WeChat Official Accounts Explained
If you have no idea what a WeChat Official Account before, it is basically like having a Facebook Business Page (except for Enterprise account) that you can use to do all kinds of marketing on WeChat.
WeChat official accounts is really the cornerstone of WeChat marketing without having at least one, you can still market on WeChat but you’ll be extremely limited.
Types of WeChat Official Accounts
Yes, there are different types of WeChat official accounts and each has it’s purposes.
Which account should you get?
Well.. remember you can create 15 WeChat official accounts under just one business name, so you really can have multiple of each account type if you want but you probably won’t need it and won’t have the time to manage it.
Which brings me to the next point. If you don’t resources and time is limited then you’ll want to stick to one account type to get started and create more after if needed.
There are really only 2 types of WeChat official account that you should really care about which is the subscription and service account. Let me explain…
Business WeChat Subscription Account
WeChat subscription account is designed and best used for publishing a ton of contents using a “news feed” like setup. With the subscription account, users can publish (up to 6 articles) once a day to their subscribers’ list. To notify users, the updates are sent directly to their subscription folder.
There are several reasons for setting limits on WeChat subscription accounts. In general, WeChat has a built-in search algorithm to prioritize specific updates based on time. As a result, recent articles are given preference. By setting limitations, WeChat can control what shows up while ensuring spamming doesn’t become a concern.
It’s important to note, WeChat subscription accounts limit engagement based on how users are notified of new posts. The notification is delivered straight to their subscription folder, which takes away from the account’s engagement rate. Other WeChat accounts do a better job of increasing the brand’s exposure.
Personal WeChat Subscription Account
This the same as a Subscription account except it’s personal. Unlike the business subscription account and all other official accounts which require additional verification (i.e. business licensing). This type of WeChat official account can be open by individual users using a Chinese ID and are often used by famous personalities and bloggers.
If you’re looking to gain a large following by publishing a lot of content and build your personal brand awareness, then a personal WeChat subscription account is perfect if you can get one.
WeChat Service Account
A WeChat service account is an all-encompassing option with several high-end features including e-Commerce, CRM, API integration, and customer service. This official account provides more for brands to work with while developing an online subscribers list. The same accounts can sign up for WeChat Pay and WeChat Store for a well-rounded e-Commerce experience. Once verified, the account gains access to additional features including Payments, GPS, and Instant Customer Service.
These accounts can post 4 times per month (up to 6 articles each). Once the posts are up, users are notified using push notifications in their chat list. While users post less with a WeChat service account, they gain additional exposure through well-placed push notifications.
These accounts are limited for a reason. The emphasis is on providing controlled exposure without spamming users through WeChat’s platform. The push notifications offer tremendous visibility but are restricted to avoid ruining the user’s experience. Remember, the main purpose is to keep users online for as long as they can, which is why posting is regulated.
WeChat service accounts are ideal for large businesses with sizable subscriber lists (i.e. hotel chains, airlines). These businesses can use built-in booking systems to help increase their bottom line. Several businesses use service accounts to communicate with customers and/or register complaints through the live chat feature.
WeChat Enterprise Account
WeChat enterprise accounts are different from traditional subscription and service accounts. These accounts are designed to handle all forms of internal communication. A good comparison would be Workplace by Facebook or Slack. These accounts don’t involve business to customer communication.
The public cannot sign up for these accounts. All users and/or businesses go through verification processes before gaining access to the enterprise account.
These accounts are wonderful for several reasons including their pre-determined third-party APIs such as internal chat rooms, resource sharing, and video conferencing. All enterprise accounts are designed to offer increased security and visibility. To ensure this is the case, all users go through detailed verification steps including entering their name, WeChat ID, and phone number.
How to Get More Subscribers for Your WeChat Official Accounts
WeChat official accounts can be found using the following steps.
1 WeChat Social Timeline (WeChat Moments)
This is a fairly common method for bringing in new followers on WeChat. With WeChat Moments, users click on the article and access the account page using your name.
2 Scanning a QR Code
QR codes remain a common option when it comes to accessing content. WeChat users are familiar with this idea and can scan the QR code included in the WeChat article. Please note, WeChat also includes an offline variation through its embedded QR code scanner.
QR codes are ideal for offline use. They’re easy to set up in your physical store, at key events, and on your products. Several brands use the power of QR codes to help increase their conversion rate by including them at the bottom of articles.
WeChat has a built-in search feature for all Official Accounts. The user can type in an account’s name to find it. In general, this method is applicable for those already aware of a particular account. Otherwise, it’s hard to find the right account. If users are familiar with the brand, this is often the easiest way to locate their Official Account.
- Shared Name Card: A simple name card for your WeChat Official Account can be shared through person-to-person contact. This name card can include the account’s name and details all in one place. However, these name cards cannot be shared through your timeline.
- Offline Payments: Assuming a user pays through WeChat Payment, the account can invite them directly. The message is sent as soon as the payment is approved. This allows the user to click-through and sign up.
- Advertising: WeChat has a built-in “one click follow” button for each Official Account. This is ideal for CPC advertising (cost per click).
Of course, these are some basic ways that you can get use to attract more follower (subscriber) to your WeChat official accounts but if you’re looking for a more advance or 12 in fact here is an article we wrote on: [article]
How To Set Up a WeChat Official Account
1) Register an Official Business in China
Acquiring a business license in China is a common way to set up a WeChat Official Account. Of course, it’s not recommended for those hoping to save money and time. Getting a business license requires patience and is expensive in China.
Find a Third-Party Business License
A separate Chinese entity can help register the account for your company. In general, WeChat allows a Chinese company to set up 5 accounts on its platform. This means certain verified companies are more than happy to pass on their accreditation to other businesses for a set price. The price can vary between $200-$5000 and sometimes higher.
It’s important to note, this is not a safe method. The Chinese entity has control of the account in one way and should be dependable. Otherwise, they may pull out later on and/or hold the account until additional payments are made. This can put your business at risk.
While the account is going to be set up under the Chinese entity, it can still have your company’s details including the name, description, and logo. Their name is only going to be found on the main information page.
WeChat also allows businesses to transfer official accounts. This means once you have a business license, it’s okay to transfer the account to your name.
WeChat Official Accounts For International Businesses
WeChat is often analyzed for potential political involvement in the management of user data and/or shaping public opinion using its platform. Due to this reason, they’re vigilant when it comes to bringing in new companies and allowing certain entities to register Official Accounts. Over time, Tencent has become meticulous when it comes to approving international companies without appropriate licensing.
On May 3rd, 2018, WeChat stated it was now accepting international applications for Official Accounts. The application process is rigorous and is approved after extensive research into the business. This is the only way to obtain an account using your business license. However, there are differences in what a Chinese license and international license are allowed to do on WeChat.
WeChat Official Account Functionality Comparison