Call me Weibo, Loud and Proud

Call me Weibo, Loud and Proud.

— The importance of Weibo in the Chinese wine industry

Sylvia CHEN

Attention please, for those who wanted to go into the chinese market, an important chinese word you need to learn today is “微博” (Weibo).

Weibo is the microblog which had been well spread all over China. China Daily reported that Sina Weibo boost of 140 million users and 50 million active monthly users. Sina claims 10 million new accounts signed up each month. Compare to 56 million users and 21 million active monthly users of Twitter (Cited in The Guardian UK)Weibo’s influence could be enormous in China. Not to mention we don’t even have the access to Twitter. No more twitter or chinese twitter, say “Weibo” now.



With the rapid life path, people could no longer digest lengthy articles which need you “Page Down” more than three times. We need the information which is quick, short and essential. That is exactly why people goes for Weibo first and then search for more information on website, newspaper or magzine if interested. Nowadays, when people met each other, after exchange for the telephone number, they will ask for the Weibo account to closely keep in touch.

According to the research by Wine Intellegence, 74% of people often use Internet as the sources of wine information in China. In the mean time, Sine Weibo ranks the third in Top 5 websites use to source wine information in China. It is only 5% percent short of Baidu (Chinese version of Google if you would like to say). Most wine experts, wine bloggers and wine lovers had their Weibo account. They share their passion, exchange their information, discuss about the industry and recommend wines to each other. 62% of people would use social network as their major source for wine information. That is very special in the consumer goods market. People will not get on line to find information of other beverage before they buy it.

Personally, I think the best example for personal Weibo marketing in wine sector is the famous French wine critic “Michel Bettane”. Although Michel Battane is fairly important and prestige in France, his name is barely known to the Chinese wine lover until he got a Weibo account. The women behind is a intelligent chinese women who now live in Paris. She posted interesting and valuable miniblog everyday which made Michel Battane over 70,000 followers in China. His account is among the the most famous and successful one in wine sector.

It is not easy to use Weibo as part of your marketing strategy. Most foreigners had neither patience nor interest to know it inside out. The content, the interval, the timing and the interactions with their audience. All of these made the foreigners had no where to start.

Whether there will be a need for Chinese social network specialist. We’ll wait and see.