WeChat is the center of China’s social media landscape, powering vast amounts of communications, content and commerce. The app boasts over 1.2 billion active monthly users and is often described as an “app for everything”. Foreign brands interested in reaching a Chinese audience should take care to familiarise themselves with its capabilities.
WeChat is a lifestyle in China
China’s social media landscape is comprised of two kinds of applications: content-focused apps and relationship-focused ones. WeChat uniquely combines key features from both, with users enjoying it for business communications, ordering food, paying bills, calling transportation, shopping, traveling and entertainment, among many other functions.
Because of this WeChat is best described as a lifestyle application – one that allows users to communicate and build relationships with other users and companies while also carrying out the activities of daily life.
WeChat concentrates on commercial activity
In 2017, WeChat launched WeChat Mini Programs – “sub-applications” that support different functionalities. Companies can create tailored Mini Programs to support their business operations – be it for e-commerce, customer service, events and so on.
The importance of Mini Programs comes from the WeChat ecosystem, which was designed to bring together consumers with product and service providers and make interacting and doing business as easy as possible. Users can not only access news and communicate via Mini Programs, but also buy electronics, shop for clothes, view live streams and explore other services – all from within the WeChat application itself.
The growth of this feature has been immense, with over 400 million daily active users spread across more than a million Mini Programs.
WeChat is a content ecosystem
Brands seeking to generate and distribute content can create a WeChat Official Account, of which there are now more than 20 million. These accounts are for companies and serve a different purpose from individual or personal accounts. The ability to share content and interact directly with customers is essential to building a presence in China, making the creation of an Official Account a vital first step for foreign brands.
Official Accounts, paired with the size of WeChat’s user base, provide company content creators with the basic tools needed to engage with their customers and stand out in the market. Through their Official Account, businesses can create a wide variety of content for WeChat: long and short-form articles, videos, photos, stickers and QR codes.
All of this reinforces WeChat as the preferred channel for foreign brands looking to reach a Chinese audience. Building a WeChat presence not only provides an opportunity to create your own customised services to attract and build loyalty with Chinese consumers but also offers a way to advertise your brand and position yourself amidst an entire ecosystem of WeChat users.
“China’s largest social media platform” by Mark Pufpaff, Paradigm Consulting.
Paradigm Consulting is an official partner of the GlobalCom PR Network.
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