It is not rare that companies from the B2B industry wonder if social media is a good channel for brand awareness and lead generation. WeChat often comes into question as to whether or not it’s an efficient tool for B2B businesses to reach prospects. B2B marketers in China often wonder: Is WeChat worth using in a marketing campaign?
The short answer is yes.
Why is WeChat important?
WeChat is initially an instant messaging app but now it has evolved into a multi-purpose ecosystem, with powerful features including social media, payment, official accounts, and mini-programs.
Being China's super app, by the end of 2019, WeChat's monthly active users have reached 1.15 billion. That's 50% of Facebook's global monthly active users. It's quite a number considering most of WeChat users are from one country only - China.
Besides its massive user base, WeChat is also the starting point for many people when they want to do a quick web search on their phone. WeChat has a built-in search engine feature that integrates Sogou Search, which is also owned by Tencent. WeChat Official accounts usually rank high for navigational searches in WeChat.
That's why almost all businesses in China, and many outside China, consider WeChat one of the must-have marketing channels.
How to do B2B WeChat Marketing and the Best Practices
Create the Right Content
Social media is about content. The right content will bring you the right audience.
Gaining WeChat followers online is the challenging part. First and foremost, we need to find out what type of content the target audience likes and have the right content in place.
Checking what your competitors post in their own account should be a good starting point.
WeChat Official Accounts support one-to-one sharing as well as one-to-group sharing. If someone shares the content with a group with topics related to your business, there are higher chances that the group members will start to follow you.
Also, encouraging sharing is not limited to your audience - many businesses actually encourage their own employees to share the content of their official accounts. Since the employees already have personal contacts from the industry, employee advocacy is very effective for growing the follower base of the account.
Paid Campaigns on WeChat are Essential to Success
For a newly created account, utilizing paid options to give the account an initial boost is very common. WeChat is not a good platform for organic (non-paid) content efforts when you just get started. For B2B marketing, paid campaigns provide all the value. The most common channels include WeChat Ads, which will display your ads in the Moments of the target demographics, and KOL marketing.
Join WeChat Groups
WeChat groups are where people with the same interests exchange ideas. Large WeChat groups can have a few hundred members. Find and join WeChat groups related to your industry, and share your best articles there. If your content is of value to them, you will not only new followers but also shares that can potentially help your content reach further audiences.
Use Visual Content
Pure text-based technical content sometimes can be exhausting. Visual content tends to receive more likes and shares. Use charts, animations, and infographics to make the reading experience relaxing, especially when you want to give your readers a fun read occasionally.
Learn the Local Market
What's trending is outside China may not be as popular as in China. Pay close attention to what the Chinese companies are interested in, especially their pains, and offer tailor-made content.
Set up Customer Support
Based on our past experience, people like to contact a brand directly in WeChat after they become your followers. Make it easier for them to contact you by adding your phone number and email address into the WeChat account. Set up auto-replies, so when people want to contact you, the contact information is automatically pushed to them.
If you feel WeChat articles don’t fulfill your marketing needs, consider WeChat mini-programs. WeChat provides very powerful APIs, with which you will be able to develop full-featured native apps within WeChat.
Every WeChat official account has a QR code, which works as the "business card" of your WeChat account.
Anyone with a smartphone can scan it and start to follow you. The QR codes can be used in many scenarios, such as being printed on a business card, a banner, and used at an exhibition stand.
If you’re B2B, don’t discount WeChat as a viable option for your social media marketing. You want to reach current and future customers and potential employees with your posts. Since a lot of Chinese people are on WeChat, there’s a good chance they’re already looking for you on the platform.
Try some of these techniques, set up tracking, and then analyze the results to see what gets the best response from your fans and followers.
What do you think? Do you use WeChat as part of your B2B social media marketing? What types of posts get the best engagement? Please share your thoughts and experience in the comments.