Word-of-mouth marketing is very effective, and social media offers a great way to implement word-of-mouth campaign and reach thousands of customers.
In the U.S., we use Facebook and Twitter to stay in touch, to learn new information, and to view ads.
So, what do consumers in China use? They use Wechat (aka. Chinese Facebook), and Weibo (aka. Chinese Twitter).
Today, we will take a look at Wechat, one of the most cost-effective ways for you to reach millions of Chinese consumers. However, before that, we need to take a step back and understand exactly what is Wechat?
What is Wechat?
Wechat is the most popular social app in China. The platform was developed by Chinese technology leader Tencent in 2011. Currently, it has more than 600 million monthly active users.
*Plotted by Marcetable using data from http://report.iresearch.cn/wx/report.aspx?id=2520
From Tencent’s official data, it states that the cumulative number of registered users on Wechat is 1.1 billion (billion… it truly is a different scale in China). However, it’s entirely possible that one user might actually have multiple Wechat accounts. Something to keep in mind.
What Can Wechat Do?
Being a social media app, it’s pretty obvious that you can use it to text your friends, share images and videos. In conclusion, no surprises here.
Additionally, there is another function called “Moments”, and this is where the magic is. “Moments” is essentially news feeds from your friends, which is very similar to what Facebook has. However, on Facebook, you can see comments under a person’s post, whether comments are from someone you know or those you are not friend with.
Wechat differs from Facebook in that Wechat’s “Moments” offers a higher level of intimacy and privacy. For example, if you post a photo and your friend comments on it with an obscene joke, you don’t need to worry that your other friends will see his comment — unless they are also friends with the profane jester.
For example, I don’t see any comments on my friends’ posts in my “Moment” because those commented are not my friends. This privacy setting helped Wechat become extremely popular when it had started.
How To Advertise On Wechat? 1) Moment
There are several ways, and they mostly involve using Wechat’s “Moment” and “Subscription Account” feature.
This has been a popular way to inform targeted consumers about products and services. Brands build a marketing content, and have Key Opinion Leaders (aka. Influencers) inform their followers. Followers then start to share the news with their friends on their “Moment”.
Recently, Wechat started a more direct way to let brands enter targeted consumers “Moment”. Below is a video ad from BMW to target potential consumers. The ad received a lot of buzz.
How To Advertise On Wechat? 2) Subscription
From an advertising standpoint, Subscriptions (订阅号) is a powerful content marketing platform for publishers and brands. Subscriptions sit on a WeChat user’s friend list. Clicking on it, the user can consume content from different companies and download branded apps. Here’s what western publishers and brands are doing on Subscriptions:
Next week, we will talk about an emerging use of Wechat: e-commerce – a minimalist approach to list products and leverage Wechat’s payment solution to sell to 600 million monthly active users in China. You don’t want to miss that.