WeChat is China’s most popular messaging app with over a billion active users. Considering this, if you are planning on doing business in China, you need to create a WeChat Official Account. To give an even better experience to your users you should include a WeChat bot that is always available and provides fast solutions to their requests.
What is WeChat?
WeChat is an app that was developed by Tencent in January 2011. Even though it was conceived to be an instant messaging app now it’s much more than that. It also offers video calling, voice calling, emoticons/stickers, QR coding and capture, gaming, geolocation searching, blog posts, brand channels, mobile commerce and much more.
In the second quarter of 2020, WeChat had over 1.2 billion monthly active users from a wide range of age groups. Today, WeChat is one of the leading social networks worldwide, ranking fifth in number of active users. It is available on Android, iPhone, BlackBerry and Windows Phone platforms.
Why create your own WeChat Bot?
Having a bot in any platform will help both you and your customers. They will get assistance 24/7 and you will reduce your costs and resources. Considering that WeChat is installed in almost every mobile phone in China, you should definitely have one if you’re planning to market your company there.
Creating your WeChat bot
To build your chatbot, you need to use the WeChat sandbox to access the WeChat API. To get your bot onto the platform, the WeChat Official Account system sends a GET request to the URL pointing to your backend server.
Follow this steps to integrate your bot with WeChat:
- Get a WeChat sandbox account. On the signup page, scan a QR code from the WeChat app. If you don’t read Chinese, get a Chinese-to-English translation plugin. There is no English language option.
- Set up your Node.js server and your environment. Add the appropriate appID, and create a token. This information is necessary to finish creating your sandbox account.
- Test your server using ngrok. Copy the ngrok URL, and put it in the appropriate field in the WeChat sandbox account setup. Append /wechat to the URL. When prompted, add your appID and token.
- Scan the QR code in your sandbox account dashboard. That’s right, there’s another QR code. This one completes the setup process. After scanning it, WeChat verifies that the token matches the one from your server.
If you think WeChat is the right social media platform consider deploying a bot that interacts with users. The Official Accounts section offers detailed information about the requirements you need to meet to do it. Use a chatbot application, such as Botsociety, to start creating!