Marketers in China are increasingly investing in social marketing: Three-quarters of the marketers we surveyed in 2015 plan to increase their social marketing budget in 2016. However, they struggle to determine the best social marketing strategies and tactics to engage with their target audience. My report, Take Three Steps Toward Social Success, introduces Forrester’s Social Technographics® model to help them.

  • Step 1: Use the Social Technographics Score to evaluate how important social media is to your marketing plan. Based on how much social media matters to consumers’ interactions with companies (from high to low), your audience falls into one of four groups: Social Stars, Social Savvies, Social Snackers, and Social Skippers. As the majority of metro Chinese consumers are Social Stars or Social Savvies, social marketing is an urgent priority for marketers in China.
  • Step 2: Use the Social Technographics Life-Cycle Rankings to craft the right social strategy. These reveal the stages of the customer life cycle — discover, explore, buy, use, ask, or engage — in which your customers are most likely to use social media. Metro Chinese consumers use social media the most when they’re considering products. So to succeed, marketers in China should leverage social marketing more in the explore stage of the customer life cycle.
  • Step 3: Use the Social Technographics Intensity Matrix to get the insights you need to develop the right social tactics. The matrix helps you examine your audience’s favorite social behaviors (such as posting, sharing, and commenting) and locations (such as social networks, review sites, and blogs) so that you can choose the right social tactics. Posting text, photos, audio, or video that they created on social networking sites is the top social activity in the Social Technographics Intensity Matrix for metro Chinese consumers. Marketers in China will find that encouraging their audience to post content on social media is an effective marketing tactic.

The details above only account for the general online population in metropolitan China. When we study different audiences, we see large variations in both their overall scores and their rankings for their discover, explore, and engage factors, so marketers should examine the Social Technographics attributes of their specific target segments. To learn more, please read the full report.