China Marketing Blog

A Simple Guide to Weibo Setup & Verification for Foreign Companies

Stephanie — Fri, 06/17/2016 - 15:30

Sina Weibo is one of the biggest and most popular social media platforms in China. It’soften called the “Chinese Twitter”, but it’s actually more versatile.

With more than 600 million users and 200 million monthly active users, Weibo is one of our top recommended platforms for clients.

Benefits of using Weibo

  • Improve brand recognition and brand loyalty for your company;
  • Gain valuable insights from potential clients, who are interested in your brand or products;
  • Increase inquiries and sales, both online and offline;
  • Improve customer service and social engagement.

Weibo allows word of your brand to spread from friend-to-friend. This is especially powerful in a country where consumers are so sceptical of businesses. 

 

How to set up a Weibo account

Like all marketing in China, there are some details to learn and some paperwork to do before getting started.

Before you set up a new account, you need to know there are 4 different types of accounts on Weibo:

   1) Regular personal account

   2) Regular company account

   3) Verified personal account

   4) Verified company account

There’s also a VIP upgrade that can be added to any one of the 4 accounts above.

What are the specific differences and setup requirements? See the table below.

(*: Sample below)

*Badges

 

 

* Documents Required
(To be prepared by advertiser, or agency assisting with account setup.)

1) Third Party Authorization Letter

The third party means an individual person or agency you hire to manage your Weibo account.

2) Authorization Application Letter

 

3) Purchase Order

  

4) Weibo Community Convention

  

*Privileges

1) Access to publish prize-reward activities

Activity Center is a Weibo page only for verified accounts where you can publish all kinds of activities that award prizes. You can collect potential clients’ information, post original content, post your company’s marketing promotions and direct traffic to your website.

wei_bo_huo_dong_.png

wei_bo_huo_dong_1.png

2) 'Stick' 1 post at the top

stick_top.png

3) Change cover image and 5 sliding images on profile page

slide.png

4) Have a management overview page

overview_0.png

5) Change Weibo post source and post background on mobile devices

The post background is a small image on the top right of your post. But it can only be shown on mobile devices, and the post must be published via mobile devices as well.

post_background.png

As you can see, verified Weibo accounts look more credible and have additional marketing functions as well. Nanjing Marketing Group can help non-Chinese businesses efficiently set up and verify their Weibo accounts for a relatively low price.

 

What is the process?

process_0.jpg

 

What if we don’t have the required paperwork?

To set up a verified company account, company registration documents/a business license is necessary. If you don’t have the paperwork, we suggest that you set up a regular company account on Weibo, and if the budget allows, you can upgrade your account to VIP status for more privileges.

 

FAQs from clients about Weibo account setup and verification

Q: Will I need a Chinese certification of incorporation (business license) for the account setup?

A: No, if your company is not registered in mainland China, you can use the registration documents from your country to verify your Weibo account. If it’s just for Weibo account setup, you don’t have to provide any business documents; but for verification, you need to provide your company’s business license.

 

Q: Will a Hong Kong-based business license work the same as a mainland business license does? Or is it just like a foreign business license for Sina?

A: No, companies which hold a Hong Kong business license will be regarded in the same way as those with foreign business licenses.

 

Q: What is the difference between a regular Weibo account and a verified Weibo account? How big is the difference?

A: The main difference is that a verified Weibo account has additional marketing functions compared to a regular account; you can see the differences in the table above.

 

Q: How long does it take to secure a Weibo account through Nanjing Marketing Group? Will it be faster than approaching Sina itself?

A: Let's use company account setup and verification as an example. If all materials needed are ready, it usually takes 10 working days for the whole process. (2017 update: It now takes up to 2 months.) As we have our own contacts within Sina and processes for working with them, it would be a little bit faster than if you approached Sina yourselves.

 

Q: Are Sina Hong Kong and Sina in mainland China different? Is the account visible in areas outside China?

A: Sina Hong Kong and Sina in mainland China are totally identical, and your account will be findable and visible by users both on the mainland and outside of China.

 

Q: Will there be any extra fee for Weibo besides the account verification?

A: If you want to launch paid ad campaigns it will cost you extra.

 

Q: Can my Weibo account be used to advertise on Weibo? Or is that a separate account?

A: Of course. Currently, almost all Weibo accounts can apply to launch “Fan Connect”advertising on Weibo, except for some specific industries that can only advertise if verified. But it’s always changing, so it’s best to contact us first to ask whether your specific business can be advertised.

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