In many ways, Australia has always been ahead of the game with regards to new technology uptake and adoption – a point which should be a source of great national pride. In fact, an Australian Government Department of Industry, Innovation and Science infographic on ‘Adoption of digital technologies by Australians’ beautifully highlighted such heartening facts as:
- 90 per cent of Australian adults actively use the internet and almost all Australian businesses are connected
- Three quarters of Australians use mobile phones to access the internet, making us one of the most mobile connected countries in the world
- The average Australian household has 8 connected devices
So with such a tech-savvy populace, why (oh why, oh why!) is it that so many digital and social media experts in Australia still haven’t heard of WeChat, let alone drive their brand’s WeChat strategy forward in engaging with Chinese and other Asian audiences?
Well, as leading experts on Chinese and multicultural marketing in Australia, MultiConnexions are more than happy to bang on the WeChat drum.
Indeed, we think it’s time to make WeChat your business (and high time your business was on WeChat) – not least because Chinese consumers represent an attractive and bountiful opportunity for savvy Australian marketers.
China’s 1.3 billion-strong population is hungry for quality Australian products and services, as are the nearly one million in Australia who identify as having Chinese heritage. Chinese spending power is nothing short of astonishing. And while moving beyond mainstream marketing to target Chinese and other Asian communities can be a daunting task, the potential advantages are significant and very real.
WeChat is an excellent platform to launch your brand online. Without a trace of exaggeration, it can be a game-changer, and quite literally a company’s best kept secret in targeting these new audiences.
Below: Australia’s top brands – Medibank, ANZ and Telstra – on WeChat
A WeChat Background
- WeChat’s growth in popularity makes it a great option for digital marketing to China.
- The app has close to 900 million active users (Q4 2016) and an astonishing 1.1 billion accounts worldwide.
- The Chinese social media platform began as a project from Tencent’s Research and Project Centre in Guangzhou. It was created by engineer Xiaolong Zhang as an all in one service to chat with friends and family.
- Chinese are the top WeChat users by the numbers, with 70 million users outside of China and an impressive 1.5 million users in Australia reaching beyond the Chinese community in Australia.
- Australia’s 1.5 million WeChat users are fewer than the 15 million Facebook users in Australia and 2.8 million Twitter users, but the key takeaway is that many Chinese are using WeChat.
- According to some estimates, users spend an average of one hour a day on the app.
- Former Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd sent a Chinese ‘Happy Lunar New Year’ message on WeChat that made real waves on social media in China, so rarely does a popular Australian figure or brand embrace the real trend of how to reach Chinese communities.
- 46 per cent of internet users in China cited WeChat as their favourite app.
- Australian businesses can use the platform to sell products and services, better connect with Chinese customers, build business relationships in China and get to know their audience.
And here is a snapshot of what WeChat can do (and do for your brand)
The app is feature-rich, resulting in the ability to perform a wide range of tasks and activities. Many WeChat users simply cannot put down their phone because of it
- Text/ image Messaging (like Whatsapp or Viber) – including group chats – with customisable backgrounds for each friend
- Hold to Talk functionality – for when you want to send a voice message instead of a text
- Video Chat (like Skype)
- WeChat Moments – this is a section for updates, similar to Facebook’s news feed and with the ability to sponsor content via a service account
- QR Code scanning functionality – hugely popular with Asian audiences
- Mapping – send friends your pinpoint location, save a location, or track/find each other in real-time
- Games – including WeChat mainstay ‘Message in a Bottle’ (a fun game to talk to strangers), among many other new game innovations. New games are constantly being developed and marketers can develop micro games to let users interact and play with brands.
- E-wallet, Payment and Financial services – some functionality similar to PayPal
- ‘Shake’ phone function to connect with other friends shaking their phones
- Membership cards – you can get member cards from official accounts, apps, and offline stores that offer WeChat member cards, and save for later use
- Stickers – images to bring your chat alive
- ‘Didi Kuaidi’ – Taxi service in China, similar to Uber
There are two types of WeChat account:
This is best for more regular content and notifications, you have one post per day and these notifications for users are displayed in a sub-section for subscription accounts.
A service account may suit a brand that requires the more advanced features on WeChat. Any posted content appears in ‘moments’ and in-line with personal contacts.
Have questions? Want to find out what WeChat can do for your business? Need help deciding which kind of WeChat account is for you?
Contact MultiConnexions today to arrange a free consultation.