Chinese social media differ completely from the rest of the world, but are as least as important as in the West for building and marketing a brand. At the Hong Kong- and Shanghai-based agency Bamboo, we help our clients develop social media strategy and presence in China.
For most companies in the West, it’s natural to use social media such as Facebook and Twitter as part of their branding and marketing. However, in China these and other Western social media are blocked and the Chinese have created their own social media that you need to master to build a brand in China.
WeChat – or Weixin in Chinese – is, by far, the most successful and important channel today, with 938 million monthly active users in the first quarter of 2017. It is the primary source used by Chinese consumers to follow and interact with their favourite brands.
WeChat was launched in 2011 by the technology company Tencent as a messaging app, and was in its early stages described as a Chinese equivalent to WhatsApp.
Today, however, it is much more than a communications app; it is a platform that enables the user to do almost everything online in China, such as transferring money, hailing a cab, buying train or air tickets, ordering food, checking news and managing credit card bills.
Businesses can establish a presence on WeChat by opening an official account to promote their company and brand, communicate and even sell their products and services in the app. This connectivity between B2C and B2B companies and their customers is an important part of WeChat’s huge success.
The versatility of using WeChat to broadcast messages in a country where everybody is on their mobile phone all the time has meant that WeChat is the No 1 channel
for mobile interaction between companies and their customers. Furthermore, 50 per cent of the users spend at least 90 minutes per day on WeChat.
Companies in China use WeChat to continuously interact with their customers by publishing interesting and engaging content, providing offers, and so on. Such news can reach the right people at the right time for a low cost, in a channel that is owned by the company.
For B2B companies, content on WeChat include customer case stories, order news, new solutions and products, industry trends, time-critical news, and so on. At Bamboo, we often help customers to use WeChat to brand themselves as thought leaders. Sales people also use WeChat to communicate with customers, one-on-one or in group chats.
There are several options for businesses looking to launch a WeChat official account. It can be either international or Chinese; subscription or service; verified or unverified. The account can also be promoted in other digital channels in China, or by offline-to-online, to try to acquire and retain quality followers.
Bamboo help customers find the best solution for WeChat branding and marketing in China.
We are a one-stop-shop that can handle registration and set-up of the official account, carry out content planning, writing, editing and translations, as well as weekly publishing, monitoring, reporting and WeChat promotion. Contact us to learn more.
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