Just when companies were starting to get the hang of Weibo and other social media platforms, social instant messaging was added into the mix. Companies will have to rethink their digital sales and communication channels again in order to adapt to the new mobile, social instant messaging era.
The rapid emergence of social instant messaging (SIM)—Line in Japan, KakaoTalk in South Korea or WeChat in China—means that online conversations could soon be a thing of the past. No more spam, no more complicated paths to unsubscribe from and no more targeted advertisements to deal with. The time of landing consumers like fish is over: we could be finally entering the much-anticipated era of one-to-one marketing.
Five years ago companies operating in China began entering willingly, or unwillingly, into a spiral of semi-open social media following the 2009 launch of Renren and Sina Weibo, equivalents of Facebook and Twitter respectively. Tencent Weibo followed in 2010.
Businesses were quick to understand the importance of these platforms for interacting with current and potential customers. These customers soon emerged from anonymity and became real people living in actual cities, and they stopped merely consuming information and began providing it themselves; this ushered in the era of UGC or user-generated content, where users began marketing themselves as brands (‘personal branding’).
To read the entire article on the EURObiz magazine, please click on this link : We need to talk: how social instant messaging is redefining brand-customer relationships in Asia