Without a doubt, WeChat is the most popular mobile app in China with over 1 billion users only behind Facebook as the second largest social network in the world. WeChat provides a variety of services including messaging, payments, official account, and mini-programs. In fact, 70% of Chinese people rely on using WeChat in business and personal life. People consider using WeChat as a more efficient way to communicate with clients, suppliers, and colleagues. It has become the mainstream way of digital living in China.
When a company tries to build its brand in the Chinese market, there are many challenges US companies should be aware of that pertain to the reliance on the usual digital tools. However, WeChat is a great platform to start. At a glance WeChat appears as an simple app, but is packed full of features that help businesses connect with Chinese consumers. It has its own digital ecosystem since WeChat has taken a domination position in the Chinese mobile internet. This is an enormous potential market any international company should be eyeing.
WeChat provides a lot of different features to help you effectively reach your target consumers.
These are some essential WeChat features which could help for marketing purposes:
- Official Account: Company home site with customizable menus.
- Advertising platform: supports a massive range of promotional capabilities.
- Content management system: A system helps you create and present exceptional multimedia contents.
- Audience management: it allows the company to do more interactions with their audience.
- E-Commercial capability: it is easy to open a store within WeChat
- Analytics:WeChat provides subscriber, social posts and ad performance reports in detail.
Many Non-Chinese companies start by creating a WeChat Official Account. WeChat Official Account is like a mini website that a US Company can share content even customize terms to suit the company’s needs.
With an Official account, the company can share text, image, and video to their subscribers. WeChat provides a perfect communication method and allows the brand to show its unique characteristics in Official accounts. With interesting content, company information and articles could be well distributed as people share the context in their moments (think of it as the Facebook Profile equivalent). Companies also could post their content on other influencer’s official accounts to achieve more exposure.
WeChat is growing globally as well. Many companies have already built their consumer-base through it. Whether you’re a Fortune 500 company or local business, WeChat is powerful because you connect directly with consumers. Since WeChat uses a real-name system, every account mandates links to a real-life phone number therefore companies able to build a direct connection with their customers.
Users are highly active on WeChat. It is easy to launch surveys and get feedback. With another WeChat feature – mini-program, there are more possibilities. In 2018, thousands of brand and retailers use mini-programs and 78% of WeChat users also use WeChat mini-program. It allows users to transfer to shops or other websites even play games without closing the WeChat app. 30% of users state they have used WeChat mini-programs for shopping.
Because of cultural and language differences as well as the unique idiosyncrasies of the Chinese market, it is always a great challenge for western companies to build up their business in China. WeChat is the platform western companies should leverage to reach Mainland Chinese consumers directly.