The growing number of influential Weibo commentators are increasingly opening their own online shops or promoting products.
A new report says social media can bolster traditional marketing campaigns.
The report, which is based on a survey of 1,011 buyers of technology products, found that the most popular uses of social media by tech buyers are technical support forums and discussion groups, ratings and review sites such as Digg, open public networks such as LinkedIn, podcasts and blogs.
“Social media are not just substitutes for trade magazines and vendor brochures; tech buyers complement traditional information sources with a variety of social media on the web to engage with other users and gather information on potential vendors,” writes Peter O’Neill, a Forrester analyst. “Tech marketers are following suit by starting to move more of their marketing activities to social media vehicles.”
Interviews related to the survey suggest that while blogs work well for reaching marketing employees, IT workers tend to dislike microblogs, such as Twitter, while financial department employees distrust open, public networks, but like ratings and reviews sites.
“The conventional routes to market are not going away; they are being augmented by the online routes,” O’Neill writes. “So a modern marketing mix must continue to include all elements of traditional and online communications.”