How To Get More Chinese Customers?
In recent months I have been asked on many occasions how an Australian based company can tap into the ‘Aussie-Chinese‘ community and win customers. A great question and one at least worth exploring given we’re an Australian based Chinese social media agency. To keep it simple we’ll address just two critical questions that deserve an accurate result.
1. How much of our communication is in Chinese?
More often than not the degree to which you market in Chinese will determine your success. It makes sense right – you at least should be talking their language. If the answer is very little (or none in many cases) it’s time to dedicate resources to do this. Statistics show Chinese is the number 1 spoken language globally both online and offline – and unlike the financial crisis of 2008 it would appear this boemeth really IS too big too fail.
2. Where do Chinese engage in social media?
The ‘default’ strategy is to assume all immigrant, tourists and second generation Chinese in Australia follow our way by building out their facebook/Twitter accounts. Unfortunately the reality is they don’t. This is not an assumption it’s a fact – sure many will create facebook accounts and have a presence; however the majority (upward of 90%) are active on the Chinese equivalents in Weibo, RenRen and others. If you doubt this simply politely enquire with the next Chinese passerby.
The most significant reasoning as to why an Australian born Chinese may continue to engage in Chinese social media has a lot to do with connection with the Mainland. China continues to restrict access to the leading international social media networks, video sites and more; thus ensuring a ‘head start’ for it’s locally owned counterparts (weibo, renren, etc). To keep in contact, stay connected or simply share stories with family members both sides must maintain an active Chinese social media account – regardless of location.
These networks are gaining significant weight globally and by all reports will top the growth of a network like Twitter years end. For a marketer it’s not a matter of ‘should we’, it would seem to be only a case of ‘when will we’ engage directly in Chinese on their playing field.
By addressing these two realities you can begin to flush out a clear direction as to the scope and channel in which to invest your time. This is nothing to be alarmed about; the rewards are big and the numbers are booming. Like many international companies such as American Airlines wh0 have recognized that this market requires a targeted approach; it may be time to discover both a Chinese & Global social media strategy.