Study Highlights Importance of Social Media for B2B MNCs in China

WeChat leads among Chinese social platforms, with all businesses surveyed having official Accounts.

Study Highlights Importance of Social Media for B2B MNCs in China

WeChat leads among Chinese social platforms, with all businesses surveyed having official Accounts.

According to new research from KAWO, based on a survey of 50 international B2B multinational corporations in China across 20 different industries, social media stood out as the top marketing channel amongst respondents, with most planning to invest more in their social media efforts.

The report found that 94% of international B2B MNCs in China identified social media as one of their major marketing channels, with 70% planning to increase their social media marketing budget in 2024.

In comparison, offline events (86%) and paid search (66%) were identified as one of their major marketing channels; but only 38% planned to increase their marketing budget for paid search – the next top option, while 44% indicated plans to reduce budget on display ads.


 

“As more international B2B MNCs look to enter or expand their business in China’s local market, the country’s unique social media landscape can be challenging to navigate,” said Alex Li, Chief Executive Officer, KAWO.

When utilizing social media for B2B marketing, 42% indicated that improving brand awareness was their primary objective and 34% chose to generate leads. 88% indicated impressions, views and reads as one of the social media metrics they use, followed by the leads it generates (80%).

Notably, only 18% would utilize sales revenue as a metric for social media activities. Even as many hope to convert leads into sales through social media marketing, the lack of a suitable revenue contribution model prevents them from mapping out the customer journey and confidently attributing sales towards social media.


 

“As more international B2B MNCs look to enter or expand their business in China’s local market, the country’s unique social media landscape can be challenging to navigate.”

Amongst all social media platforms in China, WeChat stood out at the top, far ahead of its competitors. 100% of the businesses surveyed had WeChat Official Accounts, 76% were on WeChat channels, and 80% believed that WeChat would be the best platform to achieve their business goals and objectives in the next three years.

While trailing behind, popular consumer platforms have also been adopted by B2B companies, with 40% indicating that they were on Douyin, but only 4% believed that it would be the best platform for them in the next three years.

Key takeaways

KAWO provided the following highlights from the survey:

  • 94% of survey respondents identified social media as one of their primary marketing channels.
  • 70% of international B2B MNCs in China have plans to increase their social media marketing budgets in 2024.
  • 42% utilise social media for improving brand awareness, and 80% use lead generation as a key measurement metric.
  • All of the businesses surveyed had WeChat Official Accounts, and 76% of them were on WeChat channels, out of which 4 out of 5 of them believed that WeChat would be the best platform to achieve their business goals and objectives in the next three years.
  • B2B marketers have identified producing engaging content, developing content that generates leads and connecting with their target audience as their top challenges in 2024.
  • 78% would use AI for their social media activities – with more than 50% of companies already using it for editing content and searching for content ideas.  Close to 60% would like AI to help with product data reports, analysing data and providing insights – up from only 18% who already do so now. Surprisingly, over 20% of brands have no intention to leverage the power of AI this year.

Image by Zhang Kaiyv

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