WeChat is now essential to almost every aspect of Chinese consumers’ daily lives and therefore a core marketing platform for companies doing business in China. Nowadays, for your business to flourish in China, having a WeChat strategy isn’t just best practice – it’s a must for marketers to make an impact.
Official Accounts are an effective tool for companies to supercharge their sales and marketing goals. Here are proof points from the CAICT WeChat Economic and Social Impact Report:
- 32% of Official Account operators sell products via their accounts;
- 40% of operators use their Official Account to deliver customer services;
- 34% of operators note that their Official Account has enabled them to reduce costs significantly – by more than 30%.
That’s why the team at Current Asia created The Ultimate Guide to WeChat. To help you understand China’s leading social media platform — with 1 billion active users and growing — take a look at some of our insights and get familiar with the key features WeChat offers through its Official Accounts.
1. Official Account Functionality
There are more than 20 million Official Accounts, of which 3.5 million are active monthly. Official Accounts allow you publish content and build interactive services. Official Accounts support multi-media content, such as text, images and videos. Subscribers can interact with a post by sharing it, leaving comments and giving likes. Official Accounts also deliver interactive services such as:
- Interactive menu: a custom menu to give users quick access to highlighted content in the account.
- Message handling: messages and user interactions can be passed to a separate server to automate a response (ideal for customer support).
- Cards and offers: deliver special discounts, limited time offers, membership cards, and more to followers.
- QR codes: generate unique QR codes that activate specific features or content in the account.
- Location services: request the user’s location to deliver location-based services and media.
- Analytics: gather detailed data on users and learn how they engage with content.
2. Accessing Official Accounts
The most common way to access an Official Account is through WeChat Moments, which is the equivalent of the Facebook timeline. After clicking the article on Moments, users can access the account page by clicking the name of the Official Account at the top of the article.
Apart from Moments, users can also access an Official Account by scanning a QR code, through search, sharing name cards and WeChat advertising.
3. Types of Official Accounts
There are three types of Official Accounts: Subscription, Service and Enterprise Accounts.
Subscription Accounts are listed in the Subscriptions folder on the WeChat chats list. These accounts are targeted at media and publishers as a new way to broadcast content, allowing one broadcast of up to eight posts per day.
Service Accounts appear directly in a user’s chats list.
Service Accounts are designed for achieving a higher level of audience engagement with more advanced interactions, such as interactive web views, templated messages, and WeChat Pay, by enabling app-level capabilities. This type of account is limited to four broadcasts of up to eight posts per month, so the content to be published must be targeted and highly valuable to the audience.
Source: WeChat Open Platform, Current Asia presents The Ultimate Guide to WeChat
These two types of Official Accounts can accomplish different marketing objectives. For brands wanting to keep in touch with customers by broadcasting content regularly, a Subscription Account is a good choice. For brands looking to deliver more advanced services to customers, then start with a Service Account.
Operating a WeChat Official Account is a must for companies to run a successful business in China. Making the most of this influential platform can effectively contribute to the growth of the company and the brand.