Whether you are doing the social media advertising or have an agent do it for you, it is essential you are on the right social media platform. Not only will it ensure you are marketing through as many outlets as possible, it is also going to allow you to get your product out there to as many people as possible. The Chinese social networking sites described later in this chapter have more than double the number of users as sites like Twitter and Facebook in the US. Using Chinese social media is going to allow you to reach more people and easily inform them of sales, new merchandise, great deals and other new products as they are coming in to your shop.
Agents can really help you market your brand. Customers are already talking about your merchandise and the goods you sell; an agent can push the products, they can work with what the customers are saying and they will help build your brand to ensure the buyers know where to turn when they want to purchase. Registering to as many of these social media sites as possible is not only going to mean more visibility, it is also going to result in more visitors, more potential buyers and far greater exposure for your business.
Don’t Limit Use
Something to be mindful of is that you do not want to limit yourself when it comes to social media platforms. One site is not enough; if you are on five, ten or more social media platforms, it is going to be more beneficial to you. The more sites you are on, the more you can share and the larger the demographic you can reach through as many platforms as possible, greater an impact it is going to have on your sales figures and on the effect which the marketing is going to have on your shop.
We live in a world today where instant gratification is what the consumer is looking for. Social media gives them this. Whether it is a short video post, a short audio post, images of the new products or the short message they can read on the go, social media gives them all of this and allows them to get the information they need and want, so they can make an informed decision about the purchase or the goods they are going to buy through your site.
Increase Sales via Promotion
Using social media is only going to increase your online exposure. If people continually see positive things written about your business, if they see the lowest prices, the best deals and great customer service, then they are naturally going to want to do business with you. So, simply being on as many platforms as possible, informing customers of sales and letting them know when new products are being released are a few of the many things you can do to increase your bottom line.
The chart above shows how social media is going to help increase everything for your business. It will help:
• Increase the exposure, meaning more people will see your business regularly.
• Increase traffic, simply because of the fact that people know your company exists and will visit.
• Provide more insight in to the market and will help generate leads, as the right buyer is going to see what you have to offer.
Additionally, social media is going to help develop repeat customers. If people are happy with your products, if they know what you sell and if they are happy with the transaction, the more likely they will come back in the future. So, simply adding your business to the social media platforms will result in more business, more repeat customers and will eventually lead to an increase in the sales you are doing online.
Popular Chinese Social Media Websites
This is the Chinese equivalent of Twitter in the US; but, it has double the number of registered users, meaning millions of people are going to see what is posted on the site daily. Images, video and other similar posts can be used in presenting your product. It is a visual as well as a verbal platform, allowing the buyer to see and to read about what you offer.
This is basically the equivalent of re-tweeting through Twitter. It means if something you post on your Weibo account is popular and shared by your followers, they are going to use Tencent Weibo in order to share this with their followers as well. This site has about 220 million users and is yet another way to get your store out, and to allow potential buyers to see what it is that your business has to offer for sale.
This is the equivalent to Facebook in the US. Like Facebook, Renren began as a way to stay in touch with old friends or classmates. However, over the years businesses have also used the site to target their audience and share items with their followers. It is a great way to add images, add video and add other content so your followers can read up and see what you are offering for sale. It is an easy way to share new media and to share new merchandise as it is being added to your site. And, it is easy to interact with followers, to ensure they know when you have new products and when you are going to be holding sales for them to interact in.
This is an instant messaging type of service. With about 100 million users online at one time, sending out a message to your followers will result in a large number of people seeing that message at once. Even if they are not logged on, they can receive a notification that a message was sent on mobile devices, meaning they are always going to see when you post something new or when you share something about your business. This is an instant gratification service, and means your potential buyer is going to see the message as it is being sent out by your marketing team.
This social platform is basically a blog posting and forum-based site. It is similar to Myspace in that it has communities where people with common interests will be able to view the blogs and see the new forum posts as they are added. Forums and blogs have become huge in China, and they allow businesses to send out press releases or to send out information about new products. If you are adding new merchandise, or if you would like to write a post about your business, this is the platform to use to do just that and to reach a large audience when doing it.
Youku is the Chinese version of Youtube. Video sharing and posting is one of the easiest ways to showcase your product line. You can make short videos of new merchandise, you can share a short post when sales are being held, and you can let your audience know what items are going to go on sale. With a video sharing platform, you can also market creatively and can create content that is going to go viral; this means millions will see it, even if they are not registered to the social media platform.
Something that is beneficial about video sharing is that you do not have to be a member in order to view the video. If it goes viral or if it is popular enough, it is likely to get shared and to be seen by the masses. So, even if you are reaching a specific demographic and do not have a large follower base, it is possible for you to reach the masses and to be able to reach a large number of people at once with the video posts and the video content you are sharing.
This app has 100 million users. It is a text sending app, allowing you to send SMS message. So, if you are holding a sale, if you plan on having closeout items or if you want to inform your buyers of new items that are going to be added to your online shop, you can use this app to do so. The beauty of this and other text sending apps is that so many people have their mobile devices with them at all times. So, even if they are not at a desktop or at their computer, then they are going to be able to view these messages as they are sent, and will then be able to visit your shop and see the new items that are being promoted.
The Bottom Line: Get on Chinese Social Media
Regardless of the type of site you operate on Tmall, you have to know what is hot and what people are using today in order to find out what goods are being sold. Just like in the US, social media in China is huge in the sales funnel. And, because the major platforms in China have more than double the number of users that are on social media sites in the US, it is going to reach billions of people.
What this means is that even if certain individuals never buy, the increased exposure alone is going to result in more sales and higher profit margins over time. Best of all, using these social media platforms does not require an increase in marketing dollars as you can use a majority of the sites for little to no cost and can push your brand and site through various funnels.
On and offline marketing are essential today. Social media marketing should be a contender in your marketing strategy. Not only is it going to provide you with instant feedback (via likes and dislikes, video responses, etc), it is also going to allow you to make the changes as needed to ensure you are keeping your customers happy.
With the right message, the right platform and using as many platforms as possible, you are not only going to see an increase in followers and buyers, but you are going to notice a jump in your sales figures. So, you must develop a social media strategy, and you have to know how to employ social media with traditional marketing so as to ensure you are reaching the broadest audience possible at all times.