Travel Tuesday: China & Social Media

It’s #TravelTuesday and I’ve got China on my mind.  In less than a week I will be embarking on my second trip to China and my to-do list keeps growing.  Mark one item off only to add five more. 

It amazes me how much has changed since the last time I have traveled there, specifically digital marketing and social media.  All Western social media platforms that I use daily are blocked, except for LinkedIn, by the “Great Firewall of China” (GFC).  This got me curious, what is social media like in China?  So I googled my little heart out, like I always do with any topic that sparks interest. 

Turns out the Chinese have their own networks (no surprise) and mobile is huge!  There are more mobile internet users than there are PC-based internet users.  [Gosh, I hope they have Wi-Fi everywhere!]

Below is an extensive SlideShare deck on social, digital and mobile usage in China.  The cliff notes version can be found here.


Usage and adaptation of social media is growing in China and the opportunity to tap into a market of 1,353,821,000 people is tempting but should be approached with cultural sensitivity.  Thankfully, there are marketing agencies that could help you enter the rapidly growing market and navigate the intricacies of Chinese government relations and culture.

I’m not only excited to explore the sights, sounds, culture, and food but also the intricacies of digital marketing in China!

Do you do business in China?  Does your brand have social media presence behind the GFC?

Additional resources:
Chinese Firewall Test
List of Websites Blocked in the People’s Republic of China (Wiki)
Chinese Social Media 101 (blog)
Big International Social Networks Are Closing In On F


marketCHARLOTTE: Doing More with Less,

This is a recap of marketCHARLOTTE, part three of three. 
Part one: Lowe’s Mobile Strategy
Part two: Quaero and Big Data

The last session at marketCHARLOTTE was presented by Rich Tucker, Digital Marketer Extraordinaire (ok, ok, I added that last part but it’s true).   First things first, he’s hilarious.  You just had to be there! You’re welcome! ;) 

Rich was one of the first people I followed on Twitter when I signed up for the platform in 2009 so it was exciting to finally meet him in person and to hear him speak at the event.

Rich Tucker - Slicing through the Noise

Rich Tucker - Slicing through the Noise

His presentation really hit home on doing more with less.  “Social media” is not free but it does allow you to do more with the ever decreasing marketing budget.

My main takeaways were as follows:

1)      Social media should follow your marketing plan, not the other way.  It should be fully integrated into your marketing plan and not left to flail around on its own.

2)      Focus and master one or two social media platforms.  Go where your customers are and concentrate your efforts there.  Don’t waste your time on platforms where the return on investment is low.

3)      Engage with your followers. 

Nothing upsets me more than a company that asks for follower engagement but does not participate in the engagement themselves.  Set time aside to respond, ask follow up questions, and thank your followers for their feedback.

We’re in the people business regardless if it’s B2C or B2B.

Rich Tucker - Partnerships

Rich Tucker - Partnerships

4)      Partnership, partnership, partnership!

Partnerships allow you to not only share the cost but to also gain new customers.  You don’t have to be in the same industry but you should be complimentary to each other or have some commonality within your customer base.

Rich provided six ways organizations can partner together via Social Media:

  • Guest Blog
  • Social Good
  • Re-tweet and share each other’s content
  • Co-host events
  • Create content together (such as an e-book or a video)
  • Contests or other social medial campaigns

These tips apply to all business types and sizes, whether you’re a Fortune 500 company or a company of one.

What was your favorite marketCHARLOTTE session?  What was the one thing you’ve learned that you didn’t know before?  Have you since applied any of the advice to your business since the event?

Additional reading:
Why P&G Can’t Blame 6,250 Layoffs on Facebook
What in the Heck is Co-Marketing?