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Published: 2018 | Author: Anne Casey
Having worked in social media marketing in both English and Chinese speaking markets, both in New Zealand and overseas, it fascinates me how the Internet of Things (IoT) has developed so quickly. This is also fueled by the Chinese government banning the likes of Facebook, Youtube, Google and Skype from China which enabled a Chinese IoT ecosystem to appear as shown below.
There has never been a time more exciting time than now to be a marketer, especially in social media marketing and digital marketing! The lessons from when Facebook first started are being felt by WeChat, e.g. should a brand in multiple countries and multiple product categories have multiple Official Accounts on WeChat? On the other hand, what WeChat has been able to dominate is only just beginning to be explored by Facebook, e.g. integrating mobile pay into social media!
It can be difficult to explain what WeChat is and what it can and can’t do. So for those of you that understand Facebook, WhatsApp and Messenger, here’s a comparison table as to what is possible (or not) among these apps.
As you can see from the table above, WeChat is powerful! If you’re considering how you can use WeChat for your business, a good place to start is to understand what is the expansion strategy of Tencent (WeChat’s parent company) and how it affects good old New Zealand.
Firstly, we know that the immediate plans of Tencent is to ensure that Chinese when they leave China are able to use WeChat as if they are back home. This means that Tencent has appointed a handful of countries to roll out functionalities such as accepting WeChat Pay and marketing solutions, to encourage and enable companies in these countries to offer WeChat solutions. In New Zealand, companies such as PayPlus and Latipay are WeChat Service Providers that enable companies to accept Wechat Pay.
This leads us to the WeChat functionalities that are now available to New Zealand businesses
WeChat Pay – This is a payment gateway that enables a WeChat user to payment in the Chinese currency RMB while the NZ business receives the money in NZ dollar. The advantage of this is that the Chinese are using the payment method they are familiar with and are able to access their funds back in China.
This can be for online or bricks and mortar.
WeChat Official Account (OA) – This is a verified company or brand page within WeChat. It is used as a communication channel just like a Facebook business page. You can publish articles, manage customer interactions, customise the page and more.
WeChat Ads – Display ads in moments and various OA accounts to reach a customised audience. Currently, WeChat ads are only visible to the Chinese with a China mobile phone.
WeChat Vouchers – This is a e-coupon that can be issued, shared, saved and redeemed at an outlet. It is usually used as a call to action with discounts and offers.
Note: A WeChat Service Provider such as PayPlus is able to offer NZ companies these services along with Marketing Minds on strategy and planning.
A robust approach to reach the Asian market and Chinese through social media marketing will combine various digital channels including WeChat. There are still a lot of untapped opportunities in this market and it definitely benefits the early bird!