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WeChat, One Of The World’s Most Powerful Apps

WeChat, One Of The World’s Most Powerful Apps

WeChat, One Of The World’s Most Powerful Apps

As the hype of Alibaba’s IPO continues to soar, let’s not forget Tencent and its ubiquitous mobile app, WeChat that threatens Alibaba’s future growth in mobile. Even in its F-1 filing, Alibaba admits that its ability to adapt to the rapidly evolving mobile commerce trend is a significant risk factor. Alibaba is genuinely concerned over Tencent’s dominant position in mobile, especially its key weapon of WeChat.     WeChat, or Weixin as it is known in China, is Tencent’s flagship mobile messaging product. It is undoubtedly the most powerful mobile app in China today and is fast becoming one of the world’s most powerful too.   According to its latest financials released this week, WeChat now has 396 million monthly active users, a rise of 40 million since the end of last year. This is impressive considering most of those users are domestic to China and compared to Whatsapp’s global base of 465 million monthly active users. The surge in WeChat’s active users has been a major contributor in driving Tencent’s first quarter net profit up 60% to $40 million  64% QoQ to US$1.26 billion. (correction)     With China making up almost 20% of the world’s population and having twice the number of Internet users than America’s total population, WeChat has an extremely defensible unfair advantage. While WeChat is able to continue its global outreach, its’ competitors, Whatsapp, Line and KakaoTalk, will find it virtually impossible to break into China. Consider the examples of Facebook and Google GOOGL +0.85% that have failed to make a meaningful dent in China. Cultural differences and political forces such as Internet censorship are largely responsible for that struggle.   Gaining territory outside China country by country   To bolster its conquest for world domination, Tencent has strategically targeted large and growing markets. Since 2012, WeChat has made exploratory pushes into India with the help of famous Bollywood stars. Likewise, it has recruited star footballer Lionel Messi to help market the app to Europe and South America. WeChat has also launched an ad campaign in South Africa that takes a dig at Mark Zuckerberg. The app supports important and widely used languages such as Indonesian, Spanish, Hindi and Russian. Let’s not forget WeChat has already set up an office in San Francisco to spearhead its American push from within.   Beyond simply marketing the app internationally, Tencent is giving WeChat support by make strategic acquisitions and investments into products that give it a complimentary springboard into new markets. Some notable examples are South Korea’s Kakao Talk and a rumored investment into Snapchat, a company that rejected Facebook’s $3 billion acquisition offer. With connections to such successful and established products, WeChat is able to quickly learn about each market and potentially integrate them in the future.   Building the ecosystem block by block   In a similar fashion to how Apple built an incredibly powerful ecosystem between its hardware of Mac computers and iDevices and its software such as iTunes and the App Store to control user experience end to end, WeChat has built an entire ecosystem through its platform approach. For any WeChat user, they know the communication app is so much more than just a messaging app. Traditionally when apps attempt to do too much, they risk losing focus and hurting the user experience. However WeChat has managed to cleverly combine a number of useful features to build their ecosystem block by block while maintaining communication at the heart of it all.   To start making early revenue from the massive WeChat user base, they started with simple in-app purchase items such as special ‘Hello Kitty’ sticker packs. Sticking to its bread and butter business model, gaming is also a big part of its revenue generating efforts. After only three months of launching, WeChat’s Game Center registered 570 million downloads and has signed a deal with Candy Crush Saga maker King, to bring a localized version to China. This deal signifies how powerful WeChat is, as a gateway for international apps to break into China.   But Tencent has bigger ambitions for the WeChat ecosystem it has created. By allowing users to connect their bankcard to the app, they are directly linked to any transactional products and services they want to offer users. Such tight integration between China’s most used social app and payments poses a genuine threat to Alibaba’s golden goose of Alipay. One Barclays investment banker forecasts WeChat to earn up to 6.8 billion yuan and 9.6 billion next year. With a leading position in mobile and plenty of cash to spend, Tencent is expanding its value added services through some major investments.   One of the more functional and increasingly more popular features is the ability to order and pay for a taxi within the app. When riding a taxi in Beijing, you are likely to hear non-stop voice message order requests on the smartphones of taxi drivers. Already more than 21 million taxi rides have been logged through WeChat since January 6 this year. Currently this service is free for users and they are even subsidizing rides, but you can imagine the lucrative revenue potential if they decide to charge fees or commissions. This taxi service was integrated following Tencent’s $115 million investment into the leading taxi app, Didi DaChe. In a true act of rivalry, Tencent stole talented people from Alibaba to manage Didi DaChe.   Dianping, a Chinese group buying and local review company similar to a hybrid of Groupon and Yelp is another prime example of how Tencent’s strategic investments have helped bolster WeChat’s bankcard integration services. After Tencent took a 20% stake in the company and made the integration, WeChat users are now able to seamlessly check out reviews, share restaurant locations, and shop from within the app.   To further accelerate its services offering, WeChat has released an open API system to allow third party developers to tap into the network. Some examples include Waimai.net, a food delivery service and WeiPOS; a point of sale machine for WeChat paymant. WeChat is positioning itself as the nucleus of a magnetic app eco-system everyone needs to be connected to.   From a little seedling inside Tencent’s Product Research Institute, WeChat has rapidly grown into a rainforest-like entity that supplies energy to many other apps and services. Combined with its stronghold over China and its international expansion efforts, WeChat has the advantage of Tencent’s deep pockets to buy or invest into other companies to add to the family. By creating a platform that makes so many brands, businesses and people reliant on it, WeChat really could become one of the most powerful apps in the world. – Follow me on Twitter @jaezenlim Source: http://www.forbes.com/sites/jlim/2014/05/19/wechat-one-of-the-worlds-most-powerful-apps/    

How to Use WeChat for Business

How to Use WeChat for Business

How to Use WeChat for Business

Here are some tips for boosting business with WeChat.   Use Verified Accounts   Individuals can follow verified brand accounts by either getting a member of their WeChat network to share their account or scanning a QR Code.   High quality creative content is key to attract audiences. The verified account allows a brand to post rich media content including audio messages, videos, photos and text to followers of their WeChat stream. Use Membership Functions to Convert Followers   WeChat membership functions can actually convert your followers into members. The functions create loyalty programs where individuals can use their geo-localized membership cards to pair up with users by their WeChat ID or phone number. This allows brands to adapt their marketing content and highlight sales promotions to a certain section of consumers.   There are three typical ways to apply WeChat into your marketing activities:   Issuing a virtual VIP card. Sending promotional offer notifications. Delivering  e-coupons.   To initiate business interactions with your customers a welcome message is a crucial step, especially for newbies. You can also ask questions to convert inquiries to several sets of prescribed answers. To respond correctly to your customers, you can use five types of content including text, audio, visual, video and text+visual.   In addition, you can also choose to respond with a URL of a mobile-friendly site. Most importantly, the conversation remains confidential between you and your fans unless you or your fans wish to spread it out. Use WeChat QR Codes to Promote Your Brand   You can actively convert fans through various means. One such means is to make your brand’s QR Code featured in all point of purchase materials.  Always give your consumers a reason to scan your QR code. A few inducements, such as top up promotion for a purchase, discounts, lucky draws, souvenirs or a free WiFi pass code are always appreciated.   Additionally, adding your QR code on your packaging is another great alternative. The best tactics to consider are to either feature your brand’s WeChat QR code on your Weibo page or promote your WeChat activities through wall posts to grab the attention of audiences. Share Your Brand Images   Brands can get their due attention by displaying their logos on the subscribers’ personal pages. This allows brand followers a way to show off their personal tastes and preferences and you can choose whether or not to showcase your logo. Incentivize to Entice Followers   WeChat’s API allows you to integrate the services into mobile apps to entice followers. However, consumers who follow a business on WeChat should be given a motivation to sign up. Offer prizes, POS promotions, pictures or entertainment to optimize your conversion rate. Create a Mini Website   Apart from conversation based on chats, WeChat enables brands to set up a full mini website to complete their brand experience. This website can be divided into two-level menus which can work as a series of marketing purposes. These two-level interacting menus are an important tool to better manage interaction with your fans. This can be set up on the WeChat account panel or with the help of third-party services.   WeChat is a marketing platform where brands can geo-target their community and specifically categorize people according to their gender and location. Source: http://smallbiztrends.com/2014/03/how-to-use-wechat-for-business.html    

Wechat is not just a messaging app, it’s your new online storefront

Wechat is not just a messaging app, it’s your new online storefront

Wechat is not just a messaging app, it’s your new online storefront

Before we dive into this bit, let’s first clarify the different account tiers offered to owners of public accounts on WeChat.     Right now, WeChat offers two types of public accounts: “subscription accounts” and “service accounts.” It’s worth noting that WeChat itself is currently in the process of further refining and distinguishing its two different account types, so for now, overlap is quite common.   In most cases, users and entities who register for a free subscription account get access to a customizable API which, at its most complex, lets users perform actions using the company’s own internal tools. For example, when I click on a promotional link on 7-11 Taiwan’s subscription page, I’m redirected to a page on 7-11’s website touting a deal on chocolate. All the while, I’m still in WeChat, and don’t have to open a mobile browser.   Users or entities who register for a free service account get access to a different customizable API which, at its most complex, lets users carry out tasks right inside the WeChat messaging window. For example, if I’m using an event-finding service account, I might enter “startup events” in the chat and then I’ll get an automated response about meetups in my neighborhood.   For both account types – “service” and “subscription” – account holders can apply for verification once they’ve reached over 500 followers. Once the application is processed, account holders will gain access to an even more extensive set of customizable APIs.   It gets more complicated than that, but that’s precisely the point – books have been written about marketing on WeChat, and social media ninjas have emerged from the fold to help firms learn best practices.   WeChat’s international versions tend to have only a handful of subscription accounts and service accounts. According to a representative at WeChat Taiwan, the company has made a deliberate decision to find big-name partners for its public accounts (like 7-11), and will only open them up to average Joes once traction picks up.   In China, however, businesses large and small are opening up public accounts – subscription accounts and service accounts – to sell goods and services. Since WeChat, unlike Line, charges either no fee or a minimal fee for opening a public account, small businesses on shoestring budgets can open accounts. And since the APIs are so deeply customizable, businesses can be sure to find a UI solution that suits their needs. Users, meanwhile, seldom are required to leave WeChat and open a mobile browser to complete payment – this extra step might prove just cumbersome enough to deter a purchase.   WeChat is so easy for businesses to use that the even the smallest of small-time entrepreneurs have built makeshift companies around it. A team of college students has opened up a business selling fruit on WeChat, in which users place orders through the official account and pay for the goods upon delivery.   These students aren’t the only ones – in the lobby of my colleague Steven’s apartment building there’s a set of posters touting vegetables for sale via WeChat.     If local food vendors and small stores across China can use WeChat to operate their business, imagine the possibilities for other kinds of businesses to earn money off of it. Source: https://www.techinasia.com/5-ways-wechat-is-innovative/       Most of us believe that mobile instant messaging (MIM) is the next big thing in digital media. However, many marketers may find it challenging to figure out the best possible ways to engage their customers through MIM.  With the release of WeChat in 2011, even small companies are now emerging as major market competitors.   With more than 300 million users, the mobile phone text and voice messaging communication service supports text and video chat, video calling,  photo/video and location sharing, discovering new people, broadcasting messages, group messages and photo sharing. Many marketers find it a unique way to engage their customers and fans of their brands.  

Our Portfolio

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  • WeChat in Australia

    In Australia, WeChat has experienced a growth rate of 347% between Q1 2013 to Q1 2014/

  • WeChat for Shopping

    WeChat is the first and only social media with online shopping systems and PayPal payment gateway.

  • Facts about WeChat

    - The most fast growing and innovative social media app

    - 468 million active users per month

    - 379% growth in one year

    - An effective tool to connect your business with Chinese and Asian customers

    - The only o2o social media with PayPal online payment

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