The Ultimate Beginner’s Guide to WeChat for Business

Any brand looking to grow their audience or consumer base in China will be familiar with WeChat. In the country that has banned the likes of Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, this homegrown social media platform is one of the most widely used for digital marketing in China. Raising brand awareness through WeChat is much more than translating or replicating your brand campaigns or advertisements on other social media apps into Chinese. It is about adapting your messaging and social media strategy to this channel. So, here is a beginner’s guide that takes you through WeChat marketing and how you can utilize well to build your brand footing among Chinese audience.

Creating WeChat accounts

The first step in WeChat marketing is to open an account for your brand. An Official account is typically used for this purpose. Within this account type, you can choose to connect with your customers through a Service account or a Subscription account. Here are more details about the two kinds of Official accounts.

• Service Accounts

A WeChat Service account is primarily suitable for building and managing customer relationships and has a publishing limit of four times every month. However, each time you publish, you can include between one and six articles. Each published post appears as a direct message in the fan’s feed, which improves visibility every time your message is opened, read and shared. When using a Service account, remember to publish high-value content that captures customer attention and which keeps them engaged lest they feel irritated and unfollow you.

• Subscription Accounts

A Subscription account has a better publishing frequency and lets you post once per day. This message gets delivered to a Subscriptions folder, from where the customer has to open and read your post. This account type is more suitable for content-based and information-sharing businesses such as news outlets and brands that have regular promotions. It is also the only account type open to celebrities and bloggers. Just because you have a chance to publish every day, a Subscription account may only be worthwhile if you have quality information to share every time.

Managing promotions

As with any brand building on any social media platform, creating an account on WeChat is just one part of the effort. The other is running promotions. Here are different ways in which you can reach your audience through WeChat marketing.

• QR codes

QR codes are extremely popular in China and can be actively used to gain new followers. When you create a WeChat account, a QR code for your brand automatically gets generated. This code can be posted on your products, packaging, at events, stores, or any place that lets customers scan the code with ease. However, not everyone goes about scanning codes. To attract more followers, entice them with games, discounts, free wi-fi, etc.

• Key Opinion Leaders (KOLs)

Key Opinion Leaders work much like influencers. These social media savvy individuals have a huge fan following and can be a good way to promote your brand product or service through paid associations. This helps you reach out to their huge fan following with ease as recommendations by opinion leaders gain better trust from fans in a market riddled with fake products.

• Moment ads

The Moments feed is similar to the story feed on any other social media app. Placing an ad within the feed however is pricey as WeChat typically lets users see only one or two Moments ads in a day. The higher competition within this ad space means that it is typically suitable for larger brands and players with deep pockets.

• Banner Ads

These ads work similar to Moments ads but are placed at the end of an article. However, there may be multiple banners placed side by side. This feature is available to accounts with more than 20,00 followers and is an expensive option.

Building your brand online on a new social media platform can be a daunting task. Remember to first familiarize yourself and the team with the app by installing and using it. Select the right account type and invest into suitable promotions with the right kind of content. Rest assured, you will reap great benefits.

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