7 Tactics Every Brand Should Adopt to Reach WeChat’s 700 Million Users

Guest post submitted by Benji Lamb.

WeChat is quickly becoming a phenomenon for Western social media marketers.

With 700 million active monthly users — twice the population of the US, all contained in a single closed system — it’s crucial for Western marketers to understand the opportunities in this environment.

 

7 Tactics Every Brand Should Adopt to Reach WeChat's 700 Million Users

It’s equally as important for marketers to be aware of the differences in Chinese Internet user habits, technology use, and overall culture in this very different arena before jumping in head first.

The conflicts most often encountered when moving into the WeChat network is, conceptually, similar to the conflicts we experience with our more familiar social networks:

  • How do you attract targeted followers to your account (preferably organically)?
  • How do you disseminate content effectively, manage communications, and bring genuine value to those followers so they buy?

While the concepts are the same, the methodology does often differ greatly on Chinese social networks. We’ll be focusing specifically on WeChat, but many of these principles apply to other Chinese social networks as well.

If you’re completely new to the Chinese environment, give this Chinese digital marketing overview a quick read, then come back here to talk WeChat in more detail.

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Why Abandoning Facebook Is A Horrible Idea for Your Business

Over the past year or two, there’s been no shortage of marketers and brands complaining about “the ineffectiveness of Facebook”.

  • We’ve read post after post by marketers and business owners expressing the trouble they’re having with updates receiving less exposure (reach).
 Why Abandoning Facebook Is A Horrible Idea

The frustrations are understandable, as Facebook is perceived to have shifted from a platform that gave almost limitless access to your audience for no charge to a platform that gives limited access to your audience unless you pay.

So, what gives?

  • Is Facebook really pulling the rug out from underneath businesses and marketers?
  • Are there legitimate reasons for abandoning Facebook?

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How Social Media Impacts the Consumer Decision Making Model

“You don’t have to buy from anyone. You don’t have to work at any particular job. You don’t have to participate in any given relationship. You can choose.” – Harry Browne

Anyone who has taken a formal marketing course knows all too well the traditional consumer decision making model depicted below.

Here’s how it works…

  • Consumers recognize a void between their desired and actual states (problem awareness)
  • Seek information on products that will fill that void (information search)
  • Form a consideration set of products they believe will solve the problem (evaluation of alternatives)
  • Make a decision/purchase from that pool of alternatives (purchase)
  • Evaluate the purchase and determine if it truly solved their problem or if there is still cognitive dissonance present (post-purchase evaluation)

Consumer Decision Making Model

The steps of this model haven’t changed since the introduction of social media, but what has changed are the ways consumers seek information, form their consideration sets, and give feedback about those products after purchasing.

 Marketing is no longer between the brand and the consumer; it is now between the brand, the consumer, and hundreds or thousands of the consumer’s friends and followers.

All with a few keystrokes and a click of the mouse.

It would be a gross understatement to say social media is a game-changer with respect to consumer behavior.

While social media impacts all levels of the consumer decision model, there are two parts in particular that it disproportionately affects:

  • Information Search
  • Post-Purchase Evaluation

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