Category Archives: microblogging

China’s Social Media Channels

Learn about the top social media channels and how to begin implementing a social media strategy to reach and recruit international students from China.
Presented at the 2014 Annual NAFSA conference.

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How Twitter Can Increase Your Website Traffic

Twitter and microblogging have definitely been embraced at a much slower pace than some of the “full” social networks. The demographics of Twitter users are limited to fewer countries than ubiquitous sites like Facebook and YouTube and generally isn’t as popular among the higher education target market of 18-22. 

Yet microblogging can be very effective for blasting short messages of information as well as links to content on the web.  Since we all want to post on a variety of platforms to ensure our message is heard wherever our students might be virtually “hanging out” many people now use social network aggregators, such as TweetDeck or HootSuite, that allow a user to send one update to multiple social networks simultaneously.

At my institution we generally recruit students from Asia for undergraduate programs. This market is definitely not classified as a top user group amongst Twitter but I still find having a microblogging content stream to be very useful.

What we have done to take advantage of the Twitter platform, while not necessarily having hundreds of followers, is added our Twitter feed to our Video & Media website page.  Our IT department created a feed box that shows our 3 most recent tweets that appear on the page in chronological order. For basic search engine purposes this allows the content on this page to continually update and change, two keys to increasing hits to your page. This feed box feature allows realtime message updates (and active hyperlinks) on a static website.

Check out the screen shots below.


Weibo | The Twitter Of China

On my recent visit to China I asked all the young study abroad counselors:

What’s the hottest service in the social networking sphere these days?

The answer:

Weibo.
China’s version of Twitter.

Started by media portal giant, Sina, Weibo is a microblogging site, similar to Twitter, that has recently soared in popularity.  According to Sina there are over 100 million users and millions of posts per day. Their growth rate is more than 10 million new users per month.  Weibo accounts are mostly individual users posting content, much like users do on Facebook and Twitter, but the service also has more than 5,000 companies and 2,700 media organizations actively posting.

Since most US-based social networking sites are blocked in China (Facebook, Twitter, WordPress, Blogger, etc) you’ll want to open a Weibo account if you are interested in promoting your school to the China market.  Over 100 million potential viewers is no small audience. While some users do update in English it’s recommended you have a Chinese speaker feeding local language content from the account.

You can sign up for an account here: http://t.sina.com.cn/

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sina_Weibo