The social marketing landscape in China has changed dramatically in the past two years, and marketers use social marketing extensively to engage with their consumers. But what social marketing tools are they using today?
In a survey of social marketers in China, Forrester found that the average marketer uses four social marketing platforms, with WeChat having the highest adoption rate (92%). LinkedIn, the only Western social platform not blocked in China, is third most popular after Sina Weibo, despite being in the country for less than two years. This is consistent with consumers’ preferences: Metro Chinese consumers already spend an average of 9.2 hours per week — more than half of their mobile Internet time — on WeChat.
However, the widespread adoption of social tactics is not translating into satisfaction for all marketers. “Our research found that Chinese marketers too often flock to social tactics that are easy to roll out and administer while ignoring the ones that work best,” writes Forrester analyst Xiaofeng Wang in her report.
For example. the two tactics receiving the top satisfaction scores relate to forums and communities — advertising on public ones and maintaining branded ones. Although less than half of the marketers surveyed have adopted forums or communities, more than 75% of those who did were very satisfied. Similarly, setting up and maintaining a branded account or page on a social site such as WeChat and Weibo is easy and inexpensive, so the ROI looks good and comes quickly — which is why most marketers adopt the tactic as their first social marketing step and feel good about it.