New Zealand companies who are looking to expand into the Chinese market are going to discover they must have an understanding of the social media world within China in order to succeed. This is a very important distinction, as social media in New Zealand is not operating in the same manner as social media in China.
One of the biggest issues that New Zealand companies are facing are that they try to use the same social media sites in China used in their home country. Facebook and Twitter are huge social media sites within New Zealand, but these are not a huge hit in China. Instead, these businesses should be focusing on Weibo and WeChat, the biggest sites throughout the country.
Why Weibo and WeChat?
According to Zhao Ling, a senior consultant at Auckland based Boyd Public Relations, companies who focus on Twitter or Facebook in China are doomed for failure. He stated:
“…two big sites in China are Weibo and WeChat. These are the two sites that people in China really trust..”
The trust comes from the fact that in order to be seen on Weibo, the company investigates the business to ensure they are legitimate. This gives consumers more peace of mind about what they are going to be dealing with if they choose to do business with the new company. Ling stated:
“It is because of this vetting process that Chinese people trust Weibo…”
In regards to WeChat, New Zealand companies will find this social media site is used by consumers as a way to talk about their experiences. This social media channel can make or break a business. Ling stated:
“Chinese consumers are passionate about engaging with foreign brands and sharing their experience with their friends…”
For a new company from New Zealand branching into the Chinese market, they must have a WeChat account in order to ensure they are utilizing the Chinese consumer market as it can be used to help spread the brand image.
Social Media Stats
Statistics are now showing that social media is more important than ever for foreign companies who wish to have success in the Chinese market:
- 80% of Chinese consumers are more likely to trust a brand if it is on social media channels
- 80% of consumers read online reviews via social media before purchasing a product or service
- 85% of consumers talk about their purchases via social media
This is why New Zealand companies who are looking to expand into the Chinese market should take their social media seriously. And this will require changing their usual methods with social media to make these work for the Chinese market.