Weibo 101

What is Weibo?

Weibo is one of most popular social media sites in China, launched by Sina Corporation in 2009. “Wei” means “Micro” and “bo” means “Blog” in Chinese, so put together, Weibo means Micro-blog. Look more closely and Weibo is actually a hybrid of Facebook and Twitter, with some innovative features like “Long Weibo” that take it beyond these two globally popular social media.

What makes it special?

Weibo has played a key role in increasing freedom of speech in China. It is the largest platform on which Chinese people read news, exchange opinions on all kinds of social issues, and get first-hand information about their interests, celebrities, events, and organizations. Millions are connecting and influencing Chinese society through Weibo at anytime and anyplace. At a rate of almost a million posts a minute, Weibo has an immense and immediate impact on China.

Why does it matter?

Weibo currently reaches 600 million users in China and around the world, and this number is still growing. 80% of Weibo users are under 30 years old – the Millennial generation who are the new prospective customers for your products or services.

How can I use it?

Weibo is ideal for brand positioning. If you want to establish the image of your business in China, connect with your Chinese customers, or build a strong reputation on the Chinese Internet, a Weibo page with “Blue V” is very important to your business. The “Blue V” means you have a verified Weibo account, certifying you as the true voice of your brand.

Verification is achieved  by providing a series of documentations translated in Chinese for the administrators in Sina Corporation.A verified Weibo page filled with properly selected and translated materials in Mandarin Chinese is one of foundations for your success in China.

Planning and applying strategies for growing your followers on Weibo follows, building on the high quality content to extend the influence of  your brand.

Last but not least, a skilled social media manager with fluent Mandarin and English, ability to interact with your customers in China, and act as a bridge between Western and Eastern culture, translating your social media marketing messages in ways that will connect with your Chinese audience will be very important for your social media  success in China.

Where can I learn more?

Here are a number of additional resources for exploring Weibo:

For the educational sector, This Brescia University College case study offers an in-depth look at how the SocialChina team set up and managed a Weibo project, and gives some insight into how one organization uses Weibo. You can view the Brescia Weibo page here.

To discuss whether Weibo might be a fit for your communication and marketing needs in China, feel free to contact us.