Will You Chat on WeChat?

Jan 9, 2018

The parent company of WeChat recently held the Tencent Global Partners Conference at Chengdu, China to provide insights into WeChat Lifestyle.

Wait… What is WeChat?

WeChat is a Chinese social media mobile application that was developed by Tencent in 2011. It is a centralised mobile application that is likened as a combination of Facebook and WhatsApp, allowing its users to connect with one another and post about their daily life without having to use multiple applications.

Comparatively, the WeChat platform is highly user-friendly, especially for non-tech-savvy individuals. Within 6 years of its inception, the client base for WeChat grew rapidly to 902 million users. It is the most popular mobile application in China and is growing fast internationally (although many functions outside of China are limited).

WeChat’s popular feature is WeChat Pay, a payment system where the user can pay using a QR code, Quick pay, or In-App web based payment.

This has majorly reduced the need for cash and cards for transactions, allowing Chinese businesses to minimise expenses such as bank fees.

WeChat is often used as an advertising tool that allows businesses to promote and communicate more effectively. it allows businesses to advertise effectively according to targeted demographics such as gender, age, education, interests and daily mobile usage.

The platform has many interesting functions, like sending virtual ‘red envelopes’ – where money is given to family and friends as a gift during special occasions like Chinese New Year, weddings and birthdays. It thrives on user engagement, which in turn delivers highly effective online advertising.

Australian businesses are largely unaware that they can advertise on WeChat. As competition grows locally, it is becoming more important for businesses to advertise strategically – and tapping into a market with 902 million people can do just that. Expanding into different markets has become readily accessible with modern technology, and can lead to exponential business growth for businesses with nous and foresight.

While there are some restrictions on international advertisers on WeChat, there are also some clever tactics to employ, such as targeting Chinese WeChat users travelling internationally (e.g. placing Australian focused ads in front of WeChat users travelling through Australia.)

As digital consumption increasingly weighs toward mobile, marketers must be aware of current trends both home and abroad.

The success of a digital medium is often attributed to its ability to become a social norm in everyday life. While WeChat isn’t yet dominant in Australia, it has ingrained itself in contemporary Chinese culture, and the proof of the concept Is backed by the sheer number of users.

Think about how your business could reach nearly a billion more potential customers…