We Chat about WeChat by @msl_group

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With 600 million users in less than three years, companies around the world are intensely watching the meteoric rise of Tencent's WeChat platform. WeChat combines the functions of Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Skype and walkie-talkie into one single application. It is the Number 1 app downloaded in 20 countries from India to Saudi Arabia. The recent launch of WeChat 5.0 in China provides users with a richer, more diverse experience including rapid access to e-coupons, booking capabilities, live support, billing inquiries, and points-of-interest navigation. MSLGROUP China's own experience with the WeChat platform reveals a powerful tool that serves organizations well beyond sales and marketing purposes. This tool can increase operational efficiency, reduce overhead costs, and increase business value. Based on our experience helping clients develop and implement strategies on WeChat over the last nine months, our team in China has developed this groundbreaking whitepaper that explains how to construct and use WeChat. We analyze cases and cite examples from a variety of industries and highlight best practices.

Transcript of We Chat about WeChat by @msl_group

  • We Chat About WeChat Authors: Yuki Yang, Mia L, Carmen Situ, Derek Dong, Enson Hu
  • About MSLGROUP We are a Next Generation Agency that creates and celebrates big ideas and communications solutions in the digital age. Boundless thinking, innovation driven by insights and an entrepreneurial spirit excite us. We are relentless truth-seekers and collaborate widely to discover pearls of wisdom. MSLGROUP is Publicis Groupes strategic communications and engagement agency and advisors in all aspects of communication strategy: from consumer PR to financial communications, from public affairs to reputation management and from crisis communications to experiential marketing and events, with more than 3,500 people across close to 100 offices worldwide. We deliver multi-channel creative programs for more than 25 of the worlds top 100 brands, as well as advise them on critical business issues. The group offers strategic planning and counsel, insight-guided thinking and big, compelling ideas followed by thorough execution. In 2013, The Holmes Report recognized MSLGROUP as the Best Corporate Consultancy in the World and Asia Pacific Consultancy of the Year. In the same year, Campaign Asia named MSLGROUP PR Agency Network of the Year for the second consecutive year (2012 and 2013). MSLGROUP has the largest PR, social media and events teams in Greater China (12 offices and 800+ professionals) and includes brands MSLGROUP, Genedigi Group, Luminous Experiential Marketing Communications, and King Harvests. MSLGROUP China has remained the fastest-growing PR and social engagement consultancy in China since 1994. Our specialist full-service international firm counts 200+ staff in Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Chengdu. We were named China Agency of the Year twice in the last four years by The Holmes Report. MSLGROUP China has also won accolades from the International PR Association, China PR Association, the International Business Awards, and Chinas New Media Festival. Learn more about us at: www.mslgroup.cn | Sina Weibo: @mslgroup
  • We Chat About WeChat Contents 1 Contents 2 Foreword 3 Should I try WeChat? 4 Reaching your target audience 4 Comparing WeChat to other communication channels 8 Does WeChat suit my company? 10 Every WeChat account is unique 10 So, are you ready to try WeChat? 12 What kind of WeChat to create? 13 The essence of a public account is a mobile mini-site 13 WeChat can greatly benefit companies 15 Positioning a WeChat account based on your unique selling points 17 A service account or a subscription account? 18 How to operate WeChat 19 Gaining subscribers of public accounts 19 Daily operation of public accounts 21 Managing comments on WeChat 22 Its all in the details 23 Five Critical Considerations 1
  • Foreword Since its launch on August 8, 2012, companies around the world have intensely monitored the meteoric rise of Tencents WeChat platform. The recent introduction of WeChat 5.0 provides users with a richer, more diverse experience including immediate access to e-coupons, booking capabilities, live support, billing inquiries, and points-of-interest navigation. Southern People Weekly, a leading newspaper remarked, [WeChat] delivers more than what is hyped: this is WeChats attitude and is key to whether or not it is successful. Based on our experience over the past nine months helping clients to effectively develop WeChat strategies and implement them, we have developed this white paper to explain the construction and use of WeChat with detailed, best-in-class examples. We also elaborate on the approach and methodology to determine and measure performance on WeChat. Readers will come away with answers to three critical questions: Despite the rapid acceptance of WeChat, many companies have not come close to maximizing its full potential. Following our thorough examination, we believe that WeChat is more than a media and marketing platform: it can also improve operational efficiency and help companies reduce overhead costs. Combined with its user-friendly interface and multifunctionality, WeChat can be a catalyst that creates value for businesses. Should I try WeChat? What kind of WeChat should I create? How can I best use WeChat?
  • We Chat About WeChat Should I try WeChat? 3
  • Tencents Director of the WeChat Product, Zeng Ming, shocked marketing circles when he bluntly stated in an interview on June 5, 2013 that WeChat is not a marketing tool. Marketers then shot back, Well, if its not a marketing tool then what is it pretending to be? The debate continues today but the Father of WeChat, Tencent Senior VP Zhang Xiaolong, suggested early on: How you choose to use WeChat determines what WeChat is for you. you are reaching your target audience with the right message one that places you favorably in their minds. This likeability is the ultimate measurement your communications programs performance. The key to effective communications is knowing how to reach your target audience on a mass scale. With this in mind, WeChat is a mobile-based mass communications channel. Its scope dwarfs conservative expectations: In May 2013, WeChat users spent more than 440 million aggregated hours in one month, a whopping increase of 250% compared with August 2012 (Source: iResearch). WeChat users exceeded the 600 million mark in October 2013. Comparing WeChat to other communication channels China has many communications channels: the social media space counts microblogs Sina and Tencent Weibo, Renren and now WeChat. There are also propriety apps created by companies and traditional tools like SMS and MMS. Each serves a different purpose and thus has its own characteristics. Lets focus on three channels: Sina Weibo, WeChat and apps. If we follow the comments of Tencents SVP, the use of WeChat has endless possibilities. Yet, it also raises questions about the role of marketing for companies. So before we elaborate on WeChat, lets first examine how companies use social media as a marketing tool. Reaching your target audience For public relations practitioners, marketing is communicating: a process of delivering meaningful information to your target audience. The channels and methods may vary but what matters is whether or not Weibo and WeChat: Complementary yet unique Since the emergence of WeChat, China has been abuzz with the question: Will WeChat replace Weibo? Before we answer this, lets look at some figures. The following chart compares the volume of monthly users amongst the top five Chinese social media apps between August 2012 and May 2013 (per 10,000 users).
  • We Chat About WeChat mUserTracker - Top 5 social media APPs by active user hours per month (From 2012.08 to 2013.05) NO.1 WeChat NO.3 Renren NO.5 Momo NO.2 Sina Weibo NO.4 Qzone 5 optimum channel to share personal updates within our social circles. Yet the rise of WeChat did not invalidate the use of Weibo; users still turn to it for the latest information on trending topics. We believe that these value differences actually complement each other well. Lets see how. Interest-centric vs Relationship-centric ten thousand hours WeChat Sina Weibo Renren Qzone Momo In iResearchs 2013 Q2 Social Service and Mobile Device Report, WeChat users spent more than 440 million aggregated hours in May 2013, compared to 130 million in August 2012. This nearly 250% increase placed WeChat in the position of Chinas top social media app and knocked down former reigning app, Sina Weibo (170 million aggregate hours). While these figures demonstrate the rising popularity of WeChat, it also shows that Weibo usage hasnt declined either (+49.3%). However, if we delve further into Weibos figures, well find a clearer story: according to the monitoring service, Weibo Reach, Weibo usage has been on the decline since early 2012 and current activity on Weibo is averaging at 2011 levels. Lets quickly review of Weibo. When it was first launched, the platform helped us to stay connected with our friends in real-time: we shared jokes, our friends followed other friends, and new friends followed us. It supported our real-life social networks. Yet, once celebrities began to set up accounts and companies began to use Weibo as a promotion platform, Weibos value began to shift it then became an issues and news information source. While users still relied on the social media service, their need to stay connected with their friends remained unfulfilled. So when WeChat emerged with its closed, invitationonly structure, it filled this gap and slowly became the When you look at your followers on Weibo, you might notice that they are typically people in the same industry as you or that you are all fans of the same celebrities. You might also notice that you and your followers track the same information sources. As mentioned earlier, Weibo has become a primary method to view news, information and trends. WeChat, on the other hand, operates differently. WeChat creates and protects relationships with only the people you choose to include in your circle. More specifically, if you have not added people to your network, then you cannot see what other people are posting and vice versa. For users, relationships with companies are built individually, which implies that WeChat is more suitable for companies to engage in substantive and direct communication with its audiences. We should note that unlike Weibo, where posts can be re-forwarded to create a viral effect, this trending effect is very difficult