• Andrew Collins

5 Things I’ve Learnt From HelloAmerica.cn

Updated: Jun 19, 2019

Senior Manager Azure Shen shares her 5 key learnings from HelloAmerica.cn, leading branded community nominated for ‘Best use of Social Media’ & ‘Best use of Content’ in Asia, developed and conceptualized by Mailman.


Mailman was tasked with creating a content rich community for the iconic American Airlines. Instead of pushing the ‘buy me, buy me’ promotional messages that plague the Internet today, we invested in ‘value led’ brand strategy to give the customers a reason to connect with the brand.


Having managed the American Airlines project over the past 2 years, here are 5 learnings that I’d like to share with you.

1.Is your website personalized?

In China the information coming from articles by editors at state-run media is censored, I guess that’s why the new generation prefer the Internet. The internet, although frustrating at times, give you so much more freedom not to mention a huge amount of resources. So stop educating your audience from a textbook unless your business is in certain field, such as foreign trade. Instead, you should make your site a social platform to share meaningful information and encourage members to contribute to the site. You want to give your customers a voice that is advantageous to your brand, providing them with an outlet to express their views. What’s the icing on the cake? Let the KOLs ( Key Opinion Leaders) talk for you.

2.Is your content appealing?

Content is KING. There are a few factors you have to pay attention to. There is no doubt that the articles should be interesting and relevant to readers while the tone and words of articles also have suit the visitors. So editors.. always be up to date with Internet vocabulary.

Are pictures important? According to CNNIC (China Internet Network Information Center) research report, pictures rank the second place on the list of content people would like to share with their friends.  So that is a resounding Yes.

3.Is your site offering values?

People will only come back to your site if it is offering value, such as incentives, a social network, useful information and entertainment. That’s why we launched ‘Plan Your Trip’ on HelloAmerica. Any visitors with an interest in going to America can start planning their trip through a series of simple questions, for example, “which is the best season visit L.A.” ?

4.How does your website rank in search results? SEO?

Helloamerica.cn is built on Drupal (open source content management system) which is more preferable to Google and we gained 16% of traffic just from Google during last year. The rules for SEO are slightly different for Baidu and can be compared with Google a few years ago. Another thing might have confused you is the market share of both Google and Baidu in China. Our suggestion is to look at your targeted consumers. Although Baidu dominates the Chinese search engine market, we still believe that a large percentage of educated professionals in first- tier cities are more inclined to use Google.

Anyway, don’t cut your budget on SEO specialists. At Mailman we offer you SEO solutions as we do for American Airlines and Gold Coast.

5.Are Chinese netizens actively engaged online?

It’s a frequently asked question by clients from many major brands. The answer is certainly ‘YES’. By all accounts, usage of Chinese social media is the most intense in the world. Chinese Internet users are online for an average of 2.7 hours per day, considerably more than other developing countries and more compared  with usage patterns in Japan and the United States. Chinese netizens actively engage in discussions that could directly affect people, companies and even their own government.

However, if you are asking whether Chinese netizens often leave comments or vote after they read articles, the answer depends. They are active on the platforms that they think are right place to share comments, such as douban.com and weibo.com. As to new sites , unless the content is extremely engaging or controversial, visitors will read it and move on. So you need strategy and time to get your visitors psychologically ready so that they are willing to participate on your website.

There is much more learning that we’d like share with you, contact us now to know more!

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