On Monday the British Embassy in Beijing confirmed that David Cameron opened a social media account on Sina Weibo. The microblogging platform, which has more than 300 million users, is the Chinese equivalent to Twitter and especially favoured by higher income Chinese people. We’ve taken the opportunity to look into the Chinese social media market and the potential for UK businesses.
The Chinese Social Media Hype
According to a study published by consulting firm McKinsey in 2012, the Chinese are the most active users of social media platforms with 91 percent of respondents stating that they have been actively microblogging within the last six month, followed by 70% in South Korea, 67% in the United States and 30% in Japan.
The study also comes up with an interesting finding regarding the huge potential of the Chinese social media market for UK businesses. Social Media influences the purchasing decision of Chinese buyers in a way that is unique to the country. Chinese shoppers primarily buy on recommendations from friends and family and are more likely to purchase a product which is discussed positively in their social media circles. Consumers in China also spend a lot more time on social media sites compared to anybody else in the world, with an average of 46 minutes a day (Japan: 7 minutes, US: 37 minutes).
UK businesses who are considering the opportunity of social media networks for gaining access to the Chinese market need to be aware that Facebook and Twitter are very popular in the West and in other Asian countries but not accessible in China. In China, local social media sites are at the forefront with Qzone, Sina Weibo and Renren leading the rank.
How Languages can help you make the most of social media platforms
Unless you’re a Mandarin speaker you’re most likely unable to understand what David Cameron is blogging on Sina Weibo to his almost 159,000 followers (Monday 12:00 GMT). The Prime Minister is following the golden rule of global marketing and addresses his audience in the correct target language. If you’re thinking of opening up a social media account in a foreign country to promote your business you should make sure that you can communicate in the correct target language. We’ve helped companies communicate their message across the world and open up a world of opportunities – get in touch to find out how!
How can you win new business through social media? Find out by reading our blog on the topic.
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