WeChat groups are a daily part of communication for people in China. We use groups to chat with different circles of friends, send event and promotional news to potential customers, or share and discuss information related to our business or interests. With so many groups, it is easy to get frustrated with message overload and not being able to find information easily.
Today’s ‘WeChat Essential Tip’ brought to you by China Channel, is the 1st of 2 articles focused on groups. Tomorrow’s article will cover more advanced stuff on how to create and lead a successful group. Today’s article focuses on how to manage all your We Chat Groups. We will cover:
- Group Sizes: 3-500
- Group Leaders
- Group Settings
- QR Codes
- Group Search
- Group Overload, Zombie Groups and Quitting
Group Sizes: 3-500
The maximum members for a group is 500. Once groups reach 100 then you can only join if you bank card is linked to your WeChat account. It has been suggested that this policy is a requirement of the Chinese government wanting to keep better tabs on people. They are notoriously wary of large gathering of people even online.
The real reason is more likely that WeChat desperately wants people to link their banks cards. If a group has above 100 members then it is likely interesting information is being discussed in the group. This gives people a good incentive to link that card and be part of the ‘in crowd’. Alipay’s lucrative crown as the leading online payment system in China is now under serious threat from WeChat as they have been so successful in encouraging people to link their cards and start making payments through WeChat.
You also may have noticed that for groups of up to 100, anyone in the group can freely add any of their contacts to the group. Beyond 100, the person being added to the group must confirm that they in fact want to join.
Whenever you are in a group, you can go to the settings, which can be accessed by tapping the top right icon. The options here let you manage your interactions with the group.
Every group has a leader, which is the person who started the group. You can find this person at the top of the list of group members. If this person quits the group then the next person on the list becomes the group leader. The group leader is the only person who can actively remove others from the group. They have a special – button which others do not.
We also have 3 key settings to toggle
The toggles highlighted in red include:
- Sticky on Top: This option sticks the group to the top of your timeline. Many people stick the groups they are most interested in to the top so as not to miss anything that goes on. This method could be very effective for those looking to pounce quickly on sales leads or work opportunities within certain groups.
- Mute Notifications: Unless the Group is small and very important, you will likely want to set this to ‘off”. This will relieve you of constant distraction about conversations that you are not interested in.
- Save to Contacts: By saving a Group to your contacts, you can then access the Group from your Contacts Page. For promoters and marketing purposes, this is very helpful when you want to share information to a number of groups. In this case, all of the groups you want to share a promotion with will be in a nice list. Much faster to send info out than having to search through your timeline for each group individually. To find this list of groups saved as contacts go to ‘Contacts’ and select ‘Group Chats.’
As we mentioned in our previous article. Each group has it’s own QR code, using this is one of the best ways to promote your group. You can access the code from here.
Save it to your phone and post on other groups or your moments to quickly build group members
WeChat Group Search
There are two very helpful search tools that WeChat provides users to search group information faster: ‘All Photos’ and ‘Search Chat History’.
‘All Photos’ allows you to search through a history of all the images posted to the group
Search Chat History – Useful if you have not been following the group chat for a prolonged period. Searching the history of the group can avoid the need to scroll for your information. Just doing a quick search for your key words of interest (e.g. your own name) can be much faster.
Group Overload, Zombie Groups and Quitting
It’s common now for people to complain about the number of groups that they are in and how a) they don’t have anytime to pay attention to the group chat history and b) so many groups popping up on their timeline is annoying. We’ve already covered some basic techniques on how to alleviate this a little through: muting notifications and sticking important groups to the top of your timeline and/or saving them to contacts.
Even though many people feel embarrassed to do so, it’s okay to quit groups. For messier groups which have lost focus you are unlikely to offend anyone by leaving. If you are concerned, perhaps contact the group leader and explain you have limited time and don’t feel you can contribute effectively.
Zombie Wechat groups are those groups that hang around in your timeline long after any real communication has dried up. These groups should be dead and buried but certain people keep occasionally using them to post adverts or promotions for their events. These are the kinds of groups everyone should quit. The group isn’t being managed and has ceased to fulfill it’s original purpose. Get out now, while you still have a chance…
Join us tomorrow for our 2nd article on WeChat groups: How to run a successful WeChat group. These articles are part of the China Channel ‘WeChat Essential Tips’ series. Follow us on WeChat by scanning the QR code to follow our official account.
This article was based mostly on WeChat Android Version 6.2.4