• Akina Wong

Why Our Social Listening Tool Matters to You to Top China Market?

| Data-driven Marketers Top China Marketing by Social Listening |

In this article, you’ll learn…

  1. "Do data-driven marketing in this KPI-oriented era"

  2. "A transformative tool for data-driven marketing"

  3. "China market is incredibly potential"

  4. "But you have to watch out for these challenges of China’s social media"

  5. "China Social Media Snapshot"

  6. "China Ecommerce Snapshot "

  7. "Smarter marketing begins with the Vfluencer data platform"

Data-driven marketing is not a new word, but many still find it’s hard to achieve it.

Marketing is always about “how to do this”. However, if you can’t also answer “why to do this”, how can you ensure the potential of your marketing strategy? That’s why nowadays data-driven marketing is highly valued in the industry for continuously absorbing new insights from various stakeholders and improving campaign effectiveness.

A transformative tool for data-driven marketing

— Social listening is the monitoring process to discover social media channels for mentions of your brand, competitors, current and potential clients, and so on. —

Social media has risen to the world’s largest pool for market research. In 1.44 billion of China’s population, there're over 1.61 billion mobile connections and 930.8 million active social media users. It's equal to a reflection of what people are thinking and feeling, what strategies are effective and ineffective, and how best to engage with the audience. And social listening is the key to gain and filter information that is necessary for the blueprint of effective marketing strategies.

China market is incredibly potential

Even China market underwent a contraction last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it has recovered and rebounded much faster than most of the world. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) further forecasts that China’s economic growth will rank among the top economies in 2021.

But you have to watch out for these challenges of China’s social media

Challenge 1: Fragmented Digital Ecosystem

> Social Media

China’s social media market is one of the most active ones in the world. With a forecast that 2022 social media users in China will reach 725 million, brands are eager to get attention from this enormous audience group.

However, their marketing teams commonly find it is so confusing to listen to China's social media as it is dominated by so many domestic social media platforms, the most commonly used including but not limited to RED, WeChat, Weibo, and Douyin. On one hand, each platform generates too many feeds to analyze without a social listening tool. On the other hand, each has its unique characteristics and thus it is hard to select the suitable one for marketing if you aren't an expert on China's Social media.

To create brand presence on a wrong social media platform or feeds unable to cater to user taste on a platform may waste your marketing resources or even damage your brand image.

China Social Media Snapshot:

The most used platform in China (Weibo, WeChat, RED & Douyin)


-a blogging platform

- over 511 million monthly active users

-main content:

top KOL or celebrity sharing on products or major marketing campaigns of luxury or famous brands

-content can be attached with links to online stores


-a messenger, proto and video sharing, online bank, e-commerce platforms

-over 1 billion registered users

-main content:

Paid banners in articles, paid advertising space on WeChat users’ Moments feed, and KOLs’ sharing on their personal accounts

Xiaohongshu or RED

-a shopping, product reviews, and e-commerce platform

-over 300 million registered users

-main content:

KOLs’ sharing on their personal experiences of products of mostly

fashion, skincare, and beauty brands.

-content can directly link to online stores


-a short video sharing and e-commerce platform

-over 1 billion registered users

-main content: short videos paired with music and with narratives (new trend)

-content can directly link to Douyin store or stores on e-commerce platform

> Ecommerce

China’s e-commerce market is deemed to be incredibly prosperous and dynamic as one of the fastest-growing markets in the world, in which the every-year growth rate is more than 20% and the estimated number of online consumers is more than 650 million, approximately twice the population of the USA.

The most used e-commerce platforms in China are Taobao, Tmall, and JD.com. Of course, there are other platforms that are more suitable to target niche markets or rise quickly with their social media format, including Pingduoduo, Wechat, and Xiahongshu.

Currently, over 70% of the Chinese population search online to make a purchase decision. Thus, these e-commerce platforms often launch large-scale, heated marketing campaigns on social media channels to promote brands that they cooperate with. However, once again, each online retailer has its unique characteristics and even the campaigns on the same platforms can aim at different marketing purposes. For instance, both Super Brand Day and Little Black Box are the strategies of brand-name product promotion on Tmall but Little Black Box is particularly for product-debut marketing.

China Ecommerce Snapshot:

The most used platform in China (Taobao, Tmall & JD.com)


- C2C model: stores are mainly of individual & small businesses

- sells any types of products:

- customer:

1. middle-class & upper-middle class

2. millennials & post-millennials

- campaign marketing on social media platforms:

the sharings of veteran entertainment celebrities and young internet celebrities are the major contents


- B2C model: stores are mainly of official & international retailers

- mostly sells female-oriented products

- customer:

1. middle-class & upper-middle class

2. millennials & Gen Xers

- campaign marketing on social media platforms:

the sharings of super teenage idols are the major contents


- B2C model: stores are mainly of official & international retailers

- mostly sells technology-oriented products

- customer:

1. lower-class & middle-class

2. all age groups

- campaign marketing on social media platforms:

the sharings of super teenage idols are the major contents

Challenge 2: Consumers’ Emphasis on Reputation

Chinese love reading reviews on social media so much and they frequently make purchases based on recommendations of Chinese KOLs and KOCs. Thus, these influencers have become a heavily used strategy for brand and product marketing. But who should you cooperate with? With more and more influencers popping up on numerous social media platforms in China, it is time-consuming to generate and dig into their profiles, such as follower interests and types, content engagement performance, and previous and current brand endorsement. Another point to be noted is the influencer segmentation in China — top-tier, middle-tier, bottom-tier, and ordinary. Each segment serves respective brand marketing purposes so how you coordinate them for a marketing campaign is another big question without in-depth social listening.

Challenge 3: Content Trends in China

The digital ecosystem of China is not only fragmented but also fast-changing. To stand out in the era of big data, social media feeds need to be high-quality as well as able to fit in with the audience’s interests and habits.

Cases in point:

1. After the success of Taobao live streaming, Chinese consumers are used to and even dependent on live streaming to make buying decisions. Therefore, the competitive social media platforms, like WeChat Mini Program and Douyin Store, have incorporated and combined live-streaming with purchase function. Live viewers do not need to exit the live to make a purchase.

2. RED users often attempt to get a surprise box by searching the keywords about the brand or related actives or browsing specific notes. While users can get coupons to cut costs and conveniently jump to store pages, brands can collect users’ information for marketing purposes and increase the conversion rate.

These trends are not that common a year or two years ago, but now Chinese consumers favour them a lot!

Smarter marketing begins with the Vfluencer data platform

Vfluencer’s Mission

As an award-winning marketing technology company that pioneered the brand intelligence industry in China, our proprietary interactive visual system assists brand managers in understanding the social media space with real-time and comparative data analytics and provides immediate in-depth data profiles of the operation and performance of brands, influencers, and marketing campaigns.

China is a huge but competitive market and thus it’s important to do social listening with social media intelligence to uncover the trending marketing strategy and continue to optimise your brand strategy.

Vfluencer’s Platform Functions

Here are 3 fundamental functions extracted:

1. Competitor Analysis:

You can create combinations including various brands you want to have an analytical comparison.

2. Brand Analysis:

You can have in-depth insights into the brand performance of social media platforms, such as the SOV distribution and partnerships with influencers of all levels.

3. Campaign Analysis:

Our platform helps you collect online activities and the effectiveness of all the different campaigns you want.

If you are interested in a social listening tool for China's market, please feel free to contact us:)

Free Consultation