The ‘WeChat wave’ for Kiwi business
The strong wave of WeChat has gained huge popularity amongst the Chinese community in New Zealand.
There are currently 700,000 WeChat users in New Zealand and it is the channel of choice where the Chinese prefer to consume information including local and foreign news, politics, lifestyle, shopping, property market, financial, tourism and other sectors.
According to Marketing Minds founder and WeChat expert in New Zealand, Anne Casey, “WeChat is a powerful social media platform that New Zealand businesses cannot ignore in today’s world.
“It is important because WeChat is the ‘virtual home’ not only to the Chinese tourists and students, but also to the large majority of Chinese living in New Zealand from China as well as Southeast Asia,” said Casey.
With over 1 billion users worldwide, WeChat is by far the fastest growing and dominant mobile app in China. It currently accounts for 34% of total mobile traffic in China and this is impressive, compared to Facebook which makes up only 14.1% of mobile traffic in North America. More importantly when Chinese people travel or migrates abroad WeChat closely follows them as it has become a mainstay in their lives, with functions such as social, payment, gaming, news and other services.
Currently, there is a lack of understanding by the New Zealand mainstream businesses of the conversations and activities occurring within WeChat. This is due to the fact that most content published on WeChat is in Mandarin, hence it remains relatively an ‘underground’ social media.
The main concern here is that majority of New Zealand business do not have visibility nor the comprehension of the opinions, conversations and content that is being circulated within WeChat.
“This channel isn’t being watched in New Zealand. Through Marketing Minds proprietary WeChat monitoring software we’ve identified that there are less than desirable activities going on in WeChat. This includes individuals posing as a brand or selling products well below market price. It is time for Kiwi businesses to wake up and pay attention to these circumstances,” Casey.
Casey continues: “For companies that want to protect their brand, WeChat is definitely a channel that cannot be ignored and needs to be monitored. There are basic steps that can be taken to ensure that the company’s brand is protected within this ecosystem. This starts with monitoring of the channel along with owning your brand’s Official WeChat Account. Then it should be closely followed by relevant engagement with Chinese on this key channel.” This will pave the way for Chinese in New Zealand as they grow in confidence in their ability to integrate, understand the Kiwi culture and working alongside Kiwis.”
If you would like to discuss this article further, please contact Director of Marketing Minds Anne Casey at:
firstname.lastname@example.org, 09 634 4390 or 021 654 390
About the Author
Anne Casey is the Founder and Director of Marketing Minds, which specialises in providing strategy and marketing services for businesses. Marketing Minds has assisted a number of SMEs in breaking into markets both locally and internationally.
Born in Malaysia with Chinese ancestry, Anne has lived in New Zealand for more than 25 years, giving her a strong understanding of how to bridge the gap between the Asian and New Zealand market. Although she has previously worked with large firms, her focus is now on helping small New Zealand businesses set up successful trade locally and internationally.