In this episode of The Negotiation and today, we talk with Olivia Plotnick, a WeChat & China Marketing Specialist and Vice President at the International Professional Women’s Society, based in Shanghai. We talk about growing a WeChat account with zero budget & explain how brands should be looking at WeChat in 2020 in regards to not only its purpose but also how to measure success using it as a marketing tool. We also discuss the Top Stories feature in WeChat and what it means to WOW content and the visibility you are inherently agreeing to give brands who own the content when you do (hint this is an ‘owned traffic’ hack). Olivia also gives us a couple of examples of brands using WeChat well, like Nike, Armani, and Starbucks, and discusses the different approaches and techniques they are using. Enjoy!
Today on The Negotiation, Olivia Plotnick talks about her entry into China as an entrepreneur from the United States. She shares how she was able to grow WeChat accounts at a massive rate in a fast-paced marketplace whose consumer culture is so different from her home country’s. She also explains how brands can capitalize on certain WeChat features, such as Top Stories, the “Wow” function, and WeChat groups.
When asked how companies should look at WeChat in 2020, Olivia recalls how WeChat gradually transitioned from a purely consumer-based social media platform to a brand-building tool. Before, you could only receive messages from friends and family. Now, Nike and Under Armor can reach out to you. Olivia calls this a “sacred space” in that brands can now develop personal relationships with consumers. This is why it is important for brands to put out relevant content, or risk being unfollowed.
In China, there are a large number of social platforms—or what Olivia likes to refer to as “ecosystems”. Olivia prefers to divide these platforms into two different categories. There are eCommerce platforms such as Tmall.com and JD.com, social media platforms such as WeChat, Weibo, and Douyin (the Chinese version of TikTok). Each of these two categories serves a different purpose.
How does WeChat stand out in this sea of platforms? According to Olivia, while Douyin is an “awareness-building platform”, WeChat is more of a “relationship-building platform”. Many brands use WeChat to educate their audience and provide loyalty programs. Ecommerce platforms like Taobao, on the other hand, are where “you push to sell”. Ultimately, you need to be aware of what most people use the platform for and produce content appropriate to user activity.
What is The Negotiation?
Despite being the world’s most potent economic area, Asia can be one of the most challenging regions to navigate and manage well for foreign brands. However, plenty of positive stories exist and more are emerging every day as brands start to see success in engaging and deploying appropriate market growth strategies – with the help of specialists.
The Negotiation is an interview show that showcases those hard-to-find success stories and chats with the incredible leaders behind them, teasing out the nuances and digging into the details that can make market growth in APAC a winning proposition.