From : China Daily Updated: 2015-05-13
China's e-commerce boom isn't just helping tech companies such as Tencent to grow its instant-messaging business, but alongside, many how-to-do-it books are being produced to understand the nature of WeChat, the smartphone application, and the role it plays in the lives of Chinese who are keen to launch their enterprises online.
A recent book, 108 Tricks of Marketing on WeChat, by entrepreneur Xiao Senzhou and business consultant Li Ping, was published after raising 1.28 million yuan ($206,000) through crowdfunding on WeChat.
"For most users, WeChat serves simply as a tool of communication," said Xiao at the launch of the book's printed version in April in Beijing.
"But few have maximized the powerful functions of the all-in-one app. It can be used as a marketing tool, a sales platform, a network manager and a source of crowdfunding."
Xiao is a successful e-com trader who made his first pot of gold by selling tea on Taobao, the country's most popular online marketplace, and Li is a well-known expert on book marketing. Both have great influence on social media, with Xiao claiming to have more than 50,000 connections on his WeChat account.
Unlike Chinese micro blog Weibo that's struggling with several "zombie accounts", allegedly manipulated by robot programs, the connections on WeChat are largely real people as each account is linked to a mobile number. According to Tencent's annual report, active users of WeChat climbed to 500 million in 2014.
In the book, the authors give 108 tips that could be used to establish healthy relationships with others using the phone app and also to gain followers by posting self-promotional messages and photos.
The core idea is to use WeChat to market oneself, but by using real names of people and descriptions of their jobs or by creating QR codes for products to identify them easily instead of nicknames or aliases that could either mislead other users, or give inadequate background information about a person's business.
As Tencent opened a mobile payment system for commercial activities on WeChat in March 2014, according to Analysys, an Internet research firm, more than 10 million small businesses are estimated to have been selling products on WeChat through its Moments section. Writing customer-friendly advertisements is also taught in the book.
Each "trick" is explained in no more than 1,000 words.
"I have read some books on similar topics which are lengthy and impractical," Li writes in the book. "We made the book short so that reading through the whole book will take less than an hour."
According to Li, the book has sold more than 40,000 copies, occupying second place among 2015 best-sellers from its publisher People's Daily Press.