Though quite an unorthodox approach, WeChat group can be very effective in building online communities for brands.
Both Sony China and Lonely Planet recently launched salon/class on WeChat. Their official accounts published notices to announce the upcoming events, and asked WeChat users to share the notice on their WeChat Moments and send the screenshot to the official accounts as the prerequisite to be invited into the event. By doing so, the brands can increase the number of followers because only followers of an account can send messages to the account. In addition, when the users shared the notice onto their Moments, their friends on WeChat would also see it because Moments is one of the most effective social platforms to spread messages in China now. That would initiate the organic spreading of the message.
Both brands also set up personal accounts (“Sony Official Admin of WeChat Class” “索尼官方微信课程管理员” and “Lonely Planet Assistant” “Lonely Planet小助手”) to add these users as WeChat friends and put them into a WeChat conversation group. In WeChat, official accounts can’t initiate conversation groups so brands registered “personal accounts” with brand names to launch such groups.
In Lonely Planet’s group, it hosted online salons from time to time and invited key opinion leaders (KOL) in certain aspects to share travel tips with group members, such as having Skyscanner employee to share tips in buying cheap air tickets. They also invited travel writers to share travel experiences in certain countries, such as a sports reporter-turned-travel writer shared his travel story in Egypt.
In Sony group, it hosted photography classes in the group to teach members how to take better pictures.
In both groups, members will have chances to ask KOLs questions after the presentation is over. After the online salon/class, brands would summarize, review the activity and re-connect with members.
What Kantar Media CIC says:
Though quite an unorthodox approach, WeChat conversation group could help brands to interact with WeChat members more directly, get more detailed profile information of members and understand their touch points. For travel and photography brands, this approach could build closer bonds with consumers through interest-based communities on WeChat.
Source:Kantar Media CIC