WeChat is a great marketing tool to use if your business is targeting China, the main reason being that it has 768 million daily active users! It is the biggest social network in the country, a platform offering a myriad of features, and it can be described as a lifestyle app. With its wide range of services, however, the platform can look daunting to non-Chinese companies. For an introduction to tackling this outstanding platform from a marketing perspective, read on!
How to use WeChat for business
- Lead generation: WeChat has many tools built in to it, such as QR codes, that are specifically designed to aid lead generation.
- Content marketing: Most users consume content on WeChat several times a day. Posting regular, relevant content is a good tactic.
- Advertising: Once your account has been verified, you will be able to access WeChat’s advertising platform, giving you unprecedented access to WeChat’s 768 million daily active users.
- Payments: WeChat Pay is one of the most popular mobile payment methods in China.
Let’s have a look at each of these in more detail.
WeChat works especially well when it comes to the generation of leads, having functions designed to help businesses reach the right audiences; for instance, it’s popular for businesses to provide Wi-Fi for users asking them to follow the business’ account in return. Having said this, businesses sometimes make the mistake of creating an account on WeChat and remaining inactive on it, hoping that it will do the job by itself. Part of the reason for being on WeChat is to spark a conversation between companies and their customers: if users are not getting what they need from the accounts they are following, they will delete them. It is very important therefore to cater for users’ interests and needs on your account, and make sure that you make the most of the opportunities it offers.
It’s all about content and advertising
WeChat is a powerful platform for content publishing: most of WeChat’s users read content on the platform in one format or another at some point during the day. Official accounts on WeChat can suggest content to followers, but this should be done carefully: if the content is irrelevant for the users, they may stop interacting with the brand. Verified users can also gain access to WeChat’s advertising platform, which can be used to promote the account, the company website or the business app; the platform also has the option for you to choose where your ads will appear.
Within the WeChat app, you can also complete online transactions, and this is in fact one of the most popular mobile payment methods in China. This is probably due to the fact that it is very convenient and widely available, currently accepting as many as nine currencies.
The technicalities of having a WeChat account
You will only be able to use WeChat to target China if you are a business registered there, setting up a domestic account. Foreign businesses will be able to set up an overseas account, but Chinese users will not be able to follow it. However, there are some official overseas partners of WeChat which can assist overseas businesses in opening official accounts in China.
When it comes to business marketing use, there are two types of accounts on WeChat: the subscriptions account and the service account. You cannot change the account type you go for, so choose wisely; having said this, you have the option to open multiple accounts. Once you have opened your account, you will need to complete an account profile and customise it. Be patient, it takes time to build a customer user base for your account, but it will happen! In China, adding a QR code to all of your company online material is a very effective way to attract followers. Moreover, don’t forget about advertising, which is available for all domestic accounts.
It is not enough to build a good base of followers, however: you need to retain them by making sure that you provide new content regularly which is helpful to your audience, as well as making the most out of customisation. Make use of WeChat’s basic analytics, and retarget your followers through segmentation.
The marketing options that WeChat offers are seemingly endless, and this is an ever-expanding platform! If your business needs to target the Chinese audience, it is a no brainer that it should have a WeChat account.
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