Article written by Charles Yan, Consultant at EASTWEST PR
In this article I would like to give a brief introduction to WeChat and tell you why 1.1 billion people have become hooked on this platform. WeChat is so powerful that only by fully utilizing the WeChat platform can companies have any chance of making something BIG in China.
WeChat is one of the most popular APPs in China, and possibly the world. Since 2011, in less 10 years of development, WeChat has gained an incredible 1.1 billion users, which is over 1/7 of the total global population.
I think you will agree that is a pretty crazy statistic!
WeChat truly is the “APP for Everything”! It boasts numerous highly integrated functions and conveniently offers access to almost every other channel making WeChat the largest and most addictive APP in China.
Your WeChat day
From the moment you open your eyes in the morning, until the last minute before going to bed, WeChat can capture most of your attention across your phone, tablet, and PC.
7:00 Check new information on WeChat Moment
8:00 Buy some breakfast at 7-11 store through WeChat Payment
8:30 Scan QR code for a subway or bus trip, even for a DIDI taxi ride
9:00 ‘Clock-in’ at your workplace with automated location services
9:30 Order a cup of coffee directly through WeChat
10:00 Hold an online meeting, especially useful during this COVID-19 period
11:00 Order a lunch delivery
12:00 Watch a video/TV show during lunch time, and read some news
13:30 Check and pay the bills
14:00 Chat in groups with friends/colleagues/clients…
15:00 Buy some fruit online for break time
16:00 Book reservations at hotels and restaurants for a weekend of relaxation
17:00 Top up your phone upto CNY 100
19:00 Browse Taobao.com/JD.com/Pinduoduo for your online shopping fix
20:00 Get some gaming time
21:00 VideoChat with your boyfriend/girlfriend, parents, or friends
22:00 Check and enjoy the video feed
23:00 Read articles and books on WeChat before going to bed
WeChat offers instant access to almost all the daily services that a person needs. Even across diverse services like; insurance, wealth management, hotel reservation, plane & train tickets, etc, WeChat can satisfy everyone’s enquiry. Due to all this power and convenience WeChat has became somewhat of a social “drug” as it becomes entwined in almost every aspect of people’s lives.
How can companies benefit from WeChat?
With over 1.1 billion users, WeChat has reached the No.1 position as leading social media service. Having a WeChat account is a necessity in today’s always connected world. Fortunately, Tencent, the creator of WeChat, now offers multiple plans for different purposes. Not only individuals, but government, institutes, media, and private companies of all types can easily open an account in WeChat and start reeping the benfits of directly accessing most of the population.
WeChat also provides Mini Programs. Mini Programs are a new feature, and are open source, allowing developers to quickly develop new custom Mini Programs. Mini Programs may be easily accessed and distributed inside the WeChat platform allowing for rapid adoption and growth among niche user communities.
Which Account type should you choose?
There are three types of WeChat account to choose from.
- WeChat Subscription accounts (订阅号): Subscription accounts can send up to 1 push message per day to their followers which are grouped together in a dedicated folder appearing alongside your friends in the “chat” section of WeChat. Subscription accounts can be created either with a Chinese ID (in which case some features are limited, for example access to the WeChat API) or with a local Chinese business license for a fuller experience.
- WeChat Service accounts (服务号): Service accounts appear as friends in the “chat” section of WeChat. They are extremely visible and have additional features compared to subscription account (in particular WeChat login, WeChat payment and geo-localization). However, they can only post 4 messages per month.
- Enterprise accounts (企业号): are meant for internal management of companies. They require both the account and the follower to approve each-other. Their content can’t be shared with unauthorized users. They are perfect for a company wanting to spread an internal newsletter.
For those companies who want to enter the Chinese market, a Subscription Account or a Service Account are both equally good choices. How to establish and promote branding and products through WeChat accounts is becoming a key issue in social media spawning a new industry of companies supporting WeChat services.
Although most local companies have set up their WeChat accounts, we find that many owners lack the experience and intricate knowledge of the platform and have either chosen the wrong type of account or do not know how to manage the WeChat account to its full potential.
By wisely utilizing WeChat as a social media channel you can help build a new-path with your target audience.
WeChat is an important tool, and every company should know how to use it.
Eastwest PR has extensive experience managing WeChat for many of our clients making us one of your best choices for creating and managing your WeChat accounts and helping you make some noise through WeChat in China and beyond.
If you would like to talk to EASTWEST PR about utilising the WeChat platform, or any other aspect of PR you can contact us here.