When it comes to the WeChat Official Account there are a few important things to be aware of. Ask yourself these questions before you apply for your WeChat Official Account.
- Do you know what type of Official Account you need? Personal or Business?
- Does your business need a service account or a subscription account?
- Would you like your Official Account be viewable by Mainland Chinese?
- Does your Business Official Account need to be verified so you are the genuine owner of the brand being displayed by the official account?
It sounds complicated. Yes, it is.
Below is a brief description of each of these different aspects of the official account accompanied by photos to help you visually see the difference and a pros & cons of each.
Any individual can download the WeChat app and set up an individual presence under any name they wish, this could be their name or a brand, i.e Bob Smith or Bob Smith Ltd. They can then start posting on here messages photos and information.
Pros: Easy to set up and up until recently was one of the only ways for local business’s to have a presence.
Cons: Not seen by users as being official as anyone can set this up, if the staff member who has set this up leaves the business, the business loses it’s presence with the staff member.
Up until recently the only way for a foreign entity to have a business official account (at the time of publishing, only the service account is available to overseas companies) was to use a Chinese registered company to set this up on there behalf, often the foreign company would have no control and would be expensive to get set up and manage. Now through local authorised WeChat service providers like PayPlus it is possible for local companies to have their own business WeChat Official Account under their own name and ownership.
- This business account shows as the official owner of your brand, much like a facebook business account with a tick. In other words if your business is engaging with customers, your presence needs to look like a business not an individual.
- All of the posts & followers stay with the business account not your staff with a personal account.
They are more expensive to set up. We suggest to use an authorised WeChat service provider, it can be confusing if you aren’t sure about what you need and what your getting.
It’s also important to ensure you are getting the right type of official account otherwise you could be trying to engage with mainland Chinese but they can’t see your account. For example, if you do apply your business WeChat Official Account from apply.wechat.com, no Chinese WeChat user who registered with their Chinese mobile phone number can follow your WeChat Official Account.
Here are some more examples of properly verified Business WeChat Official Account in New Zealand.
Here are some examples of WeChat Personal Official Account being used for businesses purpose or New Zealand businesses piggybacking on a company in China, which we do not recommend.