500,000 Australian’s use Sina Weibo to network with other Mandarin speakers

Marketing to Australia and New Zealand’s Chinese population

Many of Australia and New Zealand’s more progressive internationally focused businesses are targeting Chinese domiciled consumers through social media platforms like Sina Weibo.  Many, specifically in the education or travel and tourism sectors, have built communities and reached out to key opinion leaders, to communicate the benefits of studying in or visiting Oceania.  It’s a strategy that makes a huge amount of sense – market to your target where they are spending time, and in the case of University students in China, over 80% use Sina Weibo and 4% visit the network every day. 

But in many cases, these efforts are still fledgling.  Just by way of example, Swinburne University of Technology has nearly 9,000 connections while Monash has 23,000.  Linking the two sectors, STA Travel has nearly 20,000 connections, while more directly, Air New Zealand have over 108,000 followers and Western Australia has nearly 34,000.

But less Australian and New Zealand domiciled firms are using China’s social media platforms to target Mandarin speakers living in Australia and New Zealand.

Sina Weibo estimates that there are more than 500,000 Australian residents with an account on the network, many students who are studying at local universities but also plenty of long term residents and Australians that speak Manadarin.

In the 2011 Census, around 4% of the Australian population or 865,000 people identified as being of Chinese ancestry, of whom just under 320,000 were born in China, and just under 75% of the whole Chinese-Australian community were living in either Sydney or Melbourne. 

Marketing to an ethnically diverse audience has always posed challenges to local organisations, but channels like Weibo bring a new dynamic, that allow ANZ businesses to target local consumers but also to create wider reaching influence.  

Title Image by Julien GONG Min