5 social trends used by companies to promote their WeChat

Tingyi Chen New WeChat features

If anything, the main change about WeChat lately has been its accelerating pace: more companies are using it, more people are sharing, and each user is involved in a rising quantity of groups. In such a context, trends fade away quickly, and companies much be quick in order to leverage them. Here are 5 social trends that companies managed to leverage while they were still hot.

1. “Us” by Fan Binbin

May 29th: Chinese celebrity Fan binbin post photo of her and her boyfriend with the word “us”. The buzzword was quickly followed by plenty of WeChat users sharing selfies with their partner or friends with the same “hashtag”.

Search word: us



Within a matter of minutes, brands re-posted the message on WeChat and Weibo featuring their products or visual identity.


2. Child traffic

June 18th: a message got viral on social medias urging death penalty on people who are involved in children trafficking (including the parents who buy child from black market). 

Search word: death penalty 


People posted pictures on their WeChat moments with copied text saying: “I am at XX location. I want the government to change the penalty on the people who are involved in child trafficking.  Anyone involved, including the parents who buy child from black market should be sentenced to death”.


The trigger of this viral message is actually a html5 page build by Zhenai, a dating website.  Within one day of launching this campaign, this page received pledge from 800,000 users.


This campaign was immediately followed brands writing articles against this death penalty campaign on their own social media channels.

3. Beat U

June 25th:  Shenzhou taxi launched a “Beat U (Uber)” campaign against Uber. The campaign enabled to generate attention to Shenzhou by leveraging Uber’s controversial brand name.

Search words: Shenzhou



Angry Uber fans spread this campaign across social media platforms.

Uber also reacted to the campaign with a “be with u” tagline, and associated discount coupon given to users.


It was a risky move for Shenzhou, but it successfully got the largest exposure so far for their private car booking service.

4. Gay marriage legalisation in the US

June 26th:  US Supreme Court legalizes gay marriage in all stats. 

Search words: gay


Naturally, several (especially tech) companies took the opportunity to affirm their support for progressive values and included messages within their APP’s or services.


Chinese users are very connected to the most popular trend in the US and Europe. It is not a bad idea to keep a close eye on the popular news outside of China to “predict” what is going to be popular on Chinese social media.

5. Stock market crash

June 27th to now: Chinese stock market down 25% since mid June.

If you are targeting age thirty and above mid class Chinese consumer, talking about the stock market isn’t a bad idea.

Search words: stock


Of course it’s not easy to spread a “sexy” message when talking about stock prices. But when there is a will, there is a way, and Durex took a very interesting try at it.

Screenshot 2015-07-05 12.27.22


Virility of rumors on social media can be a free marketing drive to promote your brand. The key to ride the viral wave is to be time sensitive, emotional, focused on your users (or competitor’s users),  and be aware of international trends.  With the rising pace of information on WeChat, reacting to this short-term trends will be key to get large amount of attention and re-shares.

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