In the United States, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and SnapChat have conquered the leaderboards when it comes to social platforms. Though each caters to a different audience, the core functionality remains the same: Sharing information and images within your network in the form of posts. When it comes to online communication platforms, Facebook Messenger and What’s App have become staples, allowing simple instant messaging between people and groups, even across borders. Quickly gaining traction, WeChat, owned by Chinese tech-giant Tencent, has “more a billion monthly users, just behind Facebook’s WhatApp and Messenger.” This user base cannot be underestimated given such adoption in a very limited geographical area, and can likely be attributed to the bounty of features and functionalities offered within the app.
According to Hongda.com, WeChat is robust, and can even be considered an “all-in-one app”. On the surface, it may appear similar to apps like What’s App, with the ability to message, video call, blog, and join groups, but in reality, it spans far beyond. This can largely be attributed to the “mini programs” available, enabling daily activity from “ordering food, checking into the underground, providing invoice information, etc.” Additionally, the ability the mobile commerce capabilities are a clear differentiator, from making purchases to transferring money free of charge. With WeChat, it is possible to link card information and make purchases with a simple QR code on screen. It is also very business-friendly, providing the ability to develop mini websites for individual pages where it is possible to post daily updates or even use e-commerce features.
Living in the United States, it is easy to fall into the trap of becoming too U.S. centric, failing to understand the immense opportunity abroad with such platforms and that social strategies cannot be one-size-fits-all. This becomes especially valuable for global organizations with customer bases in Asian countries. Working in Healthcare, this is a critical market, and allows the company to become relevant. Simply put, WeNeed WeChat – both in minimizing the ignorance, and also identifying a similar solution within the States that could provide a similarly, holistic experience.