The Importance of Personal Branding for the Chinese Market
Personal branding is the practice of marketing a brand and influencing customers’ purchasing behavior. In China, there are many ways for entrepreneurs to build and establish their personal brand. Ranging from social networks to word of mouth, each method can effectively contribute to disseminating thought leadership for hiring employees, retaining talent, creating a culture, cultivating brand followers, generating leads, and building strategic partnerships.
One of the best and most common methods is social networks as a communication medium to reach a large portion of China’s population. China’s social media landscape is unique, yet dynamic. Even though China does not permit access to social media channels that are popular in the United States, like Facebook and YouTube, China has created its own social networking platforms, allowing authorities to monitor what goes on. And China’s hundreds of millions of Internet users have accounts on at least one social network. Additionally, an increasing number of users access social media on their mobile phones rather than their PC or laptop, which facilitates more online interactions as users conduct their daily activities and engage with their social network at the same time.
Ways to share personal branding with Chinese social media users
Some communication platforms, like Weibo and WeChat, have achieved mass-market penetration. Weibo is a micro-blogging platform that enables users to exchange content with their friends and with millions of others with registered accounts. To get known in China, this platform is the leading social network to engage. As a social platform for personal branding, many celebrities, artists, and business leaders in China are using it, so it is essential to create an account and post to it regularly.
WeChat, Tencent’s iconic social platform with millions of users, has become the largest mobile messaging app in China. It is successful because it is a social network system, an e-commerce platform, and a marketing tool. WeChat allows for interaction, which is necessary for building a personal brand. Users can leave a voice memo, send an emoji, or send a message as if they were chatting with their friends. They can send updates once a day to all subscribers, selectively respond to messages, or send a voice memo to all subscribers at the same time. The experience is more informal than the comment section of a website or a blog, since it is like having a private conversation with followers.
Depending on audience and target demographics, including age and region, other relevant platforms include Xiaohongshu and Tik Tok. Xiaohongshu (Little Red Book) is a cross-border e-commerce platform that retails luxury, beauty, and fashion products by encouraging users to share ideas, bargains, and shopping tips in the social community. It collects data from users’ browsing and likes to analyze their needs. Tik Tok (Douyin) is a leading music video platform and social network. One of the largest music video communities in the world, the mobile application allows users to watch music clips, shoot and edit short clips, and add special effects to create their own music videos. As a result of its huge popularity and social influence, the app has attracted celebrities and propelled songs to fame.
How to approach personal brand
The best approach to creating a personal brand involves four steps: study, follow, create, and innovate. Every social media platform has different objectives to make it effective. Entrepreneurs should start by assessing platforms to determine which platforms are best for them and which will attracts the users they seek. Next, they should begin following those who have already cultivated a strong online presence. Then, it is important to build a community by creating original content, sharing it, and continuously updating it. Most importantly, it is critical to incorporate word of mouth marketing. It is a powerful asset that piques consumers’ interest and gets them talking. In addition to searching online for reviews and information before purchasing products, most consumers seek brand recommendations from friends. Spreading news by word of mouth and user-generated content can be a valuable medium.
Entrepreneurs that follow this process and take advantage of the different online social networks will effectively develop their personal brand while leveraging the help of others. Communities within forums enable users to share information and ideas by sector and by type of information, beyond just making comments and posting pictures and videos. The goal is to develop a following that ranks their content high, because it appears at the top of the community page. Online videos and music platforms are ideal for building personal brand in China because of the volume of people watching video content online. Moreover, these platforms are a valuable source of advertising. By establishing personal branding, sharing thought leadership, and nurturing followers, entrepreneurs can generate new leads and grow sales.
For assistance with personal branding and social media platforms for the Chinese market, contact Tolmao Group. Tolmao Group is a full-service agency that develops strategic marketing plans that include personal branding for entrepreneurs in China. They join brands with their target audiences through effective experiences, digital engagement, and traditional marketing. With insight and expertise, they navigate top channels, establish brands, and influence consumers’ purchasing.