We all well aware of the app “WhatsApp” but what about WeChat? WeChat has been offering more features and marketing benefits when compared to WhatsApp. If you’re new to WeChat, let me explain the features of WeChat and how to use WeChat Marketing. Read this article to know more!
What is WeChat?
Essentially WeChat is to China what Facebook is to the United States. It’s the dominant social media / messaging platform and it’s used across multiple planes of a user’s life. But it’s so much more than that. It offers enough functionality that users stay engaged with it throughout the course of the day.
At its core, WeChat is a communications app that operates over the internet. It can be used for free for voice, video, and text communications. But it has a much wider range of functions, that continues to grow.
Read More: The Best Strategies for WeChat Marketing
Why Should You Use WeChat Marketing?
Wechat is about to conquer the world! Here are the few reasons why you should absolutely download this app.
All In One
At first sight, WeChat is a mobile messaging application with features similar to its competitors such as Messenger and WhatsApp. The aim is to communicate with people we know (friends, family…) and unknown (leads, prospects…) using text, video, voice or image. But Wechat is so much more than it lets you do everything at once. Order a cab? Yes. Pay Bills? Yes! Book airline tickets? Purchase products? Yes and yes.
Somehow you can enjoy all features of Uber, Facebook, ApplePay, Snapchat, Amazon, Skype, Tinder in one app. Enough to spend your entire on your sofa and do all the daily actions. Welcome to the future!
Build Long-Term Relationships
A verified official WeChat account allows companies to promote new products through high-quality content. Indeed, it is the opportunity for companies to engage its audience and convert it into real customers. Businesses can communicate “directly” with users who follow them. Keeping your customers well-informed improves the spread of your message and your commitment rate.
Members can also subscribe to the loyalty program, allowing them to use a geo-dependent membership card linked to their WeChat ID or phone number. Brands can thus adapt their marketing strategy and personalized sales and promotions to a certain category of users directly through the application. As a member, you can receive notifications about promotional offers or e-coupons. Not only companies can send offers to their target, but they can also encourage the creation of a community around its brand. Wechat has more than 10,000,000 official accounts, it has something for everyone.
WeChat is well-known for its proximity to brands and consumers. Do you actually know you can play with your favorite’s brands?
Companies are putting more resources into WeChat by running interactive digital campaigns linked to local festivals like the Chinese’s New Year or the Fashion Week. Businesses must reach a minimum of 100,000 followers to launch an advertising campaign. This is the case of Burberry which had created a partnership with WeChat, in August 2013, to strengthen its presence in the Chinese market. Members had to shake their phone in order to win a ticket for the British Fashion House in Shanghai. Once the event is finished, Burberry’s followers experienced the event in immersive 360° through its official account.
Imagine a huge shopping mall with more than 300,000 stores accessible from your mobile without changing platform. Wechat did it by introducing the notion of M-commerce.
WeChat offers a “Wallet” feature that links your profile to your bank account or credit card, making purchases possible via your Smartphone. 200 million users have already connected their credit cards to their account. And More than 83% of WeChat users buy products online. These purchases can be made either online directly on the application, or offline by scanning a QR code that allows the payment via the APP.
With more than 806 million active users, WeChat is the fourth most popular instant messaging application in the world. More than 90% of WeChat members use it daily and spend on average 40 min per day on it. WeChat’s promise is simple; they focus on one single network! China’s booming mobile app prepares its International expansion and its first victims will be European airports. Travelers will have to log in to access a portal of hundreds of brands – already implemented in duty-free shops – and services. Thanks to this platform, you will be able to make purchases, withdraw it later, compare prices and taxes or book a hotel room.
WeChat for Business As A Marketing Channel
WeChat is a much more social tool than Weibo. Weibo operates much like Twitter in that feeds are created to allow users to receive information as it is pushed out by chosen channels. WeChat is primarily a text and audio service between private users or small privately invited groups of up to 100 people. Users can extend their reach by posting ‘moments’ which are a stream of images, text, and links that are available only to their exclusive contacts network.
In this way, WeChat has made itself a much more potent tool for reaching tighter knit groups. The downside for business is that because it is a chat app, marketing to each group is completely permission based. On this basis, WeChat largely relies on an offline relationship or a referral for a specific purpose to generate connections. WeChat is not generally somewhere to meet virtual friends and consequently has a more limited viral impact. WeChat does have features that allow random parties to become friends, but this type of use is fairly limited.
Forwarding can only be done inside the user’s groups, so vitality is limited to hopping from small group to small group-this means vitality is a more complex task than on Twitter or Weibo where posts can be automatically received by an almost unlimited number of followers.
WeChat for Business As A Sales Platform
WeChat is still discovering how best to go about using its potential as a payment platform in China. So far it has moved into B2C payments in areas such as plane tickets, movie tickets, and taxi fares.
Payments are currently made by scanning an offline or online QR code. Payments can also be done inside a shopping platform contained within the app. Users link their bank accounts to WeChat and then payments are confirmed by using a user-defined pin number.
How to Measure WeChat Marketing Performance
Accessing any WeChat group can be tougher from a marketer’s point of view, but once you are in you have a more personal and direct influence than on many other platforms.
Chinese consumers, on the whole, tend to be more influenced by their peers than the average Western market and especially WeChat’s younger user base. This further reinforces the potential power of using WeChat for business when seeking to influence smaller groups and communities.
How to Use WeChat Marketing for Your Business?
If you have a smartphone, you can sign-up for a private (regular) WeChat account.
Features of a private WeChat account:
- Send/ receive payments
- Create WeChat groups
- Post to “moments”
- Add a network of friends and contacts
- Follow official WeChat accounts
Want to get started on WeChat? By running on an MVP, you’ll get used to the platform and start to understand how private users behave on WeChat – this is a valuable as private users are the ones you want to understand!
Can you use WeChat wallet without a registered business in China? Yes, you can. You do, however, need a personal bank account in China. Is this hard to achieve? No. As a tourist, you can walk into any bank in China and register for a bank account in around 20 minutes. You’ll receive an ATM card and can assign yourself a PIN number before you walk out the door – yes, it’s that quick!
WeChat Private Account Transaction Limits
You can link your Chinese bank card to your WeChat wallet and then start making and taking payments on your private account. You have a limit on a private WeChat account of roughly $10,000 in transactions. This might sound like a tough limit for most businesses. You can get around this by registering a new WeChat account after you have reached your limit. Obviously, this is not a long-term solution, but it will get you onto the platform and selling.
If you are reading this from abroad, then you’ll have to make a journey to mainland China in order to get this done. Not a perfect solution, but the only one unless you can get someone to do it for you.
This WeChat groups function very much like Facebook groups. There are different options for who you let into the group and you can remove people very easily.
WeChat groups are the quickest and easiest way to get content out to private WeChat users who have an interest in your type of product or service. Think of it as similar to a forum in its nature – you get interested customers into WeChat groups in order to serve up useful information and develop a relationship with your audience.
The one important thing to remember about a WeChat group is that it is on mobile. Because of this, your engagement levels will be more restricted to times of day when people can look at their mobile phones. In addition, the content that you put out has a much shorter shelf-life. What do I mean by that? If you post up a 1-minute video to your chat group, then if people don’t see it the same day, they are unlikely to trawl back through a stream of chat to find it.
For WeChat groups you should be keeping an eye on re-posting regularly + maximizing on peak engagement times – lunchtime and early to mid-evening are reported as the best starting point for this by small business owners we have worked with.
A moment is a feature that is very similar to the Facebook wall. You post pictures and comments to it, and they are visible by your WeChat friends. They are not, however, available to anyone who is not in your circle of friends. This means that your content is not so dispersed on WeChat as it would be on a platform like Twitter or Facebook for example. If you are a Snapchat user, then you know what I’m talking about as it uses roughly the same system – you can only broadcast to friends.
Moments are a good place to start for putting out content to an audience. It is automatically pushed to your friends. They have the option to nofollow your moments, but as a default, they will receive your posts.
What Types Of Content Should I Put Out?
You can broadcast most types of content on WeChat in the same way as you would do on a blog. The only important restriction to note is that attachments have a limit of 25 megabytes. You can get around this by using a cloud service and linking to it (if you want to know more about this leave us a comment and we’ll write an article about it)
How Easy Is It To Sign Up For A WeChat Account?
You simply download the app and follow the instructions. Setting up on WeChat for a private account is no more difficult than getting an e-mail address. You’ll need a phone number to register, but you’ll then be able to take your account to other devices ( e.g. your iPad that has no SIM). This is another great feature of WeChat that WhatsApp missed – you can sign in on other devices without having to re-register. This is really handy when you are using a private account for your business, as you’re not restricted to one device.
Good luck with your new entry into WeChat private accounts. If you’ve got questions on this, then we need to hear it!! Oh, and if you liked this article, then please let us know- your feedback is helpful! Subscribe BulkQ for more information!