Wechat recently started displaying the total number of views and likes for Wechat official account articles; the transparency from Wechat seems to be helpful identifying the true value of a Wechat official account and quality of considering some articles from accounts with hundreds of thousands of fans only have a few hundred views in one day.
But how real are these numbers?
The metrics of “views” and “likes”, soon after Wechat launched, are doubted of its true value as there have been services being offered on Taobao to technically increase the numbers. One “like” often costs less than half yuan; “1,000 views” costs about RMB10.
Tencent claims they have implemented countermeasures with sophisticated algorithms. But can it really prevent the manipulation of Wechat metrics? A well known Chinese blogger Nanqidao did an experiment:
As shown in the screen captures above, the left one, before we bought Wechat “Like” services on Taobao, shows a total number of 1 like and 66 views while the right screen capture shows 53 likes and 1,694 views, less than 30 minutes after he paid for the service. The Wechat account used has only 201 fans as he conducted the test.
What else could be faked on Wechat?
A search on Taobao will find various service offering related to Wechat besides increasing the number of views and likes, such as buying fans, total number of shares, Wechat polls, Wechat participation, public accounts trading, etc. Almost all metrics on Wechat can be faked.
What is hardly to fake is Wechat platform contribution to your revenue, which might be difficult to track except for those who have implemented e-commerce transactions on Wechat.
Don’t get me wrong; the number of views and likes are helpful metrics monitoring the content quality but that can’t be all you measure. You should develop a strategy and tactics, such as connecting a Wechat offer to a offline sale, to measure the true impact of your Wechat marketing to your brand and sales.