03 April 2018 FOUR NEED-TO-KNOW WECHAT MARKETING INSIGHTS

Welcome to the second part of our WeChat series where we bring you useful tips for Chinese social media marketing. For an introduction into Weibo and WeChat, check out the first part of the series here.

Last year, Tencent released a WeChat Data Report indicating that the average daily users had reached 902 million last September, with a 17 percent year-over-year increase. With enormous figures like these, businesses targeting the Chinese market are taking WeChat more seriously than ever before.

WeChat is Generally Pay-to-Play

The bottom line is you’re probably going to need to pay for coverage. When it comes to WeChat marketing, most marketers focus on official accounts. However, this space can sometimes be quite discouraging, in particular to PR practitioners, as the general rule here is ‘pay to play’. 

The official accounts in Australia are mostly owned and run by student migrants or well-established Chinese media groups. When it comes to pages run by student migrants, it’s less likely to secure free coverage through them as advertising may be their primary source of income and they will require payment for any type collaboration or advertising. 

As for the Chinese media groups, getting free editorial coverage from them is more realistic as the groups normally have multiple media outlets. If you are willing to provide advertising support to one or two of their other outlets, you may be able to negotiate free coverage on WeChat as a little bonus. 

Use Analysis Tools to Estimate Subscriber Base 

Essentially, WeChat official accounts function in the same way as social media influencers on Instagram and Facebook. However, unlike many other forms of social media, the number of subscribers to a WeChat account is visible only to its operators. An estimate of active subscribers from a third-party source, therefore, serves as an essential tool when collaborating with official accounts.

Sources such as Newrank and gsdata provide those stats free of charge. With a personal WeChat account, you can gain access to even more insights into your target official accounts.

It’s Possible to Use WeChat Without Knowing Chinese 

There is a common misconception that WeChat can only be used by Chinese-speaking people. However, according to a recent survey, 38 percent of WeChat users in Australia are non-native speakers of Chinese Mandarin or Cantonese. It found that the platform is used by people to translate to or from Chinese, keep in touch with friends, and connect with business partners in China.
The translation function on WeChat plays as a handy tool to break down language barriers. When it comes to learning how to market on WeChat, don’t be scared to sign up with a personal account and gain first-hand experience on the platform. 

Ensure You Reach the Chinese Market You Are After

It can be difficult to set up a WeChat official account for Australian organisations without offices in China. Worse still, businesses may manage to register an official account with a non-Chinese business licence, only to find they are separated from the myriad of the users from Mainland China. For instance, a user with a WeChat account registered in Mainland China is unable to subscribe to The Australian newspaper on WeChat.

Before setting up your WeChat account, ensure your settings are optimised for targeting the correct market. There are a few of ways to get around these difficulties, so for more info, get in touch. 

Icon has the expertise and resources to provide tailored WeChat marketing solutions that allow you to reach to your target audience. For more information, contact [email protected]