For many B2C businesses, social media marketing has always been the best option for B2C companies to reach out to consumers, with Facebook being the platform of choice. However, with Facebook’s constant algorithm changes, the efficacy of brand pages are on the steep decline – it is estimated today that only 3% of those who like your brand page will see your new posts. As digital marketers, we have to continually look for new ways to engage and with over a million Chinese nationals in Singapore, WeChat marketing might be that missing key.
Unless you have an interest in China, the name WeChat may sound unfamiliar to you. But for more than 600 million people living in China who log onto WeChat every single day, it is the most popular social media application. It is the Facebook of China, only with much more powerful features and services.
Starting out as a simple messaging app initially, it has evolved to become a powerful social platform that people in China use to do anything and everything including sharing content with their social circle, booking taxis and appointments, paying for lunch, shopping online, and even investing in a wealth management plan. It is basically Tinder, Slack, Amazon, Paypal, Skype, Facebook and Apple Wallet, all rolled into one application; bringing mobile-first capabilities (online-to-offline linkages), together with detailed audience profiles and mobile payments – into a comprehensive view of audience activities.
That being said, WeChat marketing is undoubtedly one of the most important types of marketing in China. Whether your business is located in the country or abroad, promoting your business on WeChat is crucial if you want to target your audience in China. With WeChat, brands are moving beyond one-size-fits-all marketing, toward strategies that are more customized for specific audience segments. CRM systems in WeChat afford brands the opportunity to develop detailed audience profiles and deliver bespoke content. Brands who get this right enjoy big increase in user engagement.
Your Biggest Challenge: Getting Followers
With WeChat, brands are moving beyond one-size-fits-all marketing, toward strategies which are more customized for specific audience segments. CRM systems in WeChat afford brands the opportunity to develop detailed audience profiles and deliver bespoke content. Brands who get this right enjoy big increases in user engagement. When it comes to WeChat marketing, your biggest challenge is to get your brand in front of people and attracting new followers. Due to the private nature of the application, it is not easy to do that. For example, your business would not show in the search results of a user unless he specifically searches for your brand or company or even better, searches using your WeChat id. Think about how you search for contacts in Skype – it’s about the same in WeChat.
Although the app offers CPC and CPM advertisement that allows you to run ads and promote your business, it comes with its own problems. Firstly, these ads are very expensive to run. And secondly, the service doesn’t have good targeting capabilities so the credibility of followers you get as a result is highly questionable.
However, you can still gain new followers using other methods and techniques. Here are a few of them.
Run Viral Campaigns
Giveaway campaigns (share to win a prize) can be extremely effective when it comes to attracting new followers. However, recent regulations by Tencent have banned all such tactics i.e. to give incentives to users for sharing and following. However, with some creativity, the technique can still be used to create viral campaigns. An example is a campaign by Mc Donald’s that posted a contest and asked its users to record a ‘Big Mac Rap’. Since the contest was fun and free, the campaign became viral.
Promote Your QR Code
One of the most effective ways to gain new followers is to promote and present your QR code wherever possible. Every WeChat account has a unique QR code that the user can scan to instantly follow the account. You can make the most of this feature by publishing your QR codes in every marketing material you send out to users. You can even use the QR code offline by asking your walk-in customers to scan your QR code in exchange for a discount or offer. Be creative with your QR code, personalize it with your own style, and use it everywhere – online as well as offline.
Create Useful Content
Like with all other social media platforms, content strategy is the same in this case: create interesting and useful content and be consistent with it. According to a 2016 survey of WeChat users, 49% said that they were more likely to share ‘useful’ content.
When it comes to the type of content, videos are the latest trend and is booming on almost all popular social media platforms including WeChat. The survey also reported that videos are twice as popular as regular articles – 45% users reported they would like to see short videos on their WeChat moments as opposed to 22% who wanted to see articles.
To keep users engaged and attract new followers, come up with a creative content strategy that includes audio messages, text, video, and pictures. For example, TREELABS, a Bluetooth speaker brand posts a daily playlist of songs from different countries. This way their community can listen to international music.
These simple techniques can help you gain new followers in WeChat without paying a hefty price.