With 1 billion monthly users, WeChat is not only China’s most important social media tool. For companies doing business in the Asia Pacific region, this is one tool that can deliver big results. As more brands jump on the platform’s bandwagon, mastering WeChat and learning how to make content that connects with its market is key to boosting business presence in China.
One example of a business turning to WeChat comes from Nike, which posted an advertisement on the platform that featured a simple sliding colour burst with minimal text about a newly released running shoe. The single post received nearly 8,000 views on the Nike Women account, according to a report from MavSocial, a social media software company. Part of the ad’s success was the brand’s ability to read the WeChat marketplace. Nike noticed that users were shying away from text-heavy posts and captured the audience’s attention with interactive visuals instead. According to Nicole Ci, a project manager at IBTM China, “With many brands jumping on board and seeing WeChat as the gateway to reaching a potential pool of millions of Chinese customers, it pays to spend a bit of time making sure your content stands out from the crowd.”
Because social media sites including Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, and Instagram are blocked in China, WeChat is the country’s solution for everything from texting to networking and business promotion. “WeChat has become so ubiquitous in China,” Ci said, “that it is now one of the main ways people communicate here. Even at work and when doing business, WeChat is used more than email, so it’s an important tool to get to grips with if you are looking to do business in the APAC region.”
The platform is also opening up opportunities for the meetings and hospitality markets with the development of mini-programmes, which are similar to apps, but quicker and take up less than 10MB in space. With the help of tourism boards, WeChat created audio guides to destinations from London to Dubai that highlight points of interest, attractions, and hotels and make itinerary suggestions—a helpful tool for delegates while visiting a new destination during a congress. In addition to providing useful information that can assist with planning (and can benefit delegates during the programme), WeChat is opening up a new mode of communication that, according to Ci, “offers a huge amount of potential for businesses, and exciting new ways for them to engage and interact with customers.”