In the WeChat ecosystem, the functions of the WeChat official account include brand promotion, a well-run official account can build a very positive brand image. It also plays as a window in the corporate public relations, especially the certified official account has stronger credibility which can establish an authoritative image in the hearts of users.
What is WeChat Official Account?
The WeChat official account is an application account that a developer or merchant applies for on the WeChat official platform. This account is interoperable with a QQ account. The platform realizes all-round communication and interaction with specific groups of text, pictures, voice, and video, forming a kind of the mainstream online and offline WeChat interactive marketing method.
How do users find WeChat Official Accounts?
There are several ways WeChat users can find and follow WeChat official accounts.
Finding an account from the WeChat social timeline (also called WeChat Moments)
The most common way of acquiring new followers on WeChat is through WeChat Moments (the WeChat equivalent of the Facebook timeline). Upon clicking on your article, users can access your account page by clicking the name of your account at the top of the article.
Scanning a QR code
Unlike in Western countries, QR codes are a very popular way to access content. WeChat users can scan QR code which is included in web pages or articles within WeChat (by long-pressing the QR code) or offline by using WeChat’s embedded QR code scanner.
QR codes are perfect for any offline use: they can be added inside your stores, on your products, during your events. They are also ideal for online conversion, for instance at the bottom of an article written about your brand by a Key Opinion Leader (KOL).
WeChat contains a search tool for Official Accounts. However, this tool is not very “fuzzy” (you have to write the name of the account fairly accurately) and is not really used for discovery. It is most useful if users are already familiar with your brand and trying to find it on WeChat by typing its name.
Shared name card
You can share the name card of a WeChat Official Account in order for a friend to follow it. The name card can be shared directly with a specific friend, or to a group. It can’t, however, be shared on your timeline.
After a user completes a payment with WeChat Payment offline, it is possible to invite them to follow your WeChat Official Account.
WeChat ads include a feature enabling to have a “One click follow” button enabling users to follow a WeChat Official Account. This is a powerful way to get initial traction through Cost Per Click advertising.
Types of WeChat Public Accounts: Subscription vs. Service Account
Subscription Account: Any organization and individual can apply, send a message every day, and there will be a custom menu after authentication. Without high-level interfaces, development mode cannot be used.
Service Account: Apply for registration only for enterprises or organizations, and bring your own custom menu after application.
Note: Subscription accounts and service accounts are categorized in the address book. Users can go to the list of subscription accounts to find information that has been pushed by subscription accounts, but they will not actively remind the list of new messages, and users need to read them by themselves.
Registration and Authentication
Users need to register a WeChat public account before using this service. WeChat public accounts can be registered with a QQ number or email account. Please use a QQ number or email account that has not been bound to a WeChat account to register a WeChat public account. Tencent reserves the right to change the method of account registration and binding according to user needs or product needs. Regarding the specific rules for your account use, please abide by the “QQ Number Rules”, the relevant account use agreement and special rules issued by Tencent for this purpose.
After meeting certain conditions, users can apply for WeChat authentication to WeChat official accounts. The authentication account information comes from channels such as Weibo authentication. The WeChat public platform no longer conducts independent review of authentication account information, and the authentication process is automatically verified by the authentication system. The user shall be solely responsible for the authenticity, legitimacy, accuracy and validity of the authenticated account information, and has nothing to do with the WeChat public platform. If this causes damage to Tencent or a third party, it shall be compensated in accordance with the law.