WeChat for Academia: 3 Scientific Accounts with High Engagement
As mentioned in our previous posts, WeChat is China’s most popular social media platform, and both domestic and international publishers and societies are increasingly using WeChat to connect with the research community in China. We previously explored how various Western academic publishers are using WeChat, and this article will discuss three accounts that have been using WeChat to effectively engage with researchers in various ways.
- Global Science
Global Science 环球科学 is Scientific American‘s exclusive licensed Chinese edition. Global Science maintains its American counterpart’s rigorous, objective reporting while focusing on topics of interest to Chinese researchers. Global Science has four registered official accounts on WeChat (as can be seen in the screenshot below) of which only two are active.
According to the Qingbo report, as of July 2022, Global Science’s WeChat public account with the ID huanqiukexue has a read rate of 47,325 and was ranked 1345 among all WeChat public accounts (which number over 20 million). This account focuses on journal article promotion and publishing. The second account with the ID keyanquan focuses on the latest academic news and has a lower read rate (38,318) but is still ranked very high at 2357. These two public accounts engage with the majority of researchers in China through services like an online bookstore, job postings, article recommendations, and research promotion solutions.
Global Science has successfully created a strong presence among researchers in China by setting up separate WeChat accounts with a different focus but publishing high-quality reports and original articles.
- Voice of the Chinese Academy of Sciences
The Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) is both the academic governing body and national think tank of China. It drives national technological innovation, supports science and technology research throughout the country, and also includes a comprehensive research and development network. CAS has a strong presence on several China-based social media platforms, including Weibo and WeChat, and it also publishes videos and e-journals.
The WeChat account of CAS, Voice of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (中科院之声ID: zkyzswx), has a daily read rate of 26,700 and as of July 2022 is ranked 2651 among all WeChat accounts according to the Qingbo report. Unlike other associations and societies in China, CAS publishes only news articles through WeChat and does not offer any other services. Their articles are comprehensive in scope and cover various developments in Chinese scientific research. Uniquely, all of their articles include an audio introduction and text.
Academic Record is a platform for academic communication and education founded by researchers from prestigious universities such as Communication University of China and Renmin University of China. Over 2 million university professors, doctors, and researchers are active on this platform. Its mission is to promote the growth of Chinese research, cultivate talent in China’s research community, and disseminate research advances, particularly in the humanities and social sciences.
As of July 2022, the WeChat account of Academic Record学术志 has a read rate of 35,316 and is ranked 2650 according to the Qingbo report. Academic Record has made headway in increasing user stickiness by providing various services through its WeChat account. These include article publishing, academic courses, free e-books, and AI-assisted research topic analysis. In China, it has a strong brand image as a top source of skills-based knowledge and courses for self-paced learning.
The Bottom Line
Organizations have employed different strategies to succeed on WeChat, considering their organizational goals, structure, and resources. There’s no one-size-fits-all path to a strong WeChat presence; successful organizations are constantly monitoring and refining their tactics to improve engagement and connect with the Chinese research community.
What drives high read rates and user stickiness in WeChat? View this guide to learn more.