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WeChat dominates China’s social media: All B2B brands invest | Analysis

Source: Kawo 2024 B2B Social Media Marketing Research Report

Kawo, a leading social media management platform in China, has released its 2024 B2B Social Media Marketing Research Report. The report covers crucial insights into the role of social media within the business-to-business (B2B) marketing landscape in China, as well as its use by global B2B multinational corporations (MNCs). This includes challenges, strategies and trends in 2024, as well as the application of artificial intelligence for B2B social media marketing.

The report analysed the results of a survey conducted among 50 international B2B MNCs operating in China, spanning 20 diverse industries. 

Here are some of the key findings from the study: 

  • 94% of those surveyed identified social media as one of their primary marketing channels, with 70% planning to increase their social media marketing budget in 2024.
  • 78% plan to use AI for their social media activities, with more than 50% of companies already using it for content editing and in the search for content ideas. However, over 20% of brands have no intention to leverage the power of AI this year.
  • 42% indicated that improving brand awareness was their primary objective, and 34% chose generating leads. 88% indicated impressions, views and reads as one of the social media metrics they use, followed by the leads it generates (80%). However, only 18% would utilise sales revenue as a metric for social media activities. 
  • Offline events (86%) and paid search (66%) were identified as other major marketing channels, with only 38% planning to increase their marketing budget for paid search, and 44% indicating plans to reduce the budget on display ads.
  • Popular consumer platforms such as Douyin have been adopted by B2B companies, with 40% indicating that they were on Douyin, but only 4% believed that it would be the best platform for them in the next three years, which is the same rate as Bilibili and higher than Red (2%).  
  • All of the businesses surveyed had WeChat official accounts, with 100% surveyed businesses have WeChat Official Accounts and 76% are active on WeChat channels. Among these, four out of five believed that WeChat would be the best platform to achieve their business goals and objectives in the next three years.

Alex Li, CEO of Kawo, attributed WeChat’s most extensive user base in China and its functions for business to its rising status in the market. “WeChat’s functionality, such as its mini-programs, have been found useful by B2B marketers to facilitate professional interactions for their branding and promotional needs—from managing sales funnels for lead acquisitions, providing online consultation services, event management and more.” 

The survey also found that B2B marketers identify producing engaging content (66%), developing content that generates leads (66%) and connecting with the target market as their top three challenges in 2024. Regarding social media analytics, the top challenges are the lack of time (27%), the lack of understanding (26%), and not having enough social media data (21%). 

However, a significant majority have a positive outlook towards Artificial Intelligence (AI), with 78% indicating that they would use AI for their B2B activities on social media, with more than 50% already using it to edit pictures, texts, videos, and content ideation. Interestingly, 22% indicated that they do not intend to leverage AI’s power this year. Looking ahead, 70% would like AI to help with content ideation to overcome one of the key challenges highlighted in the report, while 58% would like AI to help produce reports, analyse data and provide insights.

Methodology: KAWO’s 2024 report on B2B social media marketing in China is based on a survey of 50 professionals across 20 industries, 20 qualitative interviews, and an analysis of 30 case studies.


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