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How to boost customer engagement on WeChat


WeChat is the most popular social network in China, with over 1.3 billion monthly active users. If your brand is targeting the Chinese market, WeChat is an essential platform for your marketing efforts, whether your company is B2C or B2B.

If you are reading this blog post, then you have probably already created a WeChat account for your brand and are looking for advice on how to boost engagement on the platform and connect with your audience there.

Let’s dive straight in and look at two very important WeChat features that can help you engage with your customers: menu and auto-reply.

What is a WeChat menu?

Once you have set up an official WeChat account, you will be able to customise a clickable menu that will appear at the bottom of the chat interface when a user clicks onto your profile. This menu is customisable from the backend.

You can set up to three menu columns, each accommodating up to five sub-menus. These clickable menus and sub-menus act a bit like a simplified website, taking the user wherever you want them to go.

Obviously, the exact menus and sub-menus you choose will depend on your business, but common menu categories include “Contact us”, “About us”, “Our services” and “Featured content”.

When clicked, these will take the user to a webpage, text message or WeChat mini-program of your choice.

This can help you to better display your products and services, spread brand awareness, and build stronger customer relationships.

What is WeChat auto-reply?

WeChat auto-reply is exactly as it sounds: an automated reply that can be sent from a WeChat official account to a user, when certain conditions are met.

For example, when a user follows your account, you can set it up to automatically send them a welcome message.

Or, if the user sends you a message that contains a certain trigger keyword, you can set it up to automatically send a pre-written reply.

The auto-reply feature is great for helping you to interact with your followers, whilst saving you the time and resources of having to send a manual reply every time.

Auto-reply is a feature that WeChat users are very much aware of, so if they do have a question, it is very easy for them to go and send you a keyword that they expect will trigger an auto-reply.

Of course, not every customer query can be dealt with using auto-reply; some messages will require you to manually reply. I recommend having a Chinese-speaking operator who is familiar with your brand to regularly check your WeChat inbox and respond to any messages there.

4 benefits of WeChat menu and auto-reply

There are four main benefits to creating a customised WeChat menu and setting up auto-replies.

First of all, the custom menu serves as a mini-website. It allows you to provide a clear and organised set of call-to-action buttons to your followers. With a custom menu, you can encourage users to take specific actions of your choosing, such as subscribing, participating in polls, accessing exclusive content, or going to specific landing pages.

You can also gain insights into the behaviours, wants and needs of your audience, by monitoring the performance of your custom menu. From the backend of your WeChat official account, you can see the click rate of each menu and sub-menu. This allows you to understand what kind of content is popular and what is not, allowing you to better optimise your menu and the content you publish in the future.

You can also use the custom menu and auto-reply features to help grow your number of WeChat followers. For example, you may publish a WeChat article promoting a longer report, and say in the article that users can follow your account and send a specific keyword in a message in order to trigger an auto-reply that will allow them to download the full report. Since menus are visible only to followers of your account, by putting exclusive offers, promotions or incentives in your custom menu, you can incentivise users to follow your account.

And finally, auto-reply allows you to provide instant customer service to your followers. When set up correctly, the auto-reply feature is essentially an AI customer service assistant. By setting up auto-replies to deal with commonly asked questions, you can ensure customers get the answers they need quickly and efficiently, whilst freeing up your human customer service agents to deal with more complex queries.

Example #1: Tesla

Here, we can see an example of how the electric car company Tesla has used the custom menu and auto-reply functions to interact with its followers.

At the bottom of the chat interface, you can see that there are three main menus, and each serves a different purpose. From left to right, they are to book a test drive, to learn more about customer services, and to learn more about the company.

In the chat box, you can see that after a user follows the account, it triggers an auto-reply thanking them for following the account and sharing information about services that the follower might be interested in.

Example #2: Maersk

Our second example is from the international shipping company Maersk.

In the automated welcome message, aside from directing followers to the three menu options located at the bottom of the chat interface, Maersk utilises the keyword auto-reply function to assist followers in discovering more about its services.

In the example here, when the user sent the keyword “products and solutions”, Maersk replied automatically by providing its list of products and solutions, which were also set with auto-replies to seamlessly guide followers to the respective pages for more detailed information.

Need support with marketing on WeChat?

I hope this blog post has been a useful introduction to how WeChat menu and auto-reply can help your brand boost customer engagement on the platform.

If you would like assistance or consultation on any aspect of marketing on WeChat, reach out to Webcertain today! Our friendly team of international social media marketing specialists will be happy to help.

Want to learn more?

This blog post is part of a series on WeChat marketing. Check out the others below:

You can also read our full-length guide to marketing on WeChat here. From reading this guide, you will learn:

  • what WeChat is
  • how WeChat can help you achieve your marketing goals
  • how to get started on WeChat
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Amy Chan

Social Media Specialist at Webcertain
Amy is a Social Media Specialist at Webcertain. She is an alumna of the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, where she majored in Marketing and Operations Management. Following graduation, she dived into the world of marketing, starting her journey as a Marketing Executive in local startups, before making her mark in international companies. These experiences have been instrumental in shaping her expertise in digital marketing campaign management. Amy’s diverse background, coupled with her education and professional experiences, positions her as a versatile and adept professional in the ever-evolving landscape of digital marketing. Originally from Hong Kong, Amy is now based in Japan.

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