What is Weibo?

Sina Weibo is one of the major Chinese microblogging social platforms that offer a very wide variety of features. There are more than 500 million monthly active users in China in 2021. Weibo can be considered as a mix of Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. In this platform, users can open personal accounts, follow and be followed by other users, publish textual and visual content, stay updated on the latest news by following the so-called “hot topics” and watch live streaming.

Weibo Marketing ally for brands

Weibo stands out for short and impactful content, perfect for an ad hoc promotion of your brand. In addition, thanks to hashtags, you can increase the popularity of your brand and the impact of your marketing activities. Weibo is the favorite platform for KOLs (Key Opinion Leaders) and their role can often prove indispensable for the creation of a solid and successful brand identity.

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Why should a company use Weibo to promote and sell its products?

Promoting your brand and products on Weibo is not a choice, but a necessity. In fact, if WeChat conveys a type of one-to-one communication, Weibo allows you to reach a much wider target and to do it faster.

Weibo is a platform that allows you to communicate to the masses (one-to-many).

Through Weibo companies can:

  • Increase brand awareness
  • Convert users into consumers
  • Retaining consumers already acquired
  • Word of mouth
  • Collaborate with KOLs
  • Record live streaming thanks to integrated platforms
  • Carry out targeted advertising campaigns
  • Sell products through the Weibo store

Weibo is also an eCommerce platform

This social network, in addition to being used for more traditional activities such as sharing posts, photos, etc., also has a very important function from a commercial point of view.

In fact, Weibo has definitively embraced social commerce by inaugurating its new “Weibo Mini Shop” platform.

Previously, thanks to the partnership with Alibaba, China’s largest e-commerce platform, the Weibo window gave you the function of direct sales through the collaboration of e-commerce sites such as Taobao and Tmall through links.

Weibo Pushes its Integrated eCommerce Feature

Subsequently, Weibo decided to disable direct links to Tmall and Taobao, in order to encourage the portfolio of users of the Sina social network to buy directly on Weibo. This means that users will be able to open and manage their shop directly.

Compared with other e-commerce platforms such as Tmall and Jingdong, Weibo does not have product listing and management functions, and must link to third-party platforms such as Taobao, Tmall and Youzan. Therefore, his nature is more like WeChat, but it has more promotion and management functions than WeChat.

What does Weibo Store mean for brands?

Social commerce is the real trend of the moment. There is no better “place” in China to do business. Unlike a multi-channel box construction, everything in Asia revolves around a single platform. Companies on Weibo can promote their brand, interact with customers and sell their products, all on the same platform.

Payment methods such as Wechat pay and Alipay offer a great help to these platforms which are developing more and more. Two examples of these platforms beyond Weibo are Wechat and Xiaohongshu.

Along with the launch of Weibo store, Weibo has also implemented a series of measures to strengthen e-commerce, offering incentives to content providers and buyers, such as allowing some users to live streaming.

Weibo Pushing Live streaming to increase sales

Live streaming have become a must in business promotion as they attract many Chinese users thanks to their ability to be transparent and authentic.

Companies shouldn’t forget that making good use of these live streaming is through KOLs. Indeed, KOLs, as resellers, are the new D2C trend in China. Brands should collaborate with them not only in a perspective closely linked to sales, but also to increase brand awareness among the population.

What is a Weibo Store?

Weibo has decided to dive into the world of social commerce and launched its Weibo Store. Weibo is definitely losing users compared to rapidly developing platforms like Zhihu, Douyin and Bilibili that adapt to trends. Now, Weibo has decided to make room for users to make purchases on the platform and simultaneously reduce the gap with other platforms.

Weibo store enables the microblogging platform’s users to add goods hosted on C2C marketplaces including Taobao, JD.com and Youzan to the platform. This tool also makes it easy for them to market these goods.

Social eComerce with Weibo

The social site already allowed to include links that led to external e-commerce, but with Xiaodian, which in Mandarin means ‘small shop’, it is now possible to directly manage the inventory and process all transactions.

Weibo Store is an ecommerce service platform which can provide users with a complete set of store management services, which can mainly:

  • publish
  • manage
  • promote products
  • provide statistical operation data

What are the functions of Weibo store?

Thanks to Weibo store, companies can open and manage their shop directly. Weibo store functions are:

  • Add goods

The Weibo store directly supports the copying of links from e-commerce platforms such as Taobao, Youzan etc., to create goods.

However, Taobao products need to be guaranteed to have joined the Taobao affiliate library before they can be added successfully.

  • Commodity/Products management

Companies can manage all the goods added in the shop and support the deletion, editing, updating and recommendation of the goods.

  • Product selection center

Weibo e-commerce promotes high quality alliance products, companies can directly select the appropriate products from the product selection center and add them to the store.

  • Bound shop

Weibo store supports to add products from third-party shops to small shops

  • Data service

Companies can view the core business data of the store, including revenue, exposure, and e-commerce value.

  • Promotion settings

It is used to set promotion information, including whether to display promotion information, and new and associated promotion information.

How to open a Weibo Store?

Weibo store can be opened by individual users or by companies.

The difference is that individual user’s store can only be opened by Chinese, instead company’s store can be opened by Chinese and foreign companies.

In addition, individual users need to register through mobile phones and ID card verification, while companies only need an authenticated Weibo account to open it. 

As we said before, Weibo store enables the microblogging platform’s users to add goods hosted on C2C marketplaces, therefore a link to other e-commerce platform like Taobao, Youzan and Tmall is necessary.

How do you get an authenticated Weibo account?

The first step to getting started with Weibo is to open an official account and get the page verified. This, which shows itself as a “blue V” next to the username, serves to demonstrate that the account data have been verified and confirmed by Weibo. In fact, it may happen to find fake pages of famous people or companies.

Verification is therefore indispensable on the one hand to create trust in Chinese users, on the other to be able to customize the profile and obtain the advanced audience insights, necessary for marketing purposes.

To have an authenticated Weibo account:

  • A company in China must provide the company license, application letter, contact details of the account administrator and pay a fee of 300RMB.
  • A company outside of China must provide documents in Chinese, a third party authorization and pay a $ 1,000 fee.

What are the costs of a Weibo store?

Open a Weibo store is free, but you need to pay the certificate account fee first. As we said earlier, the fee is different from a certified account made by a Chinese company (300 RMB) and a company outside China (1000 dollars).

In addition, companies must pay a commission for products sold on the e-commerce platform, specifically:

  • 6% for Taobao product sales,
  • 5%for Youzan product sales,
  • more than 6% for other platform sales.

Do you want to know more about how to use Weibo to sell your products? Contact GMA a digital marketing agency, specialized in the Chinese digital market.

Read more about Social Media eCommerce in China:

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One Comment

  1. I am an author of literature study guides in English which the Chinese students are studying. I need to advertise my books in China. Please enlighten me about how to do this.

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