What do brands need to understand when marketing experts say having a WeChat account is not enough in China?
Due to the increasingly saturated WeChat media environment, simply having a WeChat account isn’t enough to generate interest, according to the latest report from Chinese big data service provider Quest Mobile, which mined data from hundreds of WeChat users’ accounts. The data shows that a nuanced strategy is necessary, particularly as habits vary significantly among the different user demographics (e.g., gender, age, and location).
Female vs. Male
Women are more likely than men to subscribe to new WeChat accounts based on recommendations from friends, according to the report. They are also engaged readers, subscribing to more than 20 accounts on average, most of which include topics such as marriage, love life and education. The majority of men, on the other hand, subscribe to fewer than 20 accounts, mostly focusing on financial subjects.
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Our take: To acquire new consumers, fashion brands may need to branch out from relying on fashion influencers to spread the word. They should look into partnering with quality media accounts in other interest areas.
Top-tier cities vs. lower-tier cities
People from third- and lower-tier cities are more likely to subscribe to an account based on their friends. They tend to read shopping-related content. Residents of first- and second-tier cities, however, rely more on WeChat for a variety of services. For example, they also spend more time than their peers in smaller cities reading on the app, and they’re more interested in utility services, shopping, finance, and travel-related content.
Our take: For brands that wish to target lower-tier cities, focusing on straight-forward shopping tips may be effective enough, but they need to cast a wider net to attract the attention of readers in top-tier cities.
Gen-Z vs. the silver generation
Generation Z – those born after 1995 — like to read about utility services and entertainment content. Those born after 1990 and from lower-tier cities prefer shopping-related content. Meanwhile, the silver-generation (WeChat users over the age of 50) like to read news.
Our take: Gen-Z may be savvier in their WeChat usage as they actively seek a variety of content about where to go, what to do for fun, showing that they want to get the most out of the content available. Therefore, it’s important for brands to embed a “call to action” in posts to motivate these potential luxury shoppers.
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Overall, the report reinforces that WeChat users are narrowing their reading choices on the app and have become more selective in what they read. Even though 80 percent of WeChat users read articles on WeChat public accounts, more than half of users only spend an average of 10-30 minutes each day reading public accounts. In February 2019, 73 percent of users had subscribed to fewer than 20 accounts and the data shows that they now devote less time to reading those accounts. This means brands need to allocate their WeChat resources to more specifics channels in order to speak to the type of consumers they target.