Interview: How did an ex Microsoft UX designer get 50k WeChat followers with no investment?

Tingyi Chen WeChat guides & tips

WeChat accounts don’t simply go viral.

Today, we interviewed Jiutian, the creator of a very popular WeChat account, Hi Better Me (女神进化论, WeChat ID: hibetterme), to try to find out the secret of creating a successful WeChat account.

Hi Better Me is a WeChat account talking about makeup and lifestyle tips. It has been operating for less than 5 months, and today it has more than 50,000 followers.  Some popular articles include “How can beginner draw eyebrows”, “What you don’t know about high heels”, “Hair removal tips 101”.

WeChat interview

The Interview

WTC (WalktheChat): You started as UX designer for Microsoft, how did you get into operating a WeChat for makeup?

J (Jiutian): My goal is to launch an online education company. Invite professional speakers to produce high quality educational videos, sort like Lynda.com. 

Makeup is a specific topic I choose to start with. The people who are interested in makeup can be in various industries.  It is a perfect target group to start with. 

WTC: How do you decide what to write about?

J: I usually start with brainstorming a list a 10 topics I could write about, I put these topics in a vote and post on WeChat.  The topic that gets the most vote will be the next topic I write about.

WTC: How did you get your initial 5,000 followers? 

J: Most of my initial followers are from Zhihu.com (知乎,The Chinese equivalent of Quora). Before starting a WeChat account, I spent 2 months on Zhihu answering specific questions related to makeup. The first question I answered is “what are some makeup shopping recommendations for beginners”. I got 1,500 likes on Zhihu for that answer.  I put the QR code of my WeChat at the end of all my answers to transfer the Zhihu user to my WeChat channel.  Now I have 120,000 followers on Zhihu, and a lot of them are converted to WeChat. 

WTB: Then, how did you get to 50,000 follower within 5 month with zero investment? 

J: Mostly is through content. I post once every week. Every time I post an article, it brings 500-600 followers. And I add 300-400 followers through people re-sharing the articles.  

Zhihu’s official Weibo sometimes shares my Zhihu answers.  One of their shares can add 700-2,000 followers in a single day.

WTC: Besides Zhihu, do you use other channels to promote your WeChat account?

J: I will use Douban as the third channel. I plan to build a personal page in Douban. The plan is to find the KOL (Key opinion leaders) accounts with 50,000-60,000 followers to talk me and my WeChat account.  

WTC: How do you keep your followers engaged?

J: I engage my user in three ways: WeChat groups, offline events and gifts.  

  • I have 17 WeChat groups each talking about a specific topic, for example, workout, makeup, dress, etc. Each group has around 50 people. This creates a community that is a lot more personal and interactive. And these groups are very active on their own, and I don’t have to personally manage the groups.  
  • I also host offline events targeting the influencers of my followers. I choose the most interesting/influential profiles among all the applicants and invite them for afternoon tea.  I will keep hosting these events as a series. 
  • And I work with sponsors to give out gifts to my users as a sharing incentive.  For example, on of my article talks about how to choose the right sunglasses. I incentivise user to share on their WeChat Moments for a chance of winning sunglasses.

WTC: Do you plan to monetise you WeChat channel? 

J: No, I don’t. It will be a channel to help launch my online education video company.

Conclusion

The key to run a successful WeChat account is multi-channel promotion (Zhihu, Weibo, Douban), keeping your user engaged through WeChat groups, offline events and gifts, and carefully position your content to match the need of your followers.

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