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WeChat: A Guide on How to Engage New Association Members in China

WeChat a Guide on How to Engage New Associations Members in China | MCI Group | EN

If you live outside of China, it’s unlikely you’ve ever used WeChat. But Chinese people use this social media in every aspect of their lives. For associations, it carries great potential for engaging your audience. Let’s find out what WeChat is and how it will help you achieve your goals. 

WeChat a guide on how to engage new associations members in china
China’s potential when it comes to expanding an association’s reach lies in the numbers: this country is home to 1.4 billion people – 18 percent of the world’s population. But it is also a complex reality that has only begun opening to Western business. If an association wants to enlist new members and generate more revenue, it has to dive in the local tools and habits.  

Because of the Foreign Nongovernmental Organisation Law of 2017, it has become challenging for associations to gain new members in China. However, Chinese citizens can still join an association virtually. Enters WeChat, the most popular Chinese social media, with an average of 570 million users every day. 

What is WeChat? More than just messaging 

 WeChat a guide on how to engage new associations members in china

With no access to Facebook, Instagram or Twitter, WeChat serves a variety of purposes. Its basic feature is being a messaging app. People use it as their main communication channel, even preferring it to business emails. 

In reality, WeChat is much more than that. WeChat can be defined as a multi-purposes app, with many services integrated within one platform. This ‘super app’ can be used to book appointments, make payments, order food etc. It’s like Facebook, Skype, Amazon, PayPal, and Apple Wallet combined.  

Organisations can take advantage of this by creating their own mini-program and leverage on its massive user base of more than 1 billion. 

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How to have a WeChat official account 

WeChat is actually available worldwide, even though 90% of its users are located in Mainland China. Here is a caveat to remember if you decide to open an official account: you need to have a representative office registered in the country. In this case, having the support of a local association or a company within the same field can be helpful.  

WeChat a guide on how to engage new associations members in china  

WeChat as an audience engagement tool 

As you might have understood by now, WeChat is an ecosystem on its own with a lot of marketing potential, indeed. But it also has a lot of functions and tools that might require time investment to fully grasp. For this reason, we advise associations to hold a mid to long-term view on their ROI. Engaging an online audience and driving attendance don’t happen overnight. Here, we made a list of what is important to remember if you decide to invest in this social media. 

  • Curate your content: WeChat’s Director of User Growth and Engagement Stephen Wang stated that the amount of official accounts' articles that users read each month is equal to the length of a novel. According to a recent survey, Chinese users are more inclined to share useful and emotionally touching articles. So, make sure that your content is relevant and that it resonates with your audience. This also means paying attention to your tone and adapting to the platform’s jargon. 
  • Build a community around your profile: WeChat offers official accounts unique opportunities to engage in direct conversations. And because of all the services available, providing customer service and support will offer to potential new members a more complete experience. Groups work great, too. In fact, they have a high engagement rate and messages are viewed by a large number of users. 
  • Location-based marketing: QR codes are very used on WeChat. When scanning your association’s code, users can receive content directly on their smartphone. This way, you’ll have the option of personalising the information based on your targets (a new member? Or perhaps a potential sponsor?). You'll also be able to explain in more detail why your association is worthy of their attention. 
  • Data gathering: data are the new commodity of our time. As for any other organisation, associations can benefit from collecting information on their followers. Thanks to WeChat’s analytical and social CRM tools, you can gain insights on your performance and how to improve in the future. 

 

The way this social network permeates every aspect of Chinese society can be surprising for Westerners. But if you want to grow your association’s reach in the country, it is a force to be reckoned with.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Benedetta Fadini

Benedetta Fadini
Benedetta Fadini

Benedetta is a Content Creator with a passion for storytelling and new technologies. She covers stories on the latest innovations in the event industry with lots of research and a pinch of humour.

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