Jennifer R. Scott │September 5, 2021
“If audiences can get all they want from one platform, why bother to find other options.” – Strategic Social Media: From Marketing to Social Change
Here in America, we use social media sites to keep up with the latest news, our favorite bands, our favorite businesses, our friends and families, our co-workers, our employers, the president, and the Joneses, a.k.a. the Kardashians. No matter if it’s a combination of Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Snap Chat, Pinterest, LinkedIn, or some other combination of platforms, many of us use more than one social media site. If we consider the social media craze that has swept across China, however, the social media landscape looks much different. That’s because, in 2011, Weixin was born. For those of you who don’t know what the heck that is, it is the number one social media site in China. I know that it may be shocking to hear this, but no other social media platforms come close to having the same mass appeal.
The Weixin interface has provided users with a one stop social media site. Those who choose to use the social media giant’s platform have found its all-in-one capabilities to be highly desirable. In fact, not only does the site allow users to complete tasks like chatting and sharing pictures, but it also allows them to utilize the company’s own in-app browser, which makes it possible to do things such as ordering a cab, linking bank accounts, setting up payments to go to different recipients at the same time, and opening an online store. It’s no wonder Weixin’s parent company, Tencent, was worth $100 billion on the Hong Kong stock exchange by 2014.
Today, while Weixin is not a serious threat to U.S.-based social media platforms, other Tencent sites have been blacklisted in this country. In 2020, former U.S. president Donald Trump signed an executive order that sought to ban the use of WeChat and TicTok which are subsidiaries of Tencent. On June 9, 2021, President Joe Biden revoked a series of executive orders, which withdrew Trump’s directive to ban those social media sites. The former president claimed the apps were a threat to national security. While those claims seem to remain unfounded, it does stand to reason that WeChat and TicTok apps are gaining momentum in the U.S. What this is proves is that social media users in this country are seeking diversification. In other words, we want more options. Perhaps, this is the reason we have not taken up with Weixin unlike the citizens of China. It seems those of us here in the United States want more platforms and more options. There is a lesson to be learned from Weixin, though. To be effective marketers, the first step is to listen to what consumer really want.
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