What information does WeChat allow you to collect from your followers?
Avatar, location, gender and WeChat ID… That’s it… WeChat gives you only this information about users following your account. Furthermore, just to get that information, you still need to have a pop up on your WeChat account where your followers accept to share this information with you. Your ability to engage can sometimes be limited. For examples, if a follower contacts you on WeChat to enquire about information, you only have a 48 hour window in which to contact them directly through the WeChat system.
While this is certainly a start, for businesses seeking to create leads, this is not enough to reach out directly to followers on a one on one basis, which is what salespeople need to convert leads into opportunities and those opportunities into business.
WeChat is a fantastic tool. Having an official account allows you to broadcast messages and engage with users that enquire directly with you, though on a limited basis. However, WeChat is not a full on CRM. It does not allow you to manage contacts or collect other information which is critical for you as a business to generate and convert leads. The Wechat account and its content are just the first step.
So what do you do? How can you collect better information?
There are strategies that work. Those that work best revolve around engagement with followers. Content within WeChat needs to be designed and customized in such away as to encourage a follower to click on a link or a button or take some other action that will direct them outside of WeChat. Once outside of WeChat you are free to use forms or other tools to collect information that’s necessary for you to take action.
WeChat effectively becomes a browser at this point. From the users perspective they do not leave the WeChat app, but they are directed to an external mobile website.
Download the Whitepaper
As a business, in particular selling to other businesses, the white paper is a common item in your toolbox. You use it to explain important parts of your business or some thing about your industry to your customer base. Its a way to position yourself as a thought leader in your particular specialization.
Once that white paper is translated into Chinese, we can create one or even several different posts where we extract interesting information from that white paper and write new WeChat content specifically about it. The content is designed to encourage people to learn more about that specific topic within your whitepaper and lets them know that if they want to learn more they can just “click here“.
Once the follower clicks, they are directed to a simple form where they enter in the basic information you need to follow up with them. Then they can download the whitepaper and you get their contacts for sales to follow up with.
Watch the Video
Many companies are using short videos or animations to explain their service offering, or some other area in which they create a unique value. Perhaps you have a business that’s difficult to explain in text and videos or even animation helps crystallize the value you provide to your customers.
Just like the white paper above, we would take such a video and extract key information that we would write about in a new WeChat post, giving a call to action to watch the video. Then the user can fill out a form at which point they watch the video. Perhaps, if you have several videos, the user is allowed to see one video without filling out a form, but in order to see the other videos they have to enter in their information. Again, once the user submits the form, they have access to the information and you have their contact details for sales to follow up with.
Play the Game
Gamification is extremely popular at the moment in China, in particular within the WeChat marketing area. In this scenario, a “carrot” or the opportunity to win something is presented to the followers to encourage them to participate in the game. If they participate they may have a chance to win a new iphone or attend a special event.
We would then design a game where the user would participate in an activity that could teach them about your business, take them on a journey or simply collect market information. It could be an interactive map, a video game or just questions and answers with themes related to your business.
Once they complete the game, they are told that they are now eligible to participate in a lottery or a chance to win the prize and prompted with a form requesting their basic information.
These are just a few ideas and examples of things that we have done with our existing customers. We are always looking for new ideas, often collaborating with customers to come up with them, and finding new ways to get customers and users excited about brands and willing to volunteer their information.