WeChat is the most popular social media in China and with over a billion active users, it has made its way into the most popular social media platforms in the world. This also makes it an excellent promotion platform for international brands. In particular, in the last two years, due to the “forced” distance promotion imposed by covid19, several companies have decided to invest in digital marketing in China and therefore to open a WeChat account.
As often happens in China, the promise of a panacea in which it is possible to talk to the majority of Chinese consumers was soon replaced by a very different reality, which earned WeChat the title of “walled garden” or a garden to which it is very difficult to access.
So let’s see what are the reasons why your official WeChat account is not working as you would like and what to do to improve its performance.
Before proceeding to the critical issues present in WeChat, let’s see what are the reasons why you must – without a doubt – have an official account if you want to be present in China.
1. With over a billion more active users it is the social media used in China;
2. WeChat’s search engine is used by users to search for information about brands. If a consumer cannot find you by typing your company name on WeChat, they will assume that you are not present in China or that the brand is not popular enough.
3. Thanks to the existence of a menu, WeChat allows you to statically leave the most important information for your company on your account (catalog, company philosophy, useful contacts, links to e-commerce, etc.)
4. It is a great tool for customer service in China and allows you to communicate directly with potential and active customers.
Now let’s see what WeChat shouldn’t be used for:
– Brand Awareness.
So what are you thinking: “What ?!”
Yet, that’s right. WeChat is not a visibility platform. In fact, in order to look for you and find you, consumers must have already come into contact with your brand. This implies that:
a. They found your WeChat QR code somewhere and scanned it
b. They saw your brand name somewhere and searched for you through the WeChat search engine.
There is no other way to gain followers on WeChat (but there is a way to make consumers look for you, check below)
The question I am asked most often is: “On FaceBook we invest xxx euros every year in Adv and from this promotion we can see concrete results, is there a similarity tool on WeChat?”
The answer is: yes, but it doesn’t work like Facebook or Instagram Adv tools (and yes, every time you make a parallel between WeChat and Meta products a fairy dies).
In fact, without specific data (a reference database resulting from a CRM work) it is difficult to obtain a positive ROI in WeChat Ads. Generic data and little targeting will not give you the desired results.
– Advertising Contents
WeChat functions as a microblogging platform: every month, companies are given the opportunity to produce editorials about them and their products. While promoting the brand, however, we must take into account the need of readers: useful and captivating content. Long story short: no one will stop reading your products’ articles if you do not link them to content that informs or entertains. This is true for all marketing content, as they say “the best advertising doesn’t look like advertising”.
So let’s get to the heart of the dilemma: why is your WeChat Account base not growing?
1. Your brand is largely unknown in China and your only promotional activity is your publication on WeChat.
As I explain above, WeChat is not a brand awareness platform per se. To get your target audience into contact with your account, you need to make sure that they know of its existence. (see point 3)
2. You have forgotten your most powerful capture tool: the QR code.
In the West this is not the case, but in China it is very common to scan QR codes for information. Your WeChat QR code must be applied to every label, every brochure, every promotional tool, booth, website where you can think of getting in touch with your customers (potential and active). If it seems too bad to apply on your products, be creative, after all it is even more “bad” to have a WeChat account that does not generate engagement.
3. You are investing your entire budget in publishing a large number of articles, leaving little (or zero) space for paid acquisition activities: collaborations with Influencers, other social media more aimed at visibility, collaborations with more famous brands.
(If you want to learn more about WeChat, click here)
I conclude by leaving you a little food for thought: I like to see WeChat more like your website in China (with a lot of menus) with special promotional capabilities. In short, the place to “land” your prospect and active customers and on which to work in a precise and targeted way once you have acquired them.