What you need to learn from UNIQLOs use of Weibo

Learning from UNIQLOs use of Weibo

Uniqlo opened their first store in mainland China in 2002, and since then has expanded rapidly to have more than 200 stores.

The Japanese casual clothing brand has been building its social media reach since then.

In 2016, Uniqlo achieved more than 5 million followers on Weibo, an astronomical amount when we compair it to other big name brands, such as Gucci and Prada (which have 700,000 and 80,000 respectively). This social media domination has helped Uniqlo achieve the No.1 apparel brand ranking and No.4 overall ranking for the 2015 T-mall Single’s Day Sale (they grossed approximately US$100 million).

We've distilled some of the key decisions that UNIQLOs has made with their Weibo account - these choices have contributed to their success on social media. A word of warning: these hints must be done in accord with your own social media strategy. Read through the following with the goal of learning rather than implementing.

1. Focus content around internal and external events

Uniqlo’s Weibo content has a strong focus on the events that effect their customers lives and by extention their buying habits.

Over the sampled week, UNIQLO posted 25 times on their Weibo account. Of these 25 posts, 19 were based around a specific event. Particular attention was given to calendar based events, such as spring and winter clothes releases, in addition to festivals.

Think about ways that your business can tie itself to current events, and manufacture internal events (such as UNIQLO's use of store opening news) to generate content.

2. Engage your customers emotions in every post

A particular focus on creating an emotional connection with UNIQLO's customers is a large part of the text accompanying Weibo posts. All of the posts we sampled had explanations based on emotionals in addition to the technical or fact based aspects of UNIQLO's products.

For example UNIQLO's Weibo post about UNIQLO products worn by pro tennis players in the French Open tournament calls on customers to "Fight for their Dreams".

Look at your own social media posts and ask yourself if your current strategy is focusing on emotions or facts.

3. Use emojis for a friendly atmosphere

Emojis are used extensively in UNIQLO's Weibo posts to soften the text and provide a more friendly atmosphere. Of the last 20 posts on their account, UNIQLO uses emojis in 17 of them. The effect of Emoji's comes from how people use them in their own communication. People are unlikely to send a smily face to a business associate but when talking to close friend or loved one they will often attach an Emoji to convey emotions.

The choice of using emojis also fits well with the emotional engagement prerogative of UNIQLO's social media. They write with a focus on emotion and they add secondary visual cues through the liberal use of emojis.

Before going ahead and using emojis in your own business communications, decide if they are right for your business. While Emojis make the content more friendly, they can also detract from the professionalism of a communication.

4.  Post Multiple times per day

UNIQLO posts to their Weibo page around 2-3 times per day. This routine helps to keep their business visible to consumers. As social media channels become more cluttered with content, the importance of multiple posting times increases in importance. Distribution of content multiple times per day will also help capture a larger audience who are active on Weibo at different times.

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