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WeChat Analysis for Brands 2014
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WeChat Analysis for Brands 2014


Published on

Updated May 2014: …

Updated May 2014:
A brief introduction to China's hottest social media platform - WeChat (Weixin) - with insights, case studies and analysis for brands.

Includes latest data on registered users and active users and comparisons to Weibo.

Provides information on user profiles and case studies for brands who have successfully used WeChat, including; Burberry, Coach, Tesla, LinkedIn, Evernote, Starbucks, Intel, Durex, NBA, Sony Music, China Merchants Bank, Nike, China Southern Airlines,, Peugeot, Coca-Cola and Xiaomi.

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  • 1. wechat for brands Wechat Analysis for brands may 2014 by totem media
  • 2. The problem to be solved. wow. things move quickly with social media in china. We posted our first presentation reviewing wechat at the end of 2013 ...and it is already dramatically out of date. so, with this presentation we have updated our analysis with the latest data and fresh case studies. About this presentation
  • 3. Social media what is wechat How-to totem
  • 4. wechat is china’s mobile social network 600m users
  • 5. wechat has Taken over from Weibo as primary social network weibo 556m users Apr 2014 Wechat 600m users Jan 2014 355m monthly active users 129m monthly active users
  • 6. User Breakdown 500m 600m 500m 355m Total number of global users, including 100m outside of China. Total number of users in China. Monthly Active Users (MAU) Claimed by WeChat.
  • 7. Growth trajectory of wechat Total users inside of China 500 500m 000,000 400 300 200 100 100m 200m 300m launch 400m 80% penetration 2011 2012 2013 2014 CNNIC Jan 2014: China mobile internet users total 500million. Are they really all on WeChat??? 618m: China’s total Internet population (CNNIC Jan 2014)
  • 8. accessible on all mobile OS: ios android symbian blackberry windows access to wechat Linked to all of Tencent’s social media - qzone - 600m+ active users: qq (im) Tencent Weibo email available in over 100 countries in over 15 languages
  • 9. Tencent WeChat - Key Functions Chat/IM (Voice/Text) One-to-one One-to-many Sharing Pictures/Video Locations Business details Voice & Video Calls Discover QR Code: Offline-to-online Look around: New friends in area Shake: contact exchange (intro) Drift Bottle: ‘discover’ a message Ecommerce Shopping, group-purchase, gifts, movie tickets, dining payments, taxi reservations...
  • 10. Social media who uses it How-to totem
  • 11. who uses it Almost everyone with a smartphone in China 16% 40% 28% 4% 12% 20-29 40-49 30-39 0-19 50+ 600m registered users 63 : 37 male 700m lbs activities per day 70% college & above female age distribution
  • 12. friend focused: tighter connections Where Weibo is more focused on a top-down stream of messaging, WeChat is more focused on sharing between closer (private) connections As a friend focused social networking application, WeChat offers less “reach” for marketers at the moment. However, if brands can build a following on WeChat, the quality of “members” is likely to be better. Brands who succeed on WeChat will place a greater emphasis on quality of content and service to users. sharing: 1-to-1, One-to-many “Moments” Personal photo album & timeline shared openly to all connections. Private “Groups” built around social/interests.
  • 13. Like all other social media in China, celebrities and media have been among the early adopters with WeChat. Its widely acknowledged that Weibo’s early success was very much a result of celebrity contributions. Unlike Weibo however, the rapid growth of WeChat has not been “top down” - its been more of a groundswell. celebrities & kols Celebrities and KOLs are playing an increasingly important role for brands. KOLs are now pivotal in helping branded accounts build follower numbers. At the same time, there are some incredibly interesting efforts being built around celebrities. Chen Kun, a famous Chinese actor, rolled out a premium service last year. By subscribing to Chen’s account fans get access to photos, songs, e-books and even “good night” voice messages from him. The RMB18/month subscription account reportedly collected RMB7 million on the day it went live.
  • 14. Social media getting setup How-to totem
  • 15. 2 main ways for brands to setup service accounts Service Accounts offer brands the opportunity to add many more features and functions, including customer response, sales/payments, bookings...etc. Service Accounts are more flexible but are limited in terms of content sharing to four “push messages” per month. Subscription accounts Subscription Accounts are designed for brands to share updates with audiences, with a limit of one “push message” per day. Its purpose is to mirror the social awareness building activities that take place in Weibo. Very few additional functions can be added.
  • 16. attracting followers 1 2 3 4 Audiences scan QR from Offline (Shop) or from Online (Brand Site, Weibo...). Searching for the Brand/Account name. Via an LBS search for Loyalty (Branded) Account. By referral/recommendation by friends, influencers and KOLs.
  • 17. influencers/kols to build followers WeChat is quickly following a similar path as Weibo before it, in the use of KOLs (Key Opinion Leaders) to support the growth of branded accounts - helping brands to increase follower count. There are two main ways to identify KOLs and evaluate them for endorsements and seeding of branded content: 1. Go through online lists of public WeChat accounts, such as: 2. Identify KOLs with large followings on Sina Weibo and/or Tencent Weibo. This provides a reasonable insight into the likely follower numbers in WeChat for accounts which are not public.
  • 18. Social media how bHroawnd-tso use it (Case Studies) totem
  • 19. 1. branded environments (content) As with most other social media (Facebook, Weibo...) most efforts by brands have gone to creating branded spaces to share content and provide information Brands distribute stories, memes, infographics and audio Q&A with authorities and celebrities Durex WeChat ID youlovedurex Durex set up a team of moderators to facilitate weekly discussions on relationships, love and sex. Participating group members discussed topics and received prizes. Intel WeChat ID star_broadcasting Intel brought in well known sports and television personalities to answer questions from WeChat group. Celebrity participants replied with voice messages.
  • 20. burberry: Case study During Burberry’s Autumn/Winter 2014 Show, users were able to get exclusive audio and video messages from designers and celebrities attending the show Users who followed the Account were also able to get a customized plaque with their name on it, commemorating the show
  • 21. evernote traveler stories UGC effort built around asking for accounts of travelers using evernote while abroad ...a diary of trips with images, notes, shared to weibo. SNS
  • 22. 1. branded environments (content) NBA WeChat ID nba_big NBA China has a team to provide regular updates to members, replies to questions, as well as mini-contests car & Driver WeChat ID CAD-Daily Designed by Car&Driver to provide members with the latest car news, albums and videos. (trivia). sony music WeChat ID sonymusic_china Simple application providing community members with daily recommendation for Sony Music artists including songs, biographies and other content. Peugeot WeChat ID txent Built around marketing for the Peugeot 308, the company built a music sharing community inside of WeChat to allow users to download and share music to phone and PC..
  • 23. Starbucks Starbucks has taken an “always on” strategy for WeChat with an account running year long. Special efforts were made during the holiday season this past year, where they inspired 380,000 messages at the apex of the program. Starbucks got awareness through stores and provided strong incentives with coupons and prizes. 1. branded environments (content) Ad in-store Number of Messages 400000 300000 200000 100000 0 11 - 2611 - 2711 - 2811- 29 11 - 30 12 - 1 12 - 2 Call to participate Sign-up by QR code Community Alerts for promotions Content - Wallpapers, art, music WeChat ID xinbakezhongguo
  • 24. 2. customer service After content, the second most applied strategy on WeChat is in providing customer service and support At the moment, most of this service/support is automated (providing balances, bookings) but there clearly is an opportunity for brands to distinguish themselves with more hands-on, customized support China Merchants bank WeChat ID cmb4008205555 China Merchants Bank has run several programs in WeChat. In this case, they have set up a CRM system which allows customers to access up-to-date credit card balances and manage payment setting.
  • 25. As a travel booking site, has focused its WeChat program on travel information, tips and booking details. While still purely information focused (cannot handle final payments), it does provide bookings information, timetables and pricing details. Its stated aim is to provide a more intimate and timely set of information to the traveler both pre-booking and after to manage travel. 2. Customer service & support Booking Support Air & Hotel Information WeChat ID elongguanfang Several airlines including China Southern are providing WeChat “check-in” WeChat ID CS95539
  • 26. 3. Bespoke applications Brands, working together with Tencent/WeChat are capable of developing and integrating “applications.” To date, WeChat has been very selective about who and what it will accept into its ecosystem, focusing on creating greater value to the system, audiences. Evernote has embedded a large suite of its functions into WeChat as an “application.” Through negotiations with WeChat, the application, has been added to the toolbar, and is thereby a key function built into the userflow of WeChat. Evernote built into the primary toolbar has a privileged position alongside Tencent apps.
  • 27. linkedin: Case study Timed close to the launch of its Chinese language version of the site, LinkedIn built an integration with WeChat to allow WeChat users to connect directly to their LinkedIn accounts and have their LinkedIn profiles showing on their WeChat profile Its a simple but important integration allowing LinkedIn to grow membership in China (and potentially helping WeChat grow outside China) Connect directly to LinkedIn profile from WeChat account profile.
  • 28. 4. location based social As a mobile social network, WeChat enables offline to online (and reverse) at scale. Location based social has the potential to: - Drive and track retail foot-fall - Encourage attendance to events/locations - Collect offline audience online (CRM) Offline-to-Online: facilitating new signups from each offline location. Online-to-Offline: LBS “Check-in” encouraging audiences to attend events, locations for rewards. nike WeChat ID nikejdi Nike has created a location based networking application inside of WeChat to allow for “check-ins” at/for activities related to Nike (Basketball, soccer events)...AND offline-to-online sign up.
  • 29. burberry: Case study Burberry held one of the biggest events ever for a luxury brand in China and they decided to invite fans who could not attend to a special WeChat event The HTML5 “app” they built inside of WeChat provided WeChat “attendees” a 360degree (augmented reality) view of the show Panning the phone audiences can see a full 360 image of the performance - with all four acts featured. Including links to special features - video closeups, stories and details
  • 30. coke: Case study Coca Cola has been experimenting with O2O opportunities in WeChat and has several cases under its belt, utilizing its packaging and distribution network They are obviously hoping to build a daily routine with consumers ...but also very motivated to build data/CRM Scan QR code and pay with WeChat. Promo-code under the bottle cap. 2013: Set up vending machines with QR codes, allowing people in China to pay with WeChat. 2014: Created a promotion with Tencent where codes under the bottle cap provide users’ access to discount sales events inside of’s flash-sales (MianGou) channel on WeChat. Everyday there are a limited number of “free” and discounted products as “prizes” for registered participants.
  • 31. 5. Loyalty & CRM Inside of the “Subscription Accounts” section, there is a link to “QQiCards” where all branded loyalty cards can be found This is the key LBS (Location Based Services) advancement by WeChat for Brands ...allowing users to find brands nearby, get coupons/promotions and make payments remotely with the app WeChat ID: qqicard
  • 32. Loyalty Card: In-Depth Reward Points Coupons/Offers Personal Info Registration Payments Store Finder 1 2 3 Search for Branded Loyalty Cards by Location or Name. Signing up for Loyalty Card automatically enrolls the user in the Brand’s other “Accounts” WeChat ID: qqicard
  • 33. tesla: Case study To coincide with its launch in mainland China, Tesla created a fully-interactive WeChat application (HTML5) The application provides information about the different models, an interactive map to find dealerships ...and a registration form for test-drives Applications for test-drives
  • 34. la roche-Posay: Case study European beauty brand La Roche-Posay held a campaign over six weeks in 2013 offering free samples to new customers After signing up and answering a few questions, customers were able to go to nearby shops to pick-up 50mL samples of La Roche-Posay products There were 80,000 participants, and the brand saw a jump in sales of RMB1.0m WeChat ID: larocheposay1975
  • 35. 6. payments (sales) WeChat has embedded a large infrastructure for payments across the application, facilitating a wide range of transactions options and channels for brands Offline Payments Pre-Order Pacific Coffee Scan & Pay thru “Loyalty Card.” Brand Shop Xiaomi 3rd Party “Malls” Dangdang Group Sales QQ Tuangou
  • 36. tencent/wechat “owned” channels WeChat Shopping Mall Linked to Daily Deals Mostly built around Tencent invested “Dianping” (for F&B) 8663 Link Payments to: Chinese Bank Cards (Debit) Chinese Credit Cards Tenpay/WePay Int. Credit Cards (Visa, MC...) Red Pocket “Hong Bao” Giving/exchanging money Split the Cheque At Restaurants Access to Tencent sales channels conveniently located next to “Bank Cards”
  • 37. xiaomi: Case study Xiaomi (who have numerous accounts in WeChat) have set up a “flash sales” account for sales of their products, accessories and products related to their brand image Games, content and prizes make shopping more entertaining WeChat ID: xiaomijiedatuan Products are available for one day only at select times (12:00 - 14:00 - 16:00...) with a quota at each time Play games to win further discounts Authorized ebooks for free download - Between 10am - 10pm Accessories
  • 38. 7. data analysis WeChat provides a module for building ‘branded accounts and a dashboard to review account data and followers/members There is a lot of value to be achieved for brands in tracking user behavior and mapping users against a “path to purchase” Path to purchase
  • 39. opportunities for brands 1. Content Content remains the most important opportunity for brands. Creating a steady dialogue with customers (and would-be customers), brands can keep customers informed about new products, offers and rewards. More importantly, by creating quality content FOR audiences, brands can create a sense of “insider knowledge” and true loyalty. Accounts built on strong content are the fuel for all activities instigated from WeChat. 2. Research, Focus-Groups Brands and agencies are using “Chat” and “Walkie Talkie” features to conduct focus groups and surveys with target real-time as audiences go thru regular routines. Its a lot more powerful to ask someone a question at the right time and place. WeChat puts questions into context for brands. 3. O2O & LBS WeChat is a great tool to link online & offline together and a great way to manage CRM. There are really interesting opportunities to do “popup” retail, flash sales and product trials ...alerting followers nearby to attend on a moment’s notice. And with payments inside WeChat, retail doesnt need to be linked to a traditional retail location. 4. Selling thru WeChat Payments systems have been set-up inside of WeChat and that makes it a (potentially) very powerful channel for sales - linking social, CRM and ecommerce together into one tight ecosystem. A friend’s purchase recommendation is only a couple clicks away from transaction point.
  • 40. totem media contact us Chris Baker, Managing Director Email: Twitter/WeChat: Talktototem