More companies are putting WeChat group marketing as the key focus of their social media campaigns. It’s a great way to engage with your customers, build community and ultimately best channel for up-sale. Daily Dairy, a 4-year-old cosmetics startup that’s valued at $1 billion USD, is one of the best examples of how to be successful using WeChat group marketing.
Li Jiaqi, the bestselling Taobao Livestreaming host, is also converting traffic to WeChat groups. I joined the No. 183 group and was quickly overwhelmed by the amount of engagement in his group.
Managing WeChat groups can be a hectic and time-consuming job, but there are useful tools that help you with message automation. Imagine managing WeChat groups like how you manage email automation using Mailchimp and Hubspot; these tools enable you to do just that.
I picked one of the most widely used chat bot tool to take a deeper look
Pro: a wide selection of features, excellent for user acquisition
Con: only works on Windows, each agent can only operate one agent account
Cost: 599-2999RMB depending on the number of agents
WeTool is one of the largest WeChat communication management systems. It offers a variety of “black-hat” tools that grow your WeChat contact and build groups.
Automatically add friends from a WeChat group
This could be the dream tool to build a large contact base. You can select multiple WeChat groups and send custom request messages to selective friend requests. You have the option to filter the users using their gender, location, and even user names!
If I operate a store in Beijing targeting woman who does sports, I can join many sports-related WeChat groups, add every member who is female and located in Beijing as friends and send them personalized invitations. Even email marketing tools can’t let you hack other business’ subscription lists.
This is obviously very spammy, the account could be blocked by WeChat if not handled properly, but it’s a great tool to get your business started using a personal account.
Schedule to send a message sequence
Just like email marketing, you can set up a series of messages (text, pictures, links, name cards, group notices), define a time interval, and send it to selective groups and people!
It’s a very practical tool. You can create an educational WeChat group and schedule it to send out daily content; you can set up hourly reminders to a flash sale campaign; or you can even set up holiday/birthday greetings to your contacts.
Although the WeChat sequence tool is not as advanced as it is in email marketing where you can send different emails based on users’ behavior. But with a smarter bot system, for sure we will get there.
Data analytics system
The analytics backend enables you to analyze the following data:
- # of new contact
- # of messages per day
- % of active contact
- Reply time
This is great if you’d like to measure the performance of your account, especially if you use it for customer service.
Graph a demographic of all your contact, categorized by gender and location.
- % of active member within a group
- Amount of messages in a group
- List of new users who joined the group
- List of users that leave a group
- Graph the top influencer within a group by amount of messages sent or friends the individual recruits
This gives you a perfect measuring tool to identify the top influencer in a group. With these matrices, you can set up a systematic reward system to encourage top influencers. For example, reach out to the top influencer and send him/her a small gift.
Customer service is the core of the platform. With the help of a 3rd party, brands can set up automatic replies for FAQs. You can also set up to ask an account to greet new members by @ them.
Although I find it difficult to use the customer service section of WeTool since it doesn’t allow users to add notes to the user profile.
Remove user from a group
You can set up rules to automatically remove users from a group. The removal can be triggered by certain keywords, detection of sending of a QR code, someone who sent too many messages, or someone who sent videos… Although ads could be hard to detect, this gives helps to filter out basic spam.
Pinduoduo sales tracking
You can share a product in the Pinduoduo marketplace in a group to earn a commission. The system enables you to track the sales performance of the campaign. Usually, a product gives between 10-20% commission. Once your contact makes an order, you can claim the commission directly from the backend.
Currently, WeTool does not integrate with other e-commerce platforms. The best way to track sales performance is still to send a trackable link to each group and track using the e-commerce backend.
Forwarding message to multiple groups
WeTool also enables you to automatically forward messages from one group to another.
If you want to run an audio live-streamlining via a group, this tool allows you to easily manage the content re-sharing.
Risk of getting blocked
Message automation tool like WeTool could increase your efficiency, but it could also get your account blocked if you spam users too much. Earlier this year, WeChat is actively monitoring and blocking accounts that could hurt user experience.
Many 3rd party WeChat group tools like WeTool does have features to “humanize” the automation process. You can set it up to send out messages or friend requests on a randomly set time period. Each message can be sent after a random time (between 10 seconds to 300 seconds). And you can define a sleep time and daily new friend limitation.
These made it hard for WeChat to detect the bots to block the account, but you can’t eliminate the risk.
Even with the risk of getting the account blocked, it’s still worth taking especially when you are just creating your user base. Only send customized messages, try to provide value for your users, and use the tool reasonably are the keys to successful WeChat message marketing.
“Traffic on official channels are too expensive, companies should leverage these tools to acquire private traffic”. Says Li Qian from Bot Orange, another WeChat message management platform that focuses on supporting customer service.
Using 3rd party tools is a great way to improve efficiency when managing WeChat groups. But at the end of the day, what’s really going to retain customers and generate sales is the content. And that’s something even the smartest chatbot cannot generate.