Launched in January 2011 as China’s answer to Quora, the service now has 43 million monthly active users having added a host of additional interactive features. Originally established as a basic question and answer platform, Beijing-based Zhihu has since evolved into a multi-faceted social media site.

More than a Q&A service

Many of Zhihu’s features are similar to those offered by its counterpart Quora. Amongst other things, users can ask and answer questions, vote for the most relevant responses, and subscribe to a certain topic or question. However, Zhihu has expanded on these and taken the basic question and answer service to a new level. These advanced services include:

Zhihu Daily

One of Zhihu’s frontline services, Zhihu Daily publishes a selection of articles, answers, and news to its users. Updated three times a day, the service provides high-quality content which users spend an average of 21 minutes per day consuming. This is compared to an average of five minutes per day that Chinese internet users spend on news apps in general.

Zhihu Live

Launched in 2016, Zhihu Live allows experts on specific topics to host an online Q&A session. Hosted on one of the apps chatrooms, users can pay to participate in the session.

Zhihu Special Column

Allowing users to launch and maintain their own column dedicated to a specific subject, Zhihu Special Column acts as the service’s blog platform. Users are permitted to subscribe to columns and submit relevant content of their own.

Other services offered by Zhihu include an e-book store, a paid consulting marketplace, and online expert discussion board.

You can do much more than buying ads

Zhihu boasts one of China’s most educated and informed online audiences. According to a report by iResearch, most of Zhihu’s registered users live in first-tier city and over 60% have received tiger education. Here how you could start with to make the most of Zhihu and build your own community on the app.

Create your own official account

Brands can set up their own account to establish a number of avenues of communication with customers. They can provide insight and consumer advice through published articles. They can ask questions to their consumer audience, collaborate with KOLs, and generate discussions. In addition, it is also an avenue for customers to pose questions to the company.

Through their official Zhihu account, Siemens have responded to 20 consumer questions and written 26 articles. One of its article, about dishwashers, has gained more than 3700 likes and nearly 900 comments.

Publish your articles

Brands can publish highly informative articles regarding a specific subject to drive interest and traffic. For example, AB Inbev have published an e-book on Zhihu regarding beer selection. The book has been read by 18000 users and attracted over 500 likes.

Costs of customization and promotion for an e-book start at 1.4 million RMB; for Zhihu Weekly, the minimum budget is 900,000RMB for a minimum exposure of 5 million.

Host a Zhihu Live

Brands can broadcast audio and visual content to its users via Zhihu Live. They can invite KOLs to host sessions on specific topics and entry for customers is free. Japanese automotive brand Infiniti hosted a video live that gained over 470,000 viewers.

Promotion of live programs costs upwards of 1 million RMB for a minimum exposure of 5 million.