How University use WeChat to Recruit Students
October 18, 2021
The most important thing that every company should know: to doing business in China is that Western social media platforms like Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and so on are banned in China.
With universities across the globe using Facebook/Instagram to reach new customers, entering a new market without them might seem impossible. However, there’s a range of other platforms available that universities can use for social media marketing in China.
An Introduction of WeChat
WeChat is one of the top Chinese social media users every day, which use for daily messages with family, friends or business communication.
WeChat is an all-in-one messaging app developed by Tencent, which also provides games, online shopping, and financial services. Users can get almost everything they need within the app, leading to its classification as a “Super-App.”
Today, WeChat is the largest social media platform in China, with over 1 billion monthly
active users. Compare this to Facebook’s 2 billion worldwide. Given that WeChat’s user base is concentrated heavily in China it’s easy to see why many users call it the Chinese Facebook. Chinese users spend their 24 hours on WeChat for daily use. All this makes it one of the most popular choices for universities looking to get started with social media marketing in China.
The Chinese use the WeChat app for restaurant bookings, flights, making investments, shopping, paying bills, hailing taxis, transferring money, creating posts on their Newsfeed (called WeChat Moments), Newsletter, Community etc.
Due to these reasons, it’s risen to become the most popular social media in China. As a university, in order to communicate with your education agency, Chinese university partnership, and students and parents WeChat is the top needed social media.
The feature that universities must use in WeChat
1. Create Your official accounts to generate content for promotional purposes.
Official Accounts in WeChat are like your official website or newsletters channel for Chinese audience to know your university, when a Chinese audience is looking for certain information, they will search in WeChat tools to find out similar information and articles. Therefore is important to take care of all the accounts you have, especially in Mandarin.
There are two types of Official accounts you can create for your university. The ones shown below are called official newsletter accounts. Each account can publish one time a day for more than 8 articles. Usually, the university will publish two times a week ( such as Monday, Thursday) each time one article or two articles if any news comes up.
If you publish more than two articles, all other articles will be hidden so more than two is not suggestive.
Best for universities who are looking to publish more than one time a week and have a China office in China. Because they require a China Business License to open(this does not apply to commercial business). Some of the universities will authorize their social media agency to use their license to register one. For example, if you are a university in the UK and would like to have an official account find a social media agency to register like Wei Digital or register a WeChat Official Service Account.
What is a WeChat Official Service Account?
There is different types of the official account that usually used by famous brands, bank, membership, agency how to have their main business are service. So far, a university that does not have a Chinese business licence can only register as an official service account.
This means you can publish once a week, not every day. This will limit your publish plan because when Chinese New Year or autumn festival usually we need to publish a poster that will cause a problem. You will need to publish a week before not the same day!!! They also appear differently than the official account shown below.
Universities can even implement CRM (Customer Relationship Management) functionality on their WeChat official accounts, allowing businesses to track and manage the contacts on their WeChat Official Account!
Publish articles in WeChat are different from writing a blog! Each extraction, UI, image flash are important to use to engage with students. (Search Apple's WeChat service account to know more or talk to use)
We know that having a community on Facebook will increase student enquires about courses. They are the same in WeChat, in fact, there is a similar feature in Weibo and Red. All you need is to add a person's WeChat account.
Nearly all companies have community or group chat in WeChat. Research has shown Students tend to ask people opinions about the university and if people forward a good university article to read they will look at it, therefore, it would be important for the university to have their own personal WeChat account and ask the current student and alumni to share the post this will increase brand awareness in a good way.
It is important to uses all common features on WeChat when comes to WeChat marketing.
3. Other features that universities can use to engage with students
Some universities might have a large number of budgets when comes to China market. The mini-program might be a good choice.
Mini program on Wechat:
Mini Programs are generally smaller/ more streamlined than traditional apps
There is no download/ storage for individuals
They load faster than apps as they are hosted on Tencent servers
They are cheaper to build than native apps – 20% of the cost, 80% of the functionality
Mini Programs are linked to WeChat Pay, whereas native apps can use other payment gateways