Top WeChat features for marketing to China

WeChat is the mobile messaging app that is taking the world by storm. Published by Tencent, WeChat combines the best features from a range of highly popular apps and social media networks, such as Snapchat and Facebook, to create a versatile platform that so far has attracted 500million users. Being the fifth most downloaded app in the world, WeChat is clearly a way of engaging with your target audience in China (source: Slate).

Here are some of WeChat’s most useful features for marketers.

Content targeting

WeChat allows you to create user segments that organise your followers into different categories. Rather like Circles in Google Plus, this allows you to share particular messages only with relevant users. At a very simple level, you may have products for men and for women. By segmenting your WeChat followers by gender, you can talk about your feminine products to your female followers, and masculine products to your male followers.

Offer incentives

The platform gives you plenty of ways to offer your followers something valuable in return for their attention, information, or subscription. You can create everything from virtual scratch cards with monetary prizes to e-coupons for VIP followers. Using these functions allows you to give people a genuine reason for following and engaging with your brand.

Market research

With its ability to offer one-to-one conversations with users, as well as ‘Chat’ and ‘Walkie Talkie’ functions, WeChat gives brands a number of ways of collecting valuable data through market research. Add in the app’s Poll feature, and you have a wide selection of tools to help you identify your target market, find out their desires and needs, and shape your marketing to create the best impact among these key people.

Take payments

WeChat is fast becoming a one-stop-shop for Chinese consumers, who can use the app’s ‘Wallet’ function to pay for everything from taxis and takeaways to the latest fashion. WeChat are even integrating the app into offline settings, including vending machines that use QR codes to take mobile payments from users (source: TechNode). With online security being a big concern to Chinese shoppers, being able to pay through a popular and trusted app allows you to inspire confidence and generate sales.

Create shareable content

This is not a WeChat-specific tip and is always worth repeating. Whether you are using WeChat, Weibo or YouKu, the key to becoming a successful brand on social media is to create content that users want to consume and share. Social sharing is word-of-mouth marketing and public endorsement – powerful marketing tools for any brand. Why spend time and effort trying to ‘push’ yourself onto new users, when their friends can essentially recommend you to them?

WeChat offers a range of rich media options to communicate with your fans. You can create custom stickers, host polls, and distribute images. Make them eye-catching and interesting and your users will want to show them to their own followers.