If you’re looking to market your business in China, you need to be using WeChat.
It’s the most popular social media platform in the country, with over 73% of internet users in China using the platform as of the end of 2020.
WeChat users can interact via individual and group messaging. WeChat groups are not only a way to connect with friends and family, they can also be used for discussions, business promotion, sales, networking, shopping, as well as educational and general interests.
It’s not uncommon for users to be in a variety of WeChat groups for various topics or circles of people. As such, joining or creating relevant WeChat groups as part of your brand’s marketing campaign is a great opportunity to reach a larger market.
Why are WeChat groups important?
With over a billion monthly active users, WeChat is a key platform for businesses looking to engage with consumers in China, build a brand community, and drive traffic and sales.
WeChat groups typically have high engagement, meaning that if you’re in a particularly popular group, you’ll get lots of eyes on your messages.
While you’ll need to do a little digging on the groups that are most relevant to your business, there are plenty of them out there with members who are ready and willing to see what you have to say.
How are WeChat groups organized?
Whoever starts the group becomes the group leader. They’re the ‘admin’ of the chat. While any member may invite others, the leader is the only one with the power to remove other group members.
You can see who the group leader is by clicking on the group info.
A WeChat group can have up to 500 members.
Once a group reaches 100 members, you’ll have to have your bank card linked to your WeChat account to be admitted. This is an incentive to encourage people to use WeChat for making payments.
That’s good news for businesses, as it gives consumers a more seamless WeChat shopping experience.
The other thing to note about the 100 member threshold is that up until that point, you can add anyone in and they’ll automatically be added to the group. Once numbers pass that point, the contact will have to accept your invitation to join.
Sticky on top
If you want to be on top of a group and keep up with all the messages, you can turn this setting on. It keeps the group at the top of your WeChat app.
If you want to remain in a WeChat group but it’s too active and you find yourself constantly distracted by messages, you can mute the group’s notifications. This won’t mute the app, just the specific group in which you’ve toggled the setting.
Save to contacts
If you switch this setting on, the WeChat group will be added to your contacts list. This one is particularly helpful for businesses and marketers. It helps you to send a single message to multiple WeChat groups quickly, as they’ll be collated in an easy to access list.
Each group has a unique QR code. This is a convenient way to promote a group and gain members. Save it to your phone and share it with other groups or to your ‘moments’ and they’ll be able to join from there.
This section allows you to see all the images that have been shared to the group. It makes it much quicker and easier to find a photo as it removes all other types of messages.
Search chat history
Whether you’re catching up on the group and only want to see relevant messages, or you’re looking for one particular message that’s been lost in a sea of other messages, searching for a keyword will speed up the process.
How can WeChat groups help businesses?
Join groups to learn about your audience
What are your customer demographic talking about? What do they want to know the answers to? What are their hilarious memes based around?
Let’s say you run a fashion brand and you’re looking to enter the Chinese market, joining a WeChat group of fashion lovers would be a quick and effective way to immerse yourself in the culture of Chinese fashion and learn about what’s trending.
They might ask questions directly relevant to your brand or industry. If you’re there, ready and waiting to answer them, your brand will be at the forefront of their minds.
Create groups for your customers
When you feel like you’ve got to grips with WeChat groups, you could set up your own.
As the group leader, you’ll need to ensure that the group is kept active with relevant messages. You can use tools to schedule messages whenever you’re unavailable. Prompt debates and discussion around your products or industry.
You’ll have the power to remove anyone who isn’t using the group appropriately, especially if it could be damaging to the brand.
Set up FAQs
If you’re receiving lots of frequently asked questions (FAQs) from your customers, it might be a good idea to set up automatic responses to save you valuable time and resources in answering them individually.
Organize exclusive sales
One of the most popular ways that brands use WeChat groups is to alert their customers to exclusive discounts, sales, and promotions.
In this example, Rachel Ding talks about how she entered fashion brand VVNK JANE PLUS’s WeChat group after becoming a fan of their clothes. Sales associates of the brand send messages to the group, which gives it a more human touch than receiving messages from a brand name.
If there are any members of your group who are particularly active – joining discussions, recruiting individuals or frequently purchasing products – make sure to reward them!
Don’t take their participation for granted. Brands who build better relationships with engaged members and or customers will prosper from their loyalty. Why not send them a small gift for recruiting a certain number of new members?
Advertise on WeChat
Want to advertise your brand or business on WeChat but not sure where to start? AdChina.io is the easy to use, all-in-one platform that will help you get started – and advertising – on WeChat in no time. Get in touch to find out how we can help you to grow your business in China.