WeChat Marketing in Chinese Hotel Industry

What is WeChat App?

WeChat app is a mobile application created by Tencent in 2011, with voice and instant teWeChat-app-logo-2015xt messaging, timeline, and social features like: WeChat Official Accounts, WeChat Sport, WeChat Wallet, WeChat Game, WeChat Shopping, etc. 

As of May 2016, WeChat has over a billion accounts, with 700 million active users, also more than 70 million users outside of China (as of December 2015). With it’s huge customer bases, all enterprises in China are trending to putting more focus on this communication channel. 

WeChat Marketing widely used in Hotel Business. 

WeChat App became a key channel for hotels including Marriott, Hyatt, Sheraton and Shangri-La to stay connected with customers in Asia, especially China.

First of all, Marriott hotel group has two WeChat official accounts: “The Marriott Rewards WeChat” is aimed at Marriott loyalty program members; “Marriott Careers WeChat” is for Marriott staff and potential employees.

Craig S. Smith (President and MD, APAC) emphasised in the new quarter video that how WeChat is affecting customer behaviors in hotels in Asia. After his three months’ travel at the end of 2015 in Asia, as well as how he is getting use to WeChat.

Furthermore, each individual hotel also has their own WeChat official account. Here use JW Marriott Hotel Chongqing as example, as it has already adapted WeChat as one of their main communication channel for the B2C business.

WeChat official account interface of JW Marriott Chongqing 1image 1. Hotel Customer Comment Function & Hotel news & blogs

Official account WeChat app interface of JW Marriott hotel chongqing 2 image 2. Hotel News & Hotel booking & Hotel informations

WeChat used for CRM in Hotel Business.

  1. Hotels launches official account on WeChat which allow customers to follow. Hotel marketers to post daily business blogs and news at this platform. In addition, customers are able to view each other’s commands under the blogs, and give a “like”. Customer who get most “likes” will be rewarded such as a hotel meal or hotel gift.
  2. Hotels can invite customers to join hotel events or mobile campaigns through WeChat. While customer can sign in reservation of the events. Even more, hotel can collect customer feedbacks of the event, as well as share the event pictures within the even groups has been created by hotel. etc.
  3. Especially for CRM purpose, hotel marketers can send holiday greetings, seasonal business appreciate letters to their loyal customer through the database have been built by WeChat.

How WeChat Official Account News Feed work as marketing tool?

News and blog posting increase customer engagement, even more it is marketing hotel as a responsible enterprise for the communities.

The news feed content different subjects, including hotel products and service promotion information; hotel employee’s career development story; hotel guest appreciation week activities & events post, hotel employee’s excellence service story; staff volunteer activity as hotel corporate social responsibility events, etc.

How WeChat used to Increase Hotel Mobile Bookings?

Last but not least, WeChat is corporate with Ali-pay, which enable customers to pay through WeChat. Hotels encourage customers use mobile bookings on its own mobile app, or WeChat app page. Booking through their own channel can save the cost against the online travel agencies. It also a great tool to collect customer online behaviors.

How it help hotels to Improved Better Services for future?

WeChat offers its first-party data analytics dashboard which is available from the Official Accounts Admin Platform. The data offered mainly divided into three parts:

  • Customer analysis, it tells hotel marketers the data includes total and time series data on followers, click through rate, shares, etc.
  • Graph analysis, it tells the hotel marketers in any time period the results of the company mass posting, how many people efficiently reached, actually read, commented, and shared, etc.
  • Information analysis, which tells the hotel marketers information about how many people read by other customer’s shares, how many time people read it, how many times they shared, etc.

In conclusion, WeChat has become an essential tool for Chinese hotel business. However different hotels have different designs for their official account interface designs. The same purpose is using WeChat is to maintain customer relations; promote hotel products and services; finally increase mobile sales; ultimately increase hotel image and its brand value.

XuejiaoYuan  2016/11/15