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WeChat Digest October: How Brands Create The Meaningful Connection With Their Audiences

Posted in WeChat on October 6th 2021
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Vice President and Co-founder at IT Consultis

WeChat - the most popular super-app in China with more than 1.25 billion MAU, has claimed its irreplaceable position among Chinese consumer's daily life and the strategic consideration for international brands to start their business in China. 

 With the latest updates in September, addressing the essential components for business communication and customer touchpoints, WeChat has been leveraged as a significant tool for brands to empower their strategies, specially the Mid-Autumn Festival 2021. 

中秋2021: Brands using WeChat to Create Meaningful Connection to Consumers  

 As a part of the festival celebration and bonding the meaningful connection to WeChat users, Tencent has released a special Mini Game - configured from Mini Program during the limited time from 19-21st September. The Mini Game is called “中秋花灯会” - Mid-Autumn Lantern Festival, and users can play it by lighting all the lanterns across the screen with simple gestures to earn scores. With the different random lantern shapes alongside the time that users took to light all lanterns, the overall score is then obtained.  

                                                               WeChat Pay: 

                             Lighting the Lantern, Adding Extras to Your e-Wallet

                                                                                                                                                                                        

As a part of the festival celebration and bonding the meaningful connection to WeChat users, Tencent has released a special Mini Game - configured from Mini Program during the limited time from 19-21st September.

The Mini Game is called “中秋花灯会” - Mid-Autumn Lantern Festival, and users can play it by lighting all the lanterns across the screen with simple gestures to earn scores. With the different random lantern shapes alongside the time that users took to light all lanterns, the overall score is then obtained. 

                                                                                                                                                                                                                 

Interestingly, the Mini Game has sufficiently been integrated with WeChat Pay as the score, afterward, can be exchanged to the corresponding coupons, goodies, and withdrawal to actual funds via users’ linked WeChat Pay account.

Not only can users enjoy the festive ambience from the aesthetic animations, soft background music, and redeem actual gift vouchers, they can also spread the festival spirit by sharing the achievements towards friends and asking them to join.

                                                                                                                                                                                        

The "Mid-Autumn Lantern Festival” campaign was designed to deliver gratitude to WeChat  Pay’s users. It resembles hongbao “红包” in the Lunar New Year theme that brands and users can share and earn vouchers via sending hongbao.

But with creativity and the possibilities of the Mini Program, WeChat - Tencent has succeeded in driving more users towards WeChat Pay and strengthening the solid connection with users.

                                                                                                                                                                                         

                                            Häagen-Dazs China x The Louvre: 

                       Redirect to Private Traffic for More Exclusive Mooncakes 

                                                                                                                                                                   

Häagen-Dazs China has partnered with The Louvre Museum to promote the special ice cream mooncakes that depict goddesses throughout history, including Venus, Athena, Diana, Pusica, and the Mona Lisa. It’s also a special collaboration showcasing how local values go global. The campaign was delivered through a series of creative visuals and cultural icons, enhancing Haagen-Dazs' brand recognition and communication power.

1. Leverage WeChat OAs as an initiative to redirect to Mini Program

                                                

Consumers can navigate to Tmall via WeChat OA and engage in lottery drawings, where they may win the special mooncake version and Louvre cultural products. Additionally, consumers can also be redirected to the Mini Program of Häagen-Dazs, which focuses on collecting data of registered users, offering delivery services, and redeeming coupons or luxury gifts.  

                                

 Through the Mini Program, the brand motivated customers to engage in the loyalty program by showcasing the various benefits users could receive. Moreover, WeChat OA will be a central hub connecting all other digital assets and create a more seamless experience for customers both online and offline.

2. Private Traffic Enhanced by In-App Direct Data Capture

Private traffic has been an invaluable area for business focus. In pursuit of nurturing their private traffic channels while emulsifying with the Mid-Fall Festival, Häagen-Dazs has made a smart approach via Häagen-Dazs’ Mini Program by incorporating a Direct Data Capture (DDC) function.

                               

After being redirected towards the Mini Program, WeChat users are required to leave their information such as name, mobile, email address, product interests before they can view the stunning visuals and creative storytelling of Häagen-Dazs WeChat Mini Program. This approach allows Häagen-Dazs to capture the users’ essential data, encouraging them to sign up for membership and loyalty programs.

Once the user has successfully completed the sign-up form, they can instantly receive coupons for redemption as incentified benefits.

                               

All data is captured via Häagen-Dazs’ Mini Program and stored into the brand’s customer database. Thus, Häagen-Dazs can sufficiently nurture the private traffic from mass databases, provide, and create more personalised touchpoints to their segmentations.

What Can You Open From a WeChat Mini Program?

                                                                                                                                                                

WeChat Mini Programs (MPs) are well known for its unlimited potential and are a crucial approach for brands to deliver their values to the customers in China. It’s renovating with new functionalities and features throughout that brings many different, creative, and effective implementations from brands.

Unfamiliar with “Mini Program”? Read more about it below. 

                              The Secrets Behind Havaianas Mini Program
                               A Beauty WeChat Mini Program For China

Howevermany users are confused about the Mini Program accessibilities - some said users can only open features within the WeChat Ecosystem (i.e WeChat Pay, WeChat OA, etc) while others say they can share the MP to other social media such as Facebook. So what exactly can you open from a Mini Program?  

1. Customer Service

How can brands deliver more value to their audience? What kind of support is available to users from welcome messages to settings and customized user journeys in the official WeChat account? With the integrated and expanded functionalities, the customer service portal equipped with 24/7 hotline customer support can better assist users in their daily life. 

                               

From the WeChat Mini Program will be redirected to live conversations with brand associates and get all the information and concerns being resolved.   

2. Live Streaming

Live Streaming has been a significant trend creating opportunities and influencing how business operates. WeChat, as a key leader in digital transformation, has profoundly integrated this feature to their all-in-one platform in 2020.                                                                                                                                                                                                 

To make it integrated with the WeChat ecosystem, through updates, WeChat offers a separate Live Streaming section directly connecting and redirecting users to Mini Program, and vice versa. This is not only provides the feasibility but also reclaims the significant correlation between WeChat Official Account - Mini Program - Live Streaming function. 

3. Sharing Settings

Social sharing is always important, and users can help brands capture a larger audience by clicking on a clear button to share the Mini Program to other users, directly or indirectly helping to increase brand exposure. Sharing options are various, either by the general WeChat Mini Program function on top of the page or the share button created by the brands.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            

More and more brands are encouraging their users to use this function by offering them initiatives like discounts and coupons. Significantly, Nike has even integrated with the social factor by inviting users’ friends to act as personal shoppers and help them decide which products to buy. What a creative way to turn users from "consumers" into an integral part of organically establishing communication and brand value!

                               

4. “Get User Location” (LBS)

Location-based service apps are becoming critical to mobile native app publishers as it creates opportunities and benefits for businesses in various industries. So what can it benefit users?

                               

WeChat Mini Program is able to integrate with location and mapping service providers and configure it into in-site navigation functionality. By granting access to the user's location, customers can receive a personalized welcome journey with general information and specific services upon their demand.

Information about where users frequently purchase or navigate will be collected, recorded, and analyzed, so they will receive tailored messages about related services or relevant products.

                               

Take the traveling industry as an example: when a user travels to a different city, WeChat can recommend relevant attractions, restaurants, shopping centers, etc.; and when they return to their residence, follow-up messages will immediately be sent to collect user feedback. This functionality is especially important especially if brands are using their WeChat Mini Program for an O2O (Online to Offline) approach.

5. H5 Pages - A Box of Chocolates

Yes! H5 is correlated with HTML5 technically. Users are also able to open H5 pages on their Mini Programs.

H5 Pages was originally coded for event and marketing mobile web pages. However, following the latest trends and innovations in the constantly advancing world of digital marketing, it has evolved to allow brands and programmers to be more creative with their marketing campaigns. Users can explore the amazing interactive interface with a customized user experience in many different formats from games, brochures to e-invites. 

                               

Regardless of whatever format you use, H5 guarantees great user engagement with the most interactive, incorporating audio, music, video animations, or mobile shaking triggers.

Yes! The WeChat Red Envelope with customizations for special seasons is one of the creative H5 pages.

              

Moreover, H5 pages also support flexible sharing options that are profoundly integrated with WeChat and social media platforms, sparking joy to everyone in your network. No matter what approach you are viewing through WeChat, browser or laptop, the delivered content and experience are consistent wonderfully.

          

Altogether, H5 Pages have all the things that audiences love. Not only offer a stunning design and interactive brand elements that catch the user’s attention but also deliver different approaches to nurture user experience.

Integrating an H5 into your WeChat Mini Program could be a great way to promote a unique marketing campaign or innovative customer engagement solutions.

There are many different user interfaces between WeChat Mini Programs and standalone apps due to the different functionality and user experience of the platforms. However, WeChat Mini Programs are capable of connecting with all the other functionalities provided by the WeChat ecosystem, therefore brands can innovate their marketing strategies and integrate all content and campaigns seamlessly, creating an overall smooth user experience.      

                                    WeChat & WeCom Updates:

                  The Ultimate Duo for Lead Management & Nurturing

      

Significant updates in September from Tencent in both WeChat and WeCom are here! While the latest version of WeChat maximizes brand awareness and captures customer attention, that of WeCom helps increase the level of customisation and usability of internal workflow solutions for businesses to optimize their operations in China. 

A. WECOM UPDATES 

From the previous updates in July, WeCom has showcased how the gap between WeChat and WeCom functionalities is closing to empower the business management process while striving to be more user-friendly. In the latest update of version 3.1.13 released for iOS devices, WeCom has continually upgraded its powerful and efficient features. 

The September updates primarily focused on the optimization of group chat functionality, with the aim of making WeCom more convenient for communications and collaborations in B2B business. Problems in the previous patches have been solved, thus significantly improving users’ working efficiency.

1. Integration of Docs files makes sharing documents easier

Previously, WeCom cannot include different types of files in a group message, which means, user fails to insert Docs, audio and video files in a group message sending to customers. After this update, there are no longer restrictions on material sharing on WeCom. All types of documents can be sent directly within simple steps.

  • Docs files are better displayed in Chats

When a user receives a Docs file, he not only sees the name of the Docs but also a thumbnail preview in the chat box, allowing them to grasp the basic information of this Docs at the first glance. Without clicking the docs, he is able to capture the content of the file and arrange their workflow seamlessly. This change is minor, but saves a lot of time and makes a crucial improvement in forwarding essential information or documents to customers.

      

  • Custom authentication in WeDocs and integration with Tencent Docs

When a user forwards a Docs file to a group chat, there’s an option for who in the Group Chat can have access. The feature allows users to quickly set accessibility settings for group members and ensures the security of confidential documents, offering more protection and privacy overall.

          

The most significant feature in this update is the integration of Tencent Docs and WeDoc. Tencent Docs is a powerful office suite platform of Tencent, with 160 million MAU till 2020, similar to common solutions from Google and Microsoft for online editing, commenting, and collaborating for teamwork.

Now, with the profound integration to WeCom, the built-in WeDocs has leveraged the most significant features of Tencent Docs. Users can edit documents at any time, synchronise their work between their computer and mobile devices, easily view the documents even when they meet with clients or go on business trips. 

What’s more, WeCom users can invite colleagues or customers on WeChat to collaborate on document viewing and editing, so that they no longer have to send local documents back and forth. 

              

This integration has not only revealed WeCom as the vital development of Tencent in the business solutions market but also strengthened the implication benefits of businesses and users with the future enhancements.

2. Group Chat Optimization: a better way to gain information

  • Internal Group Notice can now attach media, files, and more. 

In the past, the Group Notice could only be posted in text format. Since documents and files could not be placed there, many files had to be sent and synchronised within the group several times, proving time-consuming for group members to go through the chat and find what they needed. 

Now you can add images, documents, and other types of files to your internal Group Notice. The Notice will now be placed at the top of the group chat for those who have not read it, so members can now follow important announcements within the group in a more intuitive way.

         ​​

  • Embedded Media is supported

When a Group Message contains a URL,  WeCom will automatically recognize and preview the web content and media to enrich the message display. This feature allows the delivered content to be visible at a glance, making it more convenient for group members to communicate and optimizing the group chat experience in detail.

B. WECHAT MAJOR UPDATES

During the (8.0.9) updates, WeChat introduced interesting features to empower brands' business management, enhance user-friendliness, and expand brands' marketing opportunities to China. With the updates of version 8.0.13, WeChat is accelerating its omnipotence as a gateway for brands to navigate their development strategy in China.

1. Barrier-free communication with instant translation

To activate this function, you just need to send three English sentences in a row to a friend or a customer, and then simply press and hold the input box to bring up the 'Translate' option. Once you have activated the ‘Translate’ function, what you type will be automatically translated in the input box and can be replaced by clicking the 'use' button.

                             

The translations are not limited to English, but are also available in Japanese, Simplified or Traditional Chinese, Korean, and more in the future updates. This function allows a foreign employee/client to have a seamless conversation and engagement with the customer without language barriers.  

2. Live Streaming - a crucial trend for customer engagement

Throughout updates and integration of Mini Game, Tencent has showcased the multi-dimensional benefits businesses can align WeChat’s Live Streaming with business objectives and strategies. In the latest patches, the presence of this functionality is more vivid to capture audience perception. 

  • Share the invitations & add your friend to the streaming broadcast with @Mention

When watching a live stream on the latest version of WeChat for iOS, you can now click on the "Remind who's watching" and @a WeChat friend. The users will receive a notification as a message and be redirected to that live streaming session within a click.

This could make a significant difference and opportunity for business! 

                         

Let's imagine a Sales Associate who has built a good relationship with several hot leads and tagged them into the latest streaming session of the brand. From this point, brands can have a different approach to expose their traffic while nurturing the right audience with this @ mention feature!

  • Whenever your favorite brands go live, you will be notified

Currently, this is a highlighted feature designed only for WeChat Official Account that has already been linked with Channel Account. If a brand is holding a live streaming session on their Channel Account, the Subscription Box will display the status of "Livestreaming" on eye-catching places including the Frequently Read bar, the Official Account page, and the right side of the Subscription list name. 

                         

This will not only deliver and notify the customers of the latest update but also increase the reach of live streaming sessions thanks to the vivid display. 

At the moment, this new feature will be displayed and applied for the Subscription Account, while the one for Service Account will be released in the upcoming patches. Or will Tencent bring more customizations and surprises in the near future?

 

Curious about WeChat and China Digital Landscape? 

IT Consultis empowers the most ambitious brands on their digital transformation journeys across China and APAC markets. With a team of 60 experts in Shanghai, Singapore, and Ho Chi Minh City, we leverage Martech, E-commerce, and Omnichannel solutions to maximize our clients’ ROI.

Contact us to know more.

Send us an email at: aurelien.rigart@it-consultis.com