What is WeChat?
It is a social media platform used for messaging and content sharing. WeChat has a wallet or payment function that allows users to transacton the platform without the need to access other financial payment platforms. It is a china-based platform that was launched to in 2011 targeting the Chinese market.
WeChat allows users to send messages in different formats such as text, audio, pictures, and video. It allows message broadcasting, group messaging, video conferencing.
Users can also share locations with their contacts. The app also has a functionality that allows users to share live events with their friends.
WeChat allows users to access news since media companies also have accounts on the platform. It has a unique search feature that allows users to find:
- WeChat channels
- Stickers for instant messaging
- WeChat moments
- WeChat official programs
- Internet content
WeChat has 4.20 billion active users around the world. 28% of the total number are from eastern Asia.
It is also estimated that more than 90% of internet users in china have WeChat accounts. Most of these users are below 24 years.
How to Use WeChat in Business
Companies can market their products on WeChat by either partnering with third parties or requesting for official account.
An official account you to create content on WeChat and interact directly with your target audience. WeChat has allowed some companies outside china to apply for an official WeChat account.
Setting up a WeChat official account
When planning to set up an official account on WeChat, you should understand that there are two types of accounts that can be used for marketing. They include subscription accounts and service accounts.
A WeChat subscription account is usedfor marketing only for companies within china. However, a service account is designed for sales and customer support. Account holders under this category can broadcast four messages in one month and have access to WeChat API and WeChatpay.
Official account application process
1. Click on the register option on the WeChat official website (https://mp.weixin.qq.com/)
2. Select serviceaccount and enter your email address and wait for a confirmation code.
3. Enter the confirmation code and input your account’s password. Select your account of origin and request for a verification process to access premium features. Tofinish the process, click Done
How to Advertise on WeChat
There are three types of ads on WeChat;
- Banner ads
- Moment ads
- Key opinion leader ads.
Marketers should understand that WeChat has a policy that limits the number of ads users can see in a day. For instance, each WeChat user has access to three a moment ads within 24 hours. if there is no any form of engagement within 6 hours, the ads shall be removed from the user’s timeline.
Partnering with influencers (KOLs) on WeChat
The platform has individuals called key opinion leaders. They include bloggers, actors and celebrities who are popular on the platform. These individuals come in handy especially to businesses thatdo not have a WeChat official account. They will promote or endorse your product to their audience.
Collaboration or partnership with WeChat
In most cases, WeChat partners are companies located outside china that are seeking to run promotions on the platform. However, WeChat has a limitation on the types of companies for partnership.
Creating a WeChat mini program
Companies outside china can apply fora developer license that allows them to create WeChat mini programs. This license allows an entity to create apps that can be accessed by all WeChat users.
Therefore, the popularity of WeChat platform provides an opportunities for companies to advertise or gain access to potential markets especially in the Asian region.
Estrin.S. (2020). WeChat And The World: How To Do Business In China And Beyond. Retrieved from https://www.forbes.com/sites/londonschoolofeconomics/2020/11/29/wechat-and-the-world-how-to-do-business-in-china-and-beyond/?sh=53bcdb6a4d8f
Moghavvemi, S., & Guan, Y. (2021).Disruptive Innovation in Communication Apps: The Case Study of WeChat PayDuring COVID-19. In Handbook of Research on Reinventing Economies andOrganizations Following a Global Health Crisis (pp. 109-123). IGIGlobal.
Statista (2020). Distribution of WeChat users in China as of June 2019, by age. Retrieved from https://www.statista.com/statistics/387658/wechat-china-user-age/