Rumours and invalid traffic that mislead consumers and investors can cause brand losses and PR nightmares. All the more reason for brands to engage and interact with verified information of their own, say China marketing experts.

What brands can do to guard against social media misinformation in China

Lawrence Wan CEO UM China

China has the advantage of technology paired with the proliferation of the digital consumer, making it one of the most exciting environment in the world for any brands. However, an overly democratized social media environment has its risks if not managed properly. We’ve seen brands working with the wrong partners who deliver on KPIs through illegitimate means, as a result being boycotted by platforms due to their own brand integrity. Choosing the right partner(s) who are transparent, certified, and have deep platform knowledge has now become critical. Further, brands can consider centralizing or setting up a taskforce with social intelligence monitoring tools at the heart of it. The cross-functional teams of ePR, product management and advertising/media can reference the monitoring to take action proactively from multiple angles for the brands benefit.

This increases the importance of brands to build stronger direct connections amongst the various communities, moving beyond just relying on KOLs and celebrity spokespersons. This could include building up fan base for internal brand spokespersons and the brand social channels to communicate in. This can be seen in the rise of WeChat private traffic groups, brand owned AI virtual bots as KOLs, and brand direct livestreaming.

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