Weibo and WeChat are the largest social media platforms across Chinese markets. Facebook, Twitter, Google and YouTube are blocked from use in China making Weibo and WeChat the go to platforms, for the socially engaged (even obsessed) communities of both the China mainland and extended Chinese communities. Lots of people believe  Weibo and WeChat to be the same thing but the two platforms play uniquely different roles in reaching Chinese audiences.

Weibo & Wechat: What are the differences?

Weibo: Weibo is the Chinese word for “microblogging” hence (being a microblogging site) users can connect with friends, find news and information, write reviews, share their experiences, and research brands. Essentially, we tend to think of Weibo as both Facebook and Twitter combined.

The platform is rich in content and attracts users through offers and it follows trends by companies and celebrities. Products are sold directly through Weibo pages, and so brands will seek to maximise communications with its audiences to drive interest in their retail offerings.

WeChat: WeChat is the Chinese word for “micro-messaging” and as such the platform is primarily built for multi-purpose messaging, but also includes social media and mobile payment applications. WeChat has been described as China’s “app for everything” because of its wide range of functions such as multi-media messaging, social media, and also being one of China’s most extensively used mobile payment apps (WeChat Pay). From a marketing viewpoint WeChat allows brands to create in-depth content and discussions with audiences, adopting targeted marketing tools and building a loyal following.

Audiences can be drilled down to a very fine level of detail, though more broadly speaking there does tend to be a demographic leaning toward one app versus the other.

Generally a Weibo User …

  • Aged 17-33
  • Holds a Bachelor degree or higher education
  • High adopters of live streaming, news, entertainment
  • Big social networkers
  • Marketers focus on lead generation and influencer marketing

Generally a WeChat User …

  • Aged 25-54
  • Marketers focus on article buyouts, moment advertising, and HTML5 interaction landing pages

So, which platform have we found best to use in our campaign to date?

We tend to use Weibo for wider brand awareness and top of the funnel strategies. WeChat on the other hand we tend to adopt when wishing to connect with target audiences and to build brand loyalty.

For more information on how you can use Weibo and WeChat in your marketing strategy, do reach out to the Activations Team at ADMATIC.