If you haven’t already heard and done so, Chinese social media platforms are THE space to explore for business expansion. With 1.4 billion people and a growing middle class, China’s consumer market is attractive to businesses globally – Singaporean brands included. Chinese social media has emerged as a formidable force in the realm of digital marketing. With a large user base and unique platforms designed for Chinese consumers, it’s essential for businesses to tap into China’s potential. As China continues to rise globally, brands must seize this opportunity to connect with their Chinese counterparts.

Trends in Chinese Preferences

Up-and-coming industries

Herbal Vs Ayurvedic Vs Natural Vs Organic: Know the Difference

The Chinese consumer market is a rapidly changing landscape. Specifically, there has been an increased demand for organic and natural products as well as fitness equipment & wellness services in China’s health-conscious society. Singapore companies like OSIM or Eu Yan Sang have taken advantage of this trend by promoting their health-oriented products on various Chinese social media platforms with remarkable success.

There are also efforts towards sustainability as China embarks on their goal of carbon neutrality by 2060. With the 20th National Congress’ recommendation to advance green consumption and create a sustainable, low-carbon lifestyle, there has been a rise in consumers embracing eco-friendly practices. Many even demonstrate their willingness to pay extra for environmentally conscious products. This momentum is predicted to persist as more people become aware of the significance of incorporating sustainability into their daily lives.

What makes the Chinese market so special?

Chinese social media especially is a good place to start making a mark for yourself. The Chinese market is unique. Amid mass censorship, Chinese consumers turn to recommendations from friends and family. An independent survey of moisturizer purchasers observed that 66% of Chinese consumers relied on recommendations from friends and family, compared to 38% of their US counterparts. Therefore, Chinese netizens place a higher value on the recommendations of social media influencers compared to formal institutions and authorities. Additionally, they are also much more of a researcher than other countries.

Most notable, however, is the preference for local products. This is a trend that has only recently appeared. Back in 2011, foreign goods held Chinese consumers’ favour, but in recent times, more Chinese, especially those younger ones, are turning to domestic products. A common assumption would be to quote “national pride” as a factor. True – but there’s more to this story. Consumers now have greater confidence in the quality of local goods. With domestic producers offering cost-saving benefits and reasonable quality, this is a winning formula that trumps global brands.

This all sounds like a lost cause, but with an in-depth understanding of how Chinese preferences are shaped by their social media channels, you can leverage these seemingly negative points to imprint your brand in their hearts.

Chinese Social Media Platforms

It’s worth noting that social media giants from the West, like Facebook, Twitter and YouTube are currently not accessible in China. This peculiar ban has made way for a distinctively separate Chinese social media landscape. By having mastery over these unique platforms, it conjures up a strategy to land your brand in the middle of the Chinese market.


WeChat - Apps on Google Play

WeChat stands as the unparalleled social media giant in China with a whopping 1 billion monthly active users. This all-in-one app is an exceptional tool that provides seamless chatting, bill payment, appointment booking and much more.

Its potential extends beyond personal use. Businesses can establish official WeChat accounts to extensively promote their products and services while relying on WeChat Pay to facilitate easy transactions. They also have the option to use mini-programs, which are small applications that can be integrated in WeChat. This allows them to provide their offerings directly to clients without requiring a seperate application or website.

Nike Wechat Mini Program

Take a leaf out of Nike’s book. Nike introduced a WeChat mini-program that enabled users to create their customized sneakers and showcase the designs with their social circle. From this initiative, Nike garnered an overwhelming response of over 18 million design variations, helping Nike broaden its reach among Chinese consumers.

Instead of a mini-program, Huawei devised an effective strategy on WeChat by collaborating with KOLs and formulating a captivating game, enabling participants to obtain rewards. The campaign resulted in more than 1.3 million views and amplified Huawei’s brand recognition and involvement within the platform.



Weibo, a microblogging site comparable to Twitter, boasts of more than 550 million active users every month. It is the top choice for celebrities, influencers and businesses to express their opinions, and connect with fans and customers.

Weibo is a highly advantageous platform for marketing due to its vast reach. Its user base spans across diverse demographics and geographic locations in China. This makes it an ideal choice for businesses with broad target audiences. Furthermore, Weibo provides various features and tools that enable businesses to enhance their brand visibility and engage with followers effectively. Using sponsored posts on Weibo, businesses can directly promote their products or services to targeted audiences.

Tourism New Zealand executed an intelligent and compelling KOL approach to entice Chinese tourists. Designating renowned microblogger Yao Chen as their brand ambassador, Yao Chen avidly shared visually stunning images of her tour in New Zealand. Within a year, China surpassed the US in visitor arrivals for the first time!


DOUYIN: The new Chinese propaganda machine – Mass Media and Culture

Douyin, the Chinese counterpart of TikTok, has garnered immense popularity in China as a brief video-sharing platform. With more than 600 million monthly active users, it has become an instant hit among the younger generation.

Douyin’s short-form video style enables businesses to create and distribute captivating content easily. These enable companies to display their offerings and solutions while also targeting younger demographics.

Take a look at Oreo, the world-famous cookie brand. With an engaging Douyin campaign, they shared a collection of short videos highlighting their signature cookies and one-of-a-kind patternsThanks to this bold and refreshing approach, the campaign generated more than 5 million views and successfully captured the attention of its target audience.


Xiaohongshu - Wikipedia

Xiaohongshu, or Little Red Book, is a lifestyle and beauty-centred e-commerce and social media platform. It caters specifically to millennials and Gen Zs and has more than 300 million registered users.

Xiaohongshu is a favoured channel for businesses that utilize official accounts and KOL partnerships to advertise their goods or services. Businesses can also encourage customers to generate user-generated content by creating material centred around their products. Finally, Xiaohongshu’s live streaming option is an immensely popular feature that businesses can leverage to effectively display their products and address customer queries instantaneously.

SKII Advertising Image

SK-II’s #ChangeDestiny Campaign was a persuasive and successful marketing effort by the skincare brand to promote its popular Facial Treatment Essence on Xiaohongshu in 2019. The campaign’s use of influential figures sharing personal stories inspired millions, resulting in over 60 million views and 40,000 user posts.

Best Practices for Building a Brand on Chinese Social Media

China has over one billion internet users. It also boasts an estimated 900 million social media enthusiasts. This presents a huge business opportunity for those who understand Chinese culture and customer expectations well enough to navigate them adeptly.

Localise your content

In order to create a thriving brand on social media in China, it is crucial to have an understanding of the local culture and preferences. Adapting your content to cater towards the audience can foster a connection with them and cultivate trust. This could involve utilizing their native language, capitalising on Chinese festivals or holidays, as well as featuring popular regional celebrities.

One noteworthy cultural contrast pertains to guanxi (personal relationships) which holds considerable significance within business contexts. Businesses that establish strong personal connections are more likely to be successful in their engagement with Chinese consumers. Building credibility and gaining the trust of your target group is of utmost priority.

KFC Banner for China

KFC has effectively localized its content for the Chinese market by launching a “Chinese New Year Bucket” campaign. The chicken bucket comes with a unique design that drew inspiration from the local culture. The promotion was incredibly successful, racking up more than 10 million sales within just two days.

Montblanc Moon Phone

In an effort to differentiate themselves from other brands utilizing the “moon phrase” feature, MontBlanc – a renowned German manufacturer of luxury goods – successfully launched their groundbreaking campaign titled “Mystic Moon Phrase” back in 2014. They effectively captured Chinese consumers’ attention by tapping into their fascination with astrology and lunar cycles to promote their latest line of high-end watches.

Utilize Key Opinion Leaders (KOLs)

People with a large social media following, called KOLs, can influence their followers. Collaborating with them can help spread awareness of your brand to a wider audience.

P&G teamed up with influencers to boost the exposure of its Olay brand on Douyin. The influencers produced short videos featuring Olay merchandise and shared their own skincare routines. This tactic garnered more than 10 million views and helped widen Olay’s reach among young Chinese consumers.

Engage with your audience

To succeed on Chinese social media, engage your target audience with comments and interactive campaigns while offering value-added content. Use videos, images, and culturally relevant messaging to capture their attention and build brand loyalty.

WeChat Campaign Spotlight: Burberry Gets Festive for Chinese ...

Burberry’s “Shake, Tap, and Swipe” campagin is one for the books. Through playful interaction, fans were invited to “Shake, tap and swipe” a cylindrical gift box in order to reveal the contents within. Similarly, L’Oreal created a strong community of loyal customers in China through a successful Weibo campaign. By encouraging users to exchange beauty tips and experiences, the brand generated more than 1 million user-generated posts, giving rise to enthusiastic participation from its Chinese consumers.

Is your brand ready for the leap forward?

Building a strong brand presence on Chinese social media platforms requires more than just replicating Western marketing strategies. It necessitates comprehending the unique characteristics of each platform and recognizing the intricacies associated with local culture and preferences. By developing tailored approaches and executing content localization initiatives, businesses can effectively establish their brands on these platforms and cultivate long-lasting relationships with their target audience in China.

At this point, almost everyone has probably heard the term NFT floating around somewhere. However, the accompanying hype does not come without repercussions. NFTs have been touted as harmful to the environment, creating many problems such as emitting large amounts of carbon dioxide, being so energy-intensive that minting one NFT is comparable to the amount of energy that Switzerland uses in a year, and many others. These concerns are legitimate, and it is important for users of NFTs to be aware of these implications.

Despite all this talk that points to advocating for no NFTs in our ecosystem, there is a flip side of the coin that people have yet to discover. To be fair, NFTs aren’t fully terrible. NFTs can promote sustainability, but this will have to be a conscious choice on the consumer’s part. As a sense of urgency peaks around the climate change forum, can we harness NFTs for good?

Using Sustainable NFT Platforms

Tezos coin

Blockchain technology is the main driving force behind the NFT ecosystem, and it necessitates significant computational power to safeguard transactions. This computational power, in turn, requires large amounts of electricity, and thus creates a large carbon footprint. We can help to limit our impact on the environment by switching to platforms that are built to be more sustainable.

For starters, try using blockchain networks that use proof-of-stake (POS) consensus mechanisms instead of the energy-intensive proof-of-work (POW) mechanism. Famous cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin are built on a POW mechanism, but POS platforms offer far more long-term benefits.

A notable POS mechanism is Tezos, whose key feature is self-upgradability. Self-upgradability, or self-amendment, is meant to overcome the struggles of the POW blockchains. Tezos is capable of updating itself natively and autonomously without requiring a hard fork or an external governance model. In other words, this on-chain governance mechanism empowers token holders to participate in the decision-making process and provide feedback on proposed upgrades. Therefore, the platform remains up-to-date and functional at all times.

Furthermore, some platforms are implementing ways to offset carbon emissions, making them a more environmentally friendly option. An example would be EOSIO, an eco-friendly blockchain that offers carbon-neutral minting.

Utilising more sustainable platforms not only allows your brand to tap into the numerous benefits (listed below) that NFTs can bring for your brand, but it also aligns well with your brand’s ESG commitments. This puts your company in a good light when dealing with consumers who care about the origins of their products.

Utilising “Green” NFTs

hand holding a plant

“Green” NFTs are digital assets created while supporting environmental causes. They are also known as impact NFTs.  The primary focus of green NFTs is to minimize its carbon footprint, which is a major concern in the NFT industry due to the high energy consumption and carbon emissions associated with their creation and transactions.

For example, businesses can create NFTs that represent renewable energy certificates or that donate a portion of the proceeds to environmental organizations. One case in point would be the World Wildlife Foundation (WWF)’s launch of an NFT collection on Polygon. This collection aimed to raise funds for wildlife conservation efforts by commissioning artists to produce NFTs representing 10 endangered species. This generated interest in the public, allowing them to raise more than €250,000. This funding was then put towards the preservation of their habitat, the creation of new protected areas or fighting against poaching and overfishing.

However, there was also backlash from the general public. WWF received flak for their use of NFTs, despite WWF’s reassurance that Polygon was a green and sustainable choice. Therefore, we must be aware of our customers’ sentiments before jumping onto the NFT bandwagon. A good idea would be to release content about NFTs and the platform you choose to use before the actual product release.

Transparency about Sustainability

hand holding transparent shape

Consumers are getting increasingly concerned with the source of their products. If customers agree with the values that your brand holds, it gives them common ground to connect with you. This naturally increases brand loyalty, giving you a higher customer retention rate. Greater transparency in the production and sale of NFTs can help consumers make more informed decisions about the environmental impact of their purchases. When consumers can easily discover the background of how an NFT was minted or the purpose of the collected funds, they are much more inclined to purchase it.

Sustainable NFT Efforts

wind turbines

Consumers can get to the source by purchasing NFTs minted from renewable energy. Consider using sources like wind or solar to power NFT operations. This significantly reduces the carbon footprint of NFTs.

many people holding on to a tree trunk

Another option is to collaborate across industries and with organisations working on sustainable solutions. More often than not, there are limits to what a single company can do to be more sustainable. Even international companies like Procter & Gamble (P&G) also face limitations in their pursuit of sustainability. Although multinational corporations (MNCs) are large and influential, sustainability is a tricky topic. Addressing sustainability challenges requires significant financial, technical, and human resources. MNCs may not have the resources or expertise needed to develop and implement comprehensive sustainability strategies, especially in emerging markets or regions with weak governance structures.

MNCs may also face public scepticism or mistrust, especially in cases where their past actions have harmed the environment or communities. Collaborating with other stakeholders and engaging in transparent and accountable sustainability practices can help build public trust and legitimacy.

CO2 emitted from light switch

The last way to green your NFT game is to carbon offset. Carbon offsetting is a process that involves a reduction in, or removal of, carbon dioxide or other greenhouse gas emissions to compensate for emissions made elsewhere. Companies can invest in carbon-offsetting projects. There are many to choose from, and it entirely depends on what your company is passionate about. A prominent one is Verra: VCS, with more than 1,806 projects removing over 928 million tons of CO2 and other GHG emissions. Due to its stringent regulations and standards, the VCS programme has emerged as the world’s largest program for GHG crediting. The Verra Registry also enables a transparent disclosure of project details and activities. This information is available to the public, ensuring that your customers can be assured.

Using Sustainable NFTs to your Advantage

Implement Loyalty Programmes

2 hands holding a card

Your customers can earn NFTs as a reward for interacting with your brand. When customers fill in a survey or share your social media post, they can be gifted an NFT. This is especially the case for companies who wish to position themselves at the forefront of innovative technology.

NFTs provide brands with alternative methods to generate revenue from their content. NFTs offer brands a fresh way to earn money from their content by selling exclusive access through NFTs. This creates a new revenue stream and a more interactive experience for customers, bypassing traditional subscription models or ads.

NFTs offer the possibility of appreciation, which can instill a sense of long-term value for customers. To enhance this effect, brands can incorporate a tiered system where customers can obtain higher-tier NFTs by starting with lower-tier, free ones.

Grow Brand Awareness

girl holding a loudhailer

The nature of NFTs is such that they frequently get shared and talked about online, particularly if they gain enough traction. It can be beneficial for your brand if customers show interest in the NFTs produced. As a result, customers are more likely to check out what your business is about, increasing customers and sales.

NFTs are commonly used as collectibles and have the potential to grow in value. Holding contests with NFTs as prizes can draw a large audience, especially because NFTs are too expensive to purchase on the regular. Such contests may involve various forms of brand engagement, such as quizzes or sharing content with friends and followers. Additionally, you can brand the NFT such that your company remains at the top of customers’ minds each time they use or view the digital asset they received.

Commemorate Milestones

2 men sitting in front of a greenscreen

Brands that possess a robust online presence likely have diverse content showcasing key milestones in the company’s history. Instead of just a social media post like every other brand out there, why not mint that moment into an NFT? The opportunity to acquire a piece of your company’s or the internet’s history can capture people’s attention. This is similar to a collector’s desire to obtain an original manuscript from a renowned author.


A robust sustainability strategy can assist companies in accessing novel markets as well as expanding in established ones. The quest to develop groundbreaking, sustainable solutions that tackle worldwide environmental and social challenges is compelling entrepreneurs and business leaders to reconsider their operations and innovate new products and services.

NFTs have evolved. They are no longer just digital images that artists use to grow awareness for themselves. More and more businesses are tapping into the Web3 space, integrating NFTS into their daily marketing operations. Without a doubt, now is not too late to jump onto the bandwagon, but only if you are confident of approaching NFTs the sustainable way.

When you think of marketing technology (MarTech), the average joe would probably think it has something to do with sending out newsletters and personalised product recommendations. True, but MarTech has come a long way from the mere collection and usage of customer data. Recently, the MarTech Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) was projected at 14.3%, pointing to the growing interest to explore the MarTech space. Trends, however, come and go. Therefore, it is essential to keep up to date with what customers are looking forward to seeing in this coming year.

By anticipating which trends will significantly impact the market, marketers will be able to identify the best way to reach out to their target audience and rise above the dissonance of multiple ads attempting to blast the same message. Most importantly, they will forge an environment that also allows non-marketers to understand the value of their business.

1. Customer Data Platforms (CDP)

Line Chart

CDPs are marketer-managed systems designed to collect customer data from all sources, normalize it and build unique, unified profiles of each customer.

Marketers frequently take charge of multiple MarTech tools, inevitably leading to possible data duplication, lack of accuracy, and integration problems. Businesses are expected to deliver personalised customer experiences, and the uptake of CDP will be able to help them do so.

The consolidation of data allows organizations to understand how their audience targeting, customer experience, and implementation strategies are interconnected. This gives companies a better understanding of consumer decisions. CDP also provides almost real-time updates about consumer data, allowing marketers to actively engage with them and identify opportunities to improve their experience.

2. Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning

Robot looking at a screen

In relation to CDP, AI and machine learning are also gaining traction in the MarTech world. AI and machine learning are heavily leveraged to optimise the collection and analysis of customer data, enabling targeted business insights at a faster pace than ever before. An increase in the use of chatbots, predictive analytics, and natural language processing (NLP) is expected to be commonplace this year.

Anticipate customer behaviour. Automate internal processes. Alleviate unexpected stock shortages. These are just a few of the benefits that AI and machine learning can bring.

While there is always the talk of AI taking over our jobs, ultimately, humans still need to be the ones strategising and making the decisions. Therefore, it can be said that AI is merely a tool, waiting for the right handler to make use of it.

3. Marketing Automation

Man clicking on automation

As suggested in the name itself, marketing automation automates repetitive tasks and improves the efficiency of a company’s marketing efforts. Businesses can adopt Marketing Automation Platforms (MAPs) to identify and nurture potential customers. They also automate the process of using various channels such as email, social media, web pages, and display ads to guide customers to personalised landing pages, bringing them closer to a sale.

4. Omnichannel Marketing

Charts of Marketing Outcomes

One of the most expected trends in MarTech this year would be cross-channel marketing. Using a multi-platform advertising strategy will create several touch points for a campaign to reach out to its target audience. This creates cohesive and consistent experiences across all channels to effectively reach and engage with customers.

When customers view the same business across multiple channels, it increases brand visibility. Furthermore, driving the same message across different channels gives the consumer the autonomy to decide which channel they prefer to use. Putting power in the hands of your target audience could possibly be the push they need to engage with your company.

Besides benefitting your consumers, omnichannel marketing can also lead to positive impacts within your company. By sharing insights from omnichannel marketing, businesses can enhance cross-team collaboration in various ways, such as aligning sales and marketing. Analyzing how customers interact with the brand across different touchpoints can aid sales teams in enhancing the in-store experience. Additionally, keeping track of a customer’s past interactions, both online and offline, can assist customer service representatives in resolving issues and complaints more efficiently.

5. Interactive and Immersive Content

Augmented Reality Headset

There was a huge buzz around Web3 and the metaverse in 2022. However, 2022 was also a bad year for the cryptocurrency market. This inadvertently impacted the uptake of the metaverse in the marketing sector.

Even though the metaverse might not have fully taken off yet, there’s no reason why you should shelve interactive and immersive MarTech. Businesses interested in creating a unique platform to reach out to their target audience can consider virtual and augmented reality, gamification, and interactive videos. Active engagement with your target audiences has proven to drive sales upward by up to 200%. Why tell your consumers what you have to offer when you can just show them?

6. Voice Search Optimisation 

Google Nest

With the increasing popularity of voice assistants, businesses need to optimize their content for voice search to ensure that they are easily discovered by customers using these devices. The most important part of optimisation would be using the correct keywords that provide direct answers.

For example, someone might ask “Hey Google! What does company A specialise in?” Hiding the information under some fancy descriptive language about how many awards the company has won probably won’t be much help. People are increasingly concerned about convenience, which is exactly what drives the demand for voice searches. Companies must recognise that direct answers are always appreciated.

7. Influencer Marketing

Influencers are not new to the marketing scene. Throughout the pandemic, there have been multiple internet personalities that have risen to fame. This marketing tactic shows no sign of slowing down with the recognition of micro– and nano-influencers. Besides being cheaper than macro-influencers, micro- and nano-influencers give higher returns in terms of fanbase engagement. As such, it creates greater engagement with the target audience.

Woman smiling for a selfie

There is great potential for this tactic, but as with every other MarTech out there, it also needs to be employed wisely. Patience is key for this comparatively slower tactic. Pair that with a strategic and focused approach to find the correct influencer for your brand.

One Simple Rule: Influencer Marketing is Marketing to Influencers. Only when the influencer trusts you will you start seeing returns. Therefore, it is essential to measure the effectiveness of an influencer using more than just mere popularity. Build a relationship with them, building up your credibility with their fan base in the process.

8. Video Marketing

Video camera pointing to the sky

Video will continue to be a powerful marketing tool, with businesses using it to create more engaging and shareable content. Some examples of video marketing that have gained traction are live streaming and short-form videos.

Live Streaming

Live streaming is no stranger to the MarTech world. It’s been around since 1993 and has only been gaining popularity since 2010. Connecting with the audience should be at the forefront of your business’s goal when hosting a live stream. Interacting with the audience will boost brand loyalty as they gain a sense of familiarity with your brand.

Short-Form Videos

TikTok started as the pioneer of the short-form video scene, shortly followed by YouTube Shorts and Instagram Reels. The continuous growth of this sector proves how lucrative this marketing tactic is. When it comes to short-form videos, there is nothing more important than authenticity and personality. No one goes to TikTok for a corporate video – that’s not where it belongs. Instead, consumers want to see what your brand represents. They want to know who are the brains that drive your company, your mission and your values.


These trends could change at any point through 2023, but the one thing for sure is that the MarTech sector will only continue growing. Brands need to stay on their toes to ensure that they do not get overshadowed by their competitors. Most importantly, businesses need to remember: you don’t need every MarTech tool out there – pick and choose which fits your brand the best.