“RESISTANCE IS FUTILE.”
You have to be living under a particularly obscure rock if you’ve never heard of the mega giant Twitter rip-off that is “Sina Weibo.” Heck, even Radiohead and Tom Cruise know about it.
With over 140 million users (dwarfing Twitter’s mere 56 million) and an alleged 10 million additional sign ups each month, it’s no surprise that advertisers have begun to realize the awesome untapped potential of Weibo.
China Daily has reported that advertisers have been contacting celebrities of every sort and asking for a little product placement in each of their posts. What’s the going rate for a celebrity to simply mention a product’s name in a post? A cool 100,000 RMB, and that’s just the starting price.
It shouldn’t come as a surprise that big bucks are going to be spent in getting a major celeb to talk about your product. What is shocking though is that regular day posters such as Ye Feng, a marketing professor in Beijing, have been approached and offered 5,000 RMB for every post he weibs about a particular product.
If Ye agreed to include product placements in 50 percent of his posts, he could make 20,000 yuan a day, just by typing fewer than 500 words, all of which are provided by PR companies….According to Ye, a number of people in the industry have sponsored teams to operate microblogs purely for commercial marketing purposes. He claims that these sites can earn as muchas 100,000 yuan a day from this activity.
Insiders have said half jokingly that the influence of a popular micro blog can be compared witha national newspaper if it has more than 1 million fans. If it has 10 million fans, its impact is similar to that of a TV station.
However, Sina Weibo might have their own reasons to be cool on the sudden influx of ad spamming on their website:
“In the next two years, Sina Corp will see a 50 percent growth rate in advertisement sales annually,” he said. “Until now, the top 100 ‘grassroot’ accounts have created profits of about 20million yuan from advertisements since they opened their accounts.”
Not too shabby. And since Sina has just released an English- language version of their service, we suggest you stop searching for pictures of naked officials, and start making some money!
By Patrick Keefe