When launching an account on WeChat, set-up can be the tricky part but choosing your account type correctly allows you to utilise the WeChat features and reach a broader audience with your content. We’ve broken down the basics to get you off to a flying start.
WeChat official accounts are available to media, government organisations, individuals and celebrities and of course, to businesses. For businesses in China it is a relatively simple process of verifying official accounts using Chinese ID’s or business verifications. For international organisations however, there are three options:
- Chinese registration: we’re not even going to explain this one. The money and time involved in registering a company in China just for a WeChat account is not worth it!
- Use a third-party business license: each Chinese company can register up to 5 WeChat offical accounts so there are often people willing to sell for the right price. This can range from a couple hundred to a couple thousand dollars. Select a reputable company when doing this as you are at the mercy of the account tied to it. You will still have total control over all aspects of your account and choose to transfer official accounts should you eventually decide to open your own Chinese company.
- Create your own International business license: As of May 2018 WeChat allows applications from all foreign countries but they are processed on a case-by-case basis and require some serious documentation. It is worth it in the end so should be your first option!
Once you have verified yourself as a business, the app will give you the option to set up a WeChat Mini-Program however they are essentially apps living inside of the platform and probably not your first stop when dipping a toe into the world of WeChat. You will however have to select an account type from the following:
- Subscription Accounts focus on information and brand communication like a daily newsfeed allowing you to post once per day day. The newsfeed favours most recent content so limiting the post to once a day stops accounts flooding the feed. Updates are sent to user subscription folders with no notifications, reducing visibility.
- Service Accounts focus on customer service. They offer more robust functionality as compared to subscription accounts. Once verified here, businesses can set up a complete shopping platform with payment and customer service functionality. Accounts can post 4 times per month and are the only ones able to generate push notifications when doing so. These are the best choices for businesses with large databases.
- Enterprise Accounts are largely used for internal communications. Similar to apps like slack or workplace you may be familiar.
Whilst the process is a little trickier then opening up a new business Instagram page, it is one that should be seriously considered for companies looking to enter the Chinese market. Do your research, weigh up your options and be sure to reap the rewards of this booming digital platform.