WeChat is like facebook, twitter and Instagram all rolled into one. It’s not just a social media platform, but the business tool used in China for calls, messages, group chats and a range of other features. Plus it’s a free phone when you travel!
You can download the WeChat App here.
When setting up your profile, make sure you add your photo as you would with any social media platform, which can be reflective of your personality or business.
Whilst your WeChat ID can be an alias, will be easier for those to identify you if they include your name and a business reference if possible. Mine is StaceyMartin – Aus-China Expert.
Sometimes when setting up an account this can be overlooked. You can change it but only once – check out the steps here.
The What’s Up section allows you to include a greeting message of up to 30 characters. If you are travelling to China soon or have a targeted offer, you can put this here.
You can also connect your LinkedIn account and select from a range of QR codes.
Connecting with existing contacts
WeChat will pick up your contacts via mobile numbers in your phone, so this is the easiest way to get started. If any new contacts have WeChat they will automatically come up, allowing you to connect.
Whilst in China, exchange of business cards is still a very important ritual as part of any introduction. However, details are increasingly being exchanged at meetings and events by scanning each others WeChat QR codes:
- Be scanned – go to Me (bottom right), WeChat ID, My QR Code
- Scan others – tap on the plus sign (top right) and go to Scan QR Code and hold over their QR code (see Be scanned).
Not everyone has a photo or ID that is readily identifiable, so you can click on their profile to put your own comments under Set Remark and Tag.
Go to Contacts and find your connections:
- To type a message – use the message box – hit enter to send
- To leave a voice message – hit the sound icon and hold message box while speaking
WeChat can also be used for voice and video conferences which is terrific for doing business, especially being a no cost option.
Setting up your own Group chat
In WeChat hit “+” to Add Contacts, select New Chat and start adding Friends. Give your group a name and send the first message as the purpose of the group by selecting a number of contacts. This is how many business discussions are held between a number of parties even exchanging documents.
Setting up a Group at an event
In WeChat hit go to Contacts at the bottom of the screen, hit “+” at the top of the screen and select Join Private Group to join a group with friends nearby. You need to set up a four-digit password to start or join the group.
Like other social media platforms, you can share text, photos and links with your network:
- To view news feed – go to Discover, Moments, where you can like or comment
- To post content – in Moments hit the camera and choose from photos. If just posting text, hold the camera a few seconds. You can also select up to 10 connections @mention to make sure they see your share.
- Short video – click on the Sight icon to do a quick scan and instantly add to your moments’ feed or group chat.
WeChat is a great tool to keep in touch when travelling as you just need WiFi (or local SIM) and calls are free.
In China, Google and GoogleApps and sites are blocked, along with social media such as Facebook and Twitter. Many major hotels have Virtual Private Networks (VPN’s) which allow access or for a relatively small cost you can download an app such as ExpressVPN.
Make it easy to Connect
Your Chinese clients and connections will be impressed you have WeChat, and more so if it is on your business card, marketing collateral and even powerpoint slides to make it easy to scan.
Connect with me at WeChat ID is Staceym97.
You can download the WeChat app from ITunes here.
Check out this interesting article on the journey of WeChat founder, Zhang Xiaolong, reproduced from Chinese media here.