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 video and image sharing, games, stickers and the ability to share and connect with friends via WeChat Moments
But it’s also a social commerce platform, 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.
The Marketing Potential of Wechat
You should not overlook the marketing potential of WeChat in the rest of the world, even if the numbers are not as important as China.
The typical user of WeChat was born in the 1980s or 1990s. Users born during this period are the most active users of WeChat of all age groups.
About half of WeChat users spend more than 90 minutes on WeChat every day, according to the WeChat 2016 data report.
With such a large user base, it was logical and inevitable that WeChat became an indispensable tool for marketers. (even in Luxury)
THE REASONS FOR THE WECHAT SUCCESS
The mobile application is full of features that contribute to the success of the service and its growing popularity among users.
5 are to be retained as basic :
Obviously, the first good point for the mobile application is its free. Of course many other applications or social networks are free too, but none is as complete or offers so many features without having to pull out the wallet
2.Link the service to other social medias
And thus gain access to more features in the instant messaging service. (more information here)
3.Share many different files
By WeChat, we can send text messages to our friends and contacts, share videos, images, audio files to be recorded or even …
4.Finding friends (and more if affinities)
One of the rather amazing features is the one that allows to “Find people nearby”: This connects you with people using the app at the same time as you, close to you, and with whom you share common interests: A ” Do you want to be my friend ? “Which can be frightening.
Perhaps one of the most interesting tools of the application, the ability to make video calls, via an internet connection.
The best, being able to connect in Wifi and to make its calls free videos is a not inconsiderable when one is abroad and that one wants to see and speak to his / her relatives at least cost.
HOW WECHAT MAY BE USED FOR BUSINESS ?
How should companies use this powerful platform to take full advantage of the benefits?
A successful WeChat strategy should cover the following marketing areas:
Lead generation on wechat :
WeChat is an excellent tool for the lead generation.
Wechat allows users to share content on businesses in their social circle, which can result in greater exposure for the company and attract more leads.
WeChat also has functions designed to help companies reach the right audience.
For example, WeChat Wallet has a coupon-sharing function. Vouchers can be shared when users digitize QR code and choose to “share with friends”. The good shared will then be available for all users’ friends when they visit their WeChat (Wechat Wallet) portfolio.
This way, even if the person who shares your voucher is not in your target audience, the function can help you reach your target customers.
There are many other features on WeChat that can help companies gain new leads.
For example, many companies provide a Wi-Fi connection to users by asking them to scan a QR code and, to stay connected, users must follow the company account.
Customer relationship management :
WeChat should be used as a customer relationship management tool.
When users follow an account, there must be a reason to do so otherwise the user will decide not to follow the account.
This is a mistake often made by many companies who join WeChat, thinking it is a good tool to have, without really thinking about a plan.
They may see a surge of followers at first, but this will disappear over time if there is nothing new or useful to maintain the relationship.
When users track WeChat accounts, they are interested in content or looking for solutions.
If a user wishes to follow his package or if there is a problem with the tracking of his package he expects to be able to speak to someone on WeChat at the right time.
If customer relationship management is good, the user will be motivated to renew the purchase.
It’s handy to create a FAQ list with answers. Once the user enters the question, WeChat will associate it with the correct presupposed question by detecting the keywords used in the question. (more information here)
Wechat Content Marketing :
WeChat is a channel where the Chinese read. The Chinese read the information in their Moments flow and on the official accounts they follow.
In addition, people can search for content to be read in the WeChat application.
WeChat users connect up to 90 minutes per day on the application, although this time is generally divided throughout the day in many micro moments.
Therefore, publishing content on WeChat is a great way to capture the fragmented time that people spend on mobile.
Official accounts can regularly transmit content to followers. If the content is not relevant to them, these people are less likely to interact with the brand the next time they publish something.
Therefore, it is important to segment users and create customized content for each group. Only if you target the right content in the right group, it will be shared and will have the chance to become viral.
- Advertisement :
WeChat has its own advertising platform.
It can be used for :
- Promote the official account in order to gain more followers
- Send traffic to the user’s website (outside WeChat)
- Send users to a download page from the APP store.
Advertisements can be displayed in the user’s WeChat Moments as live social announcements or at the bottom of articles in other official accounts.
- Payment solution :
WeChat allows you to perform online transactions in the application.
WeChat Pay is currently one of the most popular mobile payment methods in China. It was launched for the first time in 2014.
It is also widely used offline in stores, where payments can be made by scanning a QR code. He joined Carrefour, which accepts WeChat Pay in 237 Carrefour stores in China.
It is amazing how much WeChat Pay is used: the areas of daily life, including on vending machines, in shops and restaurants …
WeChat Pay certainly has a huge market in China and the practical means of payment certainly has the potential to expand elsewhere.
Indeed, WeChat Pay targets the global market.
As of January 2016, WeChat Pay has been available to foreign companies, which means that Chinese customers can immediately pay foreign suppliers in Chinese Yuan using the application.
HOW DOES WECHAT WORK FOR BUSINESS?
So, now that we’ve mentioned the benefits that WeChat can offer, let’s get to how WeChat actually works.
Account opening :
Only the national accounts can access all functions available on WeChat.
A reputable company should open an official business account.
To do this, you must :
A request on the official website of WeChat: with a commercial license and other relevant documents.
The platform abroad is in English and the national platform is in Chinese.
The application process is similar in both markets.
It is important to understand that if the account is set up as an overseas account, you will not be able to target Chinese users.
Chinese users could find the account abroad, but currently they could not follow it.
To qualify for a national account, a company must have a legal entity registered in China, which means that many foreign companies will not be able to use WeChat to target China.
There are marketing agencies that can help foreign companies open official accounts to target China.
If you want to expand your business in China, your strategy must absolutely include a well-built digital strategy.
I will share with you in this article 20 tips for using WeChat effectively for your business no matter the sector to which you belong. (via)
1 – CREATE AN OFFICIAL ACCOUNT
The first and most important step to fully utilize the WeChat features is to create an account.
But not just any account, you have to create a verified, corporate account, called an “official account.”
All you have to do is visit the WeChat official website and fill in the online form “Registration form” (in Beta version).
2 – CREATE A SUBSCRIPTION ACCOUNT
You have two possibilities when you create an official account: “subscription” or “service”.
The “subscription account” is the basic official account for a company.
It allows marketers to share one message per day with those who follow the page.
It should be noted that these messages do not give any notification.
They are filed in a specific folder dedicated to official accounts.
Users wishing to access this information must visit this folder.
This type of account allows you to share news and interact with your Chinese audience.
3 – GO FURTHER, CREATE AN OFFICIAL ACCOUNT “SERVICE”
Your second option in terms of account is “service account”.
Unlike the first, it allows you to send only 4 messages per month to those who follow your page.
However, these messages produce notifications which allows them to instantly access your publications without going anywhere else.
This advanced account also offers various other features such as: creating a custom menu, your own application, promoting your products and services, as well as the ability to receive requests from the audience.
4 – PUT YOUR QR CODE
What is a QR code?
A QR code is a matrix code that can be used to encode information.
In Europe the QRs have developed little, but with WeChat it is an important tool.
In the world of WeChat, QR code is very useful as it allows users to add new contacts, connect their WeChat account to their computer and track official accounts.
It is therefore strongly advised to promote your QR code on your products, in your stores, and other online or traditional ads.
5 – BUILD A LONG TERM RELATIONSHIP WITH YOUR HEARING
Having an official account is a very good thing but creating a real connection with your audience is even better.
With WeChat, you can “directly” communicate with your followers and share news, new products or services, and promote your brand.
6 – SHARE GOOD QUALITY CONTENT
In order to build a long-term relationship with your audience, the content you share with them must be relevant and of good quality.
The content of Wechat is an important point to take into consideration.
7 – USE ALL TYPES OF CONTENT PROPOSED BY WECHAT
In order to publish good content and not annoy the user, do not forget to use all the tools offered by WeChat.
Instead of a textual publication with an image, propose images or even a dedicated video, specially filmed for your WeChat audience.
8 – BE CREATIVE AND INNOVATIVE
With more than 850 million active users on WeChat around the world, creativity is essential to hope to be followed by new users.
If you decide to opt for a service account, you will be able to offer mini-games and even challenges to involve your audience.
9 – CREATE A MINI WECHAT WEBSITE
One of the many options you have to share content of impeccable, interesting and innovative quality is via the creation of a site on the platform.
This will allow you to customize your page to reflect your brand and improve your visibility, presence on the social network.
10 – COMMUNICATE WITH YOUR HEARING
How In the same framework as building a long-term relationship, you must regularly communicate with your audience.
You can do this with the number of messages allowed per week / month, responding promptly to WeChat requests with relevant information, via WeChat online events, and finally through your custom application.
11 – CREATE A SPECIFIC WECHAT STRATEGY !
WeChat does not look like other Chinese social networks like Weibo for example.
You should therefore learn how to use WeChat (basic functions), the company itself (statistical data).
12 – REMEMBER: WECHAT IS A MOBILE APPLICATION
One thing to remember is that WeChat is a mobile app.
The content must therefore be adapted to the mobile, moving use of its users.
The attention of the users is very short and so you must do your best to capture their attention.
To give you some examples, it is better to:
- Avoid long texts
- Focus on short texts,
- Use images / videos and other interactive content by creating a custom application
13 – COLLECT COMMENTS
Your presence on WeChat allows you to contact your future customers or customers to collect their impressions and comments on your products or services.
Collecting and organizing the opinions of your consumers will allow you to create a useful database as part of a CRM strategy, conducting market research and other strategic decisions.
14 – CREATE A PARTNERSHIP WITH WECHAT
If you are lucky enough to have a budget for your WeChat promotion campaigns, you can collaborate directly with WeChat for a specific promotional campaign or to offer a dedicated service that would significantly and quickly improve your visibility and audience. WeChat.
In 2015, Western Union created a partnership with WeChat to create a dedicated platform on the social network.
They offer an online money transfer service to WeChat users.
The destination list is long with more than 200 countries represented.
You can find out more here
15 – ENJOY AUTOMATIC RESPONSES
WeChat has recently created a very useful feature: automatic responses.
It allows the holder of an official account to send welcome messages and automatically respond to WeChat user requests based on keyword recognition. This allows you to be more responsive.
16 – CREATE YOUR OWN LOYALTY PROGRAM ONLINE
With your official account, you can create an online loyalty program on WeChat.
If a customer decides to join the program, his / her WeChat account (telephone number and WeChat ID) will be connected to a geo-localized map.
You can offer members: promotional offers, discount coupons or invitations to private events.
17 – CONTACT THE KEY OPINION LEADERS (KOL)
You may not already know this, but the Chinese place great importance on the opinion of their extended or close social circle.
This is why it is very important not only to gather their opinions but also to collaborate with opinion leaders.
An opinion leader is a very active person on the internet (social networks) with a large number of subscribers to their news feed.
18 – POST ADVERTISEMENTS ON WECHAT VIA MOMENTS POST WECHAT MOMENTS ADS
There are different solutions for posting advertisements and promoting your products / services on WeChat.
One of them is to use the moments.
What is a moment?
The “moments” are very similar to the messages you see on your Facebook news feed.
You can use this powerful tool in the same way you would have used Facebook or Twitter to promote your offer.
You can include pictures (max 6), a description (up to 40 characters), and a WeChat internal link.
19 – OPEN ONLINE SHOP ON WECHAT
If your company offers hardware products, you can directly sell and offer your subscribers the opportunity to buy your products on the platform with WeChat shop Weidian.
If you know Taobao, JD or Ebay, well WeChat Weidian works with the same principle except that it is optimized for use on mobile phones.
20. WECHAT COMPANY ( INTERNAL COMMUNICATION)
You can use one of WeChat’s features to communicate with your local team in China.
WeChat is widely used in China whether in a professional or personal context.
WeChat has recently created a new feature that allows WeChat users to do group conversations with up to 9 participants.
This can be useful since Skype may occasionally experience connection problems in China.
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