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Recruiting Intelligence

Do You Chat with WeChat? International Student Recruiting in China

This year marked the 5th birthday of WeChat. Trust us, they had a lot to celebrate!

In April of 2015, it was reported that WeChat’s monthly users were second only to WhatsApp and far ahead of similar apps like Viber, Line or SnapChat. We should also mention (in case you don’t already know) that WeChat is almost exclusively used in China. Social media marketing staff take note!

If you look only to the usage rates of their Chinese users, WeChat beats other messaging apps by a wide margin. In 2015, WeChat was ahead of competitors by 25%. And most of their users? The young audiences, the prospective students, we are all trying to reach! If you haven’t been on WeChat in the past, it is no longer something you can ignore.

Just in case you haven’t heard of it (because you’ve been living in Antarctica or something), and you’ll want to hear about it if you want to recruit in China, WeChat is a messaging app. Back in 2014, we featured a two-part blog series on WeChat (Part 1 and Part 2). We hope you are using those resources. In June, eMarketer released a report on WeChat’s Chinese user base and how these users engage with the app. So, today we have more. 

Bottom Line: Get on WeChat. Chinese users make up nearly 93% (~700 million) of all WeChat users and its popularity surpasses any other similar Chinese messaging app. The app is becoming more and more integrated into daily life as WeChaters link their bank accounts to use the app for online shopping. Marketing on WeChat only promises to get more effective as time goes on. Pro tip: the stats in this post may help you justify increasing your international student recruiting budget if China is a primary target recruiting source for your institution. 

Meet Us In Newport & Miami: Heading to the NAFSA Region XI conference in Newport, RI (Oct. 18-20)?  We’ll be presenting our latest recruiting insights. And in December we will be in Miami at the AIRC and ICEF conferences with digital marketing presentations and workshops. We’d love to meet you and discuss the challenges you face in your work. Please be in touch if you'll be at any of these events.

Back to WeChat; read on...

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Chat Us, Snap Us or App Us: Connecting to International Students with Messaging Apps

In the international student recruitment landscape, we all know the importance of the Internet, digital marketing and connecting to your target audience (at least, we hope you do!). Part of the awe of the Internet is its ability to connect people from all over the world. And now, with more and more messaging apps, that connection can be fostered in real time.

In last week’s blog post, we discussed the importance of using social media as a virtual community. Determining which social media platforms are used in your target countries is important to reaching the students you want to recruit. The same is true for messaging apps, which can be an even quicker way to keep up with correspondence.

In today’s blog, Emily will share valuable information about these messaging apps (think WhatsApp, WeChat and others). And for a side-by-side comparison of these apps, download the worksheet below.

By the way—are you going to NAFSA in Denver? We will be presenting our latest research on how current global, economic and political events are impacting students’ plans to study abroad—you don’t want to miss this! And schedule a time to chat with us while you’re there!

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Intead AIRC and ICEF 2015 Slides Now Available!

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Global Alumni Management for U.S. Institutions