Niche Social Media China

5 Niche Chinese Social Media Platforms for Your Business

Last Updated on January 19, 2024

Ask anyone familiar with the Chinese social media landscape, and they’ll tell you that the best platforms to include in your marketing strategy are WeChat, Weibo, or Douyin.

While no one can deny the perks of these popular apps, the reality is these online channels can be saturated, especially for a new business in the Chinese market. It can be hard for social media users to find your campaign out of the millions of posts within a crowded platform.

Fortunately, new Chinese social media apps are emerging, each tailored to its unique niche. Joining these channels will not only increase brand awareness but also help you get closer to your target audience.

Here are insights into niche Chinese social media platforms and the different methods foreign companies can use to attract users into patronizing their brands.

 

What are niche social media platforms?

Unlike popular social media platforms with a wider audience, niche websites cater to specific online communities and users with the same interests. Because of this, the discussions and engagements that each platform offers are more in-depth and focused.

Many brands consider these platforms excellent social media marketing tools because they include niche-specific features that help marketers promote products and services more effectively.

Typically, the primary source of user engagement within these platforms comes from tight-knit communities. KOL marketing collaborations are still highly valued in these niche sites, mainly because these thought leaders have specializations that specifically appeal to the brand’s target market.

Chinese users within these social platforms are also more eager for relevant content than paid ads. So, as long as your content marketing strategy is on point, generating traffic or sales organically isn’t too farfetched.

 

Top 5 Niche Social Media Platforms in China

1.    网易云音乐 Netease Music

 

NetEase Music niche social media China

 

Netease Music managed to stand out among many Chinese social media sites by offering audio streaming services that appeal to young people. In fact, according to recent statistics, the app garnered around 36.7 million paying subscribers and 181.7 monthly active users in 2022.

Although this streaming social network was only introduced in the Chinese market in 2013, it has found global success in the digital music distribution industry.

In China, most of its active users are from the younger generation who enjoy the site’s audio live-streaming sessions and online karaoke features. If you look at the graph below from Statista, you’ll notice that its dominating user demographics are Chinese netizens who are 24 years old and below.

So, if you intend to use this streaming app for your digital marketing campaign, remember that you’re appealing to younger Chinese consumers. You must strategize your content based on this demographic’s needs and preferences.

 

NetEase Cloud Music user age distribution in China 2022

Source: NetEase Cloud Music user age distribution in China 2022

 

Is it possible to use NetEase Music outside of China?

Yes, you can use NetEase Music outside of China using VPN services. This app is also compatible with Android and iOS mobile devices. However, foreign marketers must note that this social network site is in Chinese version 90% of the time, even if you switch the language settings.

 

Utilizing NetEase Music in your social media marketing strategies

If you’re a foreign music distribution company eager to enter the local market, NetEase Music is one of the top Chinese social media platforms you must check out.

This type of social platform will also match well with brands selling music-related products like headsets and speakers. With millions of monthly active users, we don’t doubt that any business will benefit from the platform’s sponsored content features, especially their in-comment ads.

Foreign brands can also form partnerships with prominent figures in NetEase Music to work on a project together. The perfect example of this is Alipay’s scan fu campaign, where the company collaborated with Zhou Shen to create background music for their New Year marketing video.

It was a short video, but it generated 17.5 million views and more than 200,000 likes on the Weibo platform.

 

2.    喜马拉雅 (Ximalaya) – Audiobook/Broadcast

 

Ximalaya niche social media China

 

Ximalaya is a Chinese social media channel focusing on non-music audio content. While not as popular as video-sharing platforms, this app is overflowing with user-generated content from newbies to professional creators.

In December 2022, this Chinese social media audio app overtook its rivals with 88.14 million monthly active users. Its closest competitor in the online audio market, Lizhi, only comes second with 66.76 million. The gap in the user base clearly shows that other users prefer to use this platform over alternatives.

The platform supports various non-music sound content, from local podcasts to audiobooks and audio-based courses. Content creators also use its audio live-streaming features to introduce new content formats to their audiences.

 

How to download Ximalaya outside China?

This Chinese social media audio app is a domestic platform, so it’s not unusual for them to implement geo-locking.

However, it has an international version called Himalaya, where you can browse its massive content library of 280 million tracks. You can download the app from the Google Play Store or Apple Store.

 

Utilizing Ximalaya in your social media marketing strategies

While it’s not one of those e-commerce platforms where you can directly sell your products or services, this social network has excellent advertising features to help you reach new audiences. From display ads to audio ads, this audio streaming site can cater to your promotional needs.

And because it’s a creator-friendly platform, you won’t have difficulty finding a KOL that resonates with your brand. These creators have official accounts with dedicated fanbases that you can tap into through collaborative marketing campaigns.

This app has a thriving fan economy. Although it’s not solely a live-streaming platform, around 3.5 monthly active users access this feature. Foreign brands can leverage this content demand and collaborate with a KOL to promote your brand in a live-stream session.

 

3.    积目(Jimu) dating app

 

Jimu dating app niche social media China

 

Jimu and Tinder share the same swipe-to-like features that are popular in almost all dating sites worldwide. However, the difference for this app is it also serves as a Chinese social media site.

In this local dating app, users can post photos and short videos in real-time. On top of that, they can follow the accounts they’re interested in and like posts to engage with other users.

The platform’s user base leans into the younger generation, and its dominating age group ranges under 25 years old. On top of that, most of its users are residents in first-tier cities with similar interests in fashion, art, and music.

 

Utilizing Jimu in your social media marketing strategies

Jimu is more than a dating app. With its real-time content feed full of users who like to create videos and photos to share with others, finding a brand representative won’t be a problem.

The platform also implements an account-following system, so it’s easy to identify which KOL accounts are influential within the market.

 

4.    Weipinhui (Vipshop)

 

Vipshop niche social media China

 

Weipinhui is a combination of Chinese social media and an e-commerce platform. Currently, it’s one of China’s top online discount retailers, with over 47 million active customers.

The entry of international luxury, fashion, and beauty brands has made the app a niche-specific e-commerce channel. Thanks to this, the surge of female users relying on Vipshop as a go-to source of all things luxury has increased drastically.

And just like most niche-specific apps, Weipinhui’s primary consumers are the Gen Z generation.

 

Utilizing Weipinhui in your social media marketing strategies

Unlike other e-commerce websites, Vipshop has an integrated WeChat mini-program. When other competitors struggled to compete with the top Chinese social media app, this online discount retailer was smart enough to leverage its massive reach.

The platform also hosts flash sales and discount events to help your brand reach different target audiences. If you’re unsure how to set up a business account and sell at Vipshop, the best you can do is work with experienced digital marketing agencies in China.

 

5.    大麦 (Damai)

 

Damai niche social media China

 

Rather than a typical Chinese social media site, Damai is considered an e-commerce channel specializing in online ticket booking.

It doesn’t have fancy features like live streaming, but it’s the go-to online ticket-booking system for major events in the cultural, creative, sports and entertainment industries.

Since its foundation, the platform has sold tickets for 1.8 million events spanning 330 cities worldwide. Its massive potential and consistent market demand even led Alibaba to acquire the company.

 

Utilizing Damai in your social media marketing strategies

The best way to integrate Damai into your social media marketing strategies is to forge an official partnership with the platform. These collaborations can include exclusive ticket presales, co-branded promotions, and sponsorship of specific events or venues.

Once that’s rolling, you can integrate your other social media channels to share event information, exclusive offers, and engaging content to attract followers and create buzz.

Foreign businesses can also leverage Damai’s advertising options, ranging from banner ads and sponsored listings to targeted promotions.

 

Expert Tips on Niche Social Media Marketing in China

●     Engage Actively

On niche platforms, active user engagement goes a long way. Foreign marketers must show willingness to participate in discussions, answer questions, and contribute valuable insights. This way, you can establish your brand as more than a solution provider but an industry leader.

 

●     Content Quality Over Quantity

Foreign brands must focus on creating high-quality, informative, and engaging content that caters to the interests of their niche audience.

Don’t forget that your target audience is in these Chinese social media sites because of similar interests and experiences that the platform can provide. You can try creating in-depth articles, tutorials, and niche-specific resources, as they tend to perform well.

 

●     Build a Community

As previously stated, these niche sites thrive in community engagement. If you want to improve your brand visibility, it’s crucial to encourage discussions, user-generated content, and community building within your niche. Through this, you can foster a sense of belonging among your followers.

 

●     Paid Advertising

While these platforms are not as massive as popular apps, targeted paid advertising can still help you reach more audiences within your niche.

Most local social platforms have precise targeting options, so you can rest easy that your ads can reach the most relevant users.

 

●     Audience Segmentation

Regardless of how small of a user base a niche-specific Chinese social media app has, you must understand the audience’s demographics, interests, and purchasing behaviors on your chosen platform.

Keep in mind that what works with another platform may not work with the one you’re using now, especially if they have very different user age groups.

 

●     Leverage User-Generated Posts (UGC)

Today’s social media apps are the beacon of content creation. So, if you want to improve your visibility within a niche site, the best method is to encourage your audience to create and share content related to your niche.

 

●     Innovative Content Formats

Not all platforms offer the same content formats, especially niche social media apps. Instead of launching the same marketing campaign from other websites, you must try to experiment with innovative content formats that align with your niche.

You can opt to launch webinars, Q&A sessions, or virtual events, depending on what the niche platform can do.

 

Your Trusted Niche Social Media Marketing Partner In China!

The major Chinese social media channels are great for reaching a broad audience, but quite a few niche platforms cater to groups with more focused interests.

Ultimately, niche platforms give brands the unique opportunity to interact with and understand their most engaged audiences, making them essential considerations for any social media strategy.

 

Sekkei Digital Group Services

 

Whether it’s crafting compelling advertising campaigns, utilizing social media platforms, or making waves with PR, we have the digital solutions you need!

Contact us today and start building visibility on the right platform to generate a loyal following of Chinese consumers who share the same values as your business.

 

Sekkei Digital Group Contact us

 

References:

NetEase Cloud Music: Is It Worth It?
How to use NetEase Music outside of China | 网易云音乐
Ximalaya and the Economy of Ears
XIMALAYA GUIDE
The nine most popular Chinese dating apps
How to sell on Vip Shop?
Damai.cn

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