All Things WeChat

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Guest Speaker: Dr Matthew McDougall

  • Lived in Beijing for 14 years

  • Social Media agency based in China since 9 years

  • Daigou Sales, automated retail:

  • An advanced WeChat user

“All Things WeChat” event

  • Not a lecture, more a facilitation - Matt inspired a fun and interactive discussion

  • To explain the many functionalities and how they work in business

  • The room was divided into thirds, with an equal number of beginners, intermediate and advanced users

General facts about WeChat

  • 700-900 million monthly WeChat users - compared to only 700 million Chinese Internet users

  • Chinese people don’t respond to their emails but usually answer immediately on WeChat

→ A WeChat account is essential when communicating with the Chinese

Personal account functions

  • Chat:

    • Translate button

    • Reminder button (= alarm to remind you of tasks)

  • Connect with others:

    • Scan QR code: Scan their QR code; they then have to accept your request

    • Friend Radar: Search for people nearby and then easily add them

    • Shake function: Find people by shaking your phones at the same time

→ Mostly used in promotional campaigns (The audience loved this, all shaking away!)

  • Set up a group chat:

    • ACSME April 2018 private group; join by typing in the 4 digit code

    • Mute notifications so you won’t be interrupted by irrelevant messages in the group chat

    • Sticky on top: important people appear at the top - even if they don’t message you

  • Send a Red Packet (红包): Last Chinese New Year: $16 billion transferred this way

→ Used by marketing companies (“Share something and receive RMB 2“)

→ It’s now possible to link foreign credit cards in your Wechat wallet (very new function)

  • Mini Apps → Everything is in WeChat - no need to close it - the Chinese don’t!

    • Mini App was released a few days ago

    • McDonald’s, Mobike, etc. all have their own Apps/programs

  • Moments = personal news feed

  • Search function: Similar to Google Trends; search for competitors or certain topics (in Chinese)

  • WeChat Wallet: In China, you don’t need cash anymore, you can pay via WeChat everywhere

    • Pay for taxis, gas bills, train tickets, etc.

→ Add a Chinese bank card or now a foreign credit card

→ Limited security

→ You have to pay a fee if transferring money of a certain amount

WeChat as a business tool

Account management

  • Types of accounts

    • Service Accounts: App-based experience, WeChat websites, post 4 times a month

    • Subscription Accounts: appears in Subscription folder, post 1 time a day, used by KOLs/bloggers

    • Domestic accounts

    • Overseas accounts: can’t be seen by Mainland Chinese

     → Know your purpose and get an agency to verify you, so you are seen by the Chinese

  • What is required for a Verification by Tencent?

    • Valid passport

    • Account Operator (This person cannot later be changed)

  • Content platform

    • Content creation is critical

    • Know who you are writing for - so know your niche

  • KOLs = Key Opinion Leaders (= online influencers)

    • Create visibility and get followers by sharing your content

    • More influential than influencers on other channels

    • They’re critical to WeChat success

    • Get KOLs through agencies; it’s important to know who they are, why you need them and how to measure the effect

    • WeChat KOLs are much more authentic than Weibo KOLs

    • Get a KOL who’s specialised in your industry (e.g. B2B)

    • Grassroot KOLs on average cost $5,000 per post (absolute minimum is $1,000) + a performance bonus

→ It’s important to keep the balance, don’t focus just on sales (e.g. “buy this house, it’s only $1.5 million”)

  • New trend: WeChat-based sites - like websites but on WeChat

  • You can’t promote Taobao or TMall strategies on WeChat, because of a firewall

The next ACSME Roundtable topic will be ‘Developing Your Digital Marketing Strategy for China’ and will be held on Tuesday 29th May 2018. Register now via this link.

You can also sign up for ACSME Membership to receive priority tickets for future monthly Roundtables.