Burberry’s Powerful Weibo Strategy and the Benefits of Weibo Campaigns

Burberry is renown for their digital marketing campaigns and social media strategies. They have also been ranked as one of the top 10 brands in the Luxury sector ranked by a Digital IQ Index over at L2. Burberry is no stranger to China’s Sina Weibo and with the recent Art of the Trench campaign arriving in Shanghai, we can only imagine how Burberry maximized this social media channel.

Consistent Burberry Brand Image and Delivering the right News at the right Time

Burberry’s Weibo strategy was created on the basis of the heritage and history of the brand. The brand wanted to ensure that they delivered a consistent brand image across all of their social media platforms. However Burberry is certainly mindful to use images that correlate more with the Chinese consumer, but overall the brand remains consistent to their English roots. Just take a quick look at their campaign image, Chinese models carrying umbrellas and riding bikes, the overall look is a fusion between both cultures. This strategy has improved the followers’ understanding and knowledge of the brand and reinforces key brand ideas. Burberry’s Weibo followers know who Burberry is, the brand heritage and the brand philosophy. Not only does Burberry’s Weibo strategy focus on the heritage and identity of the brand, they are always feeding their followers with important news updates. Weibo is one of the most important Chinese platforms where brands and in particular luxury brands can release news updates, or simply inform their followers of a promotion or a hott new item that has just hit stores. According to Fashionbi, a digital marketing optimization company, Burberry posts a new product almost everyday on their Weibo page. The products all vary from accessories to fragrance to men’s ready-to-wear or even to the children’s line but the idea here is to create attention, always with a visual and a short message. On average each post generates approximately 100 reposts and 30 comments, not too bad for everyday activity.


Maximum Engagement with a Personal Touch

Burberry’s Weibo page did not disappoint when it came to the engaging campaign that they launched for the arrival of the Art of the Trench exhibition to Shanghai, last week. They transformed the Weibo page into a completely interactive picture board, featuring three different sections and a video on the Art of the Trench exhibition and its stop into Shanghai. The video featured the city of Shanghai and various locals wearing the famous Trench Coat around the city. The video was designed to be very friendly, and engaging, to create and capture the local Chinese on a lighter and more friendly tone. But what was really impressive was the interactive campaign featuring images of local Chinese wearing different styles of the famous Burberry trench coat and the Weibo followers can vote on what is their favorite image. The images are very personal, with normal everyday city-goers in their trench coat. There is even a special tab within the Burberry Weibo page that is dedicated to vintage images of the Burberry Trench Coat. Here is where the brand fuses that special heritage touch to one of their iconic pieces.

Burberry - Weibo
Burberry: Art of the Trench – Sina Weibo


Creating the Right Post at the Right Time

Thanks to Fashionbi, we were able to identify just how successful, this image-heavy campaign performed across the Weibo channel. The brand did not overpower the announcement of the exhibition and made a reasonable number of 7 posts, with one simple post of a man wearing a Burberry trench coat that generated 1235 reposts and 906 comments. Wow! Talk about engagement. The brand was also sure to report live from the exhibition, sharing images of Cara Delevingne, who was one of the attendees at the event. The brand made a clever move to include a single celebrity shot and to include visual images of the event itself, the space, the ambiance and the overall vibe and feel of the event in honor of the exhibition. Since the execution of the Weibo campaign for Art of the Trench exhibition, the user activity has dramatically increased, with a total of 2,269 reposts in just over two weeks, a 99% increase in user’s reposts. The settle, and personal touch of this campaign also generated an increase of 76% in comments, with a total of 595 comments by Weibo followers. As you can see on the graph, the highest user and brand engagement was during the actual event itself, on August 29th. Burberry made a strategic move to post images live from the event but not to overpower and overexert with too many images and updates. Still not convinced that the Weibo followers were attracted and engaged to this campaign? The brand saw an increase of 15,548 followers in just a 16 day time period and saw an average of 207 active followers per day. Oh ya and just one more fun fact, the photo with Cara Delevingne at the event, reached an audience of 1.3 million, yep that is over 1 million people who saw the post! Looks like a good portion of the fashionistas in Shanghai, sure knew what happened at that event!


The Benefits from using Weibo Campaigns

We have just seen a clear example of how successful Burberry was at creating attention and engagement around the Art of the Trench campaign on Weibo. They executed a very personable strategy that connected with the local residents and brought a taste of Burberry into China in a non overpowering approach. Burberry created an engagement that was friendly and extremely visual. The engagement was also very personal as the images were all unique and special to the Chinese consumer and China. But how can other brand’s benefit from this example of a successful Weibo campaign? Simple. If you use Weibo for a campaign it will immediately place your brand into a more friendly zone, an area where the Chinese consumers feel comfortable to make a connection with your brand. Use Weibo as an outlet to create a campaign and engage with your potential consumers this will automatically increase your visibility, perhaps it is not in the city that you are targeting in China, but your brand visibility will automatically increase across China and across the Chinese consumers. So who cares if you don’t sell your product inside of China, the Chinese travel and who knows they may travel to you just for your promotion. So start sharing your promotions and your campaigns on your Weibo page because the audience reach and increased level of engagement can never hurt a brand.

Great Thanks to our good friends over at Fashionbi for the brilliant Weibo analytics!

Why not contact us to have a chat on Weibo marketing for your brand?

Contribution by Courtney Gerring, Digital PR at Fashionbi. Fashionbi is the world leader in Digital Marketing Optimization for the Fashion and Luxury industry. Fashionbi empowers and enables fashion digital marketers to take smart decisions on their website, mobile, and social media.