Leixia Cai
Aug 11, 2011

Five things you need to know about managing a Weibo microblog

Leixia Cai, business director, ReuterPR, shares her five tips on how brands and marketers can successfully leverage a presence on Weibo.

Leixia Cai, business director, ReuterPR
Leixia Cai, business director, ReuterPR

1 Publishing frequency

The first question anyone going into the publishing business should ask is: what am I putting out? A weekly? A monthly? A bi-weekly? A daily paper?

A weibo publisher must first answer the same question. We’ve noticed that some brands use their weibo account rather sporadically, posting more than a dozen posts on some days, and sometimes remaining silent for as long as a week - this is hardly the way to win fans.

In the same way a newspaper reader expects to find his favorite paper in the mailbox every morning, a weibo reader likes predictability too. Enjoy the flexibility afforded by weibo, but post regularly, with a well thought-out plan.

2 Content

Success comes from quality content. Although a weibo presence is meant, ultimately, to help increase sales, its brand-building potential can only be realised with content encompassing a range of topics relevant to the target audience.

So if you are in the high-end fashion business, besides announcing the arrival of latest collections or hot sales, talk about travel, interior design, gourmet food, literature, etc. Appoint a weibo editor-in-chief, who understands the brand equity and has a point of view.

3 Circulation management

The circulation of a microblog should be proactively managed to increase its “subscription” base. Tactics include following and re-posting posts by other popular microbloggers; encourage high-profile fans to re-post and/or comment; inform loyal customers of the availability of the brand microblog and ask them to become a “fan”.

4 Visual impact

One cannot overstress how important art direction and graphic design are for a magazine. When it comes to publishing a weibo, a picture still speaks a thousand words.

The beauty of weibo is that a picture or video can be easily imbedded into a post, as a small thumbnail, which the reader can choose to click and enlarge for viewing. According to Sina, over 70 per cent of posts that gets re-posted have images or videos.

5 Interaction with readers

Interaction with readers has always been valued by editors, who publish and respond to “letters from readers”. Weibo publishers fortunately can engage readers in a more timely manner.

Acknowledge fans by replying to their posts. People love it when they are noticed. Mini polls or Weibo-only incentives are also great tools to engage visitors.

A truly “sticky” relationship will grow out of genuine dialogues, however minuscule, happening on a daily basis.

Campaign China

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