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”.
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.
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.