It is becoming harder to get through the clutter that is social media in China. Whether it is WeChat or Weibo, and whether it is B2B or B2C communication – nothing is getting easier here. There are just too many channels, and too much information being fired all over the place. Average read rates for posts are down year on year – proof that it is not easy these days. At the end of the day, sending a message is one thing. Reaching your audience is another problem.
I see a lot of content being thrown at potential audiences – especially through China social media. Breaking down some common content, from an analysis of over 100 B2B WeChat feeds, we see this sample breakdown that is pretty evenly spread out:
- News releases
- Photos of an important meeting
- The upcoming booth design for a trade show or announcement
- New product introductions
- Staff introduction
- Financial results
Coming from a PR background, a lot of this makes sense from a classic communications strategy that previously relied upon traditional media. Websites also made this strategy important for Search Engine Optimization (SEO) – if you put out enough content about yourself, your web search results will improve.
Old school communication theory says that there are Seven Cs of Communication that help overcome the recipients’ barriers to understanding and receiving a communication.
The Seven Cs of Communication for effective communication (there are a few versions but I like this one):
OK, so at this point you are thinking, “theory is boring, but WeChat is cool!” This is the basic problem with a lot of companies (as well as digital agencies) these days. WeChat is a channel, and it requires a heavy dose of strategy to be effective.
Thinking about the above, is your WeChat strategy crystal clear? Does it have continuity of content, as well as look and feel? Are the posts too long or too short? Not sure? Why not go talk to your target audience (internal and external) and see what they think?
Human beings, according to diffusion theory, do not like change. We are creatures of habit. So understand that you won’t accomplish major change in a short time frame. Which is why continuity is key – a few disappointing posts are not enough to change strategy.
If you are looking for instant viral campaigns in WeChat, you’ll need to add a lot of resources – time, content, promotion, and a real understanding of your target audience’s interests and pain points.
Learn to recognize where your audiences are in the process of adoption and in their customer journey.
Contact me if you’d like to work with a modern communications firm that has both theory as well as digital execution chops!