Many companies have long overlooked the importance of WeChat for B2B business development. It is a vital tool for your growth which facilitates business connections and allows you to build relationships using the most trusted social media app in China.
B2B in China can be a tricky business but whether it is connecting with distributors, forming relationships with partners or developing/generating ‘leads’ from prospective clients WeChat has a role to play in your China marketing strategy.
With over 860 million active monthly users it is becoming not just a social app but a platform for facilitating business too, this behemoth of an application has become entrenched in the Chinese psyche, for business as well as pleasure.
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Here is our guide to B2B on WeChat:
A high-quality company official account
This is step one, you need to create an ‘official service account’ that is differentiated from a standard personal account. You can still use the account to message and communicate but it will function additionally as a business marketing & lead conversion tool.
Official service accounts for companies allows for:
- Automatic, template messaging.
- WeChat Menu’s
- Customer Service Messages
- E-commerce payments
- Multiple QR codes for tracking traffic
- Geolocation services
Creating a ‘mini site’ for B2B
You can create a ‘mini site’ hosted within the WeChat application itself that presents relevant content and information to other companies in Mandarin Chinese.
This can be a mobile version of your website or better an HTM5 optimized micro site developed for WeChat, this offers a smoother user experience. You can even implement customer service campaigns through WeChat with a ‘live chat’ function using the instant messenger.
Business Networking / Resource Sharing Groups
Business networking in groups is becoming more important, whole groups of users (up to 500) are included in collective chats about specific topics. Business resource sharing has become very important on the platform, these groups are dedicated to and focused on business so spam or unnecessary content deleted and inappropriate users banned. This culture of ‘policing groups’ has led to serious prospects networking and sharing information through WeChat in groups with a positive reputation.
(see this great article)
(if you want to integrate business Group on Wechat you can add my Wechat ID gentlemenChina)
A key communication tool for business in China
Over WeChat you can send official documents, contacts, excel sheets, videos and plans/specifications. Potential clients will be most active on WeChat and will quickly pick up messages with typically faster response times in the B2B sector.
Ensure you have a professional profile on WeChat ‘Face’ in China is everything..
‘Face’ is an important concept in China. This is akin to a first impression and maintaining a positive image and reputation in the eyes of one’s peers. In Business, the first interaction many clients have is over WeChat. Ensure you have a professional profile picture with an updated description. Clients can scroll through each other’s moments feeds so it goes without saying to heed caution in terms of the content you are posting.
WeChat as a launch pad for quality content
WeChat can be used as a launch pad for sharing professional content on a regular basis. Users following you will see your updates on their feed and (if you have a service account) will receive a push notification in their messages page with updated content (once per week, four posts per month).
Sending content links/articles directly to contacts through private chats can be effective. The whole process is very smooth as articles and even external links are opened within the WeChat browser itself, users do not leave the app.
WeChat is affectionately called the ‘WeChat Times’ because so many users rely on information found here as a source of news.
Template messaging for business
Template messaging for business is also important. Official service accounts allow you to offer customizable template messages that respond to certain actions. If clients require a purchase/order confirmation this can be sent via a template message directly to their account. Official accounts can communicate with other official accounts in this way.
Quality Data Analytics for Business
Data Analysis is important for any discerning practitioner on WeChat. It allows you to adapt and improve based on quantitative feedback from your activities on the app.
One example of this is you can use different QR codes (links) to drive traffic from sources, you can label this and know instantly if it’s a client, distributor, partner, employee or customer and track traffic numbers and conversion rates for each label. When it comes to marketing this is invaluable information for devising the most effective strategy.
WeChat Translation Tool
Importantly for foreign businesses WeChat features a translation tool, you simply select text in Mandarin Chinese and hold to translate, the quality can vary but it does allow for basic initial communications with Chinese clients, they can also translate English content to Chinese using the same tool. (see more information here)
B2B in China can be tricky business but WeChat is a vital and user friendly platform to leverage for your business development. You can create an official account and begin to develop a presence & reputation on the platform and most importantly drive traffic to your WeChat account from other sources (a website made visible on Baidu, China’s Google, for example).
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