By Yayi Wang
RED has become THE platform where Chinese people search for information. It is one of the most popular social media channels in China, but, in fact, more and more people nowadays also use RED as their search engine where they look for any information, especially other real user experiences.
As more and more people share and look for such information – product and experience reviews, recommendations and/or tips – RED is now way more powerful than it was when it started out as a beauty product review site.
Chinese consumer behaviour shows clearly that they search RED before buying everything, including buying a car, buying a house, and even buying small daily use items from skin care products to clothes – it can be said that every aspect of life is examined on RED. It is highly likely that you’ll find your brand is being discussed there too – and you better hope it is positive.
A Red-Hot Reputation
Reputation is everything and on RED, you must understand how valuable customer reviews are, whether good or bad, the real and immediate feedback will tell you what Chinese consumers care about, help you understand the market, and also guide you to the right selling points in the market. Even if your reputation is not ‘red-hot’, reviews can tell you how to adjust and improve your products to better suit customer expectations.
But this is not the only reason why you should monitor what your customers are saying. A single, simple negative review will soon impact consumer purchasing decisions, or in worse cases, destroy your brand.
If you are interested in a car, but RED users are talking about faults and breakdowns, will you still buy it? The answer is a big question mark. But if everyone is saying good things about the car, how will you make the decision? It’s made for you and you’ll love that car even more!
Bad news spreads like wildfire
A more interesting observation is that even if there is only 1 negative result out of 10 search results, that negative comment will attract more attention so that people will click into the post to see more. The more people click on this negative post, the higher ranking it will get, making it likely to rise to first place in the search results. – What you see is only 10% negative feedback rate, but over time, the impact on users’ consumption decisions will be way more than 10%.
How to protect your reputation
So in addition to doing regular brand promotions, monitoring and dealing with negative comments on RED are also crucial to both short term and long term reputation. But what is the best approach to discover your brand reputation on RED? We recommend two ways:
1. Manual Search
If reading Chinese is not an issue, doing regular manual searches on RED is the most cost effective approach and will give you a rough idea of what RED comments look like for your brand.
Here are some pointers for the search:
- Set up a list of keywords, and keep adding in new keywords during searches
- Read through all relevant search results, and make notes
- RED searches will only show results for RED posts, but make sure you also read all comments as well as other users’ responses to the comments
2. Third Party Software
It is even more efficient and reliable t to subscribe to third party software to track comments and mentions. You can receive daily reports and take immediate action on any issues.
There is a range of software options that mostly do similar things on RED. Chin Communications can help you select the most suitable platform for your industry and business. Then all you need to do is watch out for your regular reports.
But how to treat comments?
Same as doing the search, if there aren’t too many comments, you can simply deal with them yourself:
- If you think one or more positive RED posts are valuable, it is a good idea to “like” and/or “comment”, so RED will consider the post “valuable” and keep displaying it to other users
- As for negative commentary: it is important to treat them in a smart way and respond to each negative post/comment and offer solutions.
However, if there is a large content pool for your brand and it’s hard to pick out the negative ones, pass it to us at Chin Communications, and we can do it for you! Our strategy will follow the below steps:
- If it is a post from a competitor and contains false and misleading information about your brand, report the post and ask RED to delete it.
- If it is a real user experience, negotiate with the customer, provide clarification/solutions to what they talked about. When the issue/misunderstanding is solved, normally the user will delete the post themselves.
- If for some reason the above is not going well, Chin Communications’ marketing team will help you write a PR post and publish it on RED, as well as increase its visibility and ranking, so more users will see it.
- Depending on the situation and consumer reactions, we can then pivot to a tailor-made influencer campaign to encourage more positive feedback on the platform
Each negative post can be a blow to your reputation but how you respond will determine your success or failure.
In conclusion, RED is a free platform and one where users share everything. Besides promotional campaigns, also make sure you monitor what people say about your business, and deal with them in a smart way!
Not sure where to start? Reach out to us on 1300 792 446 or firstname.lastname@example.org for a free consultation!