WeChat has undergone a massive transformation over the past few years, going from simply a chat app and social media platform to what could be considered a mobile operating system.
Yet, while brands are quick to adjust their strategies and try out new features from WeChat Pay to mini programs, many of them seem reluctant to adopt new KPIs that accurately reflect what success looks like on WeChat in 2020.
Initially the only way brands could measure success on WeChat was through broadcast metrics such as article views, likes, and follower numbers, but as WeChat has evolved and official account capabilities have expanded, broadcasting content has become only a small fragment of what brands are capable of and brands need to start placing more emphasis on the metrics that matter.
As you’re heading into the end of 2020 and starting to develop your brand’s 2021 WeChat strategy, here are 6 key metrics to consider:
Number of engaged followers:
Your total number of followers doesn’t matter as much as the percentage of those followers that are engaging with your account on a regular basis. In the broadcast-focused days, engagement was typically defined by interaction with articles, but now it could mean a variety of things from menu clicks and keywords sent to how often a user enters your mini program.
Depending on your vertical and the purpose of your account the average engagement metrics will vary, but it's safe to say that, for many accounts:
0 interact ions in a month is inactive
1 or more interactions is active
3 or more interactions is engaged
The more engaged a follower is, the better we can a 360 view of their preferences and behaviors, which then in turn allows us to provide them with better content and offers.
While most brands are focused on gaining new followers, how about working to keep the ones you already have? As new follower acquisition costs are increasing across social media platforms in China,some marketers claimthe cost of gaining one new follower equal to the cost of retaining 15 current followers, making it a lot cheaper to hold on to the ones you have.
Number of bound followers:
On top of wanting engaged followers, brands should strive to get as many followers as possible to bind their phone number or other personally identifiable information (PII) to their WeChat Open ID or Union ID. Binding a user’s PII to his or her WeChat account allows brands to track this user’s actions across all of the brand’s WeChat properties including Official Accounts and mini programs. Depending on the systems your brand has set up, this information can also be integrated with your loyalty program or you can map this contact to your external CRM system. Physical retailers can also connect offline transactions to your customers’ WeChat IDs.
Number of followers who have been grouped based on preferences:
One of the best ways to keep a user engaged and prevent them from unfollowing your account is by sending them relevant information. You can do this by grouping users according to their preferences which are determined based on the content they’ve viewed, the account menus they’ve clicked, keywords they’ve sent, and the transactions they’ve made. The more followers that have been grouped means the more followers that can receive targeted content, which will then positively impact several of the other metrics on this list.
A couple weeks ago we wrote an article all about WeChat 48-hour journeys, essentially the WeChat equivalent of email funnels. Getting a user to complete a journey is worth celebrating, and a much, much more valuable metric than an article view or like because it directly affects 3-4 of the other metrics on this list, depending on the content of the journey.
If a user completes a journey, he or she:
Is highly engaged with the account
Has possibly answered some survey questions or interacted with some content that has allowed you to group them
Has possibly been incentivized to bind his or her PII
Was converted! (Since the goal of most journeys is to get the user to complete an action, whether that is joining a loyalty program, booking an appointment, purchasing a product, etc. )
Conversions through WeChat:
Out of all of these, really the metric you should be placing the most attention on is conversions. Is your WeChat account actually driving results?
And those results don’t have to be sales – conversion looks different for every industry. For your brand conversions could mean offline event registrations, classes booked, or customer service cases resolved.
Whatever it is, it is getting the follower to take action in a way that is benefitting your bottom line, which is ultimately why you’re on WeChat to begin with.
We said we would give you 6 metrics, but here are some more tips! Although they aren’t KPIs per se, here are two additional key items you should be observing:
To get inside the mind of the customer, you should regularly analyze keyword replies sent to your Official Account. This will help you find out what your customers are most interested in, and it will also help you discover gaps where you could be serving them better. Look at what people are typing in the most, are they in your menu or welcome messages? Do you have a response set for that keyword?
New Follower Sources:
Whether it is through scanning a QR code, direct search, or a friend’s recommendation, its crucial to map where users are coming from so you can double down on the best user acquisition channels.
However, it's important to keep in mind that not all followers are the same. Dig deeper to find out which sources are driving the highest quality followers as well.
Heading into 2021 its time to reframe your WeChat goals, set aside antiquated metrics, and start focusing on KPIs that really matter and will have a positive impact on your company’s bottom line.
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