WeChat Analytics Walkthrough (2020)
WeChat Official Account admins have access to some pretty useful analytics. We’ll give you a point-by-point overview of the analytics in WeChat's back-end in this post.
Plus, the accompanying video gives some context, by showing how regular users come in contact with WeChat articles in the first place, and how our social marketers use the data in the back-end.
WeChat's analytics dashboard is part of the Official Account management area.
We'll be using it in Chinese, but it is available in English too. Choose your language via the link on the top-right with the globe icon.
To login, you'll need to enter a login and password, then scan a QR code with the WeChat app on your phone. If you have access rights, that will log you in. If you don't, the administrator will need to authorize your access each time you login.
WeChat User Analytics
WeChat provides an aggregate view of your user demographics, but no user-level data.
- Daily Data. There's day-by-day data on the total number of followers, new followers and cancelled followers.
- Filterable by source: All sources, official account search, QR code scan, article menu, article account name, card share, after payment, other.
- Device type - Android or iPhone
- User demographics. These are based on what the users themselves entered, so aren't very reliable.
- Gender: Male, female, other
- Chinese province & Chinese city. There's no geo-data for users outside of China.
WeChat Article/Content Analytics
Individual Article Analytics
For each article you can see a funnel-like overview of user behaviour. It's useful for understanding how the article was received by your followers and how it was spread to more readers.
Note that for individual articles, data is only available for the first 7 days that an article is online. While this suits the short-term peak views of the average WeChat post, it can't be very helpful for knowing how well the article does in search results later on down the road.
- The number of people that the article was delivered to.
- The number of people that read it at that point.
- The initial number of shares;
- The total number of shares (including re-shares from people that aren't fans of yours);
- The resulting number of reads. Note that "shares" means shares to a variety of different places, including Moments (newsfeed), groups, direct messages, and "在看" ("Wow"). (If this is confusing, check the first few minutes of the YouTube video in this blog post.)
What will make the top of the funnel larger?
- A larger fan base
- Better-targeted/more active fan base
- More attractive article intro
- Ideal send time.
The bottom of the funnel will grow larger if more people share the content. In short, they'll share it if they think it's useful for their WeChat friends, entertaining and/or reflects well on them.
You can also see how the article performed over time, including the number of reads and shares, as well as how it was found, such as through the initial message published via official account, search function, etc.
Another useful chart shows how much of the article people actually read. From the chart below, you can see that about 2/3 of readers read 100% of the article.
Finally, you can see demographic data for the article: Gender; province within China; device type. It has the same limitations as the account-level user data mentioned above.
Aggregate Content Analytics
Besides data for each individual article, we can gather data about all the WeChat content over a period of time, such as the previous month.
The first thing you'll see is the trend of article views and viewers by day. This is highly influenced by the content itself.
The source of article views helps us determine how people are sharing the content. Here are the categories, and one way we might interpret them.
- Official account messages. - These are the messages that fans will see in their inbox or subscriptions folder. Clicks via these should grow over time. Your fans will be influenced by attractive titles and images. But, long-time fans will also be a lot more likely to click if they liked your content in the past.
- Direct messages
- WeChat Moments (the friend feed/news feed) - Points two and three are both ways for people to share your content. This can vary by account. We usually expect more shares to Moments for content that is less-niche, while we expect more shares to groups for niche content. As an example, a user might share a technical article about factory automation in a group about factory automation, because they don't think that their wife and school friends are interested in it. In general, we want to find what the sharing behavior is for the specific WeChat campaign/target readers, then go with the flow.
- Wow (在看) - Another way to share content, which is less obtrusive than sharing via Moments.
- Previous (historical) posts - If you're content maintains its value over time, a reader might go through your previous posts to find more info.
- Search - It's possible to increase the amount of search traffic by using SEO-like tactics. Let's call it "WeChat SEO".
Hourly views can give some insights on when the best time to post content is.
The first picture shows hourly views on the day an article was posted. It had 750 views within one hour and then less than 100 views the second hour.
The second picture shows views the day after. In this case, views peaked in the morning and after work.
All of the above analytics for articles is also available for videos. We often share videos within articles. When we do, we’ll zoom in to check the video-specific metrics
WeChat Menu Analytics
WeChat accounts feature menus that allow users to click to view articles, WeChat pages or external webpages.
For each menu link, WeChat shows the number of clicks and number of visitors/users. We sometimes change the menu items or layout to improve results.
WeChat Message Analytics
This shows an overview of the messages sent to your account by users. You can see the number of messages and users (message senders) per day.
It also shows an overview of popular keywords used in messages.
Although messages only stay in the system for 5 days, the analytics data remains.
WeChat Interface & Webpage Analytics
This data is mostly to help users know how often a third-party tool is used, or if it's having problems.
- Number of calls.
- Failure rates.
- Average load times.
- Highest load times.
WeChat Report Template
All of the above data is most useful for the social marketers that are working on a WeChat campaign on a weekly basis. They'll go over the WeChat data on it's own, as well as additional data from other sources, such as Google Analytics, a CRM or WeChat mini-program.
But what type of data should we put in a report for marketing managers at a higher level? For that, we use a very simple report template. You can find the Google Sheet here. Feel free to make a copy.
You might wonder why we don't create a much more detailed and fancy report to share with clients. By default we include the information that will help guide our discussions in a positive direction. If we have a regular weekly meeting with a marketing manager, social marketer, account manager and others, it's easy to go off topic.
The number one thing we want to talk about is what type of content we created and how well it suits the target reader. We expect to mostly post content that has a good open rate and share rate, because this keeps the current readers engaged and helps us attract new, well-targeted fans. Then we regularly add-in content for the intent of creating conversions (leads, sales, registrations, etc). We wouldn't post all salesly conversion-oriented content because that would get boring and dilute our brand.