WeChat launched a new “WeChat Index” function on March 23. According to the official statement, this index is based on “big data analysis of WeChat. It will be able to measure the buzz level of certain keywords in the WeChat universe. Its sources include and ONLY include number of searches of keywords in WeChat, mentions of keywords in articles published by public accounts, and aggregated exposure of keywords resulted from people sharing articles onto their Moments”. In other words, it will not include user chats and text on Moments. But if users share an article onto their Moments and it was read by their WeChat friends, it will help increase the index for the keywords in that article.
How to find WeChat Index of a certain keyword or topic? Users can type “微信指数” into the search bar of WeChat to find the WeChat Index home page. (It doesn’t support the English phrase “WeChat Index”.) Users can also directly search for “xxx微信指数” or “微信指数xxx” to get the WeChat Index reading of a keyword.
The advent of WeChat Index has offered a new measurement tool for brand owners to keep track of social buzz and measure marketing effectiveness. Kantar Media CIC can see its impact in the following three aspects:
1. More accurate tracking of social trends in mobile world:
WeChat Index helps capture a big picture of hottest topics in the WeChat universe, similar to real-time hot topics on Weibo -- both are based on user interests. WeChat Index is very effective in tracking social buzz at a macro level rather than in a specific sector. Marketers who always keep their fingers on the social pulse can have a deeper and quicker understanding of trends in China. Hence they will able to create more impactful messages for their brands.
To illustrate the ability to measure buzz levels of similar keywords in the WeChat universe, Kantar Media CIC searched “千禧一代” (millennials), “80后” (80s generation), “90后” (90s generation) and “00后” (00s generation) for their buzz volume.
Note: Search result on March 26.
The result showed that “90后” (6,943,284) > “80后” (3,366,235) > “00后” (2,411,776), and the three are overwhelmingly more mentioned than “千禧一代”.
2. More complete public opinion and brand health tracking:
For brand owners who constantly need to compare their brand buzz against that of competitors, WeChat Index is a direct tool to measure the outcome of their campaigns. Companies usually monitor their social marketing campaign effects through performances on owned media and paid media. WeChat Index, which includes brand buzz both on earned media and user search volume, offers them a complete and systematic solution to gauge the impact in WeChat universe.
3. WeChat begins to offer big data analysis to public:
WeChat is the single largest social media platform in China. Its user data is the richest treasure any researcher could dream of. However, it used to be a “black box” before because it doesn’t allow brands or research agencies to access any user data. But gradually, WeChat opened it up in small steps: from nothing to showing page views and number of likes on WeChat public account articles, to allow third-party platform to aggregate data, and now the launching of WeChat Index. We can see that WeChat is slowly but steadily opening up its data resources.
Many brand owners want to buy, or have already bought, advertisement in WeChat. They need a good tool to measure the effectiveness, ideally based on user behaviours. WeChat Index is a good answer, and we social listening agency are happy to see this happening.
However, there is still work to be done. Kantar Media CIC understands that the current offer is not in-depth enough. For example, brand owners want not just buzz volume, but also sentiments (such as how many of the buzz are positive?). They also want to know if the buzz comes from their targeted audiences. Will the articles they read bring some changes to their behaviour? Is it possible to track comments of WeChat users while they are sharing this article?
These types of information are more valuable in social listening and analytics. We hope WeChat could do more in this direction, especially in data mining and analytic applications. But needless to say, the launching of WeChat Index has been a great step forward in offering WeChat data to business clients.
Source: Kantar Media CIC