A Sina weibo account which regularly tweets about news and information of a vertical industry and has around 200,000 followers, was sold to an enterprise at the price of several hundreds thousand rmb. This account is owned by a very active Sina weibo (microblogging) user (@jiuhongbinglan) and it took her around 40 days to drive such amount of followers. You might think she is a little bit lucky, but it’s not quite right, because she actually runs a company whose core business is ‘incubating’ microblog accounts then later sell them. I don’t know if there are many cases like this happened on Twitter world, but it sounds a quite cool business for me.

According to an interview with Jiuhongbinglan, she and her company are now operating around 100 weibo accounts and have in total 2millions followers. Each account has different focus on all sorts of vertical industry, such as cars, pets, shoes etc. All the accounts are in stealth mode until they are sold. “In 2011,” she said, “we are planning to incubate ~100 accounts with average 50,000 followers each.”

She is even able to charge the customers by publishing tweets. She has a Taobao shop which lists the price for one retweet by an account with 200k followers: rmb 200-300.

This business seems making sense. By spending only several hundreds rmb, how many visits can you expect to generate from an account from 200k followers? Jiuhongbinglan gave an example: in a promotion campaign on Taobao, one tweet from an account she owns has been retweeted 20,000 times which generated 18,000 unique IP and ~2000 transactions in the following week.

As for the valuation of Jiuhongbinglan’s weibo accounts, a VC says it would be rmb 5-8millions!! Be honest, I do not really know to comment it. Is it the monetization model of microblogging we are expecting for?!

[image via clippingimages.com]

Dr. Gang Lu - Founder of TechNode. He's a Blogger, a Geek, a PhD and a Speaker, with passion in Tech, Internet and R'N'R.

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