How to run a social media campaign in China?

Few weeks ago, I was attending a WebAnalytics Wednesday in Hong Kong, the presentation was about social media campaign management in China and how campaign planning and strategy how-to are different in China versus western countries. This event was conducted by Charlie Wang from Tribal DDB Hong Kong and the case study was relying on his own personal experience as Data Analytics director in a Beijing local consulting agency.

This session was a great first introduction to social media behavior in China, and I kept in mind and now highlight some concepts that I would like to share: how to create brand/product awareness and follow up on China social media landscape.

Assuming that you are willing to launch offline, follow up online & looking for social media resonance.

Here is below the big picture, basically campaign management concepts are the same everywhere but the means and tools are not.

I will emphasize each point that arose my curiosity* !

1. Campaign definition

This first step is basically when you start pitching your campaign: you need to tell a story to convince your client or boss that this way you will arise awareness about the brand/product. You will define here your communication, your target and quickly how-to. Let’s take for example the launch of a new book. I’ll plan here to organize several events in book store, library, supermarket… with a signature session & flyers distribution. The flyers will contain a QR code, dedicated website, coupon code… whatever you want to lead the on internet to search for you.

2. Campaign conversion metrics definition

Now I’ll define my goals. Well, my point being to succeed in the launching of a new book, my primary goal is clearly set: orders (conversion rate…)
In the meantime, I’ll set subsidiary objectives like:
– eCommerce oriented: how many people scan my QR code, visit my dedicated website, contact me for more information, add the book to their card…
– Social media | Branding oriented: how many people search for the book, comment about the book, shared the website, “liked the book”…

Those KPI should be measured by quantity & quality, for example you could measure the volume of people that comment about your post & the audience engagement = (comments + share + trackbacks)/total post views. Check here the main metrics for reporting about a social media campaign.

3. Campaign buzz set up

In this step, you will create your landing pages, your dedicated website, set up the tagging… & select the channel you want to target.
When regarding social media, in western countries we will focus on Facebook & Twitter whatever the target is. In China the social media landscape is much more scattered and you choose your channel in function of your target age & location. Plus you have to get the difference between SNS and BBS.

Among those:



Select by typology of platform (SNS & BBS usage)



By age and location

The China Social Network Report says 54% of of China internet users today own or visit blogs, and 47% have a page on one or more social networking sites (SNS). More than 25% write 10 or more posts on forums, blogs or SNS every day, 92% visit social media pages at least three times a week, while 27% have pages on five or more social networks. Behind China’s great Firewall

4. Campaign buzz nourishing

About social media seeding:
“Social Media Seeding is the process of generating buzz and interest in your product or brand within Forums, communities and other social environments. The key to effective Social Seeding is identifying the key target communities and seeding information in a natural and effective fashion, without spamming and without causing undue offence.”

In this particular case, we will use professional seeders to write positive content about the book in several blogs & BBS and if necessary try rise a controversy to attract more real people and get more content. This is not very common in western countries but it has to be done for a effective social media campaign in China.

5. Campaign data analysing

2 questions here, which platform & which metrics?
Social Media analytics, Cliquez pour agrandir

A lot of platform for social media monitoring or analysing are not in my list but pick yours regarding the functionalities, metrics, existing platform you are using knowing that this landscape is moving very fast! After Radian 6, Salesforce recently signed an agreement to acquire Buddy Media, Oracle is closing a deal with Collective Intellect…
Regarding the metrics, I’m still pretty convinced with those: share of voice, audience engagement, micro conversion rate and else.

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