Sina Weibo is making a resurgence after falling behind rival WeChat. Often called China’s Twitter, the platform leads its namesake in both user growth and mobile, and its stock surged to a record high in the US last week after posting strong Q2 earnings.
Both Chinese and global brands frequently use the platform to engage with consumers. In the Luxury category, Burberry and Forevermark have been particularly successful by focusing on celebrity campaigns. For example, Burberry collaborated with Chinese superstar Wu Yifan (吴亦凡) during London Fashion Week, and Forevermark launched a video campaign with popular actor Li Yifeng (李易峰). As a result, both brands generate about a third of interactions in their respective sectors (Fashion and Watches & Jewelry), despite posting less frequently than competitors.
Meanwhile, Beer brands gain engagement by highlighting local promotions, such as sports and music partnerships. Snow garners the second-highest engagement rate in L2’s Digital IQ Index: Beer China with frequent posts about its campaigns, including “Globe Trekker,” which sends young consumers on adventure trips within China.
Snow also boasts the largest Weibo community in the Index, with six million followers spread across 14 unique handles. (Unlike on Facebook and Twitter, it is typical for brands to open multiple accounts on Weibo for different regions and campaigns). AB InBev brands Budweiser and Harbin follow, with nearly four million fans each and the largest audiences for individual posts.
However, having multiple brand accounts can also be a strain. Of the 109 Beer brand accounts tracked by L2, 59% were inactive in 2016 for as long as four months, suggesting that some brands could benefit from narrowing their focus.