Want to post on Weibo? This Weibo English guide will help you to get more crafty with your Chinese Facebook, and other Chinese Social media! If you live in China or visit from time to time, you have probably already heard of Weibo. It is one of the biggest tools for digital social networking, interaction and entertainment, and is one of the main players in digital marketing.
What is Weibo
If you live in China or visit from time to time, you have probably already heard of Sina Weibo. It is one of the biggest tools for digital social networking, interaction and entertainment, and is one of the main players in digital marketing. Hosting more than 455 million users, Sina Weibo is celebrating it’s 10th anniversary this year (2019). Some say the development was inspired by Twitter, but today it is more like a Chinese Facebook, featuring personal wall, photo and video sharing.
Weibo International Log in
If you were wondering, can you use Weibo outside China, the answer is yes! And here are the two apps that you might want to try out!
Weibo has 2 app versions, Weibo and Weibo International. Navigation of both are available is multiple languages including english.
For companies or individuals who wants to access Weibo via an international app, a download on Apple store and Android equivalent is available. Only one shall know, the international app is not entirely the same as the Chinese one.
To log in to Weibo international one only needs a phone number, to which the app will send a verification code to input. If you already are logged in to a Chinese Weibo, the apps will sync your information, and your account will be present on both apps.
But the level of information as the amount of features will be limited on the Weibo international.
One of the most recent features of Weibo is Stories. “Weibo’s stories” is a video function allowing users to record a video and save them in a separate “Story” menu in their profile page.
Weibo has also launched a new “Vlog” function. Now, every video with a hashtag VLOG will be available in the main search page under “VLOG” sub-menu.
Who posts on Weibo and why?
Even celebrities post on Weibo, as social networking becomes a way on getting income. Many brands have benefited greatly from highly influential celebrities mentioning products in their posts. Here is the list of the most followed people on Weibo:
The top 10 most followed people on Weibo (30 words)
- Xie Na (xiena): 125,734,139
- He Jiong (hejiong): 120,008,370
- Yang Ming (yangming): 107,595,818
- Angelababy (realangelababy): 102,212,077
- Chen Kun (chenkun): 93,457,719
- Zhao Wei (zhaowei): 85,645,643
- Zhao Li Ying (zhaoliying): 86,692,583
- Yao Chen (yaochen): 83,812,387
- Deng chao (Feng hao): 80,967,229
- Yi Xiang Qian Xi: 84,597,108
So, why not get started with your own page? Here is how you can post on Weibo in English. It’s a lot simpler than you may think, and all the steps are detailed clearly below in our step-by-step guide.
Weibo and influencer marketing
Here we will try to answer to the two most frequently asked questions:
- Why Weibo is a primary tool for KOLs?
- The importance of brands having a Weibo account
In comparison to other mainstream online platforms Weibo has invaluable KOL functions, enabling brands to:
Gain visibility through celebrity and KOL resources
Unlike any other social media platform, Weibo has a substantial integrated celebrity resource, with over 30% of celebrity users and 91% of KOLs with 1-10 million followers. It goes without saying that celebrities and KOLs have mass influential power, therefore, with a large online audience they have the potential to reach a high volume of prospective consumers by raising brand awareness. Weibo is the perfect platform for brands to cooperate with celebrities and KOLs with regards to product advertising, delivering brand messages and promoting events.
Obtain lots of new followers from the public traffic pool
Weibo is one of the leading social media platforms in China. Since the start of 2020, Weibo has been used by more than 50% of China’s internet population with over 550 million monthly active users. The Chinese platform connects users based on their focus and interests as opposed to relationships e.g. friends, colleagues and family.
Therefore all users on Weibo connect with each other without strong, pre-existing relationships, whichmakes Weibo the largest social media platform of its kind with the highest volume of public traffic and resources.
Weibo helps brands and KOLs improve brand awareness and helps to create a high exposure rate allowing every message to be viewed in seconds.
Target vertical markets from a wider user base
Weibo categorizes content generated by its users into all types of industries, celebrities and interests. Today, there are over 780 thousand authors, 28 thousand celebrities, 3 thousand MCN brands, 500 TV shows, and 64 vertical fields on Weibo.
The age of Weibo users typically ranges from 19-35. It has established as the key newsfeed hub for Chinese to search and view information about the hottest news, government updates, entertainment and fashion trends. The platform supports content creators and helps them to become KOLs in their specific field and helps brands identify themselves as industry leaders.
Collect market and consumer insights
Benefitting from its rule of unlimited posts, Weibo is a big database filled with customer behaviors and interests and it delivers annual market reports for various industries. Brands with Weibo accounts will be able to understand the market and their customers more in depth and create a more successful marketing strategy with the insights provided by Weibo.
Connect Weibo with social e-commerce platforms: Weibo Mini-Store (微博小店）
Weibo has launched a tool called Weibo mini-store, which allows users to upload products, manage inventories, and process all transactions on their page. The mini-store adds a whole new function to Weibo, making it both a social media and an e-commerce platform. Apart from being an e-commerce platform, Weibo’s live-streaming function is now integrated with multiple major B2C marketplaces in China, for example with online platform Taobao.
The live-streaming content created on Taobao can be synced with Weibo to generate higher exposure rates. This feature has enabled Key Opinion Customers (KOCs) to support brands and convert their Weibo followers into customers via “shopable” posts. The word-of-mouth marketing strategy, applied in private-traffic-based platforms e.g. Wechat, can also be applied on Weibo to support brands wanting to maximize the impact of an advertising campaign.
How to post on Weibo in English
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Using Weibo English version in 2020: All you need to know
The first thing you need to know, is that there are actually 2 Weibos; one is Weibo Sina and the other is a child of Tencent, called Tencent Weibo. Today we are going to look at the older, more popular one – Weibo Sina, as one of the social networking tools.
There are more than 602 million registered users on Sina Weibo, and yet a large number of foreign businesses in China are still yet to take advantage of this marvellous social media marketing opportunity.
Although Weibo is a Twitter style micro blog it has become a home for the majority of China’s key figures, music groups, celebrities, and even for a few non-Chinese personalities, such as Tim Cook and David Beckham whose fame continues to grow in China by the day. Today David has more than 5 million followers!
People are now comparing Weibo to Twitter or Facebook, and they are not wrong, however the sites are not completely similar by any means. Here are the basics of what you can do with Weibo:
- General abilities: add hashtags with “#HashName#” insert emoticons or attach your own pictures, music, video files in every post.
- Other abilities: you can invite your Facebook friends to follow you on or even log in through your Facebook account.
- Verify your account: there are several kinds of verifications: personal verification, college verification, organization verification, verification for official accounts (accounts of government departments, social media platforms and famous companies) Weibo master (people link their accounts with their phone numbers and their followers). The orange V, as in the picture above, is for people (like in a case of Beckham), and a blue V is for organizations and companies.
- Create a fan base: creating interesting and useful content attracts Chinese speaking people from all over the world, reaching far beyond the domestic market.
- Post, but also read: Weibo is now one of the most trusted sources of information.
- Use Weibo as an Influential marketing tool. More and more companies and brands are using Weibo as a platform allowing them to connect with their customers on a personal level. For example, Nike has built up a virtual fan base of 800k people.
How to post on Weibo. Explaining Weibo in English.
When you go to weibo.com you will land on this page. As you can see you can filter by popular topics, celebrities, fun topics, check out videos, headlines, and so on.
So go right ahead and click ‘sign up’.
Here you will need your phone number and a password. You have the option to register as a business, but today we will look at how to set up a personal account.
After verifying your information, you should be good to go.
Below is what your Home page will look like. On the right you have the number of followers, as well as your registered name and your level (you have long way to go before becoming a Weibo master!). Also on the right side you can access your favourites, shortcut to the hottest topics, and create group chats. You can also send and receive private messages, which is what the envelope in the top corner is for.
As you can see you can start posting right away in the middle bar. You have various options for your posts, including setting a clock for your publication and voting options, so go ahead and experiment with them. Press Publish when you’re ready to speak to the world.
We published some text and a photo, and here is how it came out:
Weibo is fun not only for posting, but also for discovering the lives of the locals, and seeing what an average day of a Chinese netizen looks like, as well as social networking. It is a great way of learning about their daily habits and interests. Or if that sounds a little mundane, you can also have a peek into the luxurious lives of China’s elite. Or even post on Weibo yourself, since now you can use Weibo in English!
Weibo is a great tool for marketing, research, communication and more. And now you are ready to explore its ocean of possibilities with a profile of your own! And now you are ready to use Weibo in English!
Weibo English Search
Weibo has probably the worst search engine ever created by anyone! If you are not searching for a specific hashtag, you most likely will never find what you were looking for! Weibo is trying to constantly update the algorithm and separate the search from user names to pages and other search elements, but it is still remains not as useful. Important thing to remember, people go to Weibo to check for latest social updates and entertainment, but not for searching brands, campaigns and products. So when you do Weibo English search for “Mac Lipstick”, the platform will present all the latest posts that include this reach enquiry, but might not include brand’s page, or related campaigns.
And that’s understandable, if you would like to search for products in English or Chinese, check RED/Little Red book app, China’s cross boarded e-commerce app.
One of the most popular yet not completely accurate Weibo related opinion in the western worlds is that Weibo is a copy of Facebook or Twitter. Even though it has starter as a very similar to Twitter platform, and went on to a more Facebook side, these days it is quite a different tool altogether.
Differences between Weibo and Facebook
Facebook is a social media platform based on closed-relationships such as families, co-workers, schoolmates and friends. Weibo however, is established on focuses, interests and open traffic.
Of of the fundamental differences between Facebook and Weibo is, Facebook is an online social networking platform with a social media function, whilst Weibo is a social media platform with interacting and messaging functions. This key difference means:
- Users can only view the activities of people that they are connected with as “friends” on Facebook, whilst on Weibo, users are able to view the activities of people they are not already connected with.
- Weibo is used as a newsfeed platform that allows users to search, view and collect key updates from governmental policies, entertainment, fashion and social events. This means that Weibo can provide key advertising products for brands whilst Facebook is more of a social networking platform keeping users updated on their friends’ activities.
- On Weibo, users may be drawn to a product or service as a result of a recommendation by a KOL. Whist the same marketing strategy can only be applied on Facebook when users are connected with the KOL, therefore brands have a better chance to become more visible on Weibo than on Facebook.
In comparison to Weibo, Facebook is a giant influencer.
It has over 2.6 billion monthly active users whilst Weibo has only 550 million (as recorded at the start of 2020).
Both Facebook and Weibo have entered the e-commerce market, however there are some minor differences of how these two platforms operate:
- Facebook plans to cooperate with existing main stream B2C e-commerce platforms, e.g. Amazon and Walmart
- The live-stream feature currently present on Weibo (syncing with other platforms) is not yet available on Facebook
- Facebook allows its users to create co-live-streaming with other users, whilst Weibo doesn’t
- The advertising programs on Facebook provide larger flexibility for brands. For example, Facebook charges advertising fees based on performance, including CPC, CPA, CPM and OCPM. Whilst Weibo charges are based on scope, targeted users with specific interests, age, location or industry