Tips for B2B businesses to drive traffic and grow sales via Chinese social media

Chinese social media is an obvious marketing channel for B2C companies, but it also benefits B2B brands – from the initial awareness-building stage, right through to those all-important conversions. China now has more active online customers than any other country in the world and its potential for effective social media marketing is huge.

In fact, CNNIC research found that a third of social media users in China are corporate employees, 15% are self-employed and 14% are professionals. This indicates an active body of business users with decision-making and purchasing power. [Source:]

Western B2B companies can use Chinese social media to:

Reach out to sophisticated and connected Chinese business people who use social networks extensively for a variety of information gathering and networking activities.
Engage emotionally with B2B buyers, who are keen to make good decisions that offer the best results to their employers, through ‘real’ conversations.
Nurture prospects through longer sales cycles through brand awareness activity (that isn’t too ‘in your face’)
Build thought leadership by producing great content and distributing it cross-platform for maximum reach and engagement.
Gain trust with a credible online presence – using tools such as content engagement, Q&As, product explainer videos, customer reviews and so forth.

Tip to getting B2B social media in China right

Get around the table

Firstly, plan how you want to brand yourself in China and research the business communities you want to target and the platforms that they use. Do you really know and understand the needs, wants and values of your Chinese B2B audience? For example, Chinese business people place great emphasis on GuanXi, or the value of relationships. They use social media to communicate with colleagues, keep up with news and interesting content, learn new things, offer recommendations and to ask for help. Users trust the views of other users when they are making a decision to purchase. These insights are vital to delivering a successful Chinese B2B social media marketing campaign that delivers results.

Choose the right platform

As with the Western world, there are a large number of social media platforms that Western B2B businesses can target when marketing in China. Some of the biggest platforms include WeChat,Weibo, Youku and Zhihu. The platforms you choose – and the tactical campaign activity you focus on – will depend on your market, business and objectives. The most successful platforms for your campaign may not always be the biggest and most obvious ones! A Chinese marketing agency can greatly assist with this and ensure you achieve that vital ROI.

Promote your brand

700+ million Chinese are connected online and this audience carries out extensive online research before purchasing. Social media can be a valuable tool for brand-building. By creating a branded presence on targeted social networks, linking to your Chinese language website and running carefully-planned, expertly messaged and targeted B2B marketing campaigns, you can begin to build your brand in China.

Use KOLs

More commonly associated with B2C markets, Chinese Key Opinion Leaders (KOLs) from the ‘professionals and experts’ category can also support B2B marketing in China by acting as a brand ambassador and officially endorsing your products. Similarly, verified organisations can help to share your content amongst your target audience, by posting your content into relevant industry accounts and giving it credence. Choosing the right KOL is essential for success, as they must have influence within your industry and target market.

Pick your activities

As an example of possible B2B social media marketing activity in China, and as part of an integrated marketing campaign plan, you might:

– Use Baidu’s ‘Tieba’ (Post Bar) forum for reputation building and to garner positive posts (with users voting for content ranking, similar to Reddit) to boost SEO ranking activity.
– Post valuable, relevant content on WeChat to your target audience, get involved in WeChat’s active community of specific interest online groups.
– Showcase your products on Weibo using its video and live stream features.
– Build a presence on Zhihu and answer industry questions to raise your corporate profile which will help to boost your Baidu search results in the process.

Plan your content

Your content plan must be well thought out and highly targeted. It might include video customer testimonials and explainer videos, photos from your branded events, thought leadership articles, the sharing of PR and user-generated content, discussion topics and so forth. Content must add real value and be either created in Chinese or expertly translated.

Keep on top of it

Remember that your B2B social media strategy in China will need to be monitored and kept active with daily/weekly posting, engagement and monitoring for analytics. Again, your Chinese marketing agency can take this activity off your hands and deliver it through Chinese B2B social media experts.

Vancouver Fashion Week case study

Vancouver Fashion Week grew won Chinese customers through a targeted social media campaign in 2016. It published targeted articles on WeChat aimed at Chinese bloggers, buyers, exhibitors and visitors to boost visibility and to create interest. It also posted questions and topics on Baidu Tieba, Zhihu and Douban, positioning the message that the event was aimed at Chinese fashionistas. Official WeChat and Weibo campaigns were launched to boost brand building and to provide a platform for sharing content. Weibo posts were promoted each week onto community pages and shared by KOLs. This created valuable event PR and buzz and increased sign-ups, helping to deliver a successful event.


Your Chinese social media marketing campaign is highly recommended be planned and delivered as part of your broader marketing strategy, with other marketing activities such as ePR, PPC and SEO supporting the mix. Although complex at first, Chinese social media does offer huge possibilities for Western brands. Get it right, and you can begin to fulfil your engagement objectives and drive traffic to your digital platforms, progressing potential buyers through the sales funnel.

Help from the Chinese marketing experts

Looking to move ahead swiftly with your Chinese social media strategy? Keen to maximise your ROI, minimise waste and accelerate your progress into the Chinese market? The team of highly-experienced Chinese B2B marketing professionals at Market Me China are here to assist. Our approaches are based on proven methodologies and a deep insight into the complexities of the Chinese B2B market. What’s more, we evidence our results with analytics to demonstrate ROI and the achievement of your sales and marketing goals. Contact us for a no obligation chat and to find out more.