China is a country with 1.3 billion inhabitants. But these people have no access to Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram. So while doing your business, for promotion, advertising, sales you need to get their attention in another way. This clearly means WeChat. Not only Chinese netizens have taken over the app and used it as a tool to accompany them in every aspect of their daily life but brands have also jumped on the bandwagons and got themselves a WeChat official account allowing them to communicate efficiently with their target audiance.

3 Types of Wechat Official accounts

In China, people are connected more than ever because of WeChat. Besides, you can do many other things on this application because WeChat is more than a messaging app. Indeed, people share their moments, play games, track their fitness goals, make voice and video calls, shop online, and even pay for literally almost everything. With 1 billion accounts, We Chat is obviously one of the biggest social media platforms.

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If you want to use WeChat for business, you can choose among three different types of accounts. You need to get aware of the differences between these accounts in order to choose a good one for your business.

  • Subscription account: It allows you to publish one broadcast message per day to subscribers. It aims at communication purposes.
  • Service accounts: This account allows you to share four messages per month, and they appear in the friend session list. It is the best one for promoting your products or services.
  • Wechat Work (formerly Enterprise account): It gives you massaging and business tools.

Chinese account vs foreign account

Chinese users can only have access to the mainland’s account because they need to use a Chinese phone number. As a consequence, if you are a foreign company and you register overseas. It will be more complicated to create a WeChat account.

Create a WeChat Official Account as a foreign company

But if you want to work in China, you have to create an official Chinese account in order to reach Chinese targets. Nevertheless, it is necessary to have a legal entity such as China’s residence ID and a China Mobile phone number. Concerning license, only a few countries can apply for it.

As a whole, there are 17 countries or regions including Hong Kong, Macau, Taiwan, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, Russia, United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Germany, France, England, and Italy. With this local regulation, creating an official WeChat account as a foreign company is not always easy.

  • Register Foreign Enterprise on Wechat

If you are not from the 17 countries, then you have to create a WFOE which can be expensive and take a long time. WFOE allows a company to get into the Chinese market but with restricted conditions.

  • Get assistance from local companies

Another solution is to get a partnership with a third Chinese company. In fact, they can apply for a WeChat official account by using your Chinese business license. This procedure takes only 7 working days. The account will appear with your company’s name logo and description. It costs only 500 USD, and the operation is fast.

However, it is connected with the legal entity that created the account. Such a partnership means that, in a certain way, you can belong to this third Chinese company. The most inconvenient point is that you cannot use WeChat to promote your product. What is more, users might be confused about the authenticity of your business. But if your business is successful you should consider settling an office in China.

How can Wechat serve your business in China?

This application suggests various ways to exchange with users. There are many functionalities that you can use. For example, there is location-based marketing. WeChat can detect the user’s location, so you can easily target people around you.

You also have the possibility to personalize the content. Some newspapers or magazines are doing it such as The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and Vogue. Companies can publish promotions that appear on your official account.

You can also connect with people. It means that you get them involved in a true customer relationship. This will allow you to know better the clients and make suggestions. By getting them evolved they will at the same time promote your brand.

Wechat Mini-games to create engagement

Coca wechat
Coca mini-game on WeChat

Another way of using WeChat for promoting your business is to put ads on mini-games in order to push further customer engagement. For example, Coca-Cola Hong Kong set up mini-games within we chat interface. The users had to answer questions and play games.

They could win a discount to use at 7-Eleven stores. When you create your account, you get a QR code automatically. Here you need to be creative and very visible. You should choose a strategic location to put it.

Types of advertising on WeChat

WeChat advertising is a social marketing promotion platform based on the WeChat ecosystem, combining user social interaction, reading, and life scenarios, and using professional data algorithms to create a social marketing promotion platform. There are several types of advertising on WeChat.

  • Moments advertising
  • Official Accounts advertising
  • Mini Programs

Moments ads are also called native ads. They are displayed in the user’s Moments in the form of original content similar to friends. By integrating billions of high-quality user traffic, Moments Ads provides advertisers with a unique Internet social promotion and marketing platform in China.

Wechat ads
Native ads on WeChat

Official Accounts advertising is like native ads, but the difference is the place where users can see your promotions. For this kind of ad, advertisers publish ads in their official accounts, not in the Moments of WeChat users.

Mini-program marketing has 4 different forms. The advertising is based on a WeChat mini-program and mini-game ecology, using professional data processing algorithms to achieve controllable costs, considerable benefits, and precise reach.

Wechat ads
Three forms of WeChat mini-program ads

WeChat has more than 1.1 billion monthly active users, which can help you achieve massive brand exposure, convey brand culture, strengthen brand image, and cooperate with precise targeting to allow more users to participate in brand activities.

As a foreign company, you need some time to create an official WeChat account. You have several options that are open to you. WeChat is an unavoidable platform when you want to do business in China.

Chinese people spend a lot of time on it. So the more you are visible, the more you get leads.  Because it is not always easy to understand and to know all the details about how it functions.

If you want to know more about how to use WeChat to help your business, you can come to see us and GMA will help you thanks to its expertise.

Read more about Wechat for businesses:

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  1. WeChat has often been described as “super applications” because everything is integrated into the same service. Instead of having one application for banking and another for travel, many of them are directly integrated with WeChat, so that the application becomes a one-stop shop for its users.
    China Companies can choose to launch wechat mini-programs within WeChat – instead of a stand-alone application.

    The program allows companies to send promotional Messages directly to the user via WeChat, as well as tap into the application’s user base of more than a billion.

  2. Wechat is a great way to connect people in China. I understand this whole point of using a different app that is not normally used in the rest of the world.

    1. Hey Ronald,

      It can indeed be a bit challenging for foreign brands to open a WeChat official account.
      That is why we suggest to any foreign entity to go through a trustable agency (like us :p) to register their account and save time and resources

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