Official Accounts-WeChat

WeChat Official Accounts

Look deeply into the window~ WeChat: also more than it appears

Introducing: Wechat

Photo: Gyorgy Bakos

Launched as Weixin early 2011, generating international attention and recognition in the process, WeChat is a mobile communication app used by, seemingly almost everyone over the age of 8 in China and quite a few people out of China as well.
In short, in China, Wechat is the GO TO tool for any form of communication; personal or business. Anyone, more or less, can open a base Wechat account, free with, relatively, easy set up.
Wechat is available as an International version, or the standard, local, domestic China version - Weixin.

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Getting to know Wechat

Photo: Kate Townsend
Asia's frenzied lifestyle, explosion of the online environment led to a massive uptake of mobile use for communication, browsing, news and shopping. WeChat's WeChat Pay enables users to shop and pay online and offline with 1 click or scan of a merchants QR code.
Commercially, WeChat is a China marketing Ecosystem blending a raft of social features with the ability to buy almost anything from within the App and is today the dominant leader in E and Mobile Marketing in China.
Just as friends or strangers will not ask for your phone number or Email, but WeChat, retailers do not ask: "Is that cash or credit card?" but expect WeChat Pay.
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Discovering Wechat

In brief, Wechat is a bit like an onion; has many layers and can be divided into either a personal account [used by most Chinese to communicate] or an Official Account [OA] used by brands to sell their products or services.
Peeling more, OA can be subdivided into [currently] 2 more variants; Subscription and Service accounts.
Probably many NZ and global businesses have heard and read the WeChat hype, but beyond the ubiquitous Wechat pay or E-wallet, may not understand what a Wechat Official Account is, exactly, nor 100% certain how to use it effectively or what, if anything it can do for their business.

Please note: This page is current @Jan '18 [to the best of our knowledge and experience]. WeChat is an open source App, as a Tech / Development Marketing firm we work closely with Tencent and urge clients to do the same, especially if they have an inhouse development team.
Digital Marketing in China is extremely fluid, WeChat is a dynamic App, subject to rapid and regular improvement. Please check WeChat Admin for updates or contact us for updated info.

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Wechat Marketing System

Let's get the elephant out of the room to begin with.
WeChat was, initially a copy of WhatsApp, later adding FB and Twitteresque features. From imitator to innovator, today, some of the features pioneered in Wechat have been adopted by Facebook Messenger.
Wechat is more than a social media chat app; WeChat is a complete digital marketing ecosystem, a mobile centric app blending Social, Content, Location, E-comm and E-wallet.
In terms newcomers might better relate to, it is Facebook, Twitter etall + Google + Amazon / E-bay + Paypal + Apple / Android E-wallet rolled into one easy to use bundle.
NZ, Global or Mainland China, Wechat is the future of mobile marketing, China's social mobile app of choice for buyers and sellers and your key to increasing your share of the China market.
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One App: Two Policies

Photo: Jon Moore

Wexin Domestic v/s WeChat International- -differences

Once apon a time - March 2018 to be exact, there were two Wechat systems, one for locals and one for overseas. This presented some obstacles for foreign brands to reach mainland consumers.

Not any more.

Around June this year the rules changed, Important Changes to the WeChat OA Admin Platform Website.
Tencent also introduced Mini Programs, in fact the changes this year have been so thick and fast our web site can't keep up.

So, if you are thinking WeChat in China and want to the latest low-down, please drop us a line with some details and we will be happy to answer any questions you may have.

Find out more now or call direct 186-1176-5649
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Overview: Key WeChat Marketing System Tools

woman holding wechat qr code

Wechat Official Accounts

Wechat OA are currently available to two flavours plus Corporate or Enterprise accounts aimed at larger entities setting up an "in house" system." Looking to the future, WeChat developed mini programs, similar to both Google and Apple App stores. When used professionally as part of WeChat Operation, WeChat OA are excellent Branding and CRM tools.

E or M-Commerce Stores

Strictly speaking, these are not on line stores such as T-Mall, but individual apps within an OA. The distinction is vital as, unlike a conventional E-com store there is no organic traffic, rather it must be driven by the brand itself. That being said, WeChat's reputation and popularity with Chinese plus WeChat Pay makes it a very attractive option for brands prepared to put the work into developing it.

WeChat Pay

Probably the best known WeChat app in the west, trusted and used globally by Chinese as their mobile E-wallet both on and off line with some stores discontinuing their in store credit card payment service in favour of WeChat Pay. Others are trialling DIY scan and pay for customers in a hurry. Interestingly, China's seniors, who were slow to uptake credit card payment, have very quickly adapted to Wechat E-wallet

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Comparison: Wechat Service - Subscription Accounts

Service accounts add several advantages over a base subscription account, eg. businesses can build their own apps within a Service Account.
A major benefit is that SERVICE accounts show up in the users FRIENDS list, a difference misunderstood or undervalued by many brands.
This difference however, is significant as subscription posts end up in a folder, which the user may or may not open, friend's chats, post etc show up on her screen and are, usually read as a trusted source.
Used strategically this deepens the relationship as your fans are more likely to share your marketing contact among themselves. To labour this point, using intelligent content within a service account gives your marketing material "extra legs," shared to people with her interests and therefore, your brand.
However, in our experience, brands fail to understand this vital point squandering golden opportunities by mindlessly sending irrelevant, ill-targeted content.

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Brands that use "Intelligent" Data informed content to create marketing material their audience appreciate have a greater level of trust and loyalty over those who broadcast via the subscription account option.
This content is more often shared among customers friends circles which often total several hundred like minded people resulting in your piece of content reaching many more potential buyers than initially thought.
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Example of Wechat OA Subscription Account

example of wechat subscription account
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Example of Wechat OA Service Account

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Examples of different CONTENT usage in Wechat OA

example of wechat subscription account
Subscription or Service accounts are important branding and CRM tools but only part of the brilliance of the WeChat Mobile Marketing Ecosystem, for example....
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WeChat Pay

WeChat Pay.

This integrated WeChat app enables multiple smart phone payment options spanning a range of scenarios and situations.
Brands with WeChat official accounts can gently wean fans away from their mobile to in-store shopping by offering customers one, familiar, easy to use payment system, either in store or on line.
X border Chinese shoppers pay in RMB - the merchants account is settled in their own local currency.
example of wechat subscription account
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image of woman using wechat for payment

Some current uses for WeChat Pay include:

Transferring funds to family / friends
Purchasing on E-com websites
Recharging their mobile
Investment in wealth management funds
Vehicle Maintenance / Running

Paying utilities: water, power, Internet
Paying for restaurant meals
In store, off line shopping, eg supermarkets, malls, boutiques, 7/11 stores [practically everywhere~]

Ordering and paying ride share; bike- car
Train or flight ticket
Book a hotel
Movie tickets
Ordering and paying for home delivery meals

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WeChat Store-never closes

"Photo: Tim Mossholder
First rolled out mid 2104, WeChat Store is part of the white hot E / M-comm movement in China. The important take-a-way is that WeChat Store is an App inside an App - the WeChat Marketing Ecosystem -NOT a Web based shop as is Magento or Shopify. This is part of Tencent's policy of keeping EVERYTHING controlled behind a wall.
This means you can not expect organic traffic and must generate your own buzz within your circles, much as brands do with their OA accounts anyway.
Possible advantages of WeChat Store over Web Stores may be faster load times - many are template based with extraneous code and links which run slowly in China. If you know your way around CSS and HTML5 or can afford to have a developer "tweak" your shop, this is not an issue.
Secondly; WeChat Pay system -which Chinese consumers are very comfortable using- is baked in in comparison to say Shopify which in China depends on Alipay.
If you have specific questions, queries or, well ,anything at all to do with WeChat Stores, please contact us for an obligation free natter.
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WeChat for Business

For WeChat marketing inspiration look no further than the luxury fashion industry, even if we don't all have their seemingly bottomless trouser pockets. Learn how understanding Chinese consumers impatience inspired Chanel to use WeChat to streamline their Rome 2015/16 show in Beijing ticketing system + more
"Inside Retail Asia" looks more closely at How Luxury Brands in China are using WeChat and may give you food for thought.
Regardless of your budget, all you need for a stunning WeChat campaign is creativity, passion, determination and a little helping hand from us... get in touch now and be in China sooner than you thought.
Again, please, please be aware, things in China can sometimes quickly change both political and economical. Please feel free to contact us any time for a an update and a personalised evaluation of your circumstances.
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QR is the Key

Personal or OA, the "KEY" to Wechat is that little box - QR code- your ID or, in old thinking, web or email address.
Customers scan your code and enter your branded H5 page, again, in dinosaur terms, your website. If they chose to "follow" you, then you can promote finely targeted content directly to them, which, if well tuned, they will share within their circles, on average numbering in the 100s.
Alert consumers to promotions, special offers when they are nearby or in one of your stores. Certain customers seem intent on a product, but when approached scurry timidly out of the store. QR codes and NFC can be used to impart considerable product detail so customers can assimilate and digest it on their own terms before deciding to buy knowing they have been "pushed" into a sale. Using scan and pay sensors, the customer never has to speak to a sales person.
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WeChat by the Numbers

We know for many of you, talk is cheap, you like to see numbers... well as a DATA Inspired Digital team, it just happens we do too.
So, we are extremely happy and proud to announce we have the LATEST stats on WeChat; courtesy of Tencent themselves.
We also held our own "mini conference" late last year, and whilst not as grand, one thing to emerge was some foreign brands have difficulty separating WeChat from Whatsapp and Messenger in terms of marketing performance. And that European firms, especially Southern Europe, seem to be half a decade behind China with their marketing briefs~
This upgrade to our WeChat OA page is a direct response to the former, aiming to illustrate the advantages that WeChat presents as a Marketing System in China.
Read The Tencent 2017 WeChat Data Report
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Dare to be Different

Photo: Bosen Yan

Is WeChat for my Business?

The better question maybe more if you and your business is for WeChat. Marketing in China is cruel, dynamic, and brutally competitive. Produce the same, boring, unimaginative content or copy others, you will find this out the hard way. Sadly, create heart warming, award winning content your fans love, it will be mercilessly pirated.You can never rest on your laurels.
The WeChat Mobile Marketing system is one of the most effective forms of online advertising for many businesses who aim to increase both their brand awareness and build a loyal, supportive customer base. But it can prove both costly, in terms of time,and ineffective if managed poorly.

If you are considering WeChat Official Accounts for your business, here are a few questions:

Do you want to grow your business using WeChat Mobile Marketing, but don’t have the time or money to waste learning it?

Are you using WeChat, but the results aren't meeting your expectations?

Do you want to optimise your branding or improve your CRM?

If yes, then having your WeChat business account professionally operated might be your best option.
WeChat is a complicated tool, which done right can warrant very strong results, however done wrong and marketers can be put off for life. Unfortunately managing and optimising a high performing campaign involves a high level of skill, constant up-skilling staying in tune with new updates, features and best practises, constant testing, iteration and of course – time, that is required to be invested. “Set and forget” campaigns simply won’t work which is why you need a dedicated WeChat Operation company to do the heavy lifting for you while you focus on your business and do what you do best.

What can you use Wechat for in China?

Branding in China
For Advertising in China
For Content Creation
For Selling Products
China is awash with gung-ho, start-up Wechat marketing firms promising you the world. True, we know, there is amazing opportunity here with spectacular success, but also spectacular failure.
We have been here since 2003, we can afford a few weeks to get to know you and how we can best serve you.
So before we all go rushing in waving contracts and pencils, let's take time to sit down and chat, explore what is is your business does, how it fits into China and what your future goals are.
Please call me; Everlyne Yu or drop me a line, we are more than a URL~!
Photo: Ali Yahya

NZ Registered Office:
9A South Road, Kuripuni, Masterton 5810, NZ
Company Name: BICYU DIGITAL MARKETING LIMITED Company Number: 6268694; NZBN: 9429046080950 Entity Type: NZ Limited Company
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