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WeChat 101: Subscription account vs Service account

17.September.2019

Over 1 billion active users log into WeChat to obtain educative and entertaining information, especially for product reviews and shopping ideas. Hence, it is important to set up a WeChat Official Account to represent your brand and to reach out to the Chinese market. However, before starting the whole activation process, you will need to decide on the type of account to sign up for, WeChat Service account or WeChat Subscription account? Here are some essential elements to help you select the most suitable type for your brand.

3 main distinctions between Service account and Subscription account

Push Limit

Push frequency is the number of times the Official Account Operators can deliver their content (articles, videos, images, etc.) to WeChat users within a day or month. Foreign brands might not be aware of this constraint since WeChat’s practice is opposite to the Western social media, which actually encourages to post content at least once a day.

Service account:

  • 4 push per month
  • include a maximum of 8 articles per push

Subscription account:

  • 1 push per day
  • include a maximum of 8 articles per push

Subscription account’s higher frequency gives you more opportunities to be in touch with clients and followers. This makes it easier to keep them in the loop with your updates and news, hence giving them a deeper impression of your brand. Due to this characteristic, Subscription accounts are more suited for companies in industries that require regular exposure, e.g. FMCG. In comparison, Service accounts are sufficient for companies offering basic services, such as telecommunications.

Types of Content

The objective behind WeChat Service and Subscription accounts are different and as a result, leads to varying content. Subscription accounts focus on raising awareness and promoting the brand. Meanwhile, Service accounts are mainly for managing and maintaining customer relationships.

Taking advantage of a Subscription account’s loose restriction on posting limits, we recommend brands to share more with followers on a daily basis. Nevertheless, make sure the content posted is insightful and educational, otherwise, it will be hard to maintain the readers’ interest. Given that WeChat users read approximately 5 articles each day, the right content encourages followers to share more amongst their friends, fulfilling the main objective of promotion.

wechat subscription account

 

On top of article production, the sales and service-oriented functions are the core of Service accounts. Official Account operators put more emphasis on developing a comprehensive custom menu on the WeChat interface to provide users with self-service support. For example, banks might have functions such as branch locator, the latest news, insights about investment trends, etc.

wechat service account

 

Regardless of the type of account, you should still pay attention to WeChat article optimization to improve your visibility in the search results within WeChat’s search engine.

Visibility

Subscription account:

  • Lower visibility
  • Found in the folder named “Subscriptions” which is on the chat level
  • Additional step for users to click in order to see your push message

wechat subscription account

 

Service account:

  • Higher visibility
  • Found in the chat level, the same page as your friends’ message
  • Users can quickly access your new content

wechat service account

As an overseas brand, how do you set up your WeChat Official Account?

After WeChat updated its policy, foreign companies can now apply for a Service account. Here’s a quick summary of what information is required for the setup:

Applicant/Company only

  • Foreign business license
  • Document showing the Origin of Company
  • Office address

Account Operator only

  • Foreign passport
  • Email address

Both Applicant/Company and Account Operator

  • Full name
  • Phone number (overseas)

So which account type is the best for you?

Choose a Subscription account if you:

  • Prefer pushing content more frequently (more than 4 times/month)
  • Aim to sustain customer interest by sharing informative articles
  • Agree to use a 3rd-party company’s service for their Chinese license
  • Accept the fact that you will not be the legal owner of the account

Go for a Service account if you:

  • Aim to maintain customer relationship and focus on service-oriented functions (direct messaging)
  • Prefer having more visibility for your push notifications and articles (in the chat level)
  • Favour owning the Official Account
  • Want to save the cost of hiring a 3rd-party company
  • Intend to start e-commerce activities
  • Want to access in-depth analytics

Find the full activation process on Tencent’s Official Website, in Simplified Chinese at kf.qq.com

Contact us to learn more about WeChat marketing!