Most of us believe that mobile instant messaging (MIM) is the next big thing in digital media. However, many marketers may find it challenging to figure out the best possible ways to engage their customers through MIM. With the release of WeChat  in 2011, even small companies are now emerging as major market competitors.
With more than 300 million users, the mobile phone text and voice messaging communication service supports text and video chat, video calling, photo/video and location sharing, discovering new people, broadcasting messages, group messages and photo sharing. Many marketers find it a unique way to engage their customers and fans of their brands.
How to Use WeChat for Business
Use Verified Accounts
Individuals can follow verified brand accounts by either getting a member of their WeChat network to share their account or scanning a QR Code.
High quality creative content is key to attract audiences. The verified account allows a brand to post rich media content including audio messages, videos, photos and text to followers of their WeChat stream.
Use Membership Functions to Convert Followers
WeChat membership functions can actually convert your followers into members. The functions create loyalty programs where individuals can use their geo-localized membership cards to pair up with users by their WeChat ID or phone number. This allows brands to adapt their marketing content and highlight sales promotions to a certain section of consumers.
There are three typical ways to apply WeChat into your marketing activities:
- Issuing a virtual VIP card.
- Sending promotional offer notifications.
- Delivering e-coupons.
To initiate business interactions with your customers a welcome message is a crucial step, especially for newbies. You can also ask questions to convert inquiries to several sets of prescribed answers. To respond correctly to your customers, you can use five types of content including text, audio, visual, video and text+visual.
In addition, you can also choose to respond with a URL of a mobile-friendly site. Most importantly, the conversation remains confidential between you and your fans unless you or your fans wish to spread it out.
Use WeChat QR Codes to Promote Your Brand
You can actively convert fans through various means. One such means is to make your brand’s QR Code featured in all point of purchase materials. Always give your consumers a reason to scan your QR code. A few inducements, such as top up promotion for a purchase, discounts, lucky draws, souvenirs or a free WiFi pass code are always appreciated.
Additionally, adding your QR code on your packaging is another great alternative. The best tactics to consider are to either feature your brand’s WeChat QR code on your Weibo page or promote your WeChat activities through wall posts to grab the attention of audiences.
Share Your Brand Images
Brands can get their due attention by displaying their logos on the subscribers’ personal pages. This allows brand followers a way to show off their personal tastes and preferences and you can choose whether or not to showcase your logo.
Incentivize to Entice Followers
WeChat’s API allows you to integrate the services into mobile apps to entice followers. However, consumers who follow a business on WeChat should be given a motivation to sign up. Offer prizes, POS promotions, pictures or entertainment to optimize your conversion rate.
Create a Mini Website
Apart from conversation based on chats, WeChat enables brands to set up a full mini website to complete their brand experience. This website can be divided into two-level menus which can work as a series of marketing purposes. These two-level interacting menus are an important tool to better manage interaction with your fans. This can be set up on the WeChat account panel or with the help of third-party services.
WeChat is a marketing platform where brands can geo-target their community and specifically categorize people according to their gender and location.