QQ, is a free instant messaging program in China. Besides the chat feature, QQ has also developed other features including games, blogs, etc. Tudou Video-sharing website where users can upload, view and share video clips. Youku Chinese video hosting service and is the second largest video site in the world with ranking just after YouTube. PPTV Peer-to-peer streaming video freeware. It is part of a new generation of P2P applications, that combines P2P and Internet TV, calledP2PTV.
  6. 6. 6 Insight on Chinese Social Media Users 235 Million Social Users The Chinese Internet population is the largest in the world with over 298 million users, 235 million social network users and 181 million bloggers. 70% of users in China are under 30 years old. 54% Manage A Profile 180MM Video Viewers China has the largest internet audience in the world with 180 million regular viewers of online video content. Very Active Bloggers 90% of the Chinese Internet population actively reads blogs. 81% are actively writing blogs. The Chinese value the independence and freedom of communication as a larger part of their lifestyle. SOURCE: iRESEARCH, OGILVY ONE, CASBAA, WAVE 4 UM Last year, 202.4 million Chinese people engaged in some aspect of social media. Within this population, 111.8 million have managed a social network profile.
  7. 7. 7 Social Media Segments- Priority 1. Social Enthusiasts People who spend more time on social media sites than other group (about 15% of the population), two thirds of which post online daily about their activities and are most prone to use social media to make purchasing decisions. 2. Re-senders 3. Readers People who tend to spend most of their social media time reading others blogs and posts rather than actively commenting or writing. They comprise around 14% of the population and actively collect data before making a purchasing. A group of people that use social media mainly to promote themselves (about 14% of the population); 69% of these spend money on things they see on social media. SOURCE: MCKINSEY CHINA 4. The Opinionated The group of people tend to be very vocal (also around 14% of the population) and can become a danger to a brand if not managed appropriately. They don’t like ads and are very vocal if they have a mad experience with a brand.
  8. 8. 8 Social Media Segments- No Priority 5. QQ Spillovers 6. Inactives The group of people, like the QQ Spillovers, do not participate much despite occasionally going to social media sites. People who are using Tencent’s QQ instant messaging service, but are not participating in conver- sations in a meaningful way. SOURCE: MCKINSEY CHINA
  9. 9. 9 Chinese Government Control PRC Defends Censoring In 2010, the government of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) defends its right to censor the Internet claiming that the country has the right to govern it to avoid harmful affects of illegal information on state security, public interest and children. No Gambling Firewalls Today, the Chinese system blocks content by prevent- ing IP addresses from being routed through China. It consists of standard firewalls and proxy servers at the Internet gateways. The system also selectively engages in DNS poisoning when sites are requested. The Ministry of Public Security announced in late 1997 that no unit or individual may use the Internet to create, replicate, retrieve, or transmit the following kinds of information including: Promoting feudal superstitions, sexually suggestive material, gambling, violence, murder. Agency Input The solution to government control is to embrace it. Partner with in-country digital or social media partners, create content within China, and work around direct references to gambling.
  10. 10. 10 Insights To Guide Messaging Direction Youthful & Interactive Social media campaigns should focus on the youthful age of the internet’s core audience. It should also play on the individual’s susceptibility to shared opinions and values, by making the campaign as interactive as possible around the brand/product. Liberating Watching Videos Chinese netizens demonstrate the use of social media for entertainment purposes when considering almost 90% of all users said they actively watched video clips online. The campaign should aim to make the Chinese netizen feel liberated by offering them opportunities to express themselves within the campaign: this could be done via profiles, avatars, BBS and blogging elements within the campaign. Make It Fun Compared to the West, social media in China should focus more on fun and entertain- ment, and less on communi- cation and information. The Chinese netizen is usually an experienced entertainment- seeker who uses social media to play games and watch video clips, communicating passively.
  11. 11. 11 Come To-Life In Social Media Like Many Other Major Brands Top Social Site
  12. 12. 12 Sina Weibo Is the Leader, Today Source: RedTech Advisors; as of 1Q 2012 Active Users Sina Weibo users represent 87% of activity with 100MM posts/ day. 30% of Sina users post 3+ messages/day. It’s Facebook Meets Twitter With more than 300MM register internet users, Sina Weibo holds 57% market share in number of users. 160,000 corporate users are expected to double by end of 2012 China Microblogs
  13. 13. 13 Sina Weibo Delivers a Great Platform Better Interactivity Users can comment on other users’ comments and updates. Better Accessibility Facebook, Twitter and YouTube are all blocked in China. Firewall climbing is complicated and illegal. Better Interface More Content A lot more can be expressed with 140 characters in Chinese than in any other language. Images, videos, audios, and a large number of emoticons can be posted.
  14. 14. 14 Sina Weibo Provides Analytics Page View Demographics Of Fans Fan Growth
  15. 15. 15 Brands Can Get Active With a Range of Messaging on Sina Weibo Robust Activities Through the voice of the brand, a marketers can post 2-5 pieces of content/day for fans. Brands can actively seek-out and engage persons or entities through social sites or blogs. Truly requires a 24/7/365 operator and engagement. Fans are browsing and shopping at all hours of the day– especially the global consumer. Special Offer Discount Daily Greeting Video Sharing Event News Release
  16. 16. 16 Optional Add-Ons
  17. 17. 17 Extend Your Brand Message in Chinese To Facebook & Twitter Centralizes Messaging The trifecta of top social sites enables Caesars Palace to more easily lead this communication channel, control messaging and gain critical consumer insight. Reach More Immigrants Ability to reach more of the Chinese-speaking population anywhere in the world is telescoped out by extending Sino Weibo efforts to Facebook and Twitter. Go Deeper In China Despite government restrictions and firewalls, a new report reveals that there are 63 million Chinese on Facebook and 35 million on Twitter.
  18. 18. 18 Extend Your Brand’s Social Plan With Video Marketing on Youku Bigger Video- Sharing China’s No.1 video- sharing website like YouTube, generates 203 million monthly unique visitors from homes and offices + 56 million from Internet cafes. Long Viewing Time Youku represents 40% share of total user time spent viewing online videos among Chinese Internet users. Strengthen Social Plan If enough video content is in-hand or in-develop- ment, Gravity Media recommends launching a video social plan extension with Youku.
  19. 19. 19 Strengthen Social Plan with a Chinese Website More Comfortable Chinese customers are more comfortable with Chinese sites. Plus, Chinese firewalls make it difficult (impossible) to direct traffic to US-site. Get Market Assessment Website analytics will help to rate the market potential Chinese citizens interested in your brand, product or service. Learn Their Behavior Site will help to gain important behavior and characteristics of potential Chinese customers. Strengthen Social Plan Gravity Media recomm- ends developing and launching a 10-page SEM/SEO-friendly site for the U.S.-based brands, but served within China.
  20. 20. 20 Recommendation Increase Relevance Create additional content that will resonate with Chinese people. Extend Messages Filter, adapt and use current social media content. Make It Personal Engage and deepen the relationship with fans and prospects in China. 24/7/365 engagement including outreach. Add Personality Chinese people seek fun and entertainment in social media. Deliver it.
  21. 21. 21 Thank you. Yuriy Boykiv CEO yboykiv@mediagravity.com P: 646.486.0000 M: 917.750.0764 East Coast: 104 West 26th Street, 6th Floor New York, NY 10001 West Coast: 275-A McCormick Avenue, Suite 100 Costa Mesa, CA 92626