Director, Ogilvy Public Relations
Ogilvy Public’s Jeremey Webb delivered an address dense in exemplars of the possibilities and pitfalls for companies in the Chinese social media space. In examining this space, Webbey structured his presentation around four key social media personas, and the challenges and opportunities they would be abreast of: the Analyst; the Planner; the Social Creative; and the Relationship Gal.The data available to analyse is abundant in Chinese social media, with an average of 108 mentions of “New Zealand” every minute. Insights into key topics of discussion over the past few months and the unique characteristics of leading platforms Weibo and WeChat were offered: “Weibo is about the ‘media in ‘social media’… WeChat is more about the ‘social’.”
The key for the Planner in the Chinese market, says Webb, is developing stories that have a social purpose. The example of Crayola was illustrated in particular detail, with the core concern found among many parents of limits being placed on their child’s creativity translating into a campaign to physically remove those limits and spread that message on social media.
The Social Creative would have to be aware of the already well-established presence of adaptive content in the Chinese market. While creating content that reacts almost instantaneously to real world happenings was new and original in Western markets, companies in China had been perfecting the art for some time. Additionally, breaking down the “social media misunderstanding – that to unlock the social media benefit you have to invest in something called ‘social media’” – was key. The reality is that content must be social by design; users must be motivated to share it.
Finally, in a market where payment for influence and coverage is par for the course, understanding the value third parties can add is crucial. Coca-Cola’s Sina Weibo following of 50,000 compared to their Facebook following of 50,000,000 was not due to inherently worse content, but rather a lack of investment in exposure via key influencers. And here is where New Zealand has been particularly impressive, for example in Tourism NZ’s campaign starring social media phenomenon Yao Chen.
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