“So, what’s the deal with WeChat?” That was the question among coworkers and I discussing social media matters. Being American and thus not WeChat’s primary audience, we were stumped. I knew I wanted to learn more, because companies interested in expanding and maintaining their APAC presence, particularly in China, invest in WeChat. What I didn’t know was, Why?
It’s difficult for people outside of China to fully grasp the influence and importance of WeChat. It’s similar to Facebook’s presence in America, but even more so. In China and parts of southeast Asia, WeChat is where you go to read your daily dose of news, it’s your digital wallet, and it’s how you chat with groups of friends. It’s become a cultural phenomenon, and with its subsidization by the government, it’s becoming even more deeply ingrained in daily life.
Over one billion people opened their WeChat accounts on a daily basis last year. 45 billion messages are sent on the platform every day. Facebook is even eyeing WeChat for inspiration — Mark Zuckerberg has indicated interest in implementing a WeChat Pay-style digital wallet on Facebook.
So, the question here is: Why and how should you get your piece of the WeChat pie?
WeChat can bust doors wide open, metaphorically speaking, in China. Posting to WeChat means millions of potential views in a sometimes hard-to-crack market for businesses that aren’t locally-based. If you’ve got a base of operations or business ties in China, it’s well worth your time to look into getting an account set up. Flagging the attention of an audience that views WeChat as their phone’s base of operation pays off — WeChat is China’s Facebook, Uber, and PayPal all rolled into one.
How Can You Get Started With WeChat?
It is not nearly as simple to create a WeChat account as it is to create a Facebook account. You won’t be able to spin up a bare-bones account in an hour, but don’t worry. You can create a WeChat Official Account, which is similar to a Facebook company page, even if you aren’t based in China.
From there, you’ll be able to push social posts to followers and pursue organic as well as paid ad strategies. Wondering if Zift integrates with WeChat? Of course, we do. With Zift, you can create syndicated posts for WeChat and send them out to authorized accounts.
Keep in mind, there are over 10 million Official Accounts on WeChat, and all of them are subject to stringent rules on content. Posting rules vary from industry to industry. You’ll need to be careful to tailor content to the audience’s cultural values. IT companies have little to fear from this, though. B2C companies are far more heavily affected.
Are you using WeChat in your global or APAC marketing efforts? Leave us a comment and tell us about your WeChat experiences!