How to integrate WeChat with Drupal website

 

What is WeChat?

When we work with our clients outside or inside China, we always discuss how to market their websites. The clients will ask us to name top 1 social media they should use. In the last two years, WeChat is always on our top 1 list. There are a lot of articles explaining what WeChat is. I won’t explain the details here. In a nutshell, WeChat is equal to Facebook + twitter + Instagram + WhatsApp. Yes, it has everything. It fits Chinese user behavior. Unlike US user behavior, Chinese people like one app has everything. That is one of the reasons why WeChat keeps growing in the last 5 years.

Why do you need to connect WeChat with your Drupal website?

If you want to do online marketing in China, you definitely can not ignore WeChat. When you connect WeChat with your website, you have a chance to interact with 748 million users in China. Unlike Weibo, WeChat has a more closed ecosystem. It is easier for companies to target their audience. Hence, when you want to market your website for Chinese market, how are we going integrating WeChat with your Drupal website?

  1. WeChat QR Code Sharing. The first thing you do is add WeChat QR code sharing feature on your website. Unlike other web-based social platform, WeChat is a mobile-centric app. If you want to share the webpage from your desktop, you need to use your mobile phone to scan QR code.
  2. Set up a WeChat public account. WeChat has an account for organizations. It is called WeChat public account. If you are a company and organization, you can apply for WeChat public account. Like sharing the webpage from the desktop via WeChat, you need to show the QR code of your public account on your website. Visitors can scan QR code to see your public account in WeChat mobile app.
  3. Make your website compatible in WeChat Browser. You can view websites in WeChat through clicking the link. The thing is even if you view the website, you still stay in the WeChat app. You are using WeChat built-in web browser to view websites. When we do browser compatibility test, we will also test the websites in the WeChat browser. We want to make sure the website also looks good inside the WeChat.
  4. Integrate Drupal API with WeChat API. WeChat also has the API features you make use of. But, compared to twitter and Facebook API service, WeChat API service is very limited. With WeChat API, you still can integrate certain data and service with your Drupal website. We have developed a Drupal backend which can change WeChat public account menu, import user data, publish articles, and redirect messages. Of course, WeChat has its own backend, but it is simple. If you want to have more powerful features, you definitely need to use WeChat API service to develop your own backend. There are also some Drupal modules you can find in the community.
  5. WeChat Pay. Consider WeChat Pay as Apple Pay in China. If your website is an e-commerce website. You definite need to connect WeChat Pay with your shopping cart. Like WeChat, WeChat Pay is a mobile-only payment. Mobile payment is taking off in China in the last 4 years. You can use Mobile to pay everywhere. When building a transaction-related website, you definitely need to integrate Mobile payment with your website.

Conclusion

WeChat has a very comprehensive but closed ecosystem. However, if you can choose only channel to promote your Drupal website, that would be WeChat. Due to the closed ecosystem, it is easier to target your audience. On the other hand, the closed ecosystem of WeChat will restrict the usage of their service. Hopefully, WeChat will provide more powerful API service in the near future.

 

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