Weibo is one of the leading social media platforms in China – and it continues to grow its audience and user base. Between June 2016 to March 2017, the monthly active users of Weibo grew by 20 percent from 282 million to 340 million.
With such a large user base, more and more companies have started using Weibo to communicate and engage with their audiences. In 2016, there were 1.3 million Weibo enterprise accounts across 60 industries.
These numbers show how important it is for B2B companies in the China market to have a presence on Weibo, but also how much of a challenge it can be to stand out in a competitive environment. It is even harder to leverage Weibo to drive business value.
How can B2B marketers create an effective Weibo profile and engage with the right audience? This post explores the necessary elements to an impactful B2B Weibo profile and highlights B2B companies doing it right.
Fundamental Elements of a Weibo Profile
In my previous post, I described the seven steps to create a B2B Weibo profile for your company. The key elements are:
- An appropriate Weibo account name
- A clear description
- Attractive visual elements for profile image, header image, and background
- A VIP and verification account
- Relevant URLs
- Contact Information
- Tags of the Weibo profile
- QR code
However, even if you hit all of these key elements, it is only the start to effective B2B Weibo marketing. To give you some ideas, here are nine examples of impactful B2B Weibo profiles for the China market.
Weibo Profile: @思杰Citrix
Followers: 1.4 million
- Citrix’s Weibo profile owns a very small ratio of following to followers. With 1.4 million followers, Citrix Weibo only follows 1,974 accounts.
- Citrix creatively integrates the QR code and the company slogan into the background image. It makes it easy for people to scan to follow and clearly communicates its mission.
- The slideshow highlights the primary services that Citrix provides and links to specific pages, which allows quick access to its services.
- Citrix hosts many online Q&A webinars and offline events on relevant topics, such as internet security and web application delivery. Weibo is used as a channel to broadcast these events and, as a result, Citrix attracts many tech experts with these interests to follow and like their Weibo profile.
- Citrix also posts new case studies to Weibo. However, they aren’t promotional in nature, instead the focus is on sharing users’ pain points and the solution found. This type of post goes a long way toward positioning Citrix as a company with tech expertise that can secure client’s data and make apps accessible anywhere, at any time.
Weibo Profile: @英特尔中国 (Intel China)
- Intel China Weibo profile has a significantly small ratio of following to followers. With almost a million followers, the account follows less than 500 accounts.
- The first impression of Intel’s Weibo profile is it is stunning and on-brand. Dark blue is consistently used across visual elements. It’s not only used for the profile image, header image, background design, but also for the images included with posts. The consistent branding conveys a sense of professionalism and trust.
- Intel is very good at using hashtag campaigns to focus on specific themes. Currently, they are running #八代酷睿# campaign to promote the new product, 8th Generation Intel® Core™ processor. Other users have adopted the hashtag and now there are more than 320,000 posts on the topic.
3. Intel Software Developer Zone
Weibo Profile: @英特尔开发人员专区 (Intel Developer Zone)
- Different from the primary official Intel Weibo account, Developer Zone is an account that focuses on serving Intel’s developer community. This concept can be seen in the slideshows. There are five slides and all of them are images of developers at work.
- The Developer Zone is dedicated to a specific group of people and has one goal: share tech knowledge. All posts are related to AI, VR, IoT, modern coding, and more — all topics that are of interest to developers and engaging enough to attract them to discuss.
- Like its parent company, Intel Software also often uses hashtag campaigns. #英特尔VR社区#(Intel VR Community), #英特尔开发人员专区# (Intel Developer Zone), and #您眼中十年之后的ai生活会是怎么样的# (What is the AI life after 10 years in your eyes) are some of the key themes currently circulating.
Weibo Profile: @施耐德电气中国 (Schneider China)
- The Schneider Weibo profile has inserted a feature to show staff profiles and sub-brands. This simple feature humanizes a large corporation and conveys a feeling of pride in employees and associated brands.
- Storytelling is a key part of Schneider’s Weibo presence. They use colorful language and interactive cartoons. It adds dimension, emotion, and interest to the account.
- Schneider’s content resonates with its audience as evidenced by strong engagement results. Posts routinely generate thousands of reposts.
Weibo Profile: @Adobe官方微博 (Adobe Official Weibo Profile)
- Adobe incorporates colorful visual elements to its Weibo profile. The header image is an integrated mosaic image with 16 smaller images. It subtly conveys the advanced design effects possible with Adobe products. The background is simple, but done with a sense of design, making it well-balanced from a design perspective.
- Adobe Weibo routinely uses a conversational tone to engage with its audience, which is appropriate for the platform. Words such as “click”, “take a look”, “join us” effectively call people to action. The addition of questions and emojis give a natural and casual feel to the account.
Weibo Profile: @甲骨文中国 (Oracle China)
- Oracle does a great job in making its brand accessible across various channels. In the description area of its Weibo account, visitors can easily click links to the Oracle official site, recruiting page, and Youku video profile. Meanwhile, the lead image includes the phone number of the consulting line, email address, and WeChat QR code.
- Oracle’s Weibo shares posts covering global conferences, new technologies, and insights from its global leaders. Posts aren’t entirely focused on the China market and often take a global perspective.
Weibo Profile: @ABB中国 (ABB China)
- ABB uses Weibo to keep its audience updated with company and product news. As a pioneering technology leader, there are posts about robots that can make coffee or direct a concert. These are interesting enough to attract people to follow.
- ABB actively participates in various high-tech and innovation events around the world where they exhibit products and interact with visitors. They make a great effort to broadcast live pictures and videos via their Weibo account.
- ABB routinely uses a few hashtags to convey a professional brand image. These include #ABB Ability#, #阿伯伯快报# (ABB News), #机器人YuMi#(Robot Yumi), #ABB大学生创新大赛# (ABB College Innovation Competition), #ABB公益# (ABB Charity), and #ABB电力与自动化世界# (ABB Electronic & Automation).
Weibo Profile: @思科中国 (Cisco China)
- Cisco has a very active Weibo profile. Typically, there are 3-4 updates per day.
- Cisco excels at leveraging the “special moment” to interact with followers. For example, on the first working day after a national holiday vacation, they shared information about their conference solution, explaining it may reduce the stress of meetings as users get back to work.
- Cisco understands its user and tries to make them laugh. The Weibo account often shares humorous and relatable posts that speak to engineers’ hearts and makes them feel the brand understands their lives well. Here’s an example:
9. Honeywell Aerospace
Weibo Profile: @霍尼韦尔航空航天官方微博
- Honeywell Aerospace uses Weibo to engage with followers by initiating online competition events and leveraging seasonal events and holidays. For example, during the Chinese mid-autumn festival, Honeywell started an event that invited people to post pictures that contain an airplane and the full moon. It was a creative way to pay homage to the Chinese tradition of families getting together to appreciate the moon during the festival.
- Honeywell Aerospace actively interacts with other Weibo profiles. They repost when media outlets or other companies post news about them and proactively like followers’ posts where the brand is mentioned. It’s a good way for the brand to acknowledge the mention and sends a message of appreciation to the user.
I hope you are inspired by these outstanding examples of B2B Weibo profiles and learned a bit from their marketing tactics. As I mentioned earlier, if your business is new to Weibo, start by tackling the fundamental profile elements. From there, develop a strategy that reflects an understanding of your audience and speak to their hearts, while conveying a consistent brand voice and image.
If you know of another great B2B Weibo profile, please share with us in the comments section below! I’d love to check it out.