This article was originally published on my LinkedIn author profile.
Newrank recently published a report on China Social Media that shows only 3% of WeChat articles are getting more than 10,000 views. Let that sink in.
It’s no wonder businesses are getting increasingly frustrated when they publish content on WeChat — labeled as China’s super app with over 1 billion users, where many posts are only getting a measly 175 views. WeChat is incredibly competitive, yet according to Newrank it is still the preferred channel consumers choose to hear from brands on.
So, what can brands do to ensure their content gets seen by as many of the right people as possible?
KOLs — Key Opinion Leaders (aka influencers) are the most effective way for brands to promote themselves on WeChat. Large KOLs have build mass followings of highly engaged and trusting consumers, many of whom are willing and ready to convert directly.
However, KOL campaigns can be incredibly expensive. Working with large KOLs for campaigns on WeChat can cost hundreds of thousands of RMB.
So, what can you do if you don’t have this kind of money to spend on top KOLs? If you’re a small business, or a startup, here are some tips to reach a bigger audience on WeChat;
Whether it’s putting on an event together, offering your products as a package, or simply swapping content — working with another relevant brand to leverage their following is a great way to reach a bigger audience.
Things to consider when choosing another brand to collaborate with:
Do they share at least one of the same pillars and or values?
*Watch this great video from Vanessa Lau on pillars & values.
Meaning, you can have several different pillars and values you bring to the table as a brand — say you are a jewelry brand, but you also incorporate artwork and intimate apparel into the content you create, whether that content is on your social media, in your physical store or on your website — these are your three different pillars.
Values are how you consistently deliver your brand to your audience. For example, your values can be; your content is always helpful, delivered in an extremely positive, cheerful way, and completely transparent.
Look for brands (this includes people!) that align with one or more of your pillars/values and partner together to create content in the form of;
- Giveaways – ask people to follow both accounts and give them a prompt to comment or share for a chance to win both products
- Offer special package – include both of your products as a package offering and promote across both channels
Involving your community in your communications
Who better to talk about your products or services than the people who continue to giv you their money? Your customers have large networks of likely similar-minded people. Tap into these networks by turning your customers into brand ambassadors — involve them in your communications by;
- Customer spotlight: interview, profile, or content take-over
- Ambassador call-out: honor enthusiastic customers by making them brand ambassadors, recognize their contributions in your content, give them something to share.
If you are running a B2B account, leverage thought leaders in your industry and ask them to contribute content, this is a great way for you to not only build authority, but a contributor will likely share to his/her network as well.
Leverage group chats
WeChat group chats can host up to 500 users in one group, they are typically organized around a particular topic or community and the group owner ensures that content stays on-topic and appropriate.
Group chats are a great place to share aggregated content and build a direct relationship with your customers.
You can have one, or several group chats for your brand depending on how you want to segment.
Remember, group chats are not for you to only sell your product/service, they should provide a high level of value.
Great ways to provide value and engage in group chats;
- Share products you are testing or special releases
- Encourage members to share their opinions/reactions to new products/services
- Share relevant, useful content from other sources
- Have a consistent topic series where you ask members a question or share a viewpoint
We know that video ranks as some of the most engaging content on most social media platforms, WeChat included, yet I see few accounts on WeChat tapping into this.
Think about all the types of content mentioned above — can you do this with video?
Remember, video do not have to be production-house quality and they do not need to be long (a typical sweet spot is anywhere between 30 seconds to 3 minutes).
- Show people how to use your product
- Ask customers for their review/opinions on camera
- Talk about your ‘why’ or your brand story — video is great for storytelling!
- Do a behind-the-scenes exclusive
Get that WOW – WOW button on WeChat Article
This past year WeChat introduced the WOW button in the bottom right corner of any article. If a user taps this, the article will show up in their friends “Top Stories” under the Discover Tab.
I see a lot of missed opportunities from accounts that don’t utilize this as a Call to Action and encourage users to tap the WOW button — something that is far less friction than trying to get a user to share the article on their Moments, but can still launch your content to a wider audience.
Before planning out any of these strategies to boost your reach on WeChat it is vital to have a clear purpose for your account — otherwise you’ll be detracting from the value of the content you work hard to create.
Are you using your WeChat to;
- Promote events
- Build a community
- Drive conversion
- Share thought leadership
Define the purpose of your WeChat account (there could be more than one) and make sure that every single piece of content you publish is aligned with this purpose.