wechat vs weibo

Weibo or WeChat, that is a question?!

Recently, I’ve spent a great portion of my time participating in several “annual social media strategy” meetings.

The most common question raised by my clients is “How should we use WeChat?” and immediately followed by “What about my official Weibo account?”

That is indeed a dilemma! With over 350M registered users, WeChat is the undisputable “king of the hill” in mobile social media. A hundred million daily active users count on it to manage their day-to-day communication. I dub it the “provide social.”

Weibo, short for Sina Weibo, was launched in 2009, quickly gained momentum in 2010, shined through as a leading force in social media in 2011, but has faced a wave of skepticism since 2012. Despite numerous debates about its prospects, we still see it ranking high in the top 10 social media platforms worldwide.

Here are my three suggestions about how to utilize these two social giants:

  1. Define your marketing objective
    Pure and simple, do you really need social media to achieve your marketing objective? Don’t jump on the social media marketing bandwagon solely for the purpose of chasing trends and abandon your goal!
  2. Leverage their natural strength
    Information gathering and sharing are still the two primary activities on Weibo, while WeChat provides a platform for instant communication and chitchat. Given this situation, Weibo is better used as a content creation center, where you can proactively deliver talkable stories to engage and communicate with your audience. Social CRM has been a recurring subject of late. As a mobile device with social elements, WeChat can act as a hub that helps brands serve their customers by providing information, tips and reward programs.
  3.  Collect social currency by following their behavior
    Unlike Weibo’s role of content creation, WeChat users prefer having conversations with close friends instead of interacting with brands. However, we can take advantage of its mobility by providing experience/service to our consumers when they need us. For example, flight schedule, bank balance, special event reminder or QR code scanning could make consumers feel special and immerse in the VIP experience. Through consumer sharing, you’ll then be able stock up on social currency.

Now social media marketing is no longer about pursuing the sexiest platform. It’s about  understanding user behavior, providing experience and services to engage, and ultimately achieve your fundamental marketing goal!

How does your company leverage Weibo and WeChat? Feel free to leave your comments below.