Managing a Weibo Community for B2B Brands

Weibo is like the Chinese version of Twitter paired with some Facebook functions. Some regard it as the most influential social media platform in China. Although communication strategies for corporate Weibo have been widely discussed, most of the reviews and discussion focus on the running of Weibo for B2C. To bridge the gap, this post […]

Weibo is like the Chinese version of Twitter paired with some Facebook functions. Some regard it as the most influential social media platform in China. Although communication strategies for corporate Weibo have been widely discussed, most of the reviews and discussion focus on the running of Weibo for B2C. To bridge the gap, this post […]

Weibo is like the Chinese version of Twitter paired with some Facebook functions. Some regard it as the most influential social media platform in China. Although communication strategies for corporate Weibo have been widely discussed, most of the reviews and discussion focus on the running of Weibo for B2C. To bridge the gap, this post is aimed to focus on Weibo for B2B communities, and aims to share the Text100 Shanghai team’s learnings based on our experience running B2B corporate Weibo accounts for our clients.

Weibo 4Delivering Professional and Accurate Content
Content is the backbone of B2B corporate Weibo.  Professional and accurate content is key to generating in-depth communication and engagement. However, the challenge lies in understanding the complex information often present with technology and other B2B enterprises.  How should one address these challenges?Based on our on-the-job experience, a team needs to:

  1. Have continuous training and engagement in self-learning. The client’s support to conduct training and provide updated learning materials is an important commitment.
  2. Always get approval from the client before posting content. Having a technical expert on the client end to vet your weekly content plan is very useful.
  3. Utilize a team member with a personal interest and/or previous experience in a similar industry to help jumpstart planning and content strategy.

Weibo 1

Making It Fun
Many consultants find B2B companies less exciting than others. The news and information they share is usually packed with technical jargon. However, it is important to remember that the industry professionals we’re aiming to engage with around these announcements are still humans like you or I, and they too care about social hot topics and would get bored if content was made up of purely technical news.

Applying the same principles as traditional PR, we can make it more interesting and compelling by coming up with creative talking points and visual information.

  1. Leverage your B2B Weibo content with hot topics or latest trends. Curate and post on interesting industry news, for instance, a celebrity’s fantastic private aircraft at a movie festival: could there be Honeywell’s cutting edge technology inside the aircraft?
  2. Make your content reader friendly and deliver it in a fun way.  Re-write messages using an interactive tone, incorporating pictures, videos and infographics.
  3. Launch interactive campaigns with low barriers to entry and high incentives.

An example of this is our previous client work managing Johnson Controls Weibo account during the CR2013 tradeshow (Johnson Controls is a company involved in industrial refrigeration industry). We set up an interactive screen which displayed real-time interaction on Weibo at their booth. The live screen proved to be popular with key industry opinion leaders including  trade media, engineers and associations, who began actively following Johnson Controls’ Weibo account, re-tweeting and commenting in real-time on the tweets coming out of the trade show. By capitalizing on the synergy between the online activities and offline events, we encouraged professional attendees to post on Johnson Controls’ Weibo generating buzz around the pavilion.

Weibo 2

Join the Industry Professionals
How can we leverage the online interaction and engage industry professionals via Weibo for B2B?

Industry professionals are arguably a much harder group to reach via social media compared to the general public. While running Honeywell Aerospace’s Weibo, the client wanted us to target pilots –an elite group of individuals. Our strategy began by identifying two pilots who were had expressed interest in Honeywell’s technology (having followed their engagement with Honeywell Aerospace’s Weibo page). After consistent outreach, these two pilots happily cooperated with an audit and gave the team valuable suggestions and even volunteered to involve their friends and colleagues.

Weibo 3

Approaches and strategies are different across diverse industries, so the challenge is to always think outside the box and continue to generate creative ideas to engage with a B2B audience on Weibo.

 

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