Your WeChat official account is your business presence on WeChat. Just like a real-world shop, positive user experience, attractive design, and friendly customer service are critical for success. A well maintained WeChat official account will not only build a follower base of existing and potential customers for your brand but also help you better take care of your current customers.
WeChat Official Accounts are designed to help you connect with your audience and respond quickly to comments and messages - you can even manage it on mobile with the help of the WeChat Official Account Assistant mini program.
Therefore, in this article, we will guide you through the process of successfully managing a WeChat official account as an overseas business, including official account signup, account management, and account promotion.
WeChat Official Account Signup and Verification
Registering a WeChat official account is the first step before you conduct any marketing activity on WeChat. There are three types of WeChat official accounts, namely Enterprise Accounts, Service Accounts, and Subscription Accounts.
The Three Types of WeChat Official Accounts:
- Subscription Accounts. Suitable for organizations that want to post daily.
- Service Accounts. Suitable for organizations that want to post less frequently. Please note overseas businesses are only eligible for Service Accounts according to WeChat’s policies.
- Enterprise Accounts. Mostly for internal communication usage. Not suitable for marketing purposes.
As a foreign business, you have three options to open a new WeChat official account:
1 - Registration through your foreign business license
This option suits foreign businesses without physical offices or branches in China. Please note with this option, you will only be able to register a Service Account. The process takes 3-4 business days, and there is an annual account verification fee of 99 USD.
The advantage of this option is you will be the real owner of the account, with full ownership and control. You can also make a foreigner such as yourself the administrator of the account.
2 - Registration through your Chinese business license
This option suits foreign businesses that already have local offices in China. With a Chinese business license, you will be able to register a Service Account or a Subscription Account. The process takes 3-4 business days, and there is an annual account verification fee of 300 RMB.
With this option, you will be able to make one of your Chinese staff members with a valid Chinese ID card the administrator of the account.
3 - Registration through a third-party Chinese business license
This option suits foreign businesses that want to register a Subscription Account without physical offices in China. We don’t usually recommend it because you won’t own the account. There is the chance you will lose the account when you end the partnership with the owner of the business license.
For further information about account registration and account types, we have a more detailed article here: WeChat Official Account Signup and Verification.
How to Manage Your WeChat Official Account
WeChat includes many tools and features to help marketers and business owners get the most out of their business presence on WeChat.
For each WeChat official account, there can be 1 account admin and up to 25 account operators.
You'll need to be the admin first to manage roles for your WeChat account and assign account operators.
Becoming the admin
Once you successfully register and verify your account, you need to assign an account admin for your account:
1 - Log in to your newly created WeChat account, and click Admin Info under Settings on the left sidebar menu.
2 - Click Bundle
3 - Click Start and follow the steps to complete SMS verification. Don’t forget to scan the QR code using your personal WeChat account so you will become the admin.
Once you are the admin, you can assign operators for the account.
1 - Login as the admin, and go to Admin Info under Settings on the left sidebar menu.
2 - Under Operator management, click Bundle the operator’s WeChat
3 - Search for the WeChat username of the person you want to make an operator. Please note the person must follow the account first.
4 - Click Invite to bundle.
Once the invite is sent, the person must confirm the invite in their personal WeChat account.
Setting up the Profile
Once you become the admin, you can start to set up the WeChat profile so it displays your brand information. To do that, go to Settings - Account Info.
There you can set up the profile photo, the description, the WeChat ID, the customer support phone number, and the address. You can also download the QR code of your WeChat account from the page.
Welcome Messages and Auto Replies
The welcome message is a direct message your WeChat official account sends to new followers when they start to follow you. It is a useful feature especially when you have quick announcements to make to the new followers, such as important content for them to read, your contact information, or introducing them to a web page from your website.
Auto-reply is a quick way to reply to common questions from your followers. Auto-reply is keyword-based, which means it will be automatically triggered when someone sends you a message that contains keywords you preset in your WeChat official account.
To set up the welcome message and the auto-replies, go to Function - Auto-Reply.
Creating and Publishing Content
Content creation and management in WeChat is relatively easy.
1 - Go to Home, and choose the type of content you want to publish
2 - The most commonly used content type is Article, so we use it as the example here. As you can see, the editor is a What You See Is What You Get editor, which is very easy to use.
3 - Once you have done editing the content, you can choose either to save (and publish later) or Save and broadcast right away.
You can find all the messages your followers send you under Management - Messages.
When you message with people, you can personalize the conversation by reviewing past interactions that the person has had with your WeChat account, as well as information that they share, such as their profile photo, username, and the date when they start to follow you.
You can check your full list of followers under Management - Followers.
You can choose to Tag, Star, or Blacklist any of them.
The reporting feature in WeChat helps you analyze your campaign results and learn more about your audience, your follower growth, your content’s reach, and much more. With this data, you can make more informed decisions when building your campaigns and ultimately improve your results.
You can check all the reports under Statistics.
Mini program is another popular feature of WeChat. Mini programs work like Facebook games. They are apps within the WeChat app. But more than gaming, they can fulfill much more diverse needs of WeChat users, such as maps and navigation, ticket booking, banking, buying ice cream at Mcdonald’s, and displaying your health QR code to prove your coronavirus test result is negative.
To enable that feature, go to Mini Program, and click Activation.
WeChat official accounts support a customized bottom menu. You can add up to 3 main menu tabs, and up to 5 sub-menu tabs under each main menu tab.
You can link to WeChat articles, web pages, or mini programs from the custom menu.
To do that, go to Function - Custom Menu.
Below is a quick example of the bottom menu of Evernote's WeChat official account:
How to Advertise on WeChat
More than a billion people use WeChat every month, and WeChat advertising has been a proven marketing channel to achieve WeChat success. WeChat provides simple-to-use self-service tools to help advertisers create and run WeChat advertising campaigns.
It’s easy to enable WeChat Ads and start to advertise on WeChat. Simply click Advertiser under Promotion.
As you can see, WeChat offers a great number of features, tools, and settings to help you manage your WeChat official account. Review all of these options to determine which ones will be the most helpful for your WeChat marketing.
What do you think? What tips do you have to help people manage their WeChat accounts? Please share your experience and recommendations in the comments!
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