Key Factors of Social Marketing in China

Building a brand in social media is a long-term systematic project.

According to the latest report of GlobalWebIndex in 2022, among Internet users aged 16 to 64 in China, each spends up to 2 hours a day on social media.

Social media has brought brands closer to consumers and is disrupting the daily work of marketers.

In 2021, WeChat users will exceed 1.2 billion, and Weibo’s monthly active users will reach 530 million. WeChat and Weibo platforms are still one of the main positions for enterprises to build their brand image and carry out social marketing.

From the perspective of the new traffic platform, in 2021, the short video playback volume released by the Douyin enterprise brand will increase by 174% in Q2; the GMV of Kuaishou e-commerce brand self-broadcasting will increase by 841% in the first 11 months; Xiaohongshu welcomes With over 65,000 enterprise accounts entering the game, the social marketing pattern is rapidly changing from “WeChat-Weibo-Douyin” to “WeChat-Douyin-Kaishou-Xiaohongshu”. Platforms such as Zhihu and Station B, which were relatively niche in the past, and even had nothing to do with social networking, are also entering the vision of brand marketers due to the rise of new consumer groups and new consumption scenarios.

China’s unique social marketing ecology

The layout of social media has become a routine operation for brands, but compared with the resources invested, the brands that can benefit can be said to be very few. This also poses greater challenges to the refined operation of the brand’s social media. The reason is understandable, lack of refined operation, the brand can only compete with the head budget, but burning money to exchange traffic has never been a long-term way for enterprises to survive.

How can brands extract value from the conversations and behaviors of billions of consumers, grasp consumers’ minds, and stand out in the market competition? How should brands adjust their social media marketing ideas?

Brand mistakes are pain points and opportunities

Brands need to “systematically” manage social media. Brand accounts are managed by employees, and sometimes big mistakes will be made due to employee negligence. Although it is possible to quickly respond, apologize and delete posts in a short period of time or gain the understanding of many users, this kind of chaotic social media management reduces the credibility of the brand. If adjustments are not made in time, the value of the brand will be irreversible. damage.

In the context of different play methods of major media platforms and an increasingly complex marketing environment, brands need more logical and unified ideas to manage social media in order to cope with various potential crises.

Every step of the brand marketing strategy is based on the continuous optimization and improvement of the “infrastructure”. Systematic social media management will bring real benefits to brands.

From the diverse marketing ecology, the inevitability of social media management tools can be foreseen

What are the tools to help overseas brands achieve systematic social media management? Why overseas will give priority to these tools? After delving into the social media management SaaS industry, you will find that it is a process that has evolved in parallel with Internet technology.

In 2006, Facebook first introduced the “feed” feature. In 2007, Twitter formulated the rules of the game for retweet and hashtag, which led to a rapid increase in the number of comments on the platform, and also provided an important reference for the gameplay of other social media platforms in the future.

By 2010, social networking sites began to become popular in the United States, and Internet giants began to make efforts to integrate their “social capabilities”. Various types of differentiation forms have begun to appear in social media, such as Google’s social networking site “Google+”; digital photo sharing site Pinterest, etc.

At this time, large enterprises with budgets began to consider a more systematic and scientific tool for managing data assets. In this context, a number of digital technology tools and platforms were born, which were quickly recognized by the market. In the field of social media management, there are also some representative companies. For example, in 2010, Sprinklr was officially launched in January, and has gained well-known corporate users such as Cisco, Microsoft and Nike.

In 2012, Facebook became the largest social networking site in the world, with more than 1 billion total users, but the overall increase in social media users in North America has slowed down, with a growth rate of only 4.1%. How to manage the brand’s multiple social account ports more efficiently and improve the linkage between the brand and users has become a development direction that enterprises pay more attention to.

At present, overseas social media management tools have developed relatively maturely, by combining with CRM systems or integrating customer experience. For corporate executives, they are not concerned with a single message that is randomly mentioned, but a collective, data-traceable content. Through social media management tools, they can parse and compare thousands of messages. “mood”. This approach enables brands to gain access to the real voice of social media at all times. And this real-time, quantifiable insight is the huge competitive advantage that systematic social media management brings to brands.

The rapid development of China’s social media marketing SaaS industry

If Weibo, which was established in 2009, may still be imitating Twitter, then in the next year, when China’s mobile Internet users exceeded 100 million people, China’s Internet marketing landscape ushered in a sea change. Since then, the Xiaohongshu platform that emerged based on shopping and sharing in 2013, and the Douyin platform that brought short videos closer to public life in 2016, etc., the emergence of these new media platforms has accelerated the pace of change in China’s digital marketing ecosystem every year. .

Here, “China Speed” surprised even the whole world. Media platforms have become more diversified in a short period of time, and people’s consumption power has also been released online. The various e-commerce festivals created by China, and the emerging new brands and new technologies, have made the digital marketing environment full of vitality in recent years.

From Douyin’s continuous integration of the rich product matrix of Toutiao, Douyin, Xigua Video, etc.; to Kuaishou’s “troika” of live broadcasts, short dramas, and Kuaishou Alliance; to Xiaohongshu, which focuses on creating a trendy life platform for young people. In the continuous update of music, beauty, travel, food, fitness and other content… In recent years, Chinese social media platforms have updated a series of policies, gameplay and functions, and have also created richer and more imaginative marketing for brands space.

Just looking at the social marketing environment in China from the development history of the WeChat platform, we can see that in order to win more users, China’s media platforms are constantly building new marketing touchpoints, and their functions are becoming more complex.

In the process of development, WeChat has continuously refined the functions of optimizing user experience and merchant services, and has gradually grown into a “monster” integrating shopping, social networking, office, and sales, while still iterating and evolving its own capabilities.

Social media marketing funnel based on WeChat ecology

Brands can also realize the entire marketing funnel from customer acquisition, conversion to fission in the WeChat ecosystem. At present, most restaurant orders require attention to the official public account, and the shopping guides of offline retail stores will also naturally push and guide customers to join the group. These actions are often accompanied by the next promotions and discounts, thereby increasing repurchase. Rate.

WeChat mini-programs and H5 are similar to independent websites, while private messages and group chats are more efficient than email marketing. Beyond social media, WeChat has created an e-commerce ecosystem that is more in line with China’s national conditions. Compared with CRM-based, marketing automation (MA) is used to track user browsing emails or website behavior to promote email marketing; SCRM developed in China is based on WeChat ecology, which is more interactive, connected, and more For a complex social marketing management trend.

In the complete social marketing chain, a year-round marketing plan includes marketing, sales and PR teams, as well as internal and external cooperation with relevant agency partners. This involves the entire process of creative design of advertising content, advertising content delivery, effect monitoring, and user feedback tracking.

The job responsibilities of the roles are also slightly different. As a result, many social marketing SaaS tools have emerged in China to solve the different pain points and needs of enterprises.

For example, in the creative design process, online design tools represented by Canva have lowered the threshold for “creativeness”, and employees in the marketing department can more easily produce high-quality simple materials; compared with cross-platform and cross-account mechanical operations, The cloud service provider with integrated marketing liberates the management energy of the optimizer.

As the infrastructure in the marketing structure, the social media management tools built for China are in line with the current social media marketing ecology. It conveys a unified brand image and brand concept in a complex marketing environment, and plans its own social media strategy in a targeted manner according to the characteristics of different platforms.

Pay attention to the fine management of social media

In recent years, China’s social media has developed rapidly, and the level of digital application of Chinese consumers is far higher than the global average. At the same time, high technologies such as big data, LBS, AI, virtual stores, and the Internet of Things continue to penetrate people’s life scenes. However, the digital capabilities and refined operational capabilities of Chinese brands need to be improved. How to fill the gap between the external environment and internal capabilities has become another trend dividend that brands can pursue.

The most discussed issue in Chinese brand marketing is how to verify the ROI. How to minimize costs and control budget spending on integrated marketing and marketing activities? However, without sufficient investment, how to obtain high-conversion results?

In fact, when conducting a social marketing, the actual data available may only be relatively intuitive data such as the number of fans, attention, and forwarding rate, and there is no clear connection between the intrinsic value of these data and revenue. . In order to align social marketing with the company’s strategic goals, social media management has become an essential part of brand promotion.

Comparing the current situation of overseas social media management development, it can be found that China’s concepts in terms of internal coordination and efficiency improvement are relatively lacking. On the other hand, in the face of the gradual decline of traffic dividends, how to achieve sustainable growth and whether social marketing matches brand positioning and platform characteristics have become the most concerned issues for business operations.

In this regard, enterprises need to return to the basic skills of brand cultivation and pay more attention to social media management. This will be a long-term systematic project.