In our Women of WeChat series, we take a look at some of the women whose lives and careers have been shaped by WeChat. They are all successfully pursuing careers in the tech industry; not an easy feat by any means. Find them atCHat Shanghai, a two-day conferencedesigned to educate and inspire use of the WeChat ecosystem on September 1 and 2 at The Placenear Xintiandi.
Nichole Zuo is a co-founder and digital marketing expert for China Channel, organizers of CHat conference in Shanghai September 1 and 2. Check out our preview here. China Channel provides workshops and training to organizations looking to enter and make better use of WeChat.
What aspects of WeChat appeal to you the most and have inspired you to make it such an instrumental part of you career?
Actually, WeChat didn't really get my attention until Matthew Brennan (now my co-counder) persuaded me to use WeChat for registration and promotion of the events I was organizing. I thought he was weird at the time. But after I started to look into what WeChat can do, I was convinced that it truly is "one app to rule them all"!
From a social media user’s perspective, you can chat with friends in any format: text, audio, video and interact with them on Moments, send each other Hongbao, etc. It gets services delivered directly to your door: meals, laundry, massages, anything you can think of. With over 800 million monthly active users (according to Tencent’s Q2 financial report), it is a perfect platform for businesses to get traction.
How has WeChat affected your career?
For our business, we have optimized group chat communication. We built up our community on group chats, where we share up-to-date info about WeChat and other messaging apps. Communicating on WeChat feels more casual or humane and instant compared to email.
The main channel for business use is a WeChat Official Account, where brands can publish content and provide services. The most inspiring part for me is how many variables this platform provides you with different API interaction, which means you can build loyalty programs, CRMs, provide customer service, shop and even create your own app!
What are some of the biggest challenges you have faced as a woman in an industry typically dominated by males?
I think the biggest challenge for China Channel in the tech scene has been to find enough female speakers for CHat. The reality for women in any industry still needs improvement. When I first stepped into the entrepreneurship world, I complained about it. But complaining won't change anything. As a woman, you need to speak out loud for yourself, and take initiative. Sometimes it does take more effort for women to get to an equal position, but don't let any negative mindset prevent you from succeeding, especially in a society like China. Think less "I should..." but more "I will..."
Is it important for you to be a role model to other females looking to enter the tech industry?
I don't think I'm ready to be a role model just yet. But I'm more than happy to help other females if I can. I'd say organizations like Women Who Code are great role models.
Is there anything else you would like us to know?
Our CHat conference is a content drive get-together with topWeChat experts in this area. If you want to know more about WeChat and this ecosystem, come check it out and we will make sure you have a good take-away. Check it out here.
Read more interviews in our Women of WeChat series here.