New method to drive traffic to your account – WeChat original content sharing

Thomas Graziani New WeChat features

Here is a trick to drive huge amount of traffic to your Official Account: working with KOLs through the new Original Content feature.

The power of Original Content Articles

Almost 2 years ago, WeChat released Original Content articles. It means you can decide whether or not other people can share your content. And if they do, a link will automatically be added to your WeChat Official Account.

In the past, the mention of the original author account always appeared at the very end, thus the traffic remained on the re-posting account.

In order to help Original content publishers to get more visibility, WeChat pushed a new change to further constrain the re-share of original content.

Two types of sharing

Now when you’re sharing original articles on WeChat, you’re not necessarily sharing the entire article anymore. There are 2 different types of sharing methods:

  • Standard sharing: this is the default behavior. Only the first 140 words of the article will be included in your push notification. In order to read the rest, users will have to click a link and access the original article
  • Whitelisted sharing: if the Official Account whitelisted your account to share this specific article, you can then share the entire article. There are two additional options for whitelisted sharing:
    • Displaying a link to the original Official Account: the original content creator can require (or not) your account to include a link to their Official Account at the end of your article (the link will be automatically added)
    • Permission to edit: the original content created can give your account the permission to edit the article (otherwise it will be forwarded exactly as the original version)

Here is what the Standard sharing method looks like:

And here is an example of Whitelisted sharing from our account last week:

Some data about WeChat article sharing

According to data from Newrank, this new “Standard sharing” format is quickly gaining traction, making up already 37.2% of the articles being re-shared on WeChat.

Due to the limitation of 140 characters, the new shared articles format have much lower engagement than average posts. Only 8% of shared article received more likes than average according to Newrank’s survey in June 2017.

 What does this mean for brand?

First, it opens up more possibilities to work with KOLs.

Instead of using original content from other accounts, brands now needs to proactively create their own high-quality content. They can then work with KOLs (key opinion leaders) to share these are articles and drive traffic from the KOL’s account to the brands’ account.

It’s a very intense form of collaboration between the KOL and the brand. KOLs are basically giving up their traffic to direct it to your account. But this is also a very easy way for Key Opinion Leaders to collaborate with brands, as they have very little effort to put into the campaign. If the piece of content you are asking to share is of high quality, you can expect to get very high quality traffic at a discounted price.

There is another way to leverage this feature, for brands with multiple accounts. Its now a good way to drive traffic from one account to the other (for instance if you have 1 group account, and then different accounts for brands / locations. This can be useful for instance for large groups or hotel chains)

If you have multiple small accounts, you can now use original content to drive traffics to a more centralized account. Vice versa, if you would like to drive traffic to a different account with more niche content, it’s also a good way to do so.

Of course, for reconciliation of several small account, the clean way to do it is to merge the accounts and transfer all the followers. Here is a guide to merge WeChat accounts.

How to find original content to publish your Official Account?

Your WeChat Official Account backend now have a “Search” feature.

In the “Content Management” (素材管理) section, click “New Article” (新建图文素材).

Hover over the “+” sign and click “Share an article” (分享图文)

You can now search for article topics and include them as shared articles in your push notification.

Conclusion

Acquiring traffic from influencer’s official account is a powerful way to grow high quality followers. It’s a good way to jump start your Official Account or expand to a group of followers. This update also gives further incentive to brands to invest into generating original content which might be picked up and shared by other accounts.

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