By Shelly Salomon, PTL Group
WeChat is not only an accessible, visible and credible social media platform, it is also an astoundingly popular one, with a YoY rate of around 65%. Since WeChat wears many hats and facilitates such a wide variety of functions, the place it holds in the lives of its millions of users is so much more than that of an app. In light of this, a multitude of companies which enter the Chinese market use WeChat for business marketing.
Here is the What, Why & Where you need to know about WeChat corporate accounts for drafting your WeChat business strategy.
Whether local or a foreigner, domestic or an international business – not having a WeChat account in China means you pretty much don’t exist. Apart from the extensive popularity and the well-known features WeChat has to offer (e.g. communication, payments, buying etc.), it provides substantial marketing value.
WeChat marketing strategy:
- Cost-effective tool for gathering followers and exposure
- Easy method to raise and maintain brand awareness
- Handy, quick and accessible to users
- Buyers can make purchases on the spot
- It enables interactions with customers and thus increases brand loyalty
In other words, it’s the perfect match between buyers and those who wish to sell!
When done correctly, setting up a WeChat account helps to maximize your brands marketing potentials in China. But some thought needs to be applied as to what sort of account or medium is best suited to your company’s needs:
Subscription accounts are a good fit for content-oriented businesses and individuals. They allow you to post 1 message per day (in order to mitigate any aggressive marketing efforts), and content can be re-shared by readers where they mention or tag the original source. However, high posting frequency is compromised by low visibility. Messages and articles don’t push notifications, and they appear in a dedicated “subscription” folder.
Subscription accounts can also be opened by overseas companies.
Service accounts provide broader functions and are better suited to sales-oriented companies with a large customer base. For instance, the system features API and geo-location integrations, as well as the option to set up a WeChat Store linked to a WeChat Pay service. Service accounts also provide customer service capabilities and solutions with buyers able to send direct messages to the account owner. In addition, the account owner gains access to more data, such as who scanned the QR code and which content was re-shared.
In terms of visibility, unlike the Subscription Account, messages, articles and push notifications appear in the user “chat” list. But crucially, posting frequency is much lower as publishing is only allowed 4 times per month.
Enterprise accounts differ from other official accounts in the respect that they are intended for internal use. Unlike the aforementioned, enterprise accounts aren’t open to the public and followers have to be authorized as staff.
Enterprise accounts are relevant for companies seeking to employ internal management functions such as chat rooms, videos, newsletter and other resource sharing mechanisms.
Marketing on WeChat – choosing the right route
Most companies in China tend to choose either Subscription Accounts or Service Accounts.
Official WeChat corporate accounts are undoubtedly a necessary marketing tool for any company or brand that wants to cultivate a following and consumer base in the Chinese market. WeChat serves as an immovable pillar around which so much of life and ultimately business in China revolves. Utilizing it requires careful consideration when choosing the account that fits your company’s needs best.