Are you excited to get your company set up on WeChat and hit the ground running? Here are 3 pitfalls you need to avoid that we have witnessed have led to the killing off of WeChat in the company and/or within the company's overall marketing strategy.
1. Not tailoring the content for the audience. We've been through this before, where you need to speak different social languages at different 'parties'. Every different social media platform has its own set of best practices for communications and content, and you cannot simply reuse the press release you sent out for print on a digital platform and vice versa. It makes your company appear very unaware of these unspoken rules and dated in your marketing execution. Write content specifically for WeChat, because what appeals to the Chinese consumer may not (and is often not) the same that would appeal to a different ethnic group. If the headline looks like an ad, the content reads like an ad, then users are smart enough to skip over this content. Make your content useful, engaging, educational and shareworthy...then now we're talking.
2. Tracking WeChat performance with tools tailored for English digital platforms. Can we plug-in Google Analytics with WeChat? Does WeChat have an API we can plug-in to our CMS? These are THE most frequently asked questions we receive from our clients, and the key to understanding how WeChat works with other social platforms outside of China is that it DOESN'T work with other platforms outside of China.
WeChat operates as an extremely large, closed ecosystem that seeks to bring users IN and not OUT of the app. This is why 30% of all internet time in China is spent on WeChat, it's a BIG ecosystem that takes care of a lot of functions including everything from ride-hailing, online shopping, cost-splitting, hotel bookings, utility payments and more. Add onto that the ONE MILLION WeChat Mini Programs that are used by 600 million people per day, that's a lot of activity in one app.
Pop-ups are not allowed within WeChat articles, meaning you cannot embed a tracking URL link into a phone number and / or an email address to trigger a pop up to Gmail to send an email.
Clickthrough to external links is not encouraged within WeChat, so even if you do insert a link into the bottom left of the article (which is the only place in an article where you can insert a clickable link), the Clickthrough Rate is less than one percent so don't get your hopes up.
Here's what you CAN do. Users on WeChat scan an average of 12 QR codes per day, and you are able to create custom QR codes that embed tracking URLs (but still, pop ups don't work). So if you insist on taking users out of WeChat to a landing page, it's possible, you just have to do it in a way that WeChat users understand (through the use of a QR code).
If you are trying very hard to plug-in your existing digital marketing tracking tools into WeChat, we regret to inform you that no, there's no Zapier plug-in for WeChat.
3. Forgetting that everything takes TIME. Marketing takes time. There is money out there but how many of us can say yes to a high ticket item worth 6 to 7 figures on the spot after reading one WeChat advertorial? In case we have forgotten, the process is known as AIDA for short - Attention, Interest, Desire, Action - takes place over four steps. Your WeChat marketing strategy needs to be realistic, in that your first step on getting setup is to run some awareness campaigns to let your audience know you are on the platform. The next step is to create interest perhaps with an article on new product launches. Desire could be triggered through promotional offers or gift with purchase or in-store events, and once they are in the store, you can educate them to take action. We work in collaboration with our clients to help set their expectations at a reasonable level. If you want to compare it against your website, which has been in operation for 3 years, and the content, tracking, operations have been perfected, you cannot compare the results of one WeChat campaign to your website conversion performance - that's comparing apples to oranges. In summary, it's important to find the right, relevant benchmark.
We hate to be the bearer of bad news, but at least now you are aware of the most common pitfalls we have witnessed through our work with over a hundred WeChat clients and can avoid them as you are building your WeChat presence.
Want us to join in on your strategy development conversation, our WeChat Specialists are happy to assist. Email us today at firstname.lastname@example.org!