TNZ uses innovative social media marketing in China

Promoting New Zealand through social media channels in China is proving to be an innovative way to reach the key target market of free and independent travellers.

Having already run a successful social media campaign with Qyer, the leading online Chinese travel seller, Tourism New Zealand ran a second campaign itself.

The campaign was launched on Weibo and offered a series of product giveaways.

Asia Regional Marketing Communications Manager Kate Necklen says Weibo is China's equivalent to a hybrid of Facebook and Twitter, and is a channel actively used by FITs.

"By using Weibo we were able to encourage FITs to travel more widely and try more things within New Zealand."

After speaking at the RTONZ conference about social media in May, Tourism New Zealand's Online Marketing Specialist in Shanghai, Sylvia Sun, spent time meeting with operators and collected vouchers from operators in Wanaka, Kaikoura and Nelson.

The vouchers for Skydive Lake Wanaka, Whale Watch Kaikoura and Wine, Art & Wilderness in Nelson were used for the online activity 'Experience South Island's Excellent Activities FOR FREE!' launched on Weibo in July. By simply retweeting this post, Tourism New Zealand followers were in to win a voucher to use on their next visit to NZ.

The activity gained 1108 retweets and 186 comments - a similar result to the successful joint event with Qyer. All winners are FITs who are planning to come to New Zealand within a year. 

Another South Island promotion 'Experience the South Island in Your Own Way' is due to launch mid-August, which will highlight how easy it is to travel between Islands using four operators: The Interislander, KiwiRail's Coastal Pacific route, The Fairways in Kaikoura, and the International Antarctic Centre in Christchurch. 

Plans are also underway for a Wellington promotion, to time with the launch of the second Hobbit film. 

"These activities have proven to be a successful way to profile operators and specific ativities in NZ, and we are keen to see them continue," Kate says.  To get involved, contact Sylvia Sun, our Online Marketing Specialist in Shanghai.

Read more about Tourism New Zealand's marketing activity in China here.

Top Weibo facts:

  • Similar to a hybrid of Twitter and Facebook
  • 300 million registered users
  • 27 million daily active users
  • 100 million posts per day
  • 30 million video views per day
  • 170,000+ users follower TNZ on Weibo