Projected to surpass 900 million users this year, WeChat’s ubiquity in China has made it a must for any brand’s social media strategy in the market. L2’s Digital IQ Index: Beauty China finds that 100% of Index brands now have official WeChat accounts, up from 71% two years ago.
Now that having an account is a given for this sector, one of the biggest challenges for brands is reaching the scale of other social platforms. L2’s research finds that only 5% of WeChat posts by Index Beauty brands were seen by more than 75,000 users while the vast majority of brands’ posts received less than 25,000 views in 2016. As a result, the average post frequency of Beauty brands decreased last year.
In order to increase visibility, brands can purchase Moments ads or enlist promotions by key opinion leaders (KOLs). L2’s analysis found that KOLs generated almost four times more views for WeChat posts about Index brands than the brands’ own accounts.
Despite the post scalability issue, WeChat’s status as China’s main communication tool and its growing functionality offer the main benefits for brands. Beauty brands have quickly adopted some functions, while others still offer future opportunity. A total of 78% of all Index brands now offer O2O campaigns on WeChat, marking a 79% year-on-year increase, while the number of brands featuring celebrity promotions grew by 72%.
As a growing number of Chinese consumers use WeChat for e-commerce, the number of Index brands adopting WeChat Payment shot up by 153% year-on-year. This is still an area in development, however, as less than half of brands offer it. Loyalty programs are used by 60% of brands but only saw a 7% growth rate over the past year, while the number of brands utilizing WeChat customer service staff actually decreased by 23%.