Ep. 96: Update on WeChat Mini-Programs with Tommaso Sora

发表时间:2019-09-04 16:56


Today’s podcast is featuring a dialogue about some thoughts on WeChat Mini-Programs with our Guest Tommaso Sora.


Today’s podcast is featuring a dialogue about some thoughts on WeChat Mini-Programs with our Guest Tommaso Sora.

About Tommaso Sora
Tommaso is the founder of Sinaweb 脉国 and Smallchina; Respectively Sinaweb 脉国 is a digital web agency that develops web applications and solutions in China and for China, and it’s also a community of small businesses, entrepreneurs, passionate people, based in Shanghai. Smallchina's mission is to help people with a passion to find their purpose and get connected with like-minded networks. He helps people to refine their value-proposition and marketing message, offers them different tools to reach their audience in China. Chinese often refer to him as 'An old China hand' (中国通). He has been living in China for more than ten years working as a manager and consultant, now he lives in Shanghai with his family, where he leads the development of Sinaweb and Smallchina and follows his life-long passion of taiji.


  • WeChat Mini-Program is a program itself, it’s installed inside WeChat, it can be easily opened and shared it. You can call it ”An application inside an application”. Basically you can do 80% of what you normally do with other mobile app functions with WeChat Mini-Program, but it still has a limited scope since it can only installed inside WeChat.

  • If the company wants to enter Chinese market, they need to know WeChat and install it. Then use WeChat tools to promote what they are doing. Because today WeChat is the main media and main tool everyone uses in China. It was born as a chatting tool, but now is a working tool, everyone use it for work, for advertisement, for communication. There are many functions to use, and it’s very powerful tool to have.

  • If you use WeChat, you are with many audiences since there are over a billion people signed up and use it everyday. WeChat is the main tool for communication and business, those 1 billion users can be your potential audience and clients.

  • Alan Zhang, the founder of WeChat, he sees WeChat as a tool, something to be quickly used, to accomplish some tasks like talking to your friends, sending money to someone, paying your groceries, etc. Whatever task you want to accomplish, he wants WeChat to be that tool you can quickly do that. He sees MP the same philosophy. But reality might be different, some people might use other apps as well as using WeChat at the same time.

  • Mini-Program is a tool to use solve different problems or perform some tasks, it’s mainly used in China for Chinese market. We had this client before, they develop productivity tools. They already have some existing customers on their website. When they want to promote this product to China, they asked us to develop a Mini-Program for them. It’s a simple but a powerful product. With the Mini-program, you can easily have your result of the assessment soon, share with your friends and your network fast. A lot of people can see the results and take the assessment to get their results and share it again. The marketing cost is lower because people easily shared it and it became viral fast, It’s very convenient and easy for users to use, to share and to understand. And the barriers of entry are much lower than installing an app.

  • People wants to have WeChat Mini-Programs is because they are trendy and popular, everyone just wants to put their website in WeChat Mini-Programs. But it’s important to educate users that WeChat Mini-Programs is not a website, it’s something different and more useful by performing something else, the primary purpose of WeChat Mini-Programs to perform various tasks. They can use WeChat Official Account to present their business or sharing more information and to serve different contents and several media tools like videos and website link.

  • If you are dealing with small or micro business, one thing I learned is that it’s good to connect and engage with your audience both online and offline. Eventually you build very good relationship with them and make them become your potential customers.

  • WeChat Mini-Program being a powerful tool and there is a big competition among other companies that other companies copy similar functions to compete. It’s a good development, because they serve different audience and customers by using different platform. For example, Alipay is a financial app with stronger position, Douyin is more entertainment-based. Operating Mini-Programs on WeChat is so much quicker quickly compared to Andorid or iOS, which is completely different development and projects.

  • The process of starting an internet business in China is not easy, you need some Chinese business licenses and an ICP linked to your business license to start. The license is depends on your business scope and how it’s defined on your license. So it’s important to know what you want to do for your business.

  • Tommaso’s #1 Tip: As a person who consults small business for others, I think people who are more successful always have a clear idea of what they want to do, so they can talk to people about their business in an easy way. So everyone they talk to will understand what they do easily. Put it out and trying to reach out to more people once you refine those marketing messages and valuable propositions from others. It takes time to build your network, you might need to be pushy. You need to be consistent, you need to get out and be loud for your business or project. Don’t be afraid of failing and find new ways to do things.

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