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So you’re now aware about WeChat, and you’re excited about harnessing it. What’s next?

If your brand launching out on WeChat for the very first time, you need decide between two business account options – service accounts and subscription accounts. Here we let you in on the essentials and offer you a quick look at the difference between the two.

A. Service account

The beauty of having a service account is the flexibility of creating custom menus with advanced functionalities. Think tabs on your website – but built on wechat interface. This account can also serve as a mobile version of your company’s official site.

It sits outside the “Subscription” tab, nested between conversations your customer is having with friends and family. That provides greater visibility and bigger potential for connection.

Through additional customization you can provide more advanced functionality by connecting to the back end database of the main service behind the app.

The downside: a service account only allows one message per month to users, limiting potential of making announcements to users on a frequent basis.

However, there is no limit on how many personal interactions you can have with users if they initiate a conversation with you.

Unless you are a media company, a verified Service Account is recommended.

Examples of service accounts: Blackmores, Bellamy’s Organics.

How do I register a service account?

WeChat has stringent rules around applications for service accounts.

If you’re not registered as a company in China, we can arrange for a representative company in China to register a service account on your behalf.

B. Subscription account

Subscription accounts allow at least one push-message per day, but doesn’t have the advanced functionality or customization of a service account. You have to work a lot harder to reach your audience with a subscription account, as these accounts are grouped together. The user has to go inside the subscriptions subfolder to see new messages.

How do I register a subscription account?

If you’re just dipping your toes into the Chinese market and do not require advanced functionality, this is a good low-cost option to consider. Any individual (with Chinese ID) can register a subscription account.

Verifying the account costs 300RMB and can unlock additional features, but is not necessary at the start.

Before I sign off, did you know?

Chinese words such as: fund, association, bank, trust, hotel, marketing, organisation, hot chick, charisma and other politically sensitive words are not allowed in account names!

Before you get stuck, call the marketing experts at Baker Marketing if you need help picking a WeChat name.

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