Chapter 9: Weibo Top Ten Guide – Community Engagement

Community Engagement

As discussed earlier, your resource allocation should allow for a minimum level of community management and engagement. Very simply, it guarantees a dynamic,’real’ feeling for the following or engaging community. Learning what drives interactions is a process and again effort must be weighed up against the overarching goal and the limitations of algorithms.

Perhaps the best arsenal for a community manager is a live and rich audience profile that includes geographic spread, age and gender splits and interest topics.

Engaging with those that interact with you will resonate with passive followers and they are likely to engage if they feel they will be part of a discussion. Interacting is after all about making proper connections and is more than replying to people and answering customer queries. Engage with the audience by replying to comments and make sure to address negative ones as well. Always stay polite and professional in your comments but if some comments are truly abusive you can file a complaint to Weibo admin. Engage with selected followers directly and in some cases use private messaging feature to reply to some of your commentators and followers directly. This would build trust and commendation for caring about your customers.

Our tips would be to start conversations, create polls, ask questions, respond to answers, be humorous, follow people in your sector, respond to industry questions, search for people talking about your brand/ topics and respond to people and situations.  Through Weibo’s fan service section you can be there to give followers as much information you can through the direct messaging platform. This way any user with private questions their requests can be fully serviced in-platform without having to send them to another channel. If possible resolve issues there and then.  You can also customise the menus to direct people.

Just like the offline world one of the best ways to meet new people is to go to events and network. Don’t be afraid to this online and you can bolster your community by engaging with users- especially those interested in themes you produce content around and even your competitor’s fans. Follow people whose content you like and don’t be afraid to like, comment or share on content that reflects the brands identity. Give people the impression there is a person behind the brand that is an extension of the company values.

The community you build should be rewarded and things like exclusive content, offers and competitions are great ways to do that. Content as mentioned before plays a key role as information, entertainment, competitions, discounts are the reasons followers will continue to subscribe to your channel. However, community management is more than just delivering great content and boosting its visibility it is about interacting and servicing your customer’s needs. Think of how your weibo marketing can fit in with your offline marketing activities. Online-to-offline is used a huge amount in China. If you can convert these online fans into attendees at offline events or vice-versa you will increase your core engaged fan base.

 

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