Friday Forum – We bring the hottest questions from the Chinese Social & Digital space to our brightest minds.

What are the biggest differences between social media marketing in 2009 compared to 2019?

Pete Lin

Managing Director, North Asia Region
/ We Are Social




In 2009 we all suspected that social media was a fad. Sure, platforms in China and elsewhere were all thriving and rapidly gaining users, but most people, especially marketers, dismissed it as just a temporary fascination among young audiences.

What they failed to realize is that the desire to share and connect is one of the most powerful instincts of the human experience. Social media satiated this desire like never before in human history. Besides, it also put the realization of instant fame within the reach of everyone, thus amplifying its importance in the lives of millions of people.

2019 has just ended and it was a year dominated by the force of social media. Within a decade, it has become our primary source of news and information, along with communications and financial transactions (especially in China). It is now evident that social media was not a fad, but instead was the fabric of a new type of society which we now live in.

Tristan Qin

VP, Greater China Region Client Services
/ We Are Social

Nathan Baker

Group Account Director
/ We Are Social

从2009年起,很多著名的大品牌开始在Twitter的平台上进行活动。 以下是当年的一些回顾:

吃了整个Supreme Personal Pan来鼓励我做出第一条推文。
- 必胜客



Netflix US 最近写出这张推文:“什么词在做各种正事时都能说?” Fast Company对于Netflix US的这条推文留下以下的留言:“我们已经抵达品牌Twitter的最高水准了。

2009 was when prominent brands started getting on Twitter. Here are some throwbacks from 2009:
Devouring a Supreme Personal Pan as motivation for my first tweet.
- Pizza Hut
Gonna watch a little college basketball. I'm told I'm kind of an expert on buckets.

This was also when brands started learning about the risks of Twitter faux pas, where interns were often blamed for insensitive Tweets.

Brands have grown up on Twitter over the years. Risk assessments are made to avoid embarrassment while some embrace abrasiveness for humor’s sake. Fast Company wrote “we've officially hit peak Brand Twitter” in their recent article about Netflix US’s horny Tweet: “what’s something you can say during sex but also when you manage a brand Twitter account?”

The Tweet’s top replies were from other brands getting their own quips in. It was a circle jerk of brand social media manager banter.

Kai Pan

Group Account Director
/ We Are Social


Social media marketing in 2009 could rely on organic exposure for cheap reach. 10 years later, everyone is marketing on social media, the platforms themselves have become toll collectors as planned, and users no longer find the entire experience novel enough to share. It’s a mature market, the stakes are higher, and a sophisticated understanding of creator and consumer has never been more important.