Posted by PTL Group
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on Wednesday, 23 August 2017
in Business in China

How to reach 100,000 reviews on a WeChat post

Since more and more companies are realizing the importance of WeChat as a marketing tool in China, the following kinds of campaigns have been used

“Scan and follow our WeChat account to get 2 bottles of drink for free.”
“Take a picture and share on your moments and get 10 RMB discount.”
“Forward this campaign to your moments and receive a 100 RMB coupon. “

By using these general points above as the means to introduce your WeChat account, you can easily get your customers to spread your campaigns. Although many customers comply with corporate aspirations to share content, however after they have received the freebie or coupon they will delete the content which leads to a lack of results.

All marketers know that consumers love better, cheaper products but they don’t want to damage their image on WeChat “moments” by only spreading information about random promotions. These types of marketing activities are less effective-plus the kinds of customers acquired by these promotions are usually not the company’s target audiences.

Is it really that hard to get your customers to take the initiative and share your content?

Actually it is not that hard if you know the correct methods! In many cases, you DO NOT NEED to offer free products or prizes but to publish quality content, which motivates the customers to share it, thus gaining more "social currency" for themselves.

When we think about “why users are sharing”, we are actually looking at “why users are expressing”. We all know Maslow’s hierarchy of needs theory (below). We all have five levels of needs from bottom to top: "physiological needs, security, love and belonging, esteem, and self-fulfillment". Most people only pursue a higher level of demand once their low-level needs are met. Sharing is the result when people are chasing the other three higher level needs after meeting the two basic levels of physiological needs and security.

More specifically these high-level needs can be roughly divided into five categories, (which is the incentive to share): look for topics of conversation, express your ideas, expand & maintain relationships, promote an image, and prompt social comparison. Let’s look at the details of how those 5 categories of sharing demands affect your WeChat moments.

1. Looking for topics for smooth conversation/looking for people with same tags
No matter where people communicate with others (either online or offline), they all need to have a “topic” to talk about. The “topic” does not only serve as “icebreaker” but also can gain people recognition from their peers. This “topic” also identifies you with different tags, e.g. “phone addictive, home stay guys, fashionista, etc.” so people with the same interests can communicate well.

Based on this need of looking for topics, if you can offer your followers a topic they are interested in and they can communicate with others by talking this, they will be more willing to share your content. When choosing the topic, the title is also very important, since most followers like intriguing and thought provoking titles. Therefore if you want to motivate your users to share your posts, you need to write stories about your product or founders that are unusual and interesting.

2. Expression of thoughts (to gain self-recognition)
Many people want their opinions can be agreed by the others. For example, if a person only believing in Western medicine has a debate with friend who advocates for Chinese medicine; however it is hard to come into a conclusion of which opinion is right. If at this moment, either sees your content that supports their point of views, they would probably share it on their WeChat moments and use this “external" power to back their opinions up.
Your content topics can be:

Western medicine has no way to cure these diseases
Is Chinese medicine more/less toxic than Western medicine?

The reason why they need your content to support their own opinions is because most people are not capable of presenting a persuasive argument to support their point of view. If you can help them express their ideas properly they will share and spread your message. This strategy serves well for those companies who sell to a specific group of people.

3. Expanding / maintaining relationships (by providing values)
Everyone wants to be valuable to others and a person who enjoys being “needed” wants to be recognized by receiving the attention from others, which in turn enhances their social status. This is why we often see people sharing the following kinds of content on their social networks:

Ten minutes to learn data analysis!
108 ways to become a senior product manager

So if the content you are offering can “help others”, people will share it and recommend it to their friends on their moments.

4. Building the image (self-definition)
Everyone wants to show their best image on social platforms, including WeChat moments. So if the content you provide can strengthen their image and define who they are, people will share it to their social network. People want to be tagged with various cool and positive words.

In the following cases show why the contents are shared by many people:

Li Jian’s (a famous Chinese singer) favorite thermal cup is actually a Denmark's top stereo brand – showing this person is a music lover and appreciates high quality music related brands

Only people with a high EQ can understand this cartoon – indicating people sharing this have high EQ

5. Competition in the social level (unconscious comparison)
Everyone makes unconscious comparison with others when it comes to what kind of clothes, shoes, childhood toys and cars they are using. Or what kind jobs they have and how much they earn, etc. Therefore you’ll often see companies providing the following kinds of content.

“Alipay personal annual expense report is released, my expense ranks top 3 among my friends, how about you?”
“Top 10 lovely babies in Guangzhou”
“What was your mileage in 2016? “

This kind of content is often spamming our WeChat moments but why? Because this fulfills individuals’ ego when make comparisons with their peers.

To summarize, in accordance with Maslow's hierarchy of needs, sharing is the result when people have met their “physical and security" needs and then pursue the other three higher levels of demand. So if you’re planning a marketing campaign, don’t only use a prize as an incentive but think about a user’s motivation for sharing instead.

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