There are three ways brands on Weibo can promote their posts; fensitong (粉丝通, ‘fan reach’), weirenwu (微任务, ‘mini tasks’) and fensi toutiao (粉丝头条, ‘fan headlines’). Each has their advantages and disadvantages and can be used in different ways to achieve different purposes.
Fensitong enables you to pay to have particular posts promoted across Weibo to users selected according to personal characteristics such as sex, age, hobbies, who else they follow, location etc.
Promoted posts will appear prominently in users’ newsfeeds with little to distinguish it from other posts in the newsfeed, and users can follow you and interact with your post without leaving their newsfeed.
Here is an example from Dotdotbuy’s Weibo:
- “Promoted” signifies to users this is a promoted post.
- “Follow” allows users to follow you without leaving their newsfeed.
- Users can save, share, comment and ‘like’ without leaving their newsfeed.
For Chinese legal reasons, promoted posts are heavily vetted by Sina and must meet Sina’s strict guidelines. For example, they must not contain ‘immoral’ content, exaggeration, superstition and a wide range of other content deemed inappropriate.
Weirenwu is Weibo’s platform for finding, selecting and paying KOLs to repost your content. The platform is vastly different to anything we have in the West as you’re able to write the copy that KOLs post, select the time to be reposted (precise to the minute) and then choose who you want to repost your content from Weibo’s pool of thousands of KOLs.
KOLs can be selected according to how influential they are, what category of KOL they belong to, their number of followers, how likely they are to accept your request, and of course their price. Prices range from £1.50 to as much as £90 for a top of the range Weirenwu KOL.
Aside from Weirenwu, there are other ways to reach KOLs and of course many KOLs are not included on the Weirenwu platform. More on KOLs in the next chapter.
Fensi Toutiao is the least widely used of these three functions. It is used for pushing a post to all of your followers, so will not reach people who don’t follow you. The post you select to promote using fensi toutiao will appear at the very top of followers’ newsfeeds once and just once, but this exposure can prove useful if you’re pushing a competition or certain campaign you want to make sure your followers don’t miss.