Let’s take a look at everything you need to know about WeChat Wifi Hotspots and what benefits they provide to businesses. We’ve written a step-by-step guide how to setup hotspots further down in this post, but to start, here are the main points:
- All WeChat Official Accounts can use WeChat Wifi Hotspots
- No custom equipment is needed and there is no application waiting period
- The main goal is to convert more of your offline customers into WeChat followers
- Bonus: You can send a message or coupon whenever a customer reconnects to your Wifi
How WeChat Wifi Hotspots Work
Getting your customers online with WeChat starts offline, generally by scanning a QR code. Nothing really magical here, but you may have fewer customers asking you for the wifi password.
The real benefits of WeChat Wifi Hotspots come from increased exposure of your Official Account and a “welcome back” message or coupon when customers return to your venue. The coupon feature is similar to Apple Passbook and could be used for things like discounts, specials, entry tickets, and gift certificates.
WeChat thoughtfully provides you with a variety of marketing materials you can use to promote your hotspot:
Your customer can then scan the QR code in WeChat and will be taken to a welcome screen with a button to connect:
The next step varies for iOS and Android users. Android users can directly connect to your hotspot, while your poor iOS customers will see instructions to copy the wifi password and then go to their iPhone settings to paste the password and connect:
When the user returns to WeChat, they will see either 1) the Wi-Fi connected screen with the checkbox to follow your account selected by default, or 2) a pop-up asking if they want to follow your account. Your customers do not have to follow your account to use your hotspot, but WeChat encourages it:
The user is then dropped into a landing page. You can choose to either open a web page or use the landing page template provided by WeChat. The template is designed to steer the user to visit your WeChat Official Account. The landing page is also what the user sees if they click on the active hotspot banner that WeChat displays.
|Direct users to a landing page like this or to a mobile web page.||The Wifi Hotspot banner also takes users to your landing page.|
It’s not a bad way at all to build WeChat followers from your actual offline customers.
One of the even more interesting features is that whenever your WeChat Wifi Hotspot users return to your business, you can send them a text message or coupon, maximum once daily.
If free wifi isn’t enough to get a user to follow your account, businesses can use the coupons for additional encouragement. You can change the coupons regularly to keep customers interested in checking back in at your venue to see what offers are available.
You are able to track how many daily online users you have from the WeChat Admin Platform. Hopefully you will quickly outperform our office test account:
Enabling WeChat Wifi Hotspots
To get started, log-in to your WeChat Official Account Admin Platform, go to the “Add Feature Plug-in” page, and select WeChat Wifi Hotspots from the list of available plug-ins.
Review the description of features and then click the green button to proceed. The only requirement is that you have a physical location or place of business.
The first page of the application is basic information about your business. You’ll need to upload a photo of your venue that clearly shows a sign with your business name on it.
You will need to select your industry from the list of options in the drop-down menu. Most of the options will then contain a secondary designation.
|Sports and fitness||运动健身||Automotive||汽车||Hotel||酒店宾馆|
|Tourist destination||旅游景点||Cultural venue||文化场馆||School/Education||教育学校|
|Bank/Finance||银行金融||Point of Interest/Address||地名地址||Residential Community||房产小区|
On the next screen, indicate whether you will use the default WeChat setup for your network or if you use a third-party product to manage your network.
After you click submit, you should receive an immediate notice that WeChat Wifi hotspots have been successfully enabled for your account. You can now complete your setup by opening the wifi option in your account feature plug-ins, or click the green button on the notification to get started.
Setting up WeChat Wifi Hotspots
After you have enabled WeChat Wifi Hotspots in your official account, you’ll need to link each wifi hotspot to a location you create in the WeChat Admin Platform. If you haven’t added any locations yet, you’ll need to do that first in the WeChat Location Manager (微信门店管理). Setup is pretty straightforward from there:
- Select the location you want to add a hotspot
- Enter the name and password of your network
- Scan a QR code in WeChat to complete setup
The network name (SSID) for your hotspot must start with “WX”. The network name and password you enter must exactly match the network name and password of your router.
After you click the green button to add the the hotspot, you’ll see this pop-up:
If successful, you should the following screen with a few options on what to do next:
Managing your WeChat Wifi Hotspot Landing Page
As we mentioned in the first section of this post, you can either direct your hotspot user’s to a WeChat landing page template -OR- you can send them to a web page of your choosing.
Once you bind your account (see previous image above) you’ll be able to control the landing page settings from the WeChat Wifi Official Account inside your personal WeChat. If you forget, you can access the account from the QR code on your WeChat Admin Panel here:
Scanning the QR code in WeChat will take you to the WeChat Wifi Official Account. Click on the menu (运营管理) below to edit your settings:
Edit your WeChat Wifi Hotspot landing page template or change to a link to any URL:
Adding a Hotspot Welcome Message or Coupon
You will need to enable a plug-in from WeChat’s Wifi team to setup this feature. In the WeChat Admin Platform, select the Wifi Hotspot Manager from the main side menu, and click on the second tab for “Admin Center” (管理中心). In the Wifi Admin Center menu, the second option (消息管理) is to manage your stored message that is sent whenever someone connects to your hotspot. The message is sent a maximum of once daily.
Click the the green button (开启) to enable the plug-in and get started.
You will then see a pop-up asking you to confirm your choice: “After you enable auto-replies, this will go into effect for all users. Are you sure you want to enable this feature?”. Click the green button (确定) to confirm.
After you confirm, you’ll be taken to WeChat’s authorization page for external plug-ins.
Depending on your security settings, your account admin may need to scan a QR code and confirm authorization of this permission:
Now you’re ready to add your message. You have two options for your hotspot welcome message, either text or coupon. WeChat Coupons need to be enabled separately; we’ll cover this in a future blog post.
Edit your stored message, click the green button to save, and you’re all set!