WeChat Marketing: How to Grow a Community Through Creativity

Lino Bragadini

Ever run into the following issues when investing into social media? –

You obtain a mass of followers with entertaining and relevant content, but the conversion from followers to buyers is incredibly low.

And what about engagement? You accumulate a base of fans on WeChat, but very few of them react to any of your posts, and pretty soon, you find yourself practically talking to yourself, or even worse, you are blacklisted!

Or the reverse? So you have a very active WeChat community and yet, it never grows any bigger? From acquiring to nurturing leads, Social Media Marketing can never be approached as a one-pill solution. Just as real relationships are formed, so this channel too demands a give and take approach, where fans are motivated to join, to interact and to draw more fans into an ever-growing circle of trust.

In China, brands do battle for these customer relationships on one key platform: WeChat.

While a nascent mountain of business opportunities seem to lie ahead on WeChat; as a marketing channel, it faces similar challenges Facebook in its effectiveness to bring customers closer to sales. The George, backed by over two decades of solid marketing experiences and expertise in Chinese social media marketing, has made some successful experiments in this field that we plan to share in a series of posts starting today!

Let’s Go Skating

One dilemma for many companies is the trade off between the quantity and quality of leads they acquire.

When Wall Street English launched their WeChat service account, they encountered the very conundrum. At 6 months in they arrived at a juncture where The George came to assist.

From researching liked and most engaged posts as well as behavior from existing lead gen approaches from the website, we designed and developed a custom WeChat game called Go Skating. Basically a skate boarding game to catch or avoid objects on the way, and with every crash, players need to answer one English Language question.

This game, on one hand, attracted players with its fun and challenging game mechanism; on the other hand, ensured that the leads generated were more likely, interested in English learning due to the English quiz embeds.

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To extend the reach of the game, The George designed a simplified version so that promoters on the street could easily engage prospects to play the game and gain leads that are interested in English learning.

Building a brand with WeChat

A WeChat community without interaction with fans is dead. To keep the community running and growing steadily, it is essential to build up personal connection between WeChat account and the fans so that the WeChat can be relevant to the fans enough for them to voluntarily interact.

One of the most effective ways for this purpose is to transform the WeChat account from a cold company image to a cool and fan personated being. For Wall Street English, The George created a mascot persona that is super cute and fun to represent the WeChat account which turned out to be an overwhelming success in building up personal and affectionate relationship between WeChat account and fans.

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More mascot-related games were designed after the presentation of the mascot to nurture the fans, and as fans are getting more and more familiar with and closer to the mascot, they are more motivated to learn more about the products introduced by the mascot and the conversion from followers to actual buyers is greatly increased.

 WeChat Organic growth

A WeChat account cannot last long without organic growth. Organic sharing not only strengthens the bond between WeChat account and current fans, but, more importantly keeps the community growing to involve new followers.

To reach this goal, marketers have to really know what is popular among the users, and create contents that are fun, up-to-date, and relevant to most users’ daily lives.

In keeping with this principle, The George designed really cute WeChat stickers based on Wall Street English WeChat mascot that could be used in WeChat chatting. With the high frequency of stickers usage in WeChat chatting, more new followers will be intrigued and will be drawn into the WeChat fan base.

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In addition, WeChat reward program is also designed to encourage fans to share around their achievements in WeChat games or quizs.

Conclusion

WeChat marketing in China, like social media marketing in any other places, is still in the experimental phase, and yet it is quite clear that the key to achieving effectiveness is to keep the WeChat account relevant, both to users and also to the company. Simply fun content is far from enough to reach this goal, and a dynamic WeChat eco-system where high-quality leads can be attained and organically grow has proven to be the way for successful social media marketing.

A positive relationship between brands and prospects is the primary condition for final sales. For next episode, we will go into more details about what tactics can be used to build up seamless connection between offline and online and how WeChat serves as a sales tool to convert prospects from both online & offline channels to actual buyers.

Lino Bragadini

Lino Bragadini

Senior Creative Director

Born as a copywriter in a relationship marketing agency he learnt the principles of the one to one communication well enough to win several awards in direct marketing in Italy. After that he was hired as creative director for the start-up of RMG Connect, the relationship marketing group inside JWT Milan. Lino turned his back to the big group to join a small, tough, independent agency named TheHookCom to develop and manage creativity and strategies. Lino moved from TheHookCom to The George and from Milan to Shanghai to start a new personal and professional adventure. He is now building an international creative department that can act globally and locally, online and offline for a complete integration of media and cultures.