What Techniques and Tactics Can Duke University Implement to Increase Its Engagement through Chinese Social Media?

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Rogerson, Kenneth S

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This report explores the techniques and tactics that are the “best practices” for Duke University to implement and could increase Duke’s engagement through Sina Weibo, one of the most popular Chinese social media sites. As primary western social media sites like Facebook and Twitter are all blocked in China, many western agencies and companies have started to use Chinese social media sites to engage with Chinese audiences. In this report, I will start with an overview of social media uses in China, key Chinese social media platforms such as Weibo, Renren, and Weixin, different sectors’ uses of Weibo, and previous studies of China’s social media. Next, I apply a combined research methods, one survey and two case studies, to explore effective social media strategies for Duke University. The survey is designed and distributed among the followers of Duke Weibo account. The survey aims to find out the followers’ content preference and what strategies can make a Weibo account more appealing to audiences. Meanwhile, I also choose two accounts on Sina Weibo and analyze their Weibo strategies. The purpose of conducting two case studies is to summarize effective management and engagement strategies from existing practices. The two chosen Weibo accounts are, NYU Shanghai and the “Free lunch for children”. NYU Shanghai is a peer institution of Duke Kunshan University,2 and is also expanding its networks in China and attempting to increase awareness among Chinese audiences. Meanwhile, the “Free lunch for children” program has been treated as the best practice in using Chinese social media for non-profit organizations. Within a month, the “Free lunch for children”, a micro-charity campaign, raised more than RMB16 million ($2.6 million) through Sina Weibo with the support of more than 100,000 Chinese netizens. Therefore, the techniques and tactics adopted by both agencies may also be valuable to Duke’s Chinese social media strategy. In the end, based on the observation from both case studies and survey results, this report concludes with effective strategies on Chinese social media management for Duke University.





Wang, Lin Lin (2013). What Techniques and Tactics Can Duke University Implement to Increase Its Engagement through Chinese Social Media?. Master's project, Duke University. Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10161/6664.

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