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Weibo Marketing in 2024: Essential Insights & Algorithms

What is Weibo

Weibo, a shortened term for microblogging in Chinese, stands as a cornerstone of social media in mainland China. Among the many platforms available, Sina Weibo shines as the most influential microblogging website, often likened to the Chinese counterpart of Twitter by international media outlets.

It’s important to mention that in China when people talk about Weibo, they usually mean Sina Weibo. To maintain consistency, we will use “Weibo” throughout this content to specifically refer to Sina Weibo.

The Evolution of Weibo

Since its launch in 2009, Sina Weibo has maintained its pivotal role as a platform for sharing, tracking, and discussing trending topics. Despite the emergence of new social media platforms like Douyin and Xiaohongshu, Weibo continues to command significant user engagement, solidifying its position within China’s social media ecosystem.

The Reach of Weibo

Multiple data sources indicate that as of 2022, Weibo maintains a prominent position among China’s leading social media platforms, boasting a monthly active user base approximately 3.6 times larger than Xiaohongshu’s.

According to data from 2022, Sina Weibo continues to be a dominant force in China’s social media landscape with a monthly active user base of almost 600 million. The platform mainly attracts users between the ages of 19 to 29 and has remarkable monthly and daily engagement figures. It is worth noting that 95% of these users access the platform via their mobile devices, which emphasises the platform’s mobile-centric nature.

Weibo’s Influence 

Weibo is a popular platform in China for sharing information online, known for its ability to make information go viral quickly. The platform has a wide range of content, from celebrity rumors to news about society. Entertainment-related topics make up at least 70% of the traffic on the platform.

Insights into Weibo Algorithms

The Weibo popular search list is compiled by algorithms that track trending topics within a specific timeframe. Weibo officials clarified that hot search terms are keywords or topics that generate extensive searches and discussions among users. The selection of these terms depends on users’ search and discussion activities and may be influenced by the topics’ hosts.

To determine the popularity of trending keywords or topics, Weibo algorithms consider several factors, including search volume, post count, interactions, reading activity, and other relevant data indicators. These algorithms assess the top 50 results every minute. Moreover, to maintain fairness and objectivity, the algorithms incorporate robust measures to combat spam.

Driving Engagement on Weibo

User engagement significantly impacts a topic’s visibility on Weibo, with high levels of interaction increasing the likelihood of appearing in the “hot search” list. However, intense discussions alone do not guarantee a spot in the top 50 searches, as topics beyond the top 100 undergo manual review. This review process aims to filter out low-quality or harmful content while allowing for the inclusion of commercial content.

To effectively utilise the marketing potential of Weibo, it is essential to create engaging topics and events while actively engaging with major social issues. This approach goes beyond mere brand exposure or superficial promotional efforts, allowing businesses to harness the full marketing power of the platform.

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