The 900-million-monthly-user app you should be using
Three tips for using WeChat to connect with the Chinese consumer market.
With more than 900 million active monthly users, WeChat, the app that combines social, messaging, and payments, is the go-to choice for Chinese consumers and businesses. Because of its popularity in China and its capacity for both social networking and financial transactions, “travel brands need to have a presence on WeChat in order to effectively reach out to this lucrative consumer market,” says Vivian Wang, RCI Asia Pacific senior executive of affiliate marketing. “Mobile-payment apps are clearly the payment mode favored by the Chinese consumer. If you are making your WeChat account transactional, having WeChat payment will provide convenience to your customers, especially if you are not locally based,” Wang says. Below are her three tips for utilizing the app.
- Leverage its communication capabilities: At its most basic, WeChat allows direct consumer messaging, as well as an enterprise option for businesses that support advertising. Using WeChat as a direct communications tool as well as a social media platform allows travelers to get live, real-time customer service and support from your resort.
- Build a follower base: them to earn points and benefits, which will result in a larger social following, increased brand loyalty, and repeat visits to the website. “WeChat should be part of a resort’s strategy if they are targeting the Chinese market,” Wang says. “Promoting the resort’s WeChat account and services online should not be any different from promoting a resort’s social media platform, such as Facebook or Instagram.”
- Innovate—carefully—on the platform: Invest in unique features and services to increase app usage and stand out from the competition. But a caution: Given how vastly different the social media scene is in China, Wang says that to be successful, it’s important for a foreign company to work with a third-party agency or vendor who has expertise in the language and behavior of Chinese consumers.
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