With some 818 million monthly active users, 70 million of whom are located outside of China, WeChat is regarded by many as the most popular Chinese social network. As such, it also happens to be one of the most powerful social media marketing tools for businesses targeting Chinese consumers. For the still unfamiliar, WeChat is an app that is similar to Facebook, allowing users to do everything from chat to play games to send money, purchase products and even order food.
For marketers to capitalize on this, first they must get as many quality followers as possible and second, they must find a way to keep that audience engaged.
If you could use some help in either of these areas, here are five marketing strategies to try for growing and retaining your WeChat following.
Before sharing any type of content, it’s important to understand how WeChat users interact with the platform. For instance, at last count, 639 million users access WeChat with their mobile devices. That means any content you share should be optimized for mobile – including links to external sources. Video content also tends to be highly engaging amongst Chinese consumers, so incorporating this into your strategy is recommended.
Without question, WeChat users love to play games, especially if those games involve winning actual prizes. Many businesses have been very successful utilizing things like quizzes, lucky draws and virtual scratch cards, which can be used as standalone campaigns or in conjunction with other marketing strategies. In fact, gamification on WeChat has done so well that many third party extensions have been developed specifically for this purpose.
If you’re not familiar with the term, O2O stands for Online to Offline, and it’s a marketing tactic that’s been spreading like wildfire. This type of campaign is designed to use online strategies to bring consumers into physical stores. WeChat has been one of the driving forces behind O2O success with Chinese consumers. Offering something like a free gift for customers who come into a specific store or restaurant is a great way to leverage this tactic for your business.
Exclusive WeChat Deals
Another effective way to attract new WeChat followers and keep your existing ones engaged (while also boosting sales) is to offer exclusive deals, discounts, coupons and flash sales that are only available to your followers. And since WeChat now has its own built-in payment system, e-commerce via social networking has never been easier or more convenient. Some popular brands, like Coach, have actually closed some of their physical stores in favour of selling on the WeChat platform.
Keeping existing WeChat followers plugged in and engaged is easy when you add incentives to make it worth their while. Rewards or loyalty programs that provide members with the ability to earn points, accumulate rewards and redeem them for something of value will keep your audience coming back for more. In fact, millions of users have already begun transitioning away from physical wallets to exclusively use WeChat for payments as well as virtual loyalty cards.
Given the tremendous market size and growing popularity of WeChat, it’s obviously become one of the most effective tools for reaching, connecting with and converting more prospects into paying customers. The tips above should provide you with a solid foundation upon which to build a strong and profitable WeChat marketing campaign for your business.