HootSuite Adds Sina Weibo Support For Social Marketing to China

Steven Millward
11:30 am on Oct 8, 2012

HootSuite and its owl have flown into China, adding support for the country’s hottest Twitter-like service, Sina Weibo, in its social media dashboard. This could be of great use to many brands who need to use Sina’s (NASDAQ:SINA) wildly popular Weibo for doing social marketing to Chinese consumers, as Sina Weibo still only has Chinese-language support on its site.

Along with the Sina Weibo rollout, HootSuite now also has support for traditional Chinese, as used in Hong Kong and Taiwan, and among many overseas Chinese. Hootsuite has been blocked in China for some time (it was a useful workaround for using Twitter, which got blocked way earlier, until Net Nanny slapped it down), but it doesn’t really matter as local Weibo users and Chinese companies are not the target of this. The Weibo support is instead aimed at HootSuite’s paying customers, especially for its enterprise packages, which include major brands like Seagate and Pepsi.

HootSuite announced this on its blog yesterday, as spotted by TheNextWeb, and describe it as a mere “first step” into the Chinese market – next up is a simplified Chinese localization of the site (which is currently being crowdsourced). There’s now also a HootSuite Chinese presence on both Twitter and Weibo (see here and here) so that clients and users can better interact with the HootSuite team.

(See also: Infographic: WeChat vs Sina Weibo for Business in China)

The Weibo integration extends to all the usual HootSuite features, such as posting text and images, Weibo searches, and analytics so that brands can better monitor how their posts are going down with Chinese consumers. We’ve seen something similar come already from an Australian startup with its Hubblr site, which additionally supports China’s facebook-esque Renren site.

Canada-based HootSuite has been busy in the region recently, adding a version for Indonesian a couple of months ago.

[Source: HootSuite blog (in Chinese); via TNW]

  • http://www.dashan.com Dashan 大山

    Hey! What did I do to get my image posted here? Wow, “Dashan” on the cutting edge of new media and I didn’t even know until I read it in Tech in Asia. Ha ha!

    • http://www.techinasia.com Steven Millward

      @dashan nice! perhaps some Canadian appreciation from the Vancouver-based HootSuite team.

  • Per Lind

    WOW, Falcon Social (www.falconsocial.com) has had this integration for over a year! Really an new thing!

  • http://blog.hootsuite.com DaveO from HootSuite

    A few notes here:

    1) Dashan, we added your photo because we are fans and thought an awesome geeky Canadian would be a worthy role model to follow for a company of geeky Canadians. Thanks for your good humour. May we send you treats as thanks?

    2) Tech in Asia, Big thanks for sharing this exciting news. We’ve taken a somewhat unique approach outreach to the Chinese markets at HootSuite and noticed you caught our nuance and strategy.

    3) Everyone: We realize there’s lots to learn so we’re listening and treading gently so we can grow for the long haul. Indeed, we have some ideas on the go (Simplified Chinese and more SNS integrations) and are happy to hear any feedback via @HootSuite_CN or at weibo.com.hootsuite. Tell us what you think and we’ll send ya a HootSuite Chinese Owl sticker :).

    Thanks and a big Hoot Hoot!

  • http://www.linkedin.com/pub/eve-z-qin/43/770/b28 Eve Qin

    It’s a great pity that HootSuite is blocked in mainland China, but the point is Twitter and Facebook are unnecessary to the users in mainland China. Connection is the main value of social media. When I was in China, I signed on Twitter and Facebook through poxy, but it wasn’t fun without connections.

    In fact, HootSuite can advance Chinese social media to international. Isn’t fun to escalate their “quarrels” into the international battle? Weibo and Tencent want to reach international users, and their services are competitive.

    Alright, I want to ask for Owl sticker.

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