Would you like to enter a Chinese market? Develop your business in China? Or simply, would you like to improve your online presence in China? Well, if you have to choose a widely used social media, it should be WeChat. WeChat Marketing is the most popular Strategy to increase your Branding & Awareness in China. We explain in this article how it works.
WeChat commonly called Wei Xin (pronounced Wei “shin”) 微信in Chinese is a text and voice messaging mobile app. It was created in 2011, Guangzhou by Tencent, the creator of QQ (text messaging app, email account, etc.) and Qzone. Wei Xin has been growing rapidly since 2012 with the installation of new features such as QR codes, E-wallet, moments, and other great tools. WeChat also entered a new market and went into a battle against Alibaba (more specifically Alipay) because they reinvented e-commerce by offering flash sales. As an example, Xiao Mi, a Chinese mobile phone provider, sold 150 000 phones in 10 minutes. WeChat also managed to expand their activities abroad for example in Thailand and built a partnership with Didi Dache, a, online taxi booking service provider.
You can read more: Why it dominates China
What is Wechat marketing ?
WeChat allows companies and brands to create the so-called “WeChat official accounts” to promote their company and brand online presence. Any user can suscribe and follow them, when doing so they will then receive push notifications from your account whenever you update. When your account, the user usually click a bottom-menu linking to a HTML5 (H5) website which offers the possibility to display and eventually sell your products and/or services.
Listed below are few reasons why businesses evolving on the chinese market should consider using WeChat marketing.
- Reach out to active users : gathering more than 1 billion monthly active users, businesses cannot ignore the massive reach that WeChat offers just by using its platform. With the huge popularity that the app boasts in China, it is also important to note that WeChat has also penetrated other markets such as the US, UK and is still growing at rapid pace.
- Build up an all encompassing platform : saying that WeChat is equivalent to a chinese version of WhatsApp or Facebook is quite inaccurate. WeChat is much more than a simple social media platform rather it is a unique lifestyle platform that has several other apps rolled into one. From online shopping to making video calls, for chinese consumers WeChat happens to be the go-to app to do almost everything.
- Set up business profile on WeChat : businesses can set up subscription accounts, service accounts and enterprise accounts on WeChat. Subscription accounts permit a business to send only one broadcast message a day. Service accounts allows delivery of four messages per month and offer a wide range of services such as WeChat Stores, WeChat Pay, instant customer service, and GPS among others. Business can open the WeChat Official Accounts Platform page and register to set up a profile. Choose the appropriate account type for business and you will be prompted to enter details about your company such as country, business name, email address, account administrator and others. Under Official Account Info, select an account name and write a short introduction for your business.
Why do you need WeChat marketing ?
As mentionned above, Wechat is THE app you need to go by in China, there is no denying that. With a major part of the population using the app, brands and companies have quickly starting choosing to use the app, because of the multiple tools offered to professionals.
Some of the reasons why you should use Wechat to do marketing
- Wechat is the main tool of communication in China for both private and professional use.
- When doing business in China, WeChat is the best alternative to email marketing & emailing in general.
- The content offered is more adapted to chinese netizens habits (H5 brochure, WeChat post, channel).
- An official account stands as a proof of credibility for chinese consumers.
Steps to Register a WeChat Business Account
Head to WeChat.com
- Go to WeChat’s Official Account Registration page.
- Fill out the “Basic Information” form with your business email, password, and region of origin. Be careful to note everything down you will use this email address and password to log in to your official business account.
- Check the box next to “I have read and agreed to the Account Admin Platform Service Agreement” box. You have to agree to the service agreement in order to register an official account.
- Fill out the “Registration Info” form with your company’s basic information.
Make sure to read WeChat’s service agreement before you agree to it. This document contains important information regarding your rights as an official account user.
- Fill out the Operation Info section with a business proposal. Your proposal should include why and how your company intends to use WeChat for business purposes.
- Enter the verification code and type the code in the text field.
- Your official account registration is now complete!
Open a personal account
- You will need to install the WeChat app on your phone (Android, iPhone, … )
- Open the app and click on “Sign Up”
- Enter your details (name, nickname, mobile phone number, …)
- Then, it will send you a text with a code to verify your account. Please note that you won’t be able to use your account if it is not verified.
Key Facts about WeChat
The social media platform has never stopped welcoming new users. WeChat has now 697 million active user accounts worldwide. China is the biggest market. 68% of adult Chinese Internet users are active on WeChat with ¾ who have between 18 and 35 years old. As you can see, it is a pretty young community with mostly male users (64% as of 2015). Also, 60% of the users open the app at least 10 times a day!
Source: Digital China agency
How to use WeChat marketing for professionals of tourism ?
- Wechat H5 Brochure : H5 is an interactive media that allows WeChat users to create appealing digital campaigns. This can include games, invitations, animations, mobile shaking triggers, and many other interactive platforms. H5 brochures can be compared to PDF presentations/listings moreover they can be animated, add videos etc… The point being, they are fully integrated with WeChat, load fast on the app & can be shared easily via message or QR code which is extremely handy.
- Wechat paid Ads : The paid Wechat advertising is WeChat’s company allowing the display of advertisement messages on the platform’s users moments and official account’s articles. The goal of these advertisements is to allows the company to grow it’s branding, official account followers, and the traffic towards the landing page.
- Mini program – booking option : Mini programs are mini-apps built within the WeChat platform. The technology support the objective of WeChat to provide its users with all-in-one experience. This technology enable WeChat to bundle features into a single mobile app. With the WeChat mini-programs users never need to leave the WeChat application. With that in mind providing a booking platform to your clients on your WeChat might be a good idea.
Using WeChat for its main functions
The main function of WeChat is to send text and voice messages. However, in order to do that, you will need to add contacts. They can either be your friends, relatives or your clients, people you meet during networking events, colleagues in your company who have the mobile app. You may ask, how do you add a new contact? There are several ways to do it: Use the WeChat ID, Use the other’s QR code or add the person’s telephone number.
This can also work for companies as well with an official account. The QR code is still the fastest and easiest way to add a company. Sharing great content and useful information is essential to building a long-term relationship with the customer.
Just like any effective text messaging app it is also possible to start or join group discussions. The management of each group depends on the owner’s rules. However, it is good to know that discussion groups are for Chinese WeChat users a great way to share insights, advice and collect other’s comments on a subject.
Moments and Advertising
If you want your brand to thrive on WeChat you will need to have high-quality content. Why? Because it will give you the opportunity to be found by new followers. There are several ways to share information: group discussion, official account page, one and one message, and finally, a newbie, Weitie, an app, which combined with WeChat, enables the creation of an internal WeChat page paired with a QR code.
First, what is a moment? “Moments” are very similar to what we are used to with Facebook updates. WeChat allows you to post a new update viewable by all of your contacts (unless you disabled it yourself in the privacy settings). You can share pictures, videos, and written messages. You can even mention other users by just adding @ before their WeChat id.
Then, now that you know what “moments” are about, how can you use them to promote your products or services? You can use WeChat moments ads which showcase a picture, a description text (40 characters max), images (max 6 images), and finally an internal WeChat link.
Go from promotion to selling your products/services on WeChat
One of the most amazing features of WeChat is the e-wallet and WeChat Weidian. The WeChat wallet is basically an online payment tool. Thanks to this, users can secure their online payment by using this wallet to order food, buy cinema tickets, book a taxi, etc. Social media also recently created an online shopping mobile mall called WeChat Weidian. This is a great opportunity for any company looking to expand its business in China since about 9 out of 10 Chinese Internet users access to the Internet via mobile phone.
WeChat Marketing Tip
Bonus Tip: It’s now possible to download a software/app for your computer to sign in to WeChat on a laptop, however it has limited features and also erases conversation histories when closed.
WeChat a good app to promote your business in China?
To conclude, the WeChat mobile app can be used in different ways to not only promote your brand, get closer to your target market, but also to sell your products or services.
Learning how to use efficiently each WeChat feature and constantly staying alert to any WeChat update will help you to thrive and make the best out of this incredible Chinese app.
It is important to keep in mind that WeChat is the first step to undertake in order to start your start your marketing campain, with the aim to differenciate yourself from local and international competitors.
Contact us to discuss your project in China.
We are a WeChat Marketing Agency and help you to develop your business on WeChat.