How To Set Up a WeChat Public Account

Misha Maruma — Wed, 07/02/2014 - 16:06

WeChat logo

Last updated on: July 22, 2014

Recently I wrote about WeChat and how it is everything from social network to e-commerce platform. I also talked about ways that WeChat is interesting to a marketer. In this blog post I want to follow up on the marketing aspect of WeChat. 

Previously I wrote about the two different types of account that a business enterprise could set up on WeChat. In relation to this, I have received lots of questions asking how to set up a public account and then how to verify the account after it has been set up. 

Below is a comprehensive analysis of WeChat public accounts and what you need to do to get yours up and running. 

 

WeChat public platform

If you intend to register a WeChat account for a business or organisation (the WeChat public platform) you will have to provide a Chinese business registration number to allow WeChat to verify your organisation.

A Chinese business registration number comes from businesses that are based in Mainland China and not Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan.

Previously it was possible to obtain a Chinese business registration number from a company based in Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan, but not any longer.

So, what’s the difference between a personal and organisation account? It's very similar to Facebook's personal profile and business page – one is for direct communication, while the other allows users to follow the organisation and get updates with the latest news.

 

The set up process

To set up a public account on WeChat you have to go through a specific process. First you have to visit the WeChat public account set up page

WeChat public account set up page

 

Follow the steps below to get up and running:

Complete the first part detailing your basic information. This includes a working email address and a password. After you have sent this off you will get an email asking you to confirm the email address is real.

WeChat email confirmation

 

After you have confirmed the email address you’ll have to fill in your account information. This includes:

  • Whether you want a personal or business public account
  • Type of organisation (government, media, enterprise etc.)
  • Business licence registration number
  • Business licence location
  • Date of establishment
  • Operating period
  • Business type (food, clothing, sports etc.)
  • Scanned copy of the business licence
  • Registered capital
  • Organisation code
  • ID number
  • Passport photo
  • Mobile phone number

 

WeChat account information

 

  • Once you have provided all of the information above you can select the type of account that you want: service account or subscription account.
  • Finally you check that the account information is correct. Once you confirm this you can get started.

 

There are some things to note about the set up process:

  • To set up a public account on WeChat is free of charge. If you want to authenticate the account then there is a fee (see below).
  • You can only set up a public account on a desktop computer. It’s not possible to set up a public account on a mobile phone.
  • Once a public account is set up, you can control the account (interact with followers) via desktop. To control the account via a mobile phone you must use a phone running Android OS. You can’t use an iOS device to control a WeChat public account.

 

Verify a WeChat public account

To verify or authenticate your public account you must submit certain documents to WeChat. These documents include: a copy of the official business licence, the organization code certificate and the corporate information card.

Some things to note before you can verify your account: you must have over 500 followers before you can apply to authenticate your public account. The cost to verify the public account is 300rmb (US$50).

 

Then you must follow the process below:

  • From the account dashboard you have to go to the ‘services’ section

 

  • Here, you have to confirm you want to pay the 300rmb fee

 

  • Agree to the terms and conditions of verification

 

  • Enter the detailed business information

 

  • Submit the relevant documents for your business

 

  • Enter your personal information

 

  • Enter the WeChat public account ID which you can find from the account

 

  • Fill in bank account information to pay the fee and apply for official documents

 

After this is complete there is one last stage to go through to complete verification of the account:

  • You have to select an account title and the reason why you have selected this title

 

  • At this stage you can make a name change to the account. This is the only chance to change the name

 

  • Fill in the invoice information

 

  • Make an online payment

 

  • Now the process is complete – wait for confirmation of the audit of documents

 

  • Wait for account to be verified. There will be a big V on the account to show that it has been verified

 

All screenshots for the verification process are taken from Baidu jingyan
 

 

 

 

If you have any questions about setting up a public account on WeChat then leave a comment below and I’ll get back to you.

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Comments

Hi Misha,
thanks for the information. I got a question about the authentication. Why I should do this step? Is there any benefit to do it, or what I will miss if I don't do it? Will anyone subscribe to my organization notice the difference? Thanks for your help.

Sam

Hi Sam
 
Sorry for the delay in replying to you. The benefit of verifying the account is that it makes it official and is trusted more by people who may follow the account. People tend to have more trust, just like a verified Twitter account. 
 
You won't miss out on anything specifically if you don't verify the account. Not at this stage anyway. In future WeChat might bring in features that only verified accounts can access, but right now there is nothing like that.
 
If you have a verified account there will be a gold tick on the 'intro' page (when you're in the account click on the little bust in the top right corner). This is the only difference people will notice.
 
I hope this helps.

Hi Misha,

thanks for this detailed information.

Here is my question:
- Once my company has registered an official account, is it possible to handle multiple client-accounts with one admin account OR do we have to register one official account for every client ?

Looking forward to your answer,
Klein

Hi Klein
 
That is a good question. As far as I'm aware you will have to register one public account for each client. Say you have three clients. Each will have to provide their own documents to register their accounts on WeChat. Also one might want a subscription account and the others might want a service account. Therefore each account will have to be separate. 
 
I hope this information is useful to you.

Hi

I have a personal account which I use for my business - can I switch it to a verified business account? I have all the necessary documents.

If so, how do I do this?

Hi Lee
 
As far as I know you will have to register a public account so that you can verify it for your business. You can't switch your personal account to a business account. If you have all the relevant documents then you shouldn't have a problem setting up your business account.
 
 

great post. what about European companies, can't they have a company account ?
Thanks

Hi there
 
A European company can have a public account, but they'd need to use an agency that can register the public account on their behalf. This is because to register a public account you need a Chinese business license and also a Chinese ID number.
 
Is this a service that you are intereted in? If so please send me an email and I can give you more information.

Hello Misha,

great posts and very useful info you are proving here.

I have a question - my company is organising dance competition in December, but we are registered in Honk Kong and didnt start the process for getting Chinese licence as yet. You have mentioned about agencies that can help set up the accounts for Wechat and I was wondering if you could give me more details about it?

We would like to have people cast votes during our competition, and to have information about the compeititon on wechat as well. And i know that voting is one of the options of wechat.

Hope for you to share some light on the subject for me

Thanks a lot.

Krtistina Lobach

Hi Kristina
 
Your company looks really interesting and I think the idea of people voting live through WeChat sounds great. If you send me an email at misha@nanjingmarketinggroup.com we can discuss your ideas in more detail and a member of our WeChat services team can take you through the options.
 
Many thanks
Misha

I am interested in learning more information about serving as an agency for our serviced clients and referrals to you for this service.

Thank you.

Hi there
 
You're more than welcome to send me an email and we can discuss your query in more detail. My email is misha@nanjingmarketinggroup.com.

Hi Sam,

We currently have a WeChat business account, but we are limited to only 3 posts a month. How can we enable our account post more than three times a month? It's hard to run a business on social media if you can only post 3 times a month!

Hi Keoni, it's Misha here.
 
Which business account do you have? I'm guessing it's a service account. This should let you send one message a week to your followers. The advantage of a service account is that you can customise the menu to make it more useful for your particular customers.
 
If you want to send more messages then you will have to open a subscription account. This allows you to send one message every 24 hours to your followers. 
 
If you do this you will have to start from scratch with getting followers etc. 

Hi Misha,

I'd like to open a Wechat public account for our company. The ultimate goal is to have more potential customers to subscribe me and eventually get more sales.

However, our company is registered outside of China, I don't know whether it is still possible to open a business account on Wechat? Or maybe just open an individual public account is more practical?

Thank you for your time!

Vanny

Hi Vanny
 
If you send me an email at misha@nanjingmarketinggroup.com I can discuss this in more detail with you. It looks at first glance that a personal public account would suit your needs. Please email me so that I can best assess your needs.
 
Thanks
Misha

I am based in Malaysia and do come across many potential companies who wants to setup wechat official account. Are you able to introduce reliable wechat agencies who can partner with us? Pls sent your reply to my email.

Hi Dan
 
If you send an email to info@nanjingmarketinggroup I'd be happy to chat about your query in more detail.
 
Misha

Hi, I created an individual public account because our organization is not registered in mainland China. However, when I tried to create menu pages, the menu did not show up on the mobile version of Wechat. Do individual public accounts have the option to create a menu?

Thank You,
Janae'

Yes, of course. You can create menu with any materials as you like, but the menu can't jump to website without verification. And the menu will show to subscriber in 24 hours.

question if someone send the message on the 公众号 how to get that message on to my we chat account with out login in to my 公众号

Hi,

sorry I'm afraid that you can't check the message on your personal WeChat account, you need to login in to the WeChat Official Account Admin Platform and you can only see the messages within 48 hours.

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