China is home of 1.3 billion people but also do an internet landscape like you’ve never seen in the west. No Facebook, Twitter, Youtube or Instagram but instead Wechat, Weibo, Bilibili, Douyin, little red Book… In others words, you won’t be using your tradionnal channel when reaching out to a chinese target audience.
With 1 billion accounts, We Chat is the largest social media platforms in China. In addition to messaging, Wechat has many features. In fact, people share their moments, play games, follow their fitness goals, make voice and video calls, shop online and use it as a payment method.
This app, is almost a basic of china marketing, a must have.L So lets learn how to register a Wechat official account in 2020.
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Open an official WeChat account step by step
You have a chinese business licence:
- Contact WeChat
- Provide the documents necessary to open the account
- Carry out verification procedures (which can last up to 2 months)
- Choose a type of accounts. 3 differents type of official accounts exist, and they give access to differents features. We will explain it below.
- Choose your name (Think carefully, you can’t change it afterwards)
- Upload your logo
- Create CRM menus and submenus
- Choose your ID
- Start Uplaoding Articles
- Promote your WeChat (because an inactive account is useless)
PS: if you need help with setting your Wechat accounts, we help Foreign companies to open WeChat certified accounts.
Wechat Accounts Types
If you want to use We Chat for your business, you can choose from three types of accounts. You need to understand the differences between these accounts in order to choose the one that best suits your business if you want to reach your KPIs.
- Subscription account: it allows you to publish a message broadcast daily to subscribers. It has communication challenges.
- Service account: this account allows you to share four messages per month. These appear in the list of friend sessions. It is the best way to promote your products or services.
- Company account: it gives you access to business tools
Chinese account vs foreign account
Chinese users can only access the Chinese account because they have to use a Chinese phone number. Therefore, if you are a foreign company and register abroad, Chinese users will not be able to see your account.
In this regards, you must also create an official Chinese account to reach the Chinese targets. Nevertheless, it is necessary to have a legal entity in China and a local phone number.
Register wechat as a WFOE
Because of local regulations, creating an official Wechat account as a foreign entity is not always easy. As WFOE you can enter the Chinese market but with limited conditions.
Some countries can skip this step, since they can get a business licence in China. In total, there are 17 countries or regions including Hong Kong, Macao, Taiwan, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, Russia, United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Germany, France, England and Italy.
If you are not from the 17 countries mentionned above, you must create a WFOE which can be expensive and time consuming.
Using Third Party Company to register a wechat account
Another solution is to obtain a partnership with a Chinese company. It can apply for an official Wechat account using your Chinese business license.
This procedure only takes 7 working days. The account will appear with the logo and description of your business. However, it is connected with the legal entity that created the account.
ne of the drawbacks is that you cannot use this account to promote your product. Additionally, users may be confused and skeptical about the authenticity of your business. However, if your business is successful, you should consider installing an antenna in China.
How wechat can help you promote your business
Wechat has many features you can use.
- promote via location. This feature detects the location of the user, and suggest him content/mini app around him/her. This allows you to easily target the people around you.
- Customize content. Some newspapers or magazines do it like The New York Times, Wall Street Journal and Vogue.
- Connect with your followers. In other words, it means that you involve them in a real customer relationship, get to know them better and make suggestions to them. By involving them in your marketing, you conditionne them to unconcisouly promote your brand. Setting-up your wechat CRM properly will allows you to do so with out spending too much time on this tasks.
- Advertisements in mini-games and mini program to deepen customer engagement. For example, Coca Cola Hong Kong has implemented mini-games in the chat interface. Users had to answer questions and play. They had the opportunity to win coupons to use in stores.
- Wechat Brochure. If you don’t have one yet, it is time to step up your game; A wechat brochure is a HTML5 page/wechat minisite easy to share on wechat. It can be animated to make it enaging, it can be plane text or picture, however you like. You wan’t to launch a newsletter? Use wechat brochure, if one thing has not change in 2020 it that Chinese don’t read emails.
O2O: Promote your Wechat QR code
When you create your account, you automatically get a QR code. O2O or Online to Offiline is a perfect strategy to promote your content and increase your visibility. Display your QR code wherever and whenever you can. Encourage poeples to subcribe to your account by offering them instant reward. This technique still works in 2020. Chinese users love rewards and discounts, so don’t be shy.
To sum up:
It is rather early in 2020, and we have not seens a lot of change compare to last year. If one thing, keep updated, rules and requirements to register a wechat official account can change from one week to another. This is China, evolving fast, if you are not ready to keep up with the pace, then maybe you are not ready for China.
We chat is an essential platform when you want to do business in China because Chinese people spend a lot of time on it. Plus, it is such a stable of marketing in China that a company not on wechat does not look legit in the eye of a chinese consumers.
That being said, in our experience, registering a wechat official account and running it is not enough to succeed in China. Why? it is hard to get traffic and visibility due to the “close” model of this social media. The app is also not know for being ads friendly even tho it is slowly changing. Wechat, in user head is link familly/friend circle more than commercial content. Weibo is a great platform for commercial content. Anyway, you’ll have to juggle between platforms to reach out to news users efficiently.
Learn more about Wechat functions with the following articles: