When entering the Chinese market most European SMEs will partner with Chinese companies. These Chinese partners will help them with the import, distribution and marketing of the western products in China, as they are very familiar with the Chinese market. In many cases the Chinese partner will suggest setting up a WeChat official account on behalf of the foreign principal. But is that something you would let your Chinese partner do? Our position is clear: NO! You need to make sure to control what’s happening with your brand in China and you shouldn’t let your Chinese partner manage your social media in China.
Or at least, if you let your Chinese partner manage your marketing, make sure that you set the conditions and know what they are doing. And important: you should keep ownership of your trademarks and social media accounts, if necessary by working with third parties such as MyChinaWeb, so that, in the event that the cooperation with this Chinese partner ends, you still own all IP rights, marketing content and followers.
How does that work?
WeChat is currently the platform you cannot do without if you want to reach out to Chinese customers, both B2C as well as B2B. Consumers in China will expect to find your company’s name and brand in WeChat, so if you want to be taken seriously when selling in China, you need to have an official WeChat account.This is the channel where Chinese people spent by far the most of their (online) time, also for business. Through the WeChat official account you can build an online community where you share information about your company and products and consumers can post their experiences and invite friends to follow your WeChat account.
MyChinaWeb can register your WeChat official account and guide European SMEs to work out a content strategy and additionally methodically produce, publish, manage and administer all forms of Chinese content (text, images, video, etc) on the WeChat official account and additionally to several other communication platforms. If the customer prefers to manage its Chinese communication platforms by itself, MyChinaWeb can also train the customer’s (Chinese speaking) staff to work with these channels autonomously.
In some cases – for example for budgetary reasons – European SMEs still let their Chinese partner manage their social media content. Although this is not the ideal scenario, you could let your Chinese partner do the copywriting and investments, but get your approval before anything is published. In this way you can still make sure that everything they do is supervised and nothing is published which doesn’t correspond to the company’s corporate identity and the positioning of your brand. MyChinaWeb is helping some of its customers with this monitoring process.
MyChinaWeb is a China online marketing agency helping western companies and organizations to increase their online visibility in China through online marketing, e- commerce, brand localization, website building, etc. MyChinaWeb is the brainchild of Horsten International – a Belgium-based China consultancy firm founded in 1996 with a China office since 2001.