Last night, we had our first TweetUp Event in Beijing. A TweetUp is basically a time when people who follow each other virtually on Twitter can meet each other in person and share more than 140 characters at a time.

Held at The Library Cafe in Jianwai SOHO Guomao, it was a very casual setting for  people to come together to chat about startups and interesting things happening in the tech industry.

Jeremy Webb, a Strategist from Ogilvy 360 Digital Influence team gave an entertaining and insider’s perspective of what its like to do social media marketing on Weibo (China’s Twitter).

Firstly, he said that Weibo is an excellent platform to do social media marketing because of its simplicity, user reach and the fact that it is free versus paying hundreds of thousands of rmb for brand pages on social networking sites RenRen, Kaixin or Douban. For example, RenRen costs 600,000rmb for a brand page and Douban costs 2m rmb per year.

Although Jeremy sees Weibo as a fantastic way to create brand presence and target customers, he revealed some frustrating pitfalls when dealing with Weibo in China:

  1. Fake fans and influener’s – some brands or their marketing agencies will fake everything from fans to influencer’s. An influencer is someone who has more than a million followers. This obviously gives people a false impression that a brand is more popular than it really is.
  2. Spam fake messages –  brands or agencies in China also often spam fake messages of praise, such ‘Geili/给力’ meaning ‘awesome’ or ‘Ding!/顶’ meaning ‘up’. Jeremy said that if you look at certain brand pages in China you could pick out a follower and most likely they would be fake, where they are posting ‘Geili’ every few hours for the past few weeks.
  3. Meaningless results – often for marketers, it is easy to fall into the trap of being lazy and presenting the biggest and most impressive number to a brand, such as 100m impressions. But Jeremy defies such laziness and believes this does not bring true value or engagement to a brand.

Finally, thank you to Jeremy for presenting and all those who came to our first TweetUp. Keep posted for future events that we organize!

Jason is an Australian born Chinese living in Beijing, specializing in entrepreneurship, start-ups and the investment eco-system in China, especially in the tech and social area.

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