With almost 400 million monthly active users by the end of 2017 on Weibo, without a doubt, every foreigner brand would consider Weibo as an important social media channel to build up awareness in China. We can imagine if one brand could appear on the top search topics, it may be because they have successfully created a big issue, but on the other hand, the popularity maybe also comes from unexpected negative feedbacks which a small issue could turn into a serious PR disaster in the blink.
We can always learn from other’s case and prepare tailored social media crisis management for our own brand in advance, and this time we learn from Sesderma’s experience.
Sesderma hit No.27 on the Weibo top search topics
On the daily social media monitoring, we found that Sesderma, the well-known Spanish dermocosmetics brand was on the hot search list on Weibo, but they were dealing with the crisis out of a careless mistake in China. Their account has more than 7,000 fans, but the brand name search volume was 14 times more, we can assume the negative news brought in lots of people who aren’t familiar with the brand Sesderma before. What caused the PR crisis exactly? Let’s get back to where the issue started.
2/17 12 pm: Sesderma’s controversial post
Their intention was to educate the fans how to apply their product for a better result and created the post in a soft and self-deprecating way, but the critical part is they said “you” are poor and “you” don’t have money, so they misled the perspective and turned out to discriminate against the fans. Unfortunately, since then, the post started to accumulate passive comments in a quick-speed.
2/18 6 am: One user posted the negative feedback about Sesderma’s post (share:2,865 / comments:514 / likes:3,477)Not only the improper content, but the way Sesderma managed the issue. The user found Sesderma directly deleted the original post and without responding to fans’ anger. The post just went viral afterward, and it easily pushed Sesderma on the hot search list on Weibo.
2/18 8 pm: Sesderma apologized sincerely to their fans
After waiting for more than one day, Sesderma had an official post to apology for their careless mistake. According to the comments, most of the fans could accept and left their support notes, but Sesderma continued to occupy the hot search topic position, until late afternoon on 2/20. Social media crisis comes easily, but it’s definitely hard to disappear.
3 takeaway to prepare crisis management on social media in China
1/Respond timely and as long as the mistake is confirmed, a sincere apology and open communication is needed
In many cases, actually, the crises are avoidable, if we can manage the potential crisis timely, and organize the crisis management team if necessary with members from involved departments, to create a open dialogue with fans within 24 horas.
2/Self-deprecating humor is easily taking over on social media, but extra care and attention for this kind of content is crucial
Sometimes self-deprecating humor is delicate, it’s better the content can be viewed and checked by different people to taste the respond. And keep the first person perspective clearly through whole content, as we can see in the Sesderma’s case, as long as you change the perspective, self-deprecating post could backfire quickly.
3/Chinese local team represents the foreign brand in China, so it’s important to work closely with headquarter to deliver the brand value
Even though many foreign brands have local subsidiary or agency to execute all the Chinese market marketing communications in China, but work integrally and have regular meeting is essential to keep both parts on the same track towards the ultimate success.
If you are interested in developing business in China through online marketing and e-commerce, 2 Open are glad to listen to you, please feel free to contact us by e-mail: INFO@2OPEN.BIZ, or just leave us a message below, we will get back to you as soon as possible.
Interested in the B2B market? This article is for those currently interested in launching a B2B ecommerce initiative!
Following our instruction of How to Sell B2B Online in China, from 2 OPEN we will guide you on the most famous Chinese B2B platform –1688.COM, to obtain leads for your company, giving you the basic information to learn how to deal with traffic.
In order to develop your sales in a business-to-business, it is important to analyze which actions can be done to improve your company results.
From 2 Open, we have listed for you some of the key-factors to make it easier your landing on B2B. With our help, your company will take a huge advantage of this big chance on Chinese market!
WHAT IS 1688.COM?
Alibaba is currently the biggest Chinese eCommerce company. It dominates the Chinese online marketing in various aspects and includes on its services: online transactions, payments, promotion, service and communication.
In order to focus on B2B market, Alibaba created a portal for domestic B2B trade in China, 1688.COM. In 2013, 1688.COM launched a direct channel that is responsible for $30 million in daily transaction value.
After 14 years development, now Alibaba leads B2B into the full digitalization in China and it is responsible of the great revolution B2B has experienced in China.
HOW TO USE 1688.COM?
As the domestic B2B portal in China, 1688.COM has millions of vendors but does not support English version for foreign users.
To provide an accurate sketch for you and due to its importance, we have chosen Solostocks as the example below:
- First, Go to the homepage of 1688.COM:
- Second, Create Solostocks’s online shop in 1688.COM
After the registration, you can access it with Solostocks.1688.com.
- Third, Optimization:
When the online shop settles down, we can optimize the traffic through strategies within Solostocks.1688.com. The internal optimization of the online shop could bring your company more traffics and leads.
From 2 OPEN, we suggest you six strategies to apply to leads generation, such as:
- Product release:
In proper way, product release can fulfill the product category and increase Page View (PV).
Product quantity is not the key point for B2B selling but is the product category, title and description. Remember the more detailed the information is, the more opportunities for searching there will be.
- Shop decoration:
Shop decoration is aiming to provide a good visibility to viewers: useful information in organization will fully convey to viewers and improve the CTR also display structure has to be recognizable and practical.
Key modules include logo, navigation, introduction, display, share/favorite, communication etc.
- Text content:
Text content includes all the product descriptions and introductions.
It is crucial to pay attention to Key-words combination: they will be the best SEO to boost traffics: the more key words are recorded, more exposures there will be.
Refined and targeted content can also lift the ranking and improve the user experience.
- Tool assistance:
Tool assistance from 1688.COM’s back office can facilitate Solostocks.1688.com promotion. It contains various functions to assist the system management, which provides a better performance in internal optimization.
Tools for managing product, KPI, finance, transaction and marketing would optimize the operation.
Here we explain you three detailed functions which we consider especially important:
By the way, there are a plenty other tools provided by 1688.COM that you can find. You just need to discover them all and find the one which better suits you!
- Secondary platform:
The secondary platform of 1688.COM is called baike.1688.com. It is professional and dedicated to provide customers the solutions and commercial knowledge in business by means of questions and answers to solve business problems.
In this business platform, users can get connections and share their experiences. Do not forget to:
– Use proper key words to find out the related questions
– Answer professionally to promote Solostocks.1688.com
– Enhance the account activity and develop the business
- Paid service:
Paid service in 1688.COM can effectively promote the brand and product in bidding ranking.
The most popular ways of SEM in 1688.COM are WXB (pay-per-click) and Diamond Booth (slideshow on the homepage). Both of them strongly facilitate the brand and product promotion in direct way.
Actually, 1688.COM provides various means for sellers to promote its sales. Here we summarize some main tips to implement the internal optimization in a comprehensive way to obtain the best results!
- Information sufficiency
Make sure the sufficient and high quality information can be provided to browsers.
- Effective transmission
Transfer the product or brand information in all directions to browsers accurately and immediately.
- Qualified images
High definition pictures can highlight the brand quality also beatify the online shop.
- Customer service
Keep the effective communication and CRM during the whole sales process.
- Ranking optimization
Paid service can provide the better performance in brand exposure by bidding ranking.
If you are interesting in doing B2B in China through a more native approach, 1688.COM would be the most effective and direct way to help you face to the Chinese customers.
Keep checking our blog and contact us if you have any questions. 2 OPEN will happily assist you!
This article was edited by Paula Vicuña.
General situation of cross-border e-commerce in China
2014 is called by many the year of beginning of cross-border e-commerce in China. Traditional retailers, domestic and oversea e-commerce giants, start-ups, logistic service providers and distributors have all joined this battle trying to get a share of the cake.
No doubt this is a time of challenges and opportunities, getting to know the current situation is helpful to forecast a slice of the future.
So what do we know about the positive factors that lead the cross-border e-commerce in China continue to grow?
A window period of dividend policy
With the official documents N°56 and N°57, issued by General Administration of Customs of People’s Republic of China (PRC), the cross-border e-commerce has finally been authorized at 2014 in China. The”6+1” testing cities (Shanghai, Chongqing, Hangzhou, Ningbo, Zhengzhou, Guangzhou, Shenzhen) have since then enjoyed the tax reduction for cross-border e-commerce, which means products purchased through cross-border e-commerce channel will only be charged with personal postal articles tax, instead of the “customs + added-value tax + consumption duty” for common import trade. Thanks to policy incentives, which is aiming at bringing the oversea consumption back to mainland China, cross-border e-commerce has witnessed rapid growth.
Huge potential of customer needs
Nielsen recently issued the China’s E-commerce Industry Development and Hangzhou Index White Paper, suggesting that “affluent and well-educated young people make up the majority of cross-border online shoppers and the cross-border online shopping features at low frequency and higher spending per order compared to domestic online shopping”.
According to the statistics from General Administration of Customs and Research Center of China’s e-commerce, the size of transactions and the user’s volume have tremendously increased in these couple of years. The size of transactions grows from ten billion to hundred billion and some predictions show that it will reach trillion level in 2018.
Not everything is favorable, we are still facing many challenges
The tax reduction policy will not last for long because the government has to find a balance between the traditional trade and the cross-border e-commerce. The uncertainty of policy may affect every segment of cross-border e-commerce in China.
The immaturity of logistics and customs clearance system, the slow process makes the after sales services can’t be guaranteed. In the future shopping experience needs to be bettered with a smoother customs’ process.
The possibility of directly signing a contract between a foreign brand and a Chinese cross-border e-commerce platform is remote, therefore cross-border e-commerce platforms often use combined supply chain, which is unstable and will lead the price of product hard to be controlled. The one has the ability to get through each segment on the supply chain will be the first to take the market.
Currently, not a single cross-border e-commerce platform is widely accepted by customers, major player and start-ups are basically at the same starting line. The early stage development relies more on policies, lower price, richness of products, but as time goes, the competition will be back to the retail level – brand, supply chain and customer services.
We do still have the possibility to change the game, don’t you think？
Check the original Chinese article here