WeChat Official Account, also known as Public Account, Business Account, or 微信公众号, has become a powerful social media marketing channel that businesses use to reach their target audience.
In this article, we will go into details about what WeChat Official Account is, how WeChat Official Account works, and how to register and verify a WeChat Official Account as an overseas business.
What is WeChat Official Account?
WeChat is an instant messaging and social networking app by Tencent.
WeChat Official Account is a special kind of WeChat accounts which individuals and businesses can sign up for and push updates to the WeChat users that follow them.
How does WeChat Official Account work?
It works similarly with Facebook Page, only that the pushed content is within the WeChat mobile app and in a conversational way.
Taking the WeChat Official Account of Evernote as an example:
Once you draft and post an article in your WeChat Official Account, your followers will see it within their WeChat app. Then they can choose to read the article, Like or share it, or leave a comment.
How to Register a WeChat Official Account
Only companies and organizations registered in China Mainland can apply for subscription accounts and advanced protocols of WeChat.
Other countries and regions such as Hong Kong, Singapore and Malaysia are officially supported now, but businesses from outside China can only register service accounts.
WeChat Official Account Fee
For businesses outside China, WeChat charges a 99 USD verification fee.
The account types that an organization can register vary per area:
|China Mainland||Service Account, Subscription Account|
If your registered address is not in one of the areas above, I highly recommend resorting to a WeChat marketing company for help. That’s going to save you a lot of time and money.
Please note only accounts registered at https://mp.weixin.qq.com will be visible to China-based WeChat users. The WeChat Admin Platform (https://admin.wechat.com) is for international users and isolated from China Mainland. WeChat users in China are not able to follow accounts created there.
Below is a step by step guide to registering a WeChat Official Account:
- Individual or Business?
- Determine the Types of WeChat Account
- Start to Register
- Choose the Account Type
- Verify Your Email Address
- Choose the Account Region
- Enter Your Entity Information
- Account Verification
- Select Your Username
- Submit for Verification
1. Individual or Business?
You can register a WeChat account as an individual or a business.
Requirements for an Individual - a Chinese ID card, a Chinese bank account, a Chinese mobile phone number, and a personal WeChat account.
Each Chinese ID card can register up to 2 WeChat Official Accounts.
Requirements for a business - a business license, an associated bank account, a mobile phone number, and a personal WeChat account.
The personal WeChat account will be the admin of the to-be-registered WeChat Official Account.
Each business license can register and verify up to 5 WeChat Official Accounts.
2. Determine the Types of WeChat Account
Before registering a WeChat account, you need to know which type of WeChat account you need.
There are three types of WeChat accounts, namely Service Account, Subscription Account and Mini Program.
Each type of accounts has different features, and you should choose what suits your Chinese social media marketing strategy best.
A Mini Program (https://mp.weixin.qq.com/cgi-bin/wx) is more like an app instead of a social media account, so we will not cover Mini Program in this post.
|Subscription Account||Service Account|
|Post frequency||1 post per day||4 posts per month|
|Chat position||In a folder that contains all the subscription accounts a user follows||Among the personal chats a WeChat user has|
|Best suit||Who has lots of content to share, such as a newspaper and the marketing department of a company||Who wants to offer certain services via WeChat, such as a bank that wants to make their users able to check their account balance via WeChat|
3. Start to Register
Once you have determined the registration entity (individual or business) and account type (Service or Subscription), it’s time to begin the application process.
In this post, we will register as a business. The application process for individuals is similar but easier.
Go to https://mp.weixin.qq.com/?lang=en_US and click Register now.
4. Choose the Account Type
Choose the account type that best suits your strategy. If you don’t know which account type to register, go back and review the Determine the Types of WeChat Account section of this post.
If you are still not sure, just shoot us a line, and we are happy to give a hand.
5. Verify Your Email Address
Enter a valid email address that can receive WeChat’s verification code.
You should receive a verification email like below:
6. Choose the Account Region
- China Mainland
- Other countries and regions
7. Enter Your Entity Information
The required information includes the Company name, the Company registration number, the WeChat admin’s name, a valid mobile phone number and the admin’s ID number (ID card, passport, or driver license).
8. Account Verification
After completing the process above, now you need to conduct account verification to prove you are a legitimate business.
There are three verification methods: verification of legal representative, verification via payment, and WeChat verification.
|Verification of legal representative||Verification via payment||WeChat verification|
|Requires the ID card and personal WeChat account of the legal representative of the company||Requires a company bank account||Requires a personal WeChat account. The most common and fastest method. Shifu recommends this method.|
9. Select Your Username
Preferably use a name that contains your brand name for quicker verification.
Occasionally WeChat may require further documents such as a trademark certificate to avoid brand abuse and trademark infringement.
10. Submit for Verification
Now everything is in place. Submit them to WeChat for verification. The verification process usually takes one or two business days.
Please note you can already do basic settings in the account admin panel now, such as changing your profile photo. It’s a good time to navigate the backend and familiarize yourself with WeChat.
Registering a WeChat Official account may be harder than expected. Don’t want to get your hands dirty? SEO Shifu is here to help →
If you have any questions or comments, we are eager to see them too. Just leave a comment below.
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