Do you follow brands on Twitter?
A study conducted by Nielsen Research found that 59% of UK users follow brands on the social media platform. Reasons include: Competitions, information on new products and interesting content. In fact, 34% follow brands because they regularly create interesting and entertaining content.
Many leading Western brands such as Coca Cola are masters at producing content. Examples include visuals, links to ads, videos and competitions. With over 3 million followers, Coca Cola is one of the most followed global brands on Twitter.
— Coca-Cola (@CocaCola) December 24, 2015
— Coca-Cola (@CocaCola) January 3, 2016
Coca Cola – Masters at producing great content.
However, what about lesser known brands? There are plenty of up and coming brands developing innovative products and creating great content. Several of these brands are relatively new entrants in their respective markets and come from developing countries.
An increasing number of Chinese brands fall into this category. Given my interest in China, I regularly follow major Chinese brands on Twitter.
For me, what’s interesting is to see how these brands develop their social media presence over time. In many cases, Chinese brands are competing against dominant Western brands in mature industries. For example, Li Ning, often referred to as “China’s Nike” has taken steps to go beyond its domestic market. Although it faces a real challenge to successfully compete outside China.
So, here are my 3 recommended top Chinese brands to follow on Twitter. With a little background on each one:
#1. Tsingtao Beer (@tsingtao)
— Tsingtao (@tsingtao) January 6, 2016
Founded in the early part of the 20th Century, Tsingtao is arguably the most well-known of Chinese beers outside China. It’s sold in retailers in the UK and is the ideal companion to any Chinese takeaway.
What is perhaps surprising is Tsingtao’s low number of Twitter followers. At just under 3,000, the Chinese beer is at the early stages of developing its follower base. On Twitter, the brand uses video, strong visuals illustrating its products and stunning scenery of China, together with competitions.
Tsingtao is certainly creative when developing content. And worth following in 2016 to see how its brand communication develops on Twitter. Expect to see more stunning visuals of China, product development, internationalisation and competitions.
#2. Xiaomi (@xiaomi)
Mi Bunny’s plans are beginning to take shape! What are you hoping to see from Mi this year? pic.twitter.com/HIkqvJw7MQ
— Mi (@xiaomi) January 3, 2016
The global smartphone market is not just about Apple and Samsung. China also has some notable tech giants. One of which is Xiaomi. Founded in 2010 by Lei Jun, the entrepreneur is now one of the richest people in China with a fortune in the region of $15 billion.
Xiaomi’s aim is to produce high quality technology at a competitive price. Products include smart devices, TV, audio, tablets and a range of merchandise.
With a rapidly growing Twitter following (Currently 152,000), expect to hear more about Xiaomi in 2016. The company is keen to penetrate other BRIC economies, entering the Indian market in 2014 and Brazil in 2015. What will be interesting is to see how the world’s third largest smartphone maker progresses with internationalisation in the year ahead. No doubt, new product launches and updates will be communicated via its Twitter account.
#3. Huawei Technologies (@Huawei)
— Huawei Technologies (@Huawei) January 8, 2016
Founded in 1987, Huawei is a telecommunications equipment and services company. Still largely unheard of outside its home market, Huawei is another of China’s leading tech companies.
The consumer division of this tech giant rose 70% to more than $20 billion in 2015 from a year ago. A rate of growth that many Western brands can only dream of. This growth is largely due to strong smartphone sales in China.
Huawei has 147,000 followers on Twitter. This is a brand worth following to see how it competes over the next year with its main competitors – Apple and Samsung. Like Xiaomi, Huawei has strong international aspirations and has already entered many markets outside of China.
A repositioning strategy to compete at the high end of the smartphone market will no doubt be communicated via Twitter and other social media platforms. Again, another successful tech giant with sales increasing by 40% in the first half of 2015.
There we have it – my top 3 Chinese brands to follow on Twitter. Clearly, two compete in the same industry and are direct competitors. All three are creative when it comes to communicating their brand via social media. What’s particularly exciting for me is to see how Xiaomi and Huawei compete with Apple and Samsung over the next 12 months.
Which brands do you follow on Twitter and why? Do you follow any Chinese brands? I would love to know your thoughts in the comments section below.