Does your company relish the idea of tackling overseas markets? China has more than 618 million internet-connected citizens. China's market is hungry for new exciting products that speak to China's cultural sensibilities. But how can your company or organization reach Asia with effective social media marketing?
Post to Social Media in Mandarin
When you are searching for a product or service, what is one of the most basic requirements for you to spend time reading something you might be interested in? Well, it needs to be in a language that you can understand, of course! Due to language barriers, the vast majority of Chinese Internet users stick to Chinese-language sites. This is not only due to strict limits on Internet use, but the fact that English is not a required language in China's core education platform. If you want a chance at reaching the majority of Chinese social media users, your posts need to be translated into Mandarin by a competent, native speaker.
Avoid Posting on Sites Restricted by the Chinese Government
While a foreign concept to many of us lucky enough to call the United States home, the Chinese government strictly regulates the Internet in China. Unless users based in China utilize one of the best VPN's for China, your target is unlikely to see your message unless it is posted on a government approved site. Don't let this limitation scare you! Just think of it as yet another challenge in the ever-evolving game of social media marketing. Sites like Weibo, Tencent Qzone and TencentQQare great places to start.
Chinese Consumers Value Tradition and Chinese-Based Brands
One way to make sure your advertising has maximum impact, whether social media based or otherwise, is to launch a sister brand for your company in China. To the casual observer, this brand should appear to be China-based and cater to cultural tradition in China. This will take a little bit of legal know-how and investment, but the results will be much more affective than attempting to advertise a foreign brand to consumers in mainland China.
Utilize Prose, Poems and Images in Advertisements Targeted for Chinese Audiences
While Western civilization may value exciting tag-lines in social media, paired with extensive information on a website, Chinese consumers have a rich tradition of using images and poems to share important information with large audiences. This is one reason that it's so important to work with a native Chinese speaker and writer when developing your ad content. Can you imagine trying to write a catchy poem in English if you only had a basic understanding of the language? The Chinese language (Mandarin) is very nuanced and requires careful structuring along with impactful images that respect cultural traditions to drive advertising themes home.
By writing your advertisements in Mandarin and publishing them on government-approved sites, you'll have the best luck when advertising to Chinese consumers. Pair these strategies with ads that incorporate witty prose and images that relate to Chinese culture and you'll be well on your way to vastly expanding your company or organization's reach!