Weibo has become the most trusted and one of the most popular sources for information in China, so it is no surprise that Chinese businesses are jumping over themselves to utilise the tool to reach out to customers. It’s allowing businesses in China to gather valuable customer feedback, communicate promotions and assist with damage control.
It’s also turning out to be one of the most cost effective and reliable ways to do Chinese market research. Weibo has become more trusted than the Government-controlled media in China and Chinese businesses are quickly realizing Weibo as an effective way to build relationships and a following with their customers.
According to Sina, by March 29 2012, there were 130,565 enterprise accounts with accounts on their Weibo service. Although countless foreign businesses have been allured by China’s bright lights, just 1,060 had Weibo accounts: 208 USA businesses, 178 Japanese and 194 specified simply as “overseas” businesses.
143 Fortune 500 companies had Weibo accounts at this time. We can expect to see the number of western businesses on Weibo to increase significantly, and quickly. Many are making significant investments in China, and having Weibo as part of the China strategy is a key piece of the puzzle to ensure the greatest return on that investment, if it is understood and executed well.