You want to communicate in China , use wechat for your business… Basic Rules that every Companies understand.
What is WeChat?
Launched in 2011, WeChat is a free social media application developed by the Chinese company Tencent.
It is an instant messaging on mobile with multiple functions and remains a social network impossible to circumvent for the visibility on the Chinese web.
Wechat offers more traditional networking options like sharing videos and images, games, stickers and the ability to share and connect with friends via WeChat Moments
- But it is also a platform of social commerce integrating:
- WeChat Stores for online shopping.
- WeChat Pay and WeChat Wallet for payments to online suppliers.
It even offers professional functions like tracking expenses. It can be used to book a taxi, a flight or a medical appointment.
It is China’s most popular mobile app but it is important to know that 90% of users are in China.
And, to market WeChat in mainland China, you must have a registered business presence in Mainland China.
Companies based in the United States, South Africa, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Macau, Malaysia, Taiwan and Thailand can use a WeChat business account to market the 100 million users International estimates by WeChat (including Chinese users in Hong Kong, Taiwan, and Macao)
Wechat Business : A Guide For Western Brands
The WeChat features also vary by region. That said, WeChat has been pushing for international expansion, particularly in Africa.
It is the platform of social communication more and more strong in Africa.
There are an estimated 5 million users in South Africa (compare to 13 million South Africans using Facebook).
So you should not overlook the marketing potential of WeChat in the rest of the world, even though the numbers are not as important as China.
How to use WeChat for develop your business?
Let’s start by examining the three types of WeChat business account:
Service Accounts,Business accounts.
They all come under the category of official accounts, which are available to celebrities, media, government agencies and businesses. Subscription accounts offer more messaging, but service accounts offer more robust functionality.
Corporate accounts are mainly intended for the management of the organization and are not of primary interest to the marketing specialists. They offer courier and business services, but are only available in mainland China.
Subscription accounts : Allows a broadcast message per day to subscribers. The messages appear in the subscription account folder.
Service Accounts : Allows up to four messages per month. Messages appear in the Friends list. Audited accounts have access to nine advanced APIs (APIs) and can apply for WeChat Pay.
How to apply for an official WeChat account?
These steps apply to the international market platform of Wechat. Follow these Step
If you have a business based in China, you can access the Chinese market using the China-Mainland hub.
1. Gather all required information, including your business license and personal identity.
2. Go to the official account registration page and submit your request. It takes two weeks for your account to be reviewed. While you are waiting, you can check the status of your application using the e-mail and application number of your application.
How to configure your WeChat business account profile?
Once your account is approved, you get access to:
1. The official account administration platform,
2. The console from which you can interact with WeChat users,
3. WeChat marketing campaigns
4. Monitoring of results. To configure your profile, scroll to the bottom of the page to go to the Settings tab in the left menu.
On this screen you can choose:
- Your profile image,
- Create your QR code,
- Select your region,
- Add the description of your company (which WeChat calls an “introduction”).
How to use WeChat for marketing?
WeChat’s many functions give brands multiple ways to interact with customers.
Because official WeChat service accounts can detect the location of the user, they are perfectly suited to site-based marketing.
OrderIn, a food delivery service company in South Africa, uses WeChat to show customers a list of local restaurants based on their current location or address.
Customers can browse menus, place orders, and even pay for food, all in the WeChat application. Once the restaurant receives the order, the staff confirms by the WeChat application when the customer should expect delivery.
It is a seamless ordering experience that never forces customers to take the phone or withdraw their money or credit card.
2. Customized content content management and content marketing
High-profile publications such as The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Huffington Post and Vogue create official WeChat accounts for daily content distribution to WeChat subscribers.
But BuzzFeed, which is the most virulent of media, uses a WeChat feature in a unique way to allow readers to choose the content they receive.
BuzzFeed users automatically receive a daily content item, but they can also use the WeChat feature to access custom content based on a list of keywords that trigger responses
Example of keywords for BuzzFeed
“Fail “,” win “and” cute “, making it a good fit for the BuzzFeed audience and a great way for users to discover shareable content that they can then pass on to friends through cats or WeChat moments.
Example : In a Valentine’s Day campaign, Tiffany & Co. used WeChat’s messages to ask subscribers about the meaning of love by sharing their expression on “Love Is …”
The campaign has encouraged user engagement with the Tiffany brand while positioning Tiffany jewelry as an appropriate gift.
Users could use a tool in the official Tiffany & Co account to find the perfect engagement ring and use the store locator to see where they could buy it.
Wechat ECommerce WeCommerce
Even if Wechat users did not want to buy a product, they could share animated GIFs of the campaign, boosting the creation of Tiffany on their networks.
Wechat of Coca ColaCoca-Cola Hong Kong used mini-games in the WeChat interface to encourage customer engagement.
Users who answered questions and played games could receive offers for 7-Eleven stores. They participated in a draw to win a television.
4. Be creative with QR codes
Wechat automatically creates a QR code for each official account. The application also includes a QR code scanner, which allows brands to create QR codes inside and outside the application.In Korea, the E-Mart chain store has created a three-dimensional sculpture of a QR code.Since lunch is a key moment for online shopping, it is at this point that the QR code appears.
The digitization of the code allowed users to access the official E-Mart WeChat account, increasing followers and sales.
- See also Wechat ECommerce Tips for BRands
But perhaps the most exciting use of QR codes is performed by Stuff Magazine in South Africa. The products in the magazine correspond to the QR codes.
Digitizing these codes using WeChat brings readers directly to their WeChat clients, where they can order the product with a few clicks and at a reduced price.
Now that you know more about WeChat marketing, it’s time to think about integrating this solid social chain into your overall social marketing strategy.