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New ways to reach and acquire WeChat followers – trends of 2019!

Acquiring WeChat followers by QR Code advertising is one of the ways of WeChat payment advertisement. How to target, reach and prevent followers lost from your QR code related campaign. If you live in China, you may have already noticed that more and more companies (retailers) are using their WeChat payment solution for advertising as well as payment. Before you can pay for your coffee, you are prompted to follow the cafe’s official account, and before starting your arcade game, you are prompted to follow other brand/company official accounts.

Today we will take a look at this latest trend of followers acquisition on WeChat Official accounts: attraction via third party QR code scan.

Acquiring WeChat followers by QR Code advertising, how to target, reach and prevent followers lost from your QR code related campaign. If you live in China, you may have already noticed that more and more companies (retailers) are using their WeChat payment solution for advertising as well as payment. Before you can pay for your coffee, you are prompted to follow the cafe’s official account, and before starting your arcade game, you are prompted to follow other brand/company official accounts.

Today we will take a look at this latest trend of followers acquisitions/advertising on WeChat Official accounts: attraction via third party QR code scan.

The latest trend of followers acquisition on WeChat Official accounts in 2019

As of the end of 2018, WeChat has reached 1.057 billion monthly active users, and the average number of WeChat daily users is 902 million, including 70 million users from outside of China.

Most, if not all of the brands entering the Chinese market are taking advantage of this technological trend by creating official WeChat accounts or building WeChat mini programs in order to improve their brand recognition and establish a connection with potential followers and consumers.

If you need help with registering your official account, click here! No business licence needed! 

followers acquisition on WeChat

Continuing to build a brand’s own community will be one of the main goals for most brands in 2019, as it is now quite clear that your followers are your power! Not only are they the first ones to hear your brand’s news and react to it, they are also brand advocates and, in a way, salespeople.

However, it is a known fact that the beginning of the follower acquisition journey is a challenging time, especially when it comes to a “closed” ecosystem such as WeChat. The whole “game” is changing rapidly, netizens are being pulled to different corners of the WeChat world, from groups to official accounts and then to mini programs. But there are relatively easy ways to get ahead of the “game”.

  1. Wechat Payment advertisement

Mobile and Social media app payments in China have now reached almost $3 trillion, according to a recent Tencent report.

China has been a world leader in mobile and social media app payments while the U.S. and Europe have been slower to adapt. Payments on messaging and e-commerce platforms like WeChat and Alipay are set to increase China’s GDP by $236 billion by 2025.

WeChat payments are growing faster than its original messaging service. The Tencent subsidiary launched in 2011 and introduced its payment function in 2013. The rise of Internet and mobile phone use in China has of course played a major role in this.

Nowadays, customers can use WeChat to top up their mobile phones, pay utility bills and book plane, train and movie tickets. You can even use vending machines and book a karaoke session with WeChat.

And now, thanks to the progress in technology, brands can advertise their WeChat accounts through the WeChat payment system.

WeChat payment is now so popular that is has become strange or rare if some product or service does not support a WeChat payment system. Most public vendors (tickets, vending machines, games) integrate QR codes for the public’s convenience.

To find out more about this, please contact our sales team.

followers acquisition on WeChat

WeChat Payment Advertisement – how it works:

To make a payment via WeChat a user needs to scan a QR code, but before this is possible, the user has to follow the public WeChat account of the related brand. WeChat payment advertisement is one of the fastest ways to collect a large database of followers. 

Scan to pay – follow – pay

Easy and fast. This new way of finding WeChat followers through QR code payment is attracting more and more brands whose potential followers may be found in restaurants, shops, cafes, as well as public spaces such as shopping malls and train stations.

Public Power Bank Rental Service:

Public power banks are gaining a new wave of popularity. The service is convenient and safe: scan a QR Code and get access to power. Only now – there is an account following involved. Using this type of WeChat official account advertising is suitable if you are focusing on the number of followers rather than the quality, as there is no way to predict gender, preferences or financial status of the user.

Other public entertainment gadgets: claw machines, tissue machines, weight scale machines, photo printers.

The WeChat followers acquisition method is more or less the same. To use tissue machines, public weight scales, free shopping mall printers and even fun claw machines, the user has to scan the code and follow a public WeChat account (possibly your account), then he/she can access the desired information or service.

The WeChat payment service makes users’ lives more convenient and enables the advertisement to reach the large number of potential followers it is looking for while paying a minimal price. It is, in a way, an advertisement, because the user is free to un-follow the account at any time, so the idea of a user following is purely educational, similar to a video ad on the subway. But it is still a follower acquisition method, because it shows quite a low unfollow rate, since brands are able to pick locations, genders, time of scanning and many more other filters.

  1. Wifi

Who doesn’t like free WIFI? As of the end of 2018, the network of WiFi users in China has reached 300 million, with a daily increase in followers of over 1 million. A free network is an attraction for everyone, so making a free HotSpot to which you can connect by scanning the QR code would bring in a large number of real followers in a short time.

Having free WIFI in public spaces is now becoming more important than having free water. Advertising via WIFI works in a similar way to advertisong via WeChat payment.

followers acquisition on WeChat

How does it work:

1.Link to Wifi (choose a network)

2. Request WiFi (click to submit)

3. Follow the public Wechat account of the client

4.Get Internet access

Where are the WeChat-follower-acquisition-WIFI-hotspots?

  • Bars and restaurants
  • Subways
  • Long distance buses
  • Hospitals
  • Parks
  • Shopping areas
  • Office buildings
  • Universities and research centers

Using the WIFI method will bring you a huge number of WeChat followers, but also a greater rate of follower losses, if you don’t pick the right audience. But, as in the previous WeChat payment method, you have many options to select your target audience.

The known ways to keep your WeChat followers from unfollowing your account

followers acquisition on WeChat

What is the best way of keeping your WeChat followers?  Surely, one of the key points of successful follower acquisition campaigns is segmenting your potential audience. In theory, people who use public power banks in a book cafe will possibly be interested in a new book review app, and might not be very interested in health insurance products. But in fact, the reality is not so simple.

To give an example, let’s look at the traffic and the case of account unfollowing at a tissue vending machine. To understand the problem, we should first know how this tissue machine gets its followers and who the potential user is.

The tissue machines are widely placed in public toilets, KTVs, bars, cinemas, supermarkets and exhibition centres.

The user only needs to scan the code and click on the graphic to get a pack of paper towels. But before payment is allowed, the user shall accept to follow a commercial public Wechat account. The entire process takes less than thirty seconds.

Users of the machine are specified by a machine’s  location. KTVs and bars are filled with youngsters, supermarkets are full of families and exhibitions target a business audience.

Other than the physical location, the possible segmentation may be done by:

  • gender
  • time of the day of your campaign running
  • city

So what can be done to reach the necessary category of followers and reduce the number of unfollows?

——-The first thing to know is that your WeChat followers acquisition campaign will have a cycle of progress. Typically the process is divided into three parts. In a 15-day follower acquisition cycle, the first part (5 days) is the initial follower gain: when they scan a QR code and follow your account. The second 5 days is the interaction part: where the brand shall send the best posts or articles to keep them interested, and let them interact with the brand/idea/post. The third part is the follower wash-out. It is unavoidable that some people will unfollow your account. In some industries, the number of lost followers is higher than others. The more general your industry is (daily products, tourism) the less people will leave the account.

——-Integrating other systems into your WeChat account, such as a sign-in points system, may be the best way to deal with fans out of your industry. For example, if sign-in points earned in your WeChat official account can be exchanged for some sort of prize/cash, there will be a lot of room for maneuverability. For example, a new follower shall check-in once a day to get 1 point (equivalent to an amount of cash or a part of a prize for example), a full 100 points can be withdrawn or exchanged for goods, discounts or services. A friend invitation would put you 10 points ahead. A maximum number of points per day shall be limited to 20, etc.

——-Outsourcing your account management to a third party (marketing agency or marketing professional) is also a way of assuring your follower base will grow rapidly, using the above mentioned or other methods of advertising and communication.

followers acquisition on WeChat

The beginning is the hardest. Ones you have your first hundred loyal and engaged brand followers, they could and will easily promote your service better than any marketing agency, by spreading either reviews and opinions which will impact your social image. Plus, the speed of word of mouth is fast and cost efficient.

Some of the brands are coming to HI-COM with the question “why is my account relatively quiet, even though I have a few thousand followers?”. The most likely reason will be content related. If the content is mostly educational and does not raise any questions or emotions, the engagement rate of the account will most likely be low. If the main goal of your account is to bring new information to the masses and educate them, HI-COM recommends looking at the concept of Educational entertainment (also referred to by the portmanteau neologism edutainment) as a way to educate your audience through entertainment.

There are many ways to promote Official accounts and gain WeChat followers, and QR code advertisement is one of the easier ones. If you would like to learn more about this service please contact us!

followers acquisition on WeChat


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