Weibo Marketing: Five Steps to Getting Started

In China, the usage of Weibo is unprecedented and businesses have a unique opportunity for reaching and engaging new audiences. There are over 350 million users registered with Weibo. It is a more dynamic and diverse platform where one can tell a full story by 140 Chinese characters. So for our dear marketers, below are some tips to jump-start into the world of Weibo marketing.

Managing Personal Profile – The first step is to give a profile name. It will be better if you use a real name in Chinese or Chinese nickname or a mixture of both. Combining your company’s name with your profile name is a bad idea (stop laughing, people do it all the time) unless you want to stay with the same company forever or you are the head (who knows, someday you will start your own company). Officially, a maximum of ten characters are used but to remember to keep it easy and short. Next is to have a decent profile picture. Upload an image or a portrait that matches your personality. Give a brief introduction about you but that should be sincere and professional.

Tagging Personal Profile – Up to 10 keywords can be tagged on Tencent and Sina Weibo. Tagging should be the first step to make connections with people who share the same interests so that people can find you. If you want to have a semi-personal Weibo account, keep two to three tags based on personal interests and others can be related to industry topics. Take reference from the popular tags from your peers or top relevant Weibo-ers. Start following your peers and announce them about your account. If you have a new follower, just follow back even if the person is a stranger. In general, as courtesy people follow all their first 100 followers.

Use Weibo as a Blog – The translation of Weibo is microblog and most users in China use it a blogging platform rather as a random messaging board. The way one sets up a blog, you need to choose the subjects that you are passionate about. Organizing and sharing your thoughts should be the key motivation to continue writing. Do not make the content too personal, always try what value you can add to the readers. This is crucial for Weibo marketing. The most important is persistence, on an average write at least two to three posts per day.

Your Posts must be Scheduled – Every day, there are particular time zones when the posts have a higher chance to be seen. Schedule your posts at a certain time so that more people can read and not post your content at odd times. You must identify two to three-time slots when you will get more responses or follow the thumb rule already applied by successful Weibo-ers. Content that has breaking news and has more value, publishes them in the morning when people are going to work ( people usually go around 7:30 am in China). Do not write impulsive content and for casual updates about work or small write up on life, take a picture, and write down. Save it and share them after office – hours. Just do it after 6 or 7 pm when people are checking Weibo for leisure.

Complement the post with an image – It is said, a picture is worth a thousand words, but it also helps in capturing more eyeballs. Selecting a specific picture for a post is an art. Look for the popular magazines in China and the most popular account in Weibo to get some inspirations. You will get ideas on how you can write an inspiring post and complement with a snapshot or a stock picture. No need to take pictures from a professional camera, your phone can do the job very well. After writing a new post, do not just hit and run. Wait for a while to see for any response and if possible reply immediately. By doing this, it will give an impression to the followers that you are not using the account just for pushing messages but also caring about them.

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