WeChat – why China’s largest social media network is ripe for advertising

Breaking into the Chinese market is a challenge for even the most seasoned marketing strategists. While we may think of ourselves as living in a global, connected world, there’s no doubt that the likes of Twitter and Facebook just don’t have the same reach in other markets as they do in the West.

Many people in the West haven’t even heard of WeChat, but it’s one of the largest social media networks in the world, recently passing over a billion users. Considering WeChat only started seven years ago, with Facebook taking eight years to reach the same milestone, there’s no doubting what a significant indication of the app’s reach that is.

When it comes to WeChat advertising, the platform isn’t just a Twitter or Facebook clone – it’s an entirely different beast, and it requires an in-depth knowledge to understand how users engage with the content posted on there. Here’s a brief guide to how it works – and how it could be key to marketing in China.

WeChat does what it says on the tin – it’s a chat app

The days of chatrooms might seem like aeons ago, but WeChat found much of its early success by operating on similar principles, updated for mass smartphone use. Users could find both random and nearby people with ease, striking up all sorts of conversations in the process. WeChat users are more curious than those on Facebook or Twitter – they’re looking for new content, not just to see the same old faces all the time.

WeChat adverts do work similarly to Facebook and Twitter

With WeChat now opened up to advertising, the ads work in a similar way to social media apps more common in the West. Moments Ads, which are Feed Ads, will allow a few images/a video and a short description of any service or product being advertised. These can also be targeted to various specified demographics, allowing for greater customisation.

WeChat also allows mini-apps

While the potential of this for marketing has not yet been fully explored, it’s certainly an interesting option. WeChat allows for mini-apps which exist within the existing framework of the app, meaning that users on smartphones with less storage space don’t need to make any extra downloads to run them. One of the most unique features of WeChat, it’s potentially a massive development that is likely to be copied around the world.

WeChat users are used to spending money via WeChat Pay

Mobile payments are well-integrated into WeChat, allowing for in-app purchases and even users sending monetary gifts to one another – something that has become something of a tradition on some holidays. While Twitter and Facebook users rarely spend money within the app, this certainly isn’t the case with WeChat – so you can expect whoever sees your ads to have their wallet close by.

Market Me China has extensive experience in marketing on WeChat and can give you a bespoke strategy for any product or service that you need help with breaking into the Chinese market with. Contact our team today to find out how we can help you get the exposure your brand deserves.