The Most Important WeChat Features for Digital Marketers Targeting Chinese Consumers
By Ben Lamb
The renowned social network ‘WeChat‘ is of great interest to western marketers currently, and it should well be.
With 700 million active users it has become the gateway into China, your WeChat activity has become arguably more important than your website in China.
For B2C and B2B, WeChat is a key marketing tool in the aptly named ‘mysterious orient’. Without a strong presence on WeChat you are practically invisible in China.
What is WeChat?
Tencent owned ‘WeChat’ began life as a simple instant messenger application before morphing into the fully fledged, integrated social network it has become. It is primarily an application for smartphones.
It is hard to convey the scale of WeChat’s popularity in China. 700 million users spend on average an hour a day utilizing the many services that have been developed as an integral part of daily life in China.
- Text/video/picture messaging
- WeChat moments (akin to Facebook’s news feed)
- QR Codes
- Mapping and localization services
- WeChat Gaming
- E-wallet, Payment and Financial services
- Mobile phone top-up
- ‘Didi Kaudi’ – Taxi Ordering
WeChat is a mobile phenomenon with the vast majority of users on smartphones. There is also a desktop version but the Chinese have embraced smartphone technology with affordable, mass market smartphones such as ‘Xiaomei’ proving to be incredibly successful.
The success of WeChat is down to both the variety of services it offers and the fact that users can run their whole life through this one application. In fact, external website links are opened within WeChat itself, this functions like a browser. You are still within WeChat even when directed to an external source. As a result there are a higher number of WeChat interactions and therefore greater exposure to content.
Let’s take a look at some of the most important WeChat features and how they can integrate with your China digital strategy.
Businesses can launch official accounts on WeChat. These are distinct from general user accounts.
Official accounts allow for the creation and customization of your own mini-site within the WeChat application, you can also provide your own unique content and customer services, this acts as a key area for WeChat branding.
A quality mini-site developed on WeChat.
There are two different varieties Subscription and Service:
- Subscription accounts – These are better if you want to push more regular content and notifications, you have one post per day and these notifications for users are displayed in a sub-section for subscription accounts. It is important to note that these accounts do not allow for WeChat payment.
- Service accounts – These are best for businesses accessing more advanced features on WeChat. Your posted content will be seen on the main ‘moments’ feed and displayed in-line with personal contacts, so as users look at their messaging page they will see your post within this. Service accounts also offer WeChat payment which is a significant plus.
With official accounts you need to attract followers. On WeChat users can only see content posted if they are already Go to the full article.
Source:: Juff Bullas Blog