People might know that whenever I met social media influencers, there was always one thing that I have been consistently talking about: get on the WeChat!
So first, what on earth is this WeChat?
It started in 2010 as a simple instant messaging app, and by the October of 2015, it already surpassed 600 million Monthly Active Users!
Moreover, in 2012, WeChat had already been reaching out international markets, so the MAUs are not only from mainland China, it is global(More than 25 languages and over 200+ countries). Also, it is more than just a copycat of Whatsapp, Kik, it is integrated with the functions of Facebook, Twitter, and a little bit of Snapchat, and subscriptions to public accounts might be the most important function of it. Living out side of China, I might already fall behind, I just did some micro research, and find out you can also use it to call taxi, order food, and basically do anything!
This function of subscription is what I will talk about today.
By 2015, there are more than 8 million public accounts, and I do not see any descending i the near future. On the other side, in 600 millions of MAUs, there are more than 64% of male users, and the people who are under 25 years old takes accounts about 85% percent of the whole MAUs. More than 25% opens WeChat more than 20 times daily, 55.2% opens it more than 10 times per day.
As a first time WeChat user you might still be confused about the whole concept of the subscription thing, here is a simple video to demonstrate how to subscribe to a public account to give you the general idea.
But the reason why this is powerful is that you can share the content in your private "Moment" to your personal contacts, send the content directly in the chats, or group chats. More than half of the MAUs have more than 100 friends on WeChat who can view their "Moments", and disregarding numbers of group chats they are in.
Therefore, your content could not be only seen by your subscribers, but also potentially by their friends. (Essentially just like other social media) However, there are way more than this, WeChat offers some other functions that could be integrated to your public account, for instance, people can buy and pay things directly in WeChat. The direct lifestyle influence consumption from WeChat was around US$ 1.76 billion in 2015.
I work for an Chinese Education company in Sydney, and here is the chart that demonstrates our subscribers since the start of 2015
There were around 7000 subscribers when I took over the account, and the number today is 51,000+. However, as you can tell, this growth was not 100% organic. During these 12 months, I ran few campaigns which connected the account to third party app, and participants need to subscribe to our account if they want to be in the campaign to win some prizes.
Here is the interesting part, the number growth was significant, yet the views of articles was not dramatically increased, and in this way, the engagement of our account was actually dropped after campaigns. However, this is also the interesting part of the the WeChat, it integrated the subscription and "Moment" together, so during the campaign period of time, you basically can see our brand name all over people's "moment" because of the objective of this campaign was to increase our brand awareness.
So after one year of cultivating, now we have a better conversion rate from WeChat, but it is definitely not fair to say that running massive time and money consuming campaigns contributes most of the growth. What I believe the most of a successful social media account is still, a better content.
It's true that these campaigns let more people know us, but what let them to stick with us is the good content that we create daily. A trustworthy, unique content is what readers want, and you have to know what and why they want this from you. During the past one year, we have created something unique, and people can instantly identify that this article is from our brand, therefore it is professional, yet with a sense of humour in it. This is what I want to bring to the readers, and as a reader myself, what I want from other accounts.
However, every coin has two sides.
Giving credit is always a problem with a lot of Chinese social media:
Well, does any of those photo look familiar to you? I say yes, I believe photographers took hours to get to the cool destinations, yet this WeChat account did not give a single flying fuck to credit Twistdee or Wiiliam_patino , I was nice enough to warn them they might potentially get into trouble by simply using" Images are from internet". However, they refused me at first by the reason of:" they are not even your photos." How ridiculous!
If they are a non-profit organisation, I would be bothered less, but you can see, they sell advertisement in these sort of posts, and make money out of the views. Do you think this is fair?
Last but not the least, I would like to share some of my suggestions if you want to get on it:
1. If you want to have some loyal followers, the content that you create is always the mostly important thing. If you don't have this, anything else would be a waste of time.
2. Make sure you figure out what do you want from you social media platforms. Is it personal, or you actually want to have a business out from it? Stick with your strategy. Have something unique(the way you talk, even a emoji that you always use, trust me, people will recognise you by that)
3.Collaboration. Isn't the whole point of social media is collaboration? i ran the very first campaign with SydneyToday, one of the largest social media account in Australia, and it totally let me understand the power of collaboration.
But after all, this is a whole new world to the western social media world, but still,if you have time, or if you want to be part of social media online marketing, WeChat is definitely something that you want or need to have, whether you like it or not.
Let me know if you have any question about WeChat, what do you think about it? What is your biggest concern?