IABC held an interesting seminar yesterday with 3 guest speakers discussing their thoughts and experiences with Social Media in China. This post is about Allen Wang’sÂ¬Â¨â€šÃ„â€ speech profiling his social networking site babytree.com and what it means to do social media successfully in China.
Allen Wang @ babytree.com
Allen Wang is one of the founding members of babytree.com, a social networking site targeted at young Chinese mom’s. In China there is an expression for the generation of Chinese people born during the 1980’s (80âˆšÃ‡âˆšâ„¢âˆšÂ©), which refers to the generation of young people that grew up after the ‘single child policy’ was brought about. And who during the mid to late nineties, whilst in high school were among the first in China to start using the internet. So as this generation matures as a consumer group, they are now proving to be one of the key demographics to target through the internet.
80’s Generation Take Center Stage On The Internet
In his presentation, Allen enlightened us by explaining that the 80’s born women who are now mom’s are taking centre stage as consumers. The women who are without siblings, and therefore lacking in role models, support and experience in how to bring up their babies, are turning to the internet to find out more about raising a child or preferred products to buy for their children.
Give The People What They Need
Babytree.com enters by giving these young Chinese mom’s a platform to meet, discuss, share, recommend and more. Allen and his partners, in what appears almost obvious in retrospect, have realized that there is a unique opportunity to bring these mom’s together in an online environment, where they can feel ownership over the site and where they can find useful tools to communicate. In doing so Babytree has built a niche marketing platform for businesses to utilize to get their products targeted to this specific group.
In reality this gives a win – win situation to both the mom’s and the businesses that look to serve them products that ultimately should benefit them. The mom’s help to keep the products useful, by talking and discussing the good and bad points. Businesses get to learn what their consumers really think about their products, so from a marketing perspective it makes a lot of sense for a business to get involved with this kind of Social Network.
6 Pointers For The Brave Corporate / Brand Marketers
At the end of his presentation Allen gave 6 useful tips for marketers to think about when looking to use Social Media, here are the main points:
- Be brave and experiment – This is ‘New Media’, it is not always gonna work out perfectly, but with the speed and responsiveness of the internet, there are certainly great possibilities for those who are brave enough to jump in and start communicating.
- Dramatically shift budget mix to internet – The internet is here to stay, so as Allen suggests it is time to at least start considering splitting the marketing budget between more traditional marketing and internet marketing.
- Leverage the latest technology – New technology is changing the way consumers view media, products etc. For example in China the internet has become a media distribution system, with video / music websites taking a large portion of web goers time. The PC hasÂ¬Â¨â€šÃ„â€ now become the new status symbol for wealth in many households, rather than the TV. Understanding how consumers use these technologies is crucial for finding ways to approach these consumers.
- Internet is a great communication channel – China has done a great job at installing broadband networks across much of the country, so utilizing internet technology can allow businesses to communicate their products across 2nd, 3rd and 4th tier cities, where there is still incredible buying power. Unlike TV, the internet offers the potential to start dialogues with these consumers and influence buying decisions.
- Get into a dialogue with consumers – businesses are typically used to talking about their products at consumers, as traditional media is mostly a one way affair. However with the internet the opportunity is to get a dialogue started, so that internet goers actually carry on the conversation. The conversation should not be thought of as two way either, but instead can be considered a multi-way conversation where some people will talk together or talk louder or not talk at all. It is no good for businesses to just stand by and monitor the dialogue, it is much better to try and get involved.
- May need to change how you manage – Allen finished his 6 points, by saying that the next generation of 90’s born young people are now graduating and looking for jobs. This group is almost more internet savvy than the previous generation and will require businesses to adapt to new ways to manage and communicate with their employees. Social media may come more into play internally in having a dialogue with your employees and getting the most out of them.
Overall Allen Wang gave us a lot of food for thought and covered a lot of ground. Personally I came away understanding more about how finding a niche user group and providing them with interesting tools is a powerful way to build an interactive audience through which marketers can learn and push useful products.
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Check out Babytree.com