Wechat for business: what marketers need to know

Nowadays, no matter if large companies or SMEs are all interested in creating a presence in China. Which is the most popular social media network in China? No doubt the answer is a Wechat account. 

In fact, Wechat official account is the best choice for foreign businesses that want to improve their brand visibility in China. It is not a complicated procedure, and you don’t have to plan for a long time. In contrast, Wechat is easy to apply and if you are well operated, customers are easy to collect in a short time.

By the end of the first season of 2020, this small green and white icon has 1.1 billion users in China. Now EE-land will tell you exactly what is a Wechat account and what you could do with a Wechat official account for your business. 

Wechat for business: what marketers need to know

What is a Wechat account?

Wechat is the most used communication and social media app in China. Someone said Wechat in China is like Facebook and Weibo is just like twitter. Indeed, there could be some misunderstandings; at first, people in China seldom use Facebook or Twitter because of the problem of the Internet. More important, Wechat is not only a social media app, but also an indispensable tool in our life.

If someone has a smartphone in China, then he has a Wechat account. In spite of chatting with friends, Wechat allows users to do almost everything: to share daily life in the ”Moment”, to follow information and trends, to pay a bill, to order for a taxi, to invest a fund or insurance, or even hospital registration… It improves its functions everyday and becomes a must-have for users. Perhaps, you have been aware of calling your friend by Wechat voice call or video call instead of the traditional telephone number. 

 What is Wechat official account? 

Wechat official account is a homepage of a brand. The enterprise uses the interface to post their latest information, collect followers and redirect them to other websites or other e-commerce. In China, almost every enterprise and organization has a Wechat official account for their business. Some western famous brands, such as H&M, Burberry, Pizza hot, Apple, have all created their Wechat account as early as possible, because customers could reach them at first.

By sending notifications, users can open the account and click the news or function menus to get more information. It is just like a bridge to connect customers and your company. Users could scan a QR code or simply type the name in the Wechat search column to follow your account. Due to its convenience and widely used, Wechat official account and official website have become two indispensable platforms for a company in China, and they are indeed becoming the basic credit knowing from customers.  

However, Wechat official accounts are more useful because of the development of mobile technology. According to IImedia research, the smartphone users in China for e-commerce in 2019 may reach 700 million. As a result, setting up a Wechat official account is the first step to represent your brand and get in touch with Chinese clients. 

Before we create a new Wechat account, it is important to understand the type of Wechat account and their difference. Wechat official account could be divided by Wechat account and overseas Wechat account; however, users in China could not access overseas accounts. So if you are doing a business to reach Chinese market, you have to create a Wechat account in China, which is called WeiXin account. 

In China, there are 3 different types of Wechat official accounts: Wechat Subscription Account \ Wechat Service Account \ Wechat Enterprise Account 

Wechat Enterprise Account 

Wechat enterprise account (防疫抗疫基金) is not for public use: it is very useful for a company that employees could see some messages posted by different departments of the company, for example, the meeting record or the latest staff regulation, etc. it also includes some project management activities. So if you want to show your business to Chinese customers, it is not a good choice at the moment. As a matter of fact, Wechat subscription account and service account are most applied by overseas business, as they could push-messages frequently and have multiple functions for customer’s service. 

Wechat Subscription Account 

This is the account that is in the “subscription message folder” on Wechat. It appears under the “subscription heading” and this will not show up as a push notification, and it is accessible only when users open the page actively. Subscription account is a good choice for companies or individuals for which content is the main service provided to customers, cause this account allows to send up to 1 push message every day to their followers and each push could include 1 to 6 articles. 

This kind of account will work well for those businesses that could keep the customers engaged by special or interesting offers, activities, discount and helpful content. As a result, followers are usually coming back for future updates. For example, pizza or cafeteria use a subscription account to post their daily promotions, and some retail stores could post discount information or free delivery service for customers. 

Wechat service account 

Compared to a subscription account, service account is more visible as it is listed in the Wechat personal contact feed. When posts are published, content will appear in followers’ chat lists as push notifications. To avoid annoying users, the service account could only publish 4 times per month with 1 to 6 articles each time. In addition, this kind of account has a wider range of options and features, such as interactive menus, Wechat store and Wechat payments. Those functions are strongly supported for customer’s service. 

Despite customizable menus, Wechat service account provide the ability to create customized mini websites, users could browse products and make purchase through it, for example, customers don’t have to download an UNIQLO app to buy their product, they only have to follow the UNIQLO Wechat service account and get the latest discount information to buy their clothes anytime and anywhere by Wechat pay.

A real estate broker could post condo or house listings on a service account and customers could search and make an online appointment through the platform. In fact, service accounts are quite suitable for industries with a mass audience or have lots of customer databases. Sales-oriented brands are also well suited if they don’t need to publish every day.

To register a Wechat official account for most business in China, you need to prepare those materials:

1)Chinese business license obtained by a local company or wholly foreign owned enterprise. 

2)Chinese ID of a Chinese national with a Wechat payment account.

However, not all the enterprises have a Chinese business license, Chinese ID, staff mobile phone number, and you have to provide the Chinese bank account information, which must match the name on the Chinese business license. Also, you have to check the bank statement because Wechat office will send a deposit with 6-digit verification code to this account. It is also complicated to register a new company in China within a few months. 

So the easiest way to own a Wechat official account is to use a third-party business license and find a professional social media agent like EE-LAND to operate your Wechat official account. 
This has a lot of advantages:

1)It only takes 7 days to finish creating a new Wechat account, no matter service account or subscription account.

2)We provide professional articles and service for your account, copywriting goes far beyond translation, and we help elaborate a real local content strategy for your brand in China.

3)By applying soft promotion: interesting articles with a subtle mention of your brands and a clear call to action, we will promote your brand awareness to the whole network in China.

4)We design your content carefully in order to appeal to Chinese customers and maximize conversion rate. 

5)We offer the most appropriate KOL for your business to launch your first Wechat advertising campaign. 

6)You can transfer the account to your own company if you later decide to set up a company in China. 

Final Thought:

The Wechat effect is more than you thought. It is not only a social networking app, but a perfect platform for business between online and offline markets. It helps companies or individuals to touch the customers in time and build better brand awareness. If you want to expand your business in China, don’t forget to create a Wechat account first!

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