Thursday, 22 July 2010

Social media: No obstacles just road signs

China is a unique place by almost every measure. They have their own way of doing things for sure. When managing social media or attempting to quantify consumer behaviour it is not wise to reference other country data to base your assumptions. An article, economically titled "China: An Update" by Yuping Liu-Thompkins, Ph.D provided a tidy summary of China consumer differences. She highlighted several trends that are of particular interest, and maybe not that much different from rest of world.

Grouping -- This is a advertising/sales technique being used by an emerging type of online sites. They offer discounted products to persons (or groups or persons) that register on the site or perform some other task. In exchange for surrendering their personal details or participating in a small marketing activity such as filling up a form or posting a brand message to their social site wall, they get a discounted price. A win win situation for all. The discounted price is not a loss for the business and in exchange the business gets an expanded database or their brand promoted online.

Cash instead of cards -- Yuping describes the unique set of conditions in China, e.g. low labour cost, long history of shipping goods to villages and a cash based economy to detail how COD (cash on delivery) is more effective and less costly than online credit card transactions. A very different way of doing business that may make many Western businesses nervous, but it works.

The lessons we learn when we take the time to really listen can be very rewarding. There is not one solution to every problem and when using social media that crosses so many borders it is critical to be aware. There are no obstacles only road signs keeping you informed along the way if you are so inclined to notice.

PRDA has been delivering successful social media programmes in Asia for many years. With hundreds of successes we have learned well the unique and wonderful tapestry that is Asia. Look to experienced professionals to reach your fans.

Much success,