Report Period: July – December, 2008 CIC Contact: [email_address] IWOM watch Half Year Review - An Overview of Chinese IWOM trends from July to December, 2008
<ul><li>No question, 2008 proved to be a historic year for China. After a difficult beginning , the 2 nd half of 2008 had the world’s eyes on China in August for the spectacular Beijing Olympics with millions of Chinese eyes on the Internet. Netizens made the 2008 Beijing Olympics the most ‘Web 2.0’ in the Games ’ history by becoming not only spectators, but also commentators through a variety of channels which serve host to the massively active Chinese Internet Community. </li></ul><ul><li>2008 also saw SNS gain even more prominence within the Internet Community landscape as a place where netizens come together to utilize applications to socialize and entertain themselves (i.e. gaming) (often at the same time). </li></ul><ul><li>Finally, we see the continued development of social commerce , which demonstrates that IWOM is not only changing how netizens make purchase decisions, but the way they make actual purchases. </li></ul><ul><li>Of course, this IWOM watch 2 nd half review does not cover everything that happened in that last 6 months of the year, but we do cover some of the more notable topics covered in our regular IWOM watch reports for client. If you’d like more information about CIC’s products and services, please click here or contact us directly. </li></ul>Editorial Summary CIC’s IWOM Watch is a regular Internet Word of Mouth Guide and trend watch providing a qualitative overview of Web 2.0 buzz in China
Content Part One: The (R)evolutionary Web 2.0 Olympics <ul><li>The first Web 2.0 Olympics: spectators become commentators </li></ul><ul><li>Blog: utilizing multiple blog types during the Olympics </li></ul><ul><li>Microblog: immediate sharing and reading </li></ul><ul><li>Mobile and Twitter: instantly in touch with the Olympics </li></ul><ul><li>BBS: cheering virtually and loudly for the Olympics </li></ul><ul><li>Olympics: many different ways for community on the Chinese Internet </li></ul>
Content Part Two: The Chinese SNS Emerges <ul><li>Fast developing Chinese social networking sites </li></ul><ul><li>Netizen enjoy the SNS due to the popular applications </li></ul><ul><li>More and more brand elements built into the SNS applications </li></ul><ul><li>Brands ride the wave and build their own SNS </li></ul><ul><li>SNS leverages its community to encourage consumer reviews </li></ul><ul><li>The roles of blog, BBS, and SNS in the Internet Community </li></ul>
Content Part Three: IWOM + Commerce = Social Commerce <ul><li>Brands work with communities to “reverse” group buying trend </li></ul><ul><li>Retailers sell directly to consumers in dedicated BBS forums </li></ul><ul><li>Individual sellers integrate online and offline sales tactics </li></ul>
The (R)evolutionary Web 2.0 Olympics <ul><li>The importance of the Internet in experiencing the Olympics to Chinese netizens is underscored by DCCI which reported that Olympic related page views reached 24.7 billion. More than just reading about the Olympics online, netizens made the 2008 Beijing Olympics the most ‘Web 2.0’ in the Games’ history by becoming not only spectators, but also commentators through a variety of channels which serve host to the massively active Chinese Internet Community. </li></ul>
The first Web 2.0 Olympics: spectators become commentators Sina reports nearly 1.85M Mobile Viewers Of Olympic Basketball Match between China and Spain at peak, link China Mobile Records 7M Clicks For Olympic TV Content, link Olympics E-Commerce Platform Fills Over 18,500 Orders, link Tencent Online Torch Relay 62M Participants, link Millions BBSes messages about Olympics Different types of blogs and microblogs related to Olympics <ul><li>According to CNNIC’s August 6th report, ‘ Chinese Internet User Olympic Media Consumption Behavior ,’ over 82% of Chinese internet users were interested in the Beijing Games and 79.8% used the Internet for Olympic information. It is little wonder that the Games were the biggest story in China in 2008. Large number of netizens participated in the Olympics via: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Blog: utilizing multiple blog types during the Olympics </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Microblog: writing immediately about the Olympics </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Mobile and Twitter: instantly in touch with the Olympics </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>BBS: cheering virtually for the Olympics </li></ul></ul>
Blog: utilizing multiple blog types during the Olympics Athlete Blogs From its opening on August 8th, the Beijing Olympics was the biggest discussion topic in China. News updates on athletes and events, interviews, and talk shows discussing and analyzing the day’s events dominated both TV and the Internet. As well as being spectators, netizens also took part in the commentary by sharing their personal experiences with and feelings toward the Olympics online. Blogs were the most popular platform for this expression, and saw huge number of posts, pictures, and videos concerning the Games. Link Link Link Link Celebrity Blogs Grassroot Blogs Reporter Blogs
Microblog: immediate sharing and reading Link Link Chinese microblogging sites Ji.Wai.de and Fanfou set up special Olympic live update sections where users could easily find both frequent Olympic news updates and other member’s Olympic posts, helping netizens enjoy the Olympic experience together. 1 2 Sample Quote 1 - Olympic news: Liu Xiang apologized to the Chinese people, saying that he will not give up. Sample Quote 2 – From Italian media: ‘Beijing Roast duck wins the gold medal for flavor’ Sample Quote 1 - Liu Xiang, I understand you (for quitting the 110m hurdles) Sample Quote 2 - Now I’m going to see the Olympic Games live! 1 2
Mobile and Twitter: instantly in touch with the Olympics Google Olympics SMS Sample SMS: 19:16, Results of the Men’s 800 meter race, China ranked 5th … Google China released a free SMS alert service to provide mobile phone users with Olympic updates . Users could subscribe to one weather, competition or athlete update per afternoon and receive up to six messages per competition per day. Twitter #080808 Icons Three Chinese bloggers ( Flypig , Webleon and Babechloe ) started an Olympic meme on the well-known micro-blogging site Twitter . It was called the #080808 tag campaign and its use saw dramatic growth. The concept of the campaign was quite simple: anyone who wants to show his or her support for the Games and interact with others could create an #080808 avatar and then begin all Olympic related messages with “#080808”.
BBS: cheering virtually and loudly for the Olympics Time: 16:25 Time: 19:55 Time:14:00 Time: 23:26 Warm-up discussions Live reporting & chat Time: 19:56 Quote: I am so excited about the drummers, the view is so grand that I cannot type. PV: 291,379 Reply: 1,405 Link 1 2 3 4 5 The August 8th Beijing Olympic Opening Ceremony was a moment that China had been working toward for seven years. Early that day, before the ceremony had even begun, netizens were already discussing and exchanging information about the event. Then, during the ceremony, netizens were uploading screenshots and reporting on the ceremony’s progress on BBS forums. Reference: see more cases of NBA fans’ live BBS activities in our IWOM whitepaper (slide 10) and on our CEO blog .
Olympics: many different ways for community on the Chinese Internet Chinese Social Media Prism inspired by Brian Solis and JESS3 , 2008 Just as in the West, the Conversation Prism for China (left) shows how conversation and sharing on the Chinese Internet Community is filtered through similar types of participation architecture. The Chinese landscape is filled largely with local players that have localized applications and platforms. The 2008 Beijing Olympics Games were one of the best possible case studies for marketers on how these channels are utilized by netizens to participate around special events. For more information, see the CIC IWOM Whitepaper – “ The Internet is THE Community .” BBS Aggregator Social Networks Instant Messaging Customer Review Online Gaming Video Sharing Music E-Commerce Photo Blogs RSS Social Bookmarks BBS Micro-blogging Q&A Wiki Life Stream
Chinese Social Networking Emerges <ul><li>Chinese local social networking sites grew quickly this year. SNSes like 51 and Xiaonei retained prominence while Kaixin001 came out of nowhere to attract white collar workers attention. 2008 is the year that SNS was truly established as a main channel of the Internet Community where netizens come together to utilize applications to socialize and entertainment (i.e. gaming) (often at the same time). </li></ul>
<ul><li>Local social networking sites like 51 , Xiaonei and Kaixin001 have taken the Chinese Internet Community by storm over the past year. SNSes combine the community aspect of BBSes with the personal expression aspect of blogging, allowing netizens with “real name” identities to more efficiently connect, share, and play with other netizens. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>BBS </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Poll </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Decorate Homepage </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Diary </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Games </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Virtual gifts </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Music </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Photo album </li></ul></ul>Fast developing Chinese social networking sites
Netizen enjoy the SNS due to the popular applications Parking War | 争车位 Voting | 投票 Popular applications on Chinese SNSes: Apartment | 买房子 True Words | 真心话 The Godfather | 教父 Pet Dog | 狗狗 Networking applications like “Parking War”, “Voting”, and “True Words” are very popular among young people, serving as key traffic drivers. They perfectly display the two key drivers of the Internet community on SNS: entertainment (i.e. gaming) and socializing.
More and more brand elements built into the SNS applications Brands such as Coke , Apple Nano , and Chanel cosmetics now all have virtual gifts available for SNS users to exchange with one another. Virtual gifts and games like “Parking War” are examples of SNS apps that allow brands to interact directly with a target consumer base. By building targeted awareness, brands can encourage users to come visit their websites by linking the branded images to their site. As SNS are about relationship building and networking, reaching out to just one passionate netizen can help brands penetrate the environment and help naturally spread the IWOM. “ Parking War” app is a game which allows users to earn virtual money by parking virtual cars in different friends’ online parking space. Many of the branded cars in the game even have the official market value for the car. Virtual Gifts: Kaixin users send virtual gifts as an expression of their feelings Parking War: users earn virtual money by parking branded virtual cars Case 1 Case 2
The online Nissan Tiida owners club, Tiidalife , recently launched an online campaign called “ Dream in the drift bottles. ” Tiida used the campaign as a platform to promote its new vertical SNS, Drift Bottle Space , which is a SNS for Tiida car owners. This campaign was praised by the campaign participants, who utilized the SNS platform to interact with other owners with similar interests by uploading pictures, leaving comments and initiating polls related to the event. By interacting in the Nissan branded SNS, netizens not only had the opportunity to win points and get rewards, but also had the opportunity to built new relationships and find new friends with common interests. Link Sample Quote ( link ) 参加这个活动让我……拓展了全新的朋友圈……而且我把出去玩的照片也放到了空间里和大家分享 / This campaign has widened my friend circle….and I’ve put the outing photos into my “Space”, to share with my new friends. A poll initiated by netizens showed their main driver for taking part in this campaign is to be social. Netizens’ Intention of their Participation Link Nissan launched a SNS for campaign participants Brands ride the wave and build their own SNS
Every so often, when users log into their Xiaonei account, they can see a small display banner of the most recent movies in the page’s right column which includes all the basic information about the director, actors, etc. Click the banner, and you will be taken to the movie’s page on Xiaonei movie channel . For example, when the latest James Bond movie “Quantum of Solace” was released on Nov 5th, a banner showed up on the user home page, allowing users to click through to the separate movie page . Users then can view other people’s review of the movie and write their own . Identify the most active fans by movie category Promote movie trailer to targeted active fans with some insider information Organize offline movie meet-up events Fans write objective comments and influence friends’ opinion / decision Social networking sites like Xiaonei and Kaixin001 may have an interesting model for working with brands. Take the movie case as an example: SNS leverages its community to encourage consumer reviews
Movie Introduction with viewer ratings Viewer Comments Discussion Forum Recommended Movies SNS leverages its community to encourage consumer review (Cont.) Users can leave a one-sentence comment I think the movie was good, why is the rating so low? Link Or they can write a long review post Even after reading all the negative reviews about this movie, I still want to give this movie a chance…. In the future, in addition to being an influential social network, Xiaonei has the potential to become a trustworthy and objective source of information and reviews. Brands can become active in the communities by building up credibility through transparent conversations with users and addressing their needs and concerns.
The roles of blog, BBS, and SNS in the Internet Community More than just knowing where conversations are happening, it is important for brands to know how and why netizens connect in each of these different spaces if they want to jump in and participate. Blogs are content driven by personal expression, BBS is content driven by information, and SNS is content driven by relationships. Like any good conversationalist or community member, brands need to shape their communication approach based on understanding the motivations and purpose of each communication space. For more information on this, see our blog article “The DNA of Internet Word of Mouth platforms” here .
IWOM + Commerce = Social Commerce <ul><li>In Q3, compared to the same time period in 2007, C2C e-commerce volume increased 16% in China. Leading C2C platform, Taobao generates more revenue than Wal-Mart and Carrefour in China combined. Such statistics demonstrate a large and growing social commerce market where sellers build credibility, authority and a solid reputation as well as relationships with consumers within the Internet Community. Even offline retailers are finding opportunities to leverage IWOM to build their market and reputation. </li></ul>Source: CNNIC, The 22nd Statistical Survey Report on the Internet Development in China, Jul 2008
Brands work with communities to “reverse” group buying trend Originally, online group purchase activities were only initiated by individual consumers, but now BBS community owners and companies alike are looking to leverage the popularity of this trend by organizing group purchase activities themselves. This can be an effective supplementary sales strategy for brands to attract new customers and engage consumers online. See on seeisee blog here . Gome, the biggest home appliance retailer in China, collaborated with KDS, one of the most popular BBS groups in Shanghai, to launch a group purchase opportunity for KDS users only, which received over 800 applications, far beyond the 250 application requirement in just 10 days. + BBS Company Link After the group purchase, netizens continued to discuss the event and praise the organizers for offering the group purchase. Show off their purchase Link Leave comments on the activity Link
Retailers sell directly to consumers in dedicated BBS forums Some mainstream IT communities like 51NB , PConline and ZOL not only provide netizens forums to chat, but also provide sub forums for netizens to sell and buy IT products.
Individual sellers integrate online and offline sales tactics In the traditional small southern town of Xitang ( 西塘 ), there are many small shops offering special local food and handmade souvenirs. Interestingly, in many of the shops you will find a laptop open to a Taobao page with a stream of QQ and Taobao instant messages lighting up on the screen. In addition, the stores post badges displaying their Taobao credits both Inside and outside their store. This new generation of local small merchants understand how to leverage social commerce tools and community platforms like Taobao to boost their business. Southern Town Xitang ( 西塘 ) 100% positive buyer comments on Taobao. Aiming at crown level Taobao credit store Laptop in shop displaying Taobao pages & QQ chat window Live e-commerce 6,790 deals have been made so far on Taobao from the shop Active Business 1 Outside the store Inside the store 2 3 4
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ABOUT CIC <ul><li>CIC is the leading Internet Word of Mouth (IWOM) research and consulting firm in China. Since 2004, CIC has pioneered the concept of Internet Word of Mouth (IWOM) that is redefining the relationship between brands and consumers. CIC coined the term Internet Word of Mouth and is the thought leader in utilizing it for strategy planning and application in marketing communications. CIC is committed to both providing objective third party strategic advice to clients and promoting the healthy development of the Internet Community in China. CIC’s research and discussion of IWOM’s impact and best practices can be found on company blogs , IWOM white papers and IWOM watch reports and through its IWOM roundtable events such as IWOM summit and IWOM classroom . </li></ul><ul><li>CIC offers customized research and consulting service to its stable of retainer clients through its expert IWOM analysts supported by proprietary Chinese language based text mining technology (patent pending), data processing technology and data visualization technology. CIC’s retainer relationships stretch over multiple years with multinational clients from Fortune 500 companies. </li></ul><ul><li>CIC’s continual development and evolution is driven by a unique, powerful and open mindset and learning culture which at its foundation continually seeks to understand how the Internet, and Internet Word of mouth, is redefining the relationships between brands and consumers. </li></ul><ul><li>For more information, please visit www.cicdata.com (CIC website), www.seeisee.com (CIC Company blog in Chinese) and www.seeisee.com/sam (CEO's company blog in English). </li></ul>
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