Protecting your brand online is necessary. But maybe there are other things you could do with all the world of mouth that occurs on Chinese social networks.

80% of the Chinese internet population has a Weibo account (from Sina, Tencent, Netease…). In their tweets, they create content, they transfer information to their network. They express their concern and their joy on life, on food but also on molecules or on money. A lot of Brands are using agencies that have developed social media listening tools. These "listening robots" are crawling into the conversations, in order to detect keywords, associated keywords, to determine the Key Opinion Leaders, to localize the virtual places where the conversation takes place.

And what seems to be the main usage of these tools by brands? eReputation. What a mandatory but boring usage… Dear brands, even in the B2B space, do you know that it’s also possible to usage the online world of mouth to detect trends, to discover new brand universe for your company, to find how to differentiate your brand from the competitors? And even beyond this "brand" thing, it’s also possible to use these social media to engage your consumers into a product/services cocreation process. I don’t say it’s easy. But even if at the end, these goals are hard to reach, these experiments will teach you how to engage the conversation with consumers, rather than wait passively they endanger your precious brand capital.

By Renaud Edouard-Baraud
CEO of L'Atelier BNP Paribas Asia