What started life as a network for reconnecting old college friends is now one of China’s biggest social media sites, with an active user base of more than 100 million people. Renren is a social media colossus and has been dubbed the “Chinese Facebook” for the many functions it has in common with the US giant.
According to SimilarWeb, Renren received an estimated 17.2 million visits during April 2014, with most of the traffic coming from China.
Renren Traffic Sources: February-April 2014
United States 23.05%
Hong Kong 1.79%
Renren has become an important channel for companies that want to reach Chinese consumers, and there are opportunities out there for those organisations willing to grab them.
In an interview with Worldmakers, Donna Li, Renren.com’s General Manager of Strategic Marketing/Media Planning, said:
“So they [people] live with their friends on their networks there, and so I think it will become every people’s lifestyle. And the thing is… how brands and even publishers can catch up with our speeds and to leverage that for business. That, I think presents both opportunity and the challenge.”
For the business marketer Renren is opportunity central. Not only does its users exhibit high engagement rates, but they have higher than average incomes and therefore more potential purchasing power.
If you’re excited by the possibilities of reaching Chinese consumers through Renren but don’t know where to start, here are some examples of foreign brands already making inroads into the Chinese marketplace via Renren:
Lay’s – Lay’s is a potato chip brand owned by PepsiCo that has capitalized on the Chinese love of gaming to educate Chinese consumers about its products. There was concern among the Chinese population that eating potato chips would be bad news for the waistline.
So the company created a game that was fun to play, while at the same time informing the public that Lay’s chips are made from natural potatoes which do not lead you to pile on the pounds. As they played, users learnt a lot about the company’s potato selection and chip production.
Dell – the American multinational computer technology company has adopted numerous strategies to engage Chinese consumers. To boost fan participation levels, Dell created an online store on its brand page where consumers can learn about products and communicate directly with sales associates.
During the 2010 Christmas period, Dell combined an online interactive game with a coupon promotion. Users earned points through playing the game, and those points could be converted into Dell products. In 2011 came the “Dell Money Jar” program.
Followers could earn credits by completing tasks through Renren and gaining the support of their network. Those credits could be converted into coupons to buy products. The result of this novel social media initiative was that within three months, Dell had acquired 125,179 new fans and sold nearly 4,000 computers which generated approximately $USD 3 million.
Other Dell initiatives on Renren include:
- A mini Renren site to run contests.
- A leadership board showing the top fans.
- Creating missions for fans from which they can earn points that can be redeemed against Dell vouchers. Fans also receive points for taking part in contests.
- Lucky draws to win prizes.
Currently, Dell has more than one million fans following its Renren pages.
Budweiser – the German drinks brand has used its presence on Renren to generate some social media love during New Year’s festivities. In the run-up to the Year of the Snake the brand sent out virtual traditional lucky money red envelopes containing coupons for karaoke or movie tickets. One follower received a double trip to New York City to see Budweiser’s holiday festivities in Times Square.
Watsons – the health and beauty chain has hundreds of stores on mainland China and serves millions of customers every week. To forge even strong relationships with its customers and to gain new ones, Watsons launched its presence on Renren in 2010. The company’s Renren portal allows followers to keep up-to-date with product and service information and promotions, and to dip into a rich reservoir of articles full of tips on health and beauty trends.
Other foreign brands reaching out and engaging with consumers via the China Social Media site Renren include Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC) and Durex.
The Future is Social
The social media landscape is constantly changing, and keeping up with what’s going on is a must for those outfits that want to thrive in China. With a large percentage of the population online, organisations need to have an established digital presence, delivering what customers want when they want it.
Renren continues to invest in mobile gaming, mobile apps and other products and services, presenting companies with even more innovative ways of reaching Chinese consumers.
From MavSocial | Social Media Marketing Software for Business