WeChat Marketing

WeChat Marketing in China

This article has been Written in 2013.
you can find the New Version.


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. WeChat (Chinese: 微信; or literally “micro message”) is a mobile app, allowing text and voice messaging communication service. It is developed by Tencent in China. It’s also thought of as the future marketing tools after Weibo. WeChat also provides social media networking via photo/video sharing, shared streaming content feeds and location-based social plug-ins (’Shake’, ’Look Around’, and ’Drift Bottle’) to chat with and be friend with local or international WeChat users. The app now generates 700 million location-based activities each day. .

Wei Xin

. Nowadays, with over 300 million users worldwide, WeChat it’s already an important platform for digital marketing in China. We need to highlights the fact that the English version and Chinese version of WeChat are different from each other. For instance, Facebook is not integrated into the Chinese version. We will focus on the Chinese version of WeChat. .

WeChat Functions


WeChat Look Around
WeChat Look Around


1.”look around” social plug-in

To get a list of people closed to you. You will see their names and signatures.

2.”shake” plug-in

WeChat Shake
WeChat Shake

WeChat looks for other users shaking their devices at the same time and gives you the option to say “hi” to them. This is more proactive than the Look Around feature because you already know that people shaking their phone are eager to make contacts. Say hi and see how it goes. You can always shake again. Most of the users you could contact are Chinese. But you will soon see that almost everyone wants to learn English and that many have basic English skills. TIP: You can download QQ International. You will be able to chat with any Chinese even if you only know English as there is a wonderful translation app built into the International version.

3. “Drift Bottle” plug-in

WeChat Drift Bottle
WeChat Drift Bottle

Select “Social” -> “Drift Bottle”. NB: users need to enable Drift Bottle from “Settings”->”Plug-ins” first Select “Throw” to send out your voice or text message. Then select “Pick” to pick a drift bottle from the sea. You can reply to it or throw it back to the sea. Sometimes you may get a starfish. Just try again.

4. Add friend

By scanning a QR code, users can easily add an account. Adding public account with QR codes is one of the most popular ways for users to get information outside their friends circle. It’s also a very interesting tool for marketers.

5. Moment

You will see there all the updates from your friends. .

WeChat Users

First of all; all the WeChatters have at least a smartphone which means they can’t be poor. According to the WeChat official data, 76.1% of the users age from 22-35, mainly in big cities. According to their job, white collar rank the first, at 24.2%, while the trend is that more and more middle and low class young people join the WeChat users group. . WeChat users . As to the purpose, most users use WeChat to talk to strangers, especially guys who want to pick up girls on WeChat. That explains the high frequency of usage of functions such as look around, shake and drift bottle. Another group of users choose WeChat because most their friends are using it, so they check their friends’ update quite often. To enjoy the convenience of WeChat message is another important reason, especially the voice message which makes WeChat way more convenient and fashion than traditional txt. .

Why use WeChat marketing

Now many companies can’t wait for joining in the group of WeChat marketing, but some of them are quite suitable for this while others are not. According to the performance of today’s WeChat marketing, two kinds of companies are proved to be suitable to take WeChat marketing: companies target on mass market and companies focus on local customers. There are five reasons for those companies to choose WeChat marketing:

1. Social

With its advantage of the huge number of users, WeChat successfully repels all the other competitors and dominates this market. Where people get together, there’s marketing opportunities.

2. Function

Voice message, look around, shake etc. those functions not only increase the interactivity of the users, but also provide WeChat marketers with many choice of attractive marketing tools. .

WeChat Vocal call function


3. Online sales

The mobile payment and business has been widely regarded as the future of e-commerce in China. And since “Mei Fu Hui” starts its business on WeChat, WeChat business has aroused attention from the almost all the e-commerce market in China.

4. O2O

QR code scan function allows the mobile payment, coupon, membership available to WeChat users. And this solves an old question, “how to turn traffic into sales?”

5. Games

Social game is very popular in China. It’s foreseeable that WeChat games will get a sounding success in this field. And it’s also an opportunity for marketers to take. .

How to use WeChat

Those sensitive marketers have already caught this trend and start to think about and even practice the young marketing tool. However, those leaders in online marketing such as Meilishuo and Kuaishubao are staying in the observation period. In fact, the real marketing on WeChat started last August when WeChat public platform was launched. On this platform, verified accounts have more choice to send message on their followers’ cellphone. And the basic methods to take use of WeChat are still based on the 5 function of WeChat. In another way, with these 5 functions, you can also make amazing campaigns. Now let’s see what are the pros and cons of these 5 methods.

1. Drift bottle

Principle: put information you want to send in the bottle and let target to collect it. WeChat Drift bottle case 1 Pro: easy and simple Con: no focus; each user can only collect 20 bottles a day; users of drift bottle usually already feel boring and they will have a negative feeling about the company.

2. Signature

Principe: Write what you want others see in the signature, then people will find you when they shake or look around.WeChat Signature Pro: precise target according to the location; high conversion rate if it’s executed properly. Con: low coverage of the crowd

3. QR code

Principe: Users can add your WeChat account via scan the QR code. Pro: get potential customers because they scanned initiatively Con: users have to scan first

4. Public platform

Principe: Users can share information from website on WeChat or vice versa. WeChat publication platform Pro: it helps improve the IWOM on both website and WeChat Con: difficult to diffuse

5. Moment

Principe: Share new app, information with friends in your circle WeChat Moment Pro: relatively closed groups, very helpful for IWOM Con: difficult to diffuse

6. Verified Account

Principe: Build an official page of the brand WeChat verified account Pro: keep a close relation with your community and update them the latest news about your brand Con: users will also get much information from competitors That’s basically the path you can take to reach your target, but the information sent to the target is no less important if you don’t want to lose your fans. That’s why creative campaigns seem to be the most successful ones in this field now. The difficult part here is to make a simple, interesting content which also needs to be fashion and well adapted to Chinese culture. Take Starbucks as an example. Only 1 week after they get verified account, they launched their WeChat campaign that users can get a voice message of a song from Starbucks’ own album after sending them an expression. Another success from them is the “good morning alarm clock”, participants can get their breakfast at half the price if they arrived before the time they set, and the time is set on an app from Starbucks. .

starbuck WeChat marketing game
starbuck WeChat marketing game

. Recently, they have created two highly interactive apps for Chinese New Year of snake: snake catching red envelopes and happiness test. Source: 微信 See more interesting information about China marketing

More information about Wechat Agency China: Here

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  1. Any tips on how-to create one of this verified accounts ? I’ve been looking into doing one for my company for a long time but without any success.

      1. Hi Philip,

        I just read your post recently. I am researching the possibility of marketing WeChat in USA. I understand that the mainstream market in US has not catch on and use WeChat. However, I found the features and the open platform of WeChat has lots of potential in global market. My personal opinion is it will eventually take off in the global market and no other social media can be compare.

        There are some hurdles challenging the speed of growth especially in US. The mainstream American do not know or understanding how powerful is this social media. Another reason is there is not enough Wechat developers around to develop some cool products. These two reasons are actually connected to each other so it needs to have a break through. However, if Wechat takes on minority markets (Chinese and Hispanic) first and later on the mainstream will follow.

        We are looking for some developers to test out some of our ideas but most big agency are expensive and not willing to work with small company like us.

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  3. Thank you Phillip, really instructive.

    How do you have fan on wechat ? I will start with that before a verified account ?

    Thank you

  4. Any tips on how-to create one of this verified accounts ?I’ve tried uploading pictures for the logo of the company but to no success. so, i hope that u can help me. Thanks.

  5. Are the any opportunities for young people to become marketing agents , in our country we have huge number of unemployed youth in our poor community in Freedom Park Gauteng Province South *frica . I would feel pleased if we could partner to link the youth with wechat community development opportunities, yours in community development Ms Zodwa Mampondo I can be contacted on 0714386691 and be emailed on the above email address .

  6. ok here the thing…i had some problem regarding with this wechat…few weeks ago i used shake features inside the wechat application and i found various people around the…yeah i mean around the world like beyonce does..then after weeks after i found the “shake” result shows me to China people…and it keep doing the same result…from beijing and many part of china country which i never been there or acknowledge about the existence of that place…the question is how do i want to change back the setting to become normal?? seriously i am not discriminating but sometime this matter or i called it malware/virus annoyed me…helppp!!

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    1. Hi,
      One of my first advices would definitely be disciplining yourself into writing regularly like once or twice a week and stay focus on a particular category i.e : here marketing in China. These two would be the most important advice

      On top of my head I would also suggest having people around you read your articles to have a first opinion about your work as well as thinking all the time “Would I share this with other people?”
      Blogging is good, sharing your content makes it much better 😉

  10. You really make it seem so easy with your presentation but I find this topic to be really
    something that I think I would never understand.
    It seems too complex and very broad for me. I’m looking forward for your next post,
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    1. I recommand you to take a look at other articles we wrote about Wechat such as this one or ask your questions here and we will gladly answer them!

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  15. Great article! Thanks for sharing!

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