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Learn more about the three official WeChat account types

Marketing your business in China without WeChat would be like marketing your business in the Western world without Facebook or Instagram. Of course, it’s possible, but having a presence on one of the world’s most powerful social networks will aid in your growth and development.

By setting up an official WeChat account for your business, you'll be able to reach out to your target audience, find new customers and boost brand awareness. Official accounts on WeChat are available to businesses and the media, and there are three main account types to choose from.

If you're unsure as to whether a WeChat Service account, WeChat Subscription account or WeChat Corporate account is right for you, fear not. In today's post, we give you an introduction to all three.

Subscription Accounts (订阅号)

The most common WeChat account type for businesses is the Subscription account. Designed with a focus on information and brand communication, such accounts are a cross between a Facebook Business Page and a company blog, allowing you to share news and information with your subscribers, whether that's launches, articles or updates on your industry.

Unlike Western social networks, however, you can only post using a Subscription account once per day. Your ‘daily update' can include up to six new articles, which will be sent straight to your subscribers' subscription folders, almost like a daily newspaper created by your business.

Unfortunately, your updates won’t be delivered through a push notification and they won’t automatically show up to WeChat users when they use the app, so you’ll need to work to make sure you have an engaged audience in order for them to look for and interact with your content.

Subscription accounts are best suited to businesses that want to grow their presence in China by posting regular engaging content, and they're the most common business account type.

Service Accounts (服务号)

If you want to offer customer service on WeChat and communicate with your audience, then a Service account could be the right option. Not only can you provide support to your customers, but you can apply for WeChat Pay functionality, and even open your own WeChat Store to sell your products and services within the WeChat ecosystem - a growing commerce trend in China. According to a report from Technode, users spend more than $1.76bn on lifestyle products and services alone, so it's big business.

Once your Service account has been verified, you will have access to advanced APIs which will allow you to create apps and functionality for users, such as Instant Customer Service and GPS. It's important to remember that WeChat is China's "app for everything", so the more functionality you offer within WeChat, the more likely users are to invest in your brand.

Like Subscription accounts, Service accounts can publish articles, but only up to four times per month. However, unlike Subscription accounts, when your posts are published, the updates will appear as push notifications within your followers' chat lists, increasing the reach of your posts.

Service accounts are best suited to businesses with large audiences, or for businesses that are sales-oriented and want to be able to interact with their customers through messaging.

Corporate Accounts (企业号)

Whilst Subscription and Service accounts are great for targeting external markets and new customers, Corporate accounts are designed for internal communication and management.

In order to get a Corporate account, you'll need to acquire Chinese business licenses, and fill out an application form. If you're accepted, you'll be able to create up to 5 accounts for your organisation, making it easy to chat with decision-makers and business contacts in China.

One of the biggest benefits of Corporate accounts on WeChat is privacy. Such accounts are not available to the general public or to marketers, and you must manually add accounts by entering a users' name, phone number and WeChat ID, making it an ultra-secure form of communication.

What’s more, third-party APIs allow you to add internal management functions, such as an internal chat room for communicating with your employees or business contacts in China.

Getting started with WeChat

If you’re ready to market your products and services in China and want to sign up for WeChat, consider Zudu China. Thanks to our in-house expertise, Chinese partnerships and cultural knowledge, we can manage your marketing in China and take your business to the next level. Click here to find out more and to get in touch with a member of the Zudu China team today.

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