Ping Pong Digital, a Chinese Digital Media Agency, points out the importance of reaching audiences from across the globe while also maintaining, and nearly doubling Birmingham City University’s followers on their Chinese Social Media accounts.
Ping Pong Digital has been looking after BCU’s and other organization‘s Wechat and Weibo accounts for almost a year now and has been steadily building a reputation around China’s large population that is not only located and focused in the country itself but also includes several parts of the world as China has earned a reputation of travelling and living in various different countries in high numbers.
Ping Pong Digital focuses on helping European clients tap into the rich vein of China’s audience in which of the 650 million internet users, 80% use social media, while another 85% of Chinese students reportedly wants to hear more about European brands in particular.
James Robinson, co-founder and director of their Social Media strategy, said:
“There is a lot of potential in social media. Chinese are very aware of European brands. They seem to prefer more information in posts compared to the European market that focuses on short, simple marketing.”
Sina Weibo, described as a Chinese hybird of Twitter and Facebook, as well as Wechat, an instant message application that uses social media features, are hugely popular. They offer the chance for all sorts of businesses to expand and unlock a new audience on the other side of the globe.
James recommended trying to reach these potential visitors but pointed out that as a distinct culture with a different market, many organizations that try to reach it often falls for the same traps. He said:
“Some of the common mistakes people make is thinking: what worked with European social media and marketing will work in China and the second mistake is hiring someone to handle their social media only based on the fact that they can speak Chinese and therefore assume they know how Chinese marketing works.”
James also explained the obstacle of censorship in China. Posts need to be written with prior knowledge of what is currently happening in the country, this is especially important because using particular words, for example the yellow flowers used to represent the death of media freedom, would have been censored during the protests and therefore any posts containing these particular words would fail to reach the target audience.
These common mistakes and differences are why Ping Pong Digital recommends using their unique services. They have served a variety of groups located on their website, some of which James said he could not legally reveal because of the “big brand’s” contract.
As well as social media, they also offer their services on Chinese websites, campaigns and mobile. With the added fact that Chongqing, a city in China, recently built a phone lane on streets solely for mobile users, there definitely seems to also “be a lot of potential in China’s mobile” growth for Ping Pong in the future.