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WeChat’s monthly active user base is expanding, reaching 549 million at the end of the first quarter this year, a year-on-year growth of 39%.
WeChat, also known as Weixin in China, has evolved from a free messaging and calling service. Travel brands today are particularly keen on how to get involved with its “Moments” feature, where relevant content is shared between users.
WeChat offers options for businesses to communicate via service or subscription accounts.
A major development over the past few months has been the introduction of in-feed advertising.
WeChat’s owner, Tencent, continues to reveal interesting features.
For instance, at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, it linked up with Caesar’s LINQ Hotel & Casino for a “connected” suite. By scanning a room-specific QR code, WeChat users were able to connect to the suite and control various aspects of the room remotely through their handsets.
While performance-based social advertising is growing, marketers need to strengthen their efforts in gaining valuable customer data by leveraging new features offered by WeChat.
The connectivity layer, for example, can be used to engage every WeChat user staying at a hotel. Using iBeacon and related technologies, incentives or promotions, hotels can bring guests, into their digital ecosystem.
There are options to interact and post content in various formats — voice, video, photo and text.
Another way brands are using WeChat is for customer support. China Southern Airlines has been running its customer service via WeChat.
Travellers, who follow the airline’s account on the app and integrate their loyalty programme details have access to self-service options. gain flight-related self service options.
Payments using We Chat are also an option – users can synch their bank account with Tencent’s TenPay to add credit and conduct transactions via WeChat.