WeChat is the most popular messaging and social media app in China. It has evolved into a powerful marketing platform for businesses looking to reach customers in China and beyond. It is also the social media that we get the most request about. The least we can say is that people have a lot of misconceptions when it comes to WeChat Marketing and achievable goals on this platform.
In this article, we will explore the benefits of WeChat marketing and provide tips and strategies for effectively using the platform to promote your business.
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Quick reminder: What is Wechat & who are WeChat users?
Tencent’s famous social media is used by 1.26 billion monthly WeChat users that want to communicate with their network of relatives and friends like WhatsApp is in western countries. At the same time, the app includes many other functions, which go far beyond those available on Facebook or Twitter.
When it comes to WeChat features for business, companies can start their own WeChat official account (either subscription accounts or service accounts), where they can communicate with their followers and publish content that is similar to our newsletters. Apart from that, it’s also possible to start the brand’s WeChat store within the app (in so-called WeChat mini-programs), which is linked to the WeChat official account.
WeChat official accounts work as websites, although websites in China are also important, Wechat accounts are crucial for gaining consumers’ trust and communicating about products and brands. There is also a whole system of WeChat advertising which helps companies get to 1.26 billion WeChat users.
As a messaging app, WeChat also has an advanced CRM system and a possibility for group messages, which allow for private-traffic marketing, which is gaining popularity and is one of the most popular WeChat marketing strategies in recent years. Companies can send announcements and offer special discounts and loyalty programs to the most interested customers. And of course, consumers can pay for products with WeChat pay and every company can start a Wechat payment account, so that any WeChat user can make a purchase.
WeChat Marketing Best Practices
It is surely a complex platform, so to understand WeChat marketing in 2023, we present the best practices for a good WeChat marketing strategy.
- Never forget that WeChat is a close eco-system
- WeChat works to nurture your lead
- Drive people to WeChat through an omnichannel strategy
- Measure the results of your WeChat content
- The title of your WeChat official account “newsletters” must have a friendly tone
- The visual content is everything on WeChat
- Publish enough and not too much
- Be creative and use all WeChat functions at your disposal
RULE NUMBER 1: Never forget that WeChat is a closed eco-system
You cannot attract new customers through WeChat since it is a very closed social media. Although now WeChat made it a bit easier with WeChat Channels that can reach out to people outside of your followers base, it’s still not as open as Weibo or RED.
And even if there are new ways to reach a “not following” audience, such as hashtags and channels, the possibility to increase the number of your followers just by using WeChat’s tools is still too low.
RULE NUMBER 2: WeChat works to nurture your lead
There are different methods to make your WeChat audience grow, but we are gonna tell you later which are. Now, we want to tell you what the platform does best.
Through WeChat, you can inform your clients or potential ones about your brand’s activities, initiatives, events, and discounts; well, everything can attract their attention. It can be compared to a newsletter service.
Those who visit your account for the first time should find interesting as well as visually appealing articles. You have an infinite number of possibilities to create content on your account, be creative and you will be able to convert your followers.
RULE NUMBER 3: Drive people to your WeChat official account through an omnichannel strategy
What let your WeChat account become popular? We already said the answer is not inside the WeChat ecosystem. So, where is it?
To be successful you need to use an omnichannel strategy and engaging WeChat marketing campaigns. This rule is valid for all kinds of marketing strategies for the Chinese market at present.
So, here’s the answer to the question “how can I generate leads to my WeChat account?”:
- Work on offline activities, like offline events;
- Contact KOLs (Key Opinion Leaders, aka influencers) or/and KOCS (Key Opinion Consumers, aka micro-influencers);
- Create the content on other social media platforms, leading to your WeChat account (adding your QR code to other platforms and working on search engine optimization)
RULE NUMBER 4: Measure the results of your WeChat content
Considering the high level of closure that characterized WeChat, it is recommended to not measure results as you can normally do for other platforms, like Facebook or Instagram. The number of followers is not the main aspect to keep an eye on.
On the contrary, the answer to “how can I measure the success of my WeChat account?” is:
- Count the number of people who follow your account the day you publish an article
- Number of reads (chat groups, Moments, Top Stories)
- How Many social shares (Moments, chat groups)
- Calculate the Open Rate
- Check if articles have been read completely or not
RULE NUMBER 5: The title of your WeChat “newsletters” must have a friendly tone
Have you ever used WeChat? If yes, you certainly know that the homepage is just like any instant messaging app’s homepage.
So, when your newsletter will be sent to users, it will appear next to all their friend’s and relatives’ messages. This environment suggests a very friendly communication tone, so forget about boring corporate-sounding articles and write funny or informative news for your followers.
In addition, be aware that long titles are not visible in the chat. It is recommended to check how a message can look within a chat before sending it to all your contacts.
RULE NUMBER 6: The visual content is everything on WeChat!
Chinese’ attention towards beautiful covers, beautiful packages, and beautiful websites is extremely high. This means that the design and layout of your articles must be impactful.
Chinese users choose what they read according to the title of the message and keep reading it only if it is sufficiently beautiful from an aesthetic point of view. And, if the design is extremely good, there will be a higher probability to convert your followers into real clients.
None will read an article with low-quality images. After all, why should they do it when they have the possibility to see surprisingly attractive and creative content every day? A brand that cares about its image is considered more reliable.
Also, consider that constantly showing a coherent layout and design can be an occasion to create a visual identity able to engage your audience.
RULE NUMBER 7: Publish enough and not too much
Relations need to be cultivated. You cannot water your plant once a year if it needs water once a month. As, your plant, the audience needs to be nurtured carefully, otherwise will decide to unfollow you. But for the same reason, you cannot post every day because the plant of course would die as well as the interest of your followers.
At this point, you are certainly wondering “when should I post my articles on WeChat?”
Above you can see the favorite time of the day for posting. However, having a fixed time before publishing is not exactly what your brand should consider.
Schedule your timetable according to your objectives
The time of your publication is related to the objective you want to reach with your message: make laugh your audience by letting it entertain with a game, or maybe your objective is to make your followers buy the products you mentioned in the articles. All these activities are usually done at different hours of the day.
For instance, Perfect Diary invented an avatar that creates WeChat groups at night to invite members to live-streaming events where a KOL usually talks about products. This strategy seems to work very well!
Any strategic decision could work. The only rule to follow is to be original, systematic, and consistent. And you can know if your strategy is working or not only by monitoring the engagement rate.
Thanks to this approach, you can understand what kind of content works better and get inspiration from it for your next publication. Keep in mind that after at least six months you can truly understand what is the content that most interests your target.
RULE 8: Be creative and use all WeChat tools at your disposal
WeChat has so many tools that a brand can consider to be innovative. Take inspiration from other brands or if you think to have a great idea just check if your followers are interested in it. Innovation most of the time is the best driver to success in China.
There are many ways to spend time on WeChat:
- Opening mini-programs to do shopping or to play (also known as “mini-game”);
- Give a look at your friend’s moments (a moment look like a post on Facebook) and also see when they have a reaction to a post;
- Conversate on WeChat groups;
- Look for information on channels or on the WeChat search engines.
Click here to know how Perfect Diary has been creative using WeChat: how it perfectly manages the use of WeChat groups and how its avatar (Xiaowanzi) is good at engaging followers.
Remember that some clients prefer to be up to date with your brand news on WeChat groups rather than following your WeChat account.
We can help you create the best WeChat marketing campaigns
These are only some tips to follow if you want efficiently use WeChat. But the first thing to do is to download the app and get used to it. By the way, if you cannot read Chinese you cannot understand how to use all WeChat features. This is where you will need a China digital agency to help you.
For brands, we want to repeat only two suggestions. First, remember that your objective on WeChat is engagement, only high levels of engagement synonym with high ROI. The second repeated suggestion is to rely on an omnichannel strategy, if you don’t do it your audience will never grow.
We are a China digital agency specializing in marketing and e-commerce solutions in the Chinese market. Our team of Chinese and foreign experts has the experience and know-how needed to succeed on WeChat.
If you want to know more about WeChat or any other related to Chinese market information, feel free to contact us. We offer a free consultation with one of our specialists that will learn about your brand and present solutions for your WeChat strategy. We have all the WeChat marketing tools necessary in the Chinese market.