How Is Social Media in China?

By US Daily Review Staff.

— More than 77% of the companies interviewed have started microblogs, mainly to fulfill their needs in the areas of content marketing and multimedia communications services

— 87% of the respondents use social media on a daily basis; microblogs and mobile applications are quickly gaining popularity among businesses

— Companies are increasing their investment in new media communications; 68% of Chinese companies recognize the role of social media in winning new clients and increasing product sales

— In the past 12 months, corporate investment in new media talent has doubled. It is expected to double again in the next 12

Since the beginning of 2011, new media has experienced extremely rapid development and market penetration, while acceptance and utilization of new media by Chinese companies have become more diversified. PR Newswire undertook a survey among Chinese companies from July to October of 2011 in order to gain an in-depth understanding of the acceptance and utilization of new media by Chinese companies. The survey was conducted among senior executives and marketing/PR/investor communications professionals who were invited to participate through a combination of communication channels including the PR Newswire website, direct email marketing (EDM), microblogging, social media and instant messaging (IM), and collected 1,251 validated questionnaires.

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Key findings

1. 87% of respondents said they use social media on a daily basis. However, frequency of social media use varied significantly depending on the type of ownership and on the industry, with non-traditional industries and SMEs having the highest acceptance and use of social media.

2. E-mail, search engines and instant messaging remain the most popular ways of using new media in companies. The number of microblog and mobile application users has been growing rapidly, with comparable frequency of usage well above that of traditional media applications such as blogs, social communities and RSS subscriptions.

3. More than 77% of the surveyed businesses have set up formal microblogs, of which half have had their credentials (as the real owner of the microblog) validated by their ISP. Approximately 60% of formal corporate microblogs have less than 10,000 followers. However, a follow up with a random selection of the respondents revealed that most companies are not highly competent in managing their microblogs. 70% of companies still focus on announcements and information sharing through their social media platform, while the number of their followers on the platform is directly proportional to the level of their marketing efforts.

4. Compared to microblogs, social networking sites (SNSs) are far less popular among China’s firms and business executives as compared to the mass market, with a usage rate around 30% that of the market at large. Only 20% of the respondents said that they have set up formal pages on social network portals, such as and

5. Investment in new media communications by companies has been on the rise with purely and largely B 2Cbusinesses having adequate market budgets being more willing to do so.

6. Nearly 80% of the companies surveyed are using social media communications, for the most part, for PR communications, such as improving brand visibility and gaining media attention, however, they are also highly aware of the role of social media in building interactive and marketing relations with clients and consumers, confirming the general trend of the growing integration of PR and marketing in the new media environment.

Almost 30% of the companies interviewed said that, over the past 12 months, social media significantly contributed to their increased corporate website traffic, and half of them felt the new media platform had an impact on increasing the number of clients and the level of product sales, but not significantly, while some 20% believed that there is a clear improvement. In addition, 18% said that media pickup has sharply increased.

7. Companies are experiencing an overall increase in demand for new media communications and marketing services, especially from their own staff, for capital investment and in demand for third-party services. New media communication services focused on marketing are in demand by businesses, especially purely and largely B 2Cbusinesses.

Compared with the past 12 months, demand for new media communications from companies is expected to expand by nearly 50 per cent over the next 12, with the demand for third-party services ranked as follows: event management and word of mouth marketing, creation and distribution of content through new media channels, search engine optimization, creative use of video through new media, new media public opinion monitoring, placement of advertising in new media channels and online crisis management. —New media communication services focused on marketing remain in demand.

8. In the past 12 months and over the next 12, the need for full-time new media communications and marketing staff is in an obvious upward trend, while the engagement demand for full-time new media staff has doubled from the same period of a year earlier.

All opinions expressed on USDR are those of the author and not necessarily those of US Daily Review.

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