It has been said that you have to know your audience before you choose the social media sites to be active on. Not only that, but you also have to know what your audience needs and how that applies to your product. That doesn’t mean you just want to pick one, but it means find one to focus on that works for your audience and then build on that. In fact, “the best social media practitioners use a cross-platform approach” (Mahoney, Tang, 2017, p.92).
This is kind of the beauty of “Weixin (pronounced ‘way-shin’), a popular Chinese social networking app” (Mahoney, Tang, 2017, p.92). Users could do all of the following and more:
- Send messages
- Share news
- Send pictures
Although it shares similarities with Facebook, its target audience is “young, urban smartphone owners” (Mahoney, Tang, 2017, p.92). Facebook is geared more toward a mass market with its primary user 65-years-old and then some. Two social media apps (Twitter and Instagram) in the United States have an audience like Weixin, but they can’t do half of the same things.
Weixin is a one-stop-shop.
Here’s the thing, Weixin offers many more functions to its users than these apps combined. This is one of the many ways it considered what its audience needed. The creators of the app wanted to make Weixin a one-stop shop for its users. Not only did this include making the app easy-to-use, but it made it so that users never really had to leave the app. Users can quickly record and send messages, read news, send money, open a Weixin shop, and more. How did the app’s creators determine what their target audience needed? One, they decided what they wanted to accomplish with their app. They didn’t want Weixin to be an app that didn’t provide everything a user required. That leads to two. Simply put, the app’s creators thought about their “audience’s everyday routine and habit” (Mahoney, Tang, 2017, p.93). These two steps together helped them continuously improve the app and add more features. Now, users can also order a taxi too.
That same year, Weixin “introduced a ‘Qiang Hongbao’ campaign (i.e., Red Envelope campaign), which allowed its users to link their bank account to Weixin account, send or receive red envelopes virtually” (Mahoney, Tang, 2017, p.93). This was further enhanced by giving users the option to have funds distributed to their friends randomly. By offering this, the creators took into consideration that it could be stressful trying to determine what amount to give to whom. It took the decision out of the hands of the user by creating a fun way for people to celebrate the Chinese New Year. This also links back to the cab reservation as both functions allow its users to pay through Weixin. With all of these different features, it is a social media app that has truly become a one-stop-shop.
It was made to fit your personality.
Here’s what’s great about all of these various functions, users can decide for themselves what they do and don’t need. Maybe one user links their bank account so they can easily send money to friends or family, while another does it for the cab reservation. Another user may pull up the news and read it right there while waiting on their food. Yet another may use it to exchange messages with friends and family or as a way to stay in touch. This app can be used however each individual person needs to use it, regardless of their background.