When searching for valuable insights online, it’s impossible to know where to begin. There is a plethora of global social media channels, customer reviews, and forums to look through; and even then, how do you know that the data you’re looking at is valuable?
In order to craft a successful real-time consumer insights project, the quality and breadth of data gathered is of the utmost importance. When analyzing social listening data, it is not only necessary to focus on platforms, users, and the types of content being published, but also the geographical location from which the content is generated.
Why is regional data important?
Regional data is key to understanding critical global market operations and observing how your country’s market might stack up against others. For example, following the United States, China is home to the second largest market in the world. Therefore, it is critical that global brands and related companies are able to keep track of the Chinese market and gather Chinese social media intelligence to turn into actionable insights about their consumers.
Why should brands care about the Chinese social media market?
As of 2021, China has over 980 million reported Internet users. Of these Internet users, 673.5 million are active on various social media platforms. Because of its massive market size, China is an invaluable piece of the puzzle for global brands. But, due to the sheer amount of people using social media in China, it is extremely difficult for brands to not only understand the Chinese social media market in depth, but to then track local trends in real time.
Why is the Chinese social media market difficult to track?
- It’s fragmented, with consumers relying on a rich range of sites and platforms
- It’s fast-moving, with a huge appetite for innovation and novelty
- It revolves around brand trust, integrity, and reputation
- It’s heavily mobile-based
Recently, the largest and most important Chinese social media platform, Sina Weibo, has become particularly difficult to track. This Chinese microblogging website is often referred to as “The Twitter of China” and is used by millions of people every single day. On Sina Weibo, users are able to share, disseminate, and acquire information from each other about any topic imaginable.
As of April 2021, many companies have lost access to Sina Weibo’s large quantity of data, resulting in a lack of knowledge surrounding one of the biggest social media platforms in the world.
Why is this a problem?
In March 2021, the case of cotton usage in clothing brands—like Nike, H&M, and others—was booming on Chinese social media with human rights related conversations surrounding “cotton sourcing and political gamesmanship."
PR teams who can track social media data in real-time are able to respond to, and solve these issues as they come up. Without this ability, companies are vulnerable to—and unaware of— social media crises as they happen in real time. Public opinion is always subject to change, and in the event that something unexpected should happen, brands must be able to track what their consumers are saying about them online; especially in the case of China’s social media stratosphere because of just how populated it is.
What can you do?
As other social listening companies lose access to Sina Weibo and its abundance of data, Linkfluence China remains the only global social intelligence company to have an official partnership with them at this time, and for the foreseeable future.
Check with your social listening partner today to ensure that you have coverage of the largest and most important Chinese social media platform for monitoring crises and brand equity.