Marketing with social media in online purchasing service for the overseas Chinese: Part 2

10th July

Written by Long Chen



Continuation of blog post part 1 published on 7th of July.

Discussion and one case blog

By the time I finished the theory review and analysis of this paper, I logged on to my account of the most widely used blog in China nowadays, SinaWeibo (Xinhua News, 2013), and I just happened to see a paid “promotion link” at the top of my blog, which was exactly an online purchasing agency for the overseas Chinese. The promotion link is shown below:


Figure 1: SinaWeibo promotion link (

Figure 1: SinaWeibo promotion link (

This paid promotion blog link basically says “I know you have one problem unsolved which is buying products from China, and we can make that happen! You can pay with your foreign currency, you can choose the cheapest delivery method, and the most important thing is: we have student discount at the moment! Click to read more”. However, as we can see from the picture, the date when they made this post was 15:45, 14th of February, by the time I retrieved this picture which was around 20:10, 15th of February (local Chinese time), this post did not even have one comment (although it has 63 likes and 20 “re-blogs”). Given the fact that there were more than fifty million overseas Chinese (Xinhua News, 2012) and half billion registered users of SinaWeibo by the end of 2012 (Xinhua News, 2013), this result does seem to be satisfactory. Especially considering one of the most important features of social media is to interact with companies and other audience, zero comment in this post seems to be embarrassing.

As a relatively new market, companies in the business field of online purchasing service for the overseas Chinese still have a long way to go in terms of marketing with social media. Without doubt, marketing with social media is an essential part of the whole marketing strategy in the industry of online purchasing service for the overseas Chinese, how to better understand its customers and what factors of marketing with social media should be taken into consideration would be a primary task for companies in this business field to explore.

Conclusion and limitation of this paper

Due to the time and word limit as well as the aim of this paper, it only gives a very basic understanding and illustration of this new business market of online purchasing service for the overseas Chinese. In addition, suggestions of the factors that need to be considered when marketing with social media in this business field are also general ones. However, companies in this business field can have some important principles and different perspectives learned from this paper and apply them to their own specific situations when marketing their services.

To conclude, this paper gives readers a very basic understanding of online purchasing service for the overseas Chinese in the introduction part. In addition, arguments of why it is important for online purchasing agencies for overseas Chinese to market their service with social media are also made in the beginning of the theory review and analysis part. Moreover, several important factors that need to be considered in order to better market their services with social media are also discussed and analyzed in the same part. Further research in this business field may focus more on researches on core values of online purchasing services for the overseas Chinese, customer’s expectations and how marketing with social media can link those two components together.


Akar, E. & Topcu, B. (2013) An examination of factors influencing consumers’ choice of social media marketing, Journal of Internet Commerce. 10(1), 35-67.

Sandes, F.S. & Urdan, A.T. (2013) Electronic Word-of-Mouth Impacts on Consumer Behavior: Exploratory and Experimental Studies, Journal of International Consumer Marketing, 25(3), 181-197.

Williamson, D.A. (2010) How Much Will You Spend on Social Media-Marketing Next Year?, Ad Age Digital. 8th December. Available from: [Accessed March 1, 2010]

Vries, L. & Gensler, S. & Leeflang, P.S.H. (2012) Popularity of Brand Posts on Brand Fan Pages: An Investigation of the Effects of Social Media Marketing, Journal of Interactive Marketing, 26, 83–91.

Xinhua News. (2012) Reforms urged to attract overseas Chinese. [Online] 11st March. Available from: [Accessed: 14th February 2014]

Xinhua News. (2012) 新浪微博用户数超5亿. [Online] 21st February. Available from: [Accessed: 14th February 2014]

Hoffman, D.L. & Novak, T.P. (2012) Toward a Deeper Understanding of Social Media, Journal of Interactive Marketing, 26, 69–70.

Hanna, R., Rohm, A. & Crittenden, V.L. (2011) We’re all connected: the power of the social media ecosystem, Business Horizons, 54, 265-273.

Aljukhadar, M. & Senecal, S. (2011) Segmenting the online consumer market, Marketing Intelligence & Planning, 29(4), 421-435. 

Breuer, R. & Brettel, M. (2012) Short- and Long-term Effects of Online Advertising: Differences between New and Existing Customers, Journal of Interactive Marketing, 26, 155–166.

Armelli, G. & Villanueva, J. (2011) Adding social media to the marketing mix, IESE insight, No. 9.

Barwise, P. & Meehan, S. (2010) The one thing you must get right when building a brand, Harvard Business Review, December.

Papasolomou, I. & Melanthiou, Y. (2013) Social Media: Marketing Public Relations ‘New Best Friend”, Journal of Promotion Management, 18(3), 319-328