ExpoSay: people are talking about tickets

The first in a new monthly series of reports monitoring social media buzz about World Expo 2010 Shanghai says tickets to the big event is the hottest topic online.

Launched today by Ogilvy Public Relations Worldwide, and CIC, an Internet Word of Mouth (IWOM) research and consulting firm, ExpoSay is a monthly report on Chinese language IWOM – or Social Media buzz – related to World Expo 2010 Shanghai.

“This report’s findings show how China’s netizens are already discussing many aspects Shanghai Expo, from tickets to pavilions to sponsors,” said Thomas Crampton, Asia-Pacific Director, 360 Digital Influence, Ogilvy Public Relations Worldwide. “Chinese consumers can make or break brands online, so listening is the first step to developing a powerful strategy to engage them.”

Ticket-related topics were the subject of most online Expo chatter in December and phrases about “what to buy” and “how to buy” the tickets became the most popular keywords.

The increase of ticket prices to 150 RMB from 140 RMB announced in mid-December brought predictable criticism, but also some interesting responses. Some companies, such as the e-commerce site yihaodian.com, have started offering their customers tickets at the lower, initial price. Even Shanghai’s Jingan district is offering tickets as incentives for those touring historic Communist sites. This has served as a high-profile, attractive and relatively low cost promotion.

Meanwhile, students are using Social Media to self-organize to purchase tickets at group discounts and many people are discussing the technology behind the Expo’s mobile phone-based tickets. Netizens living in rural China have been using discussion boards as a way to find tickets.

To receive a copy of the report, simply register at Ogilvy PR’s World Expo Blog.