Why Messenger Apps Are a Must for Businesses

Feb 19, 2019


BEST PRACTICES SERIES

Article ImageOver 50% of internet usage is now done on mobile phones, and as our devices become increasingly smarter, this figure is only likely to grow. Mobile phones offer several different opportunities to businesses. One that you really can’t afford to miss out on is the use of messenger apps.

Apps like WeChat and LINE have already proven successful for businesses in countries like China and Japan, where their monthly active user counts exceed 600 million and 200 million respectively. Their success indicates that, if businesses over the world don’t do the same, they are at serious risk of falling behind. Here’s why messenger apps can offer you success.

 

Appeal to a Mass Audience

WhatsApp and Facebook messenger both have over 900 million active users a month, with WhatsApp now clearing the one billion mark. The likes of WeChat, Kik, LINE, and Snapchat aren’t far behind either. Implement a successful strategy for just some of these, and there is great potential to reach a huge audience.

Most businesses are using social media, but an internet trend report from KPCB shows messaging apps encompass six of the top ten most used apps globally, based on the highest number of sessions. And according to a report from Business Insider, the four most popular messaging apps have more monthly active users than the four major social networks.

Not only do they reach such a broad audience, but messaging apps are replacing approaches such as email marketing. These modern platforms generate better engagement with young consumers, whose tech habits are more aligned with what social media can provide. Messages are short, sweet, and conversational, and even though you can broadcast the same message to everyone, it somehow feels more personal. Email can be spammy, and there are low levels of trust from consumers. Messenger apps are a fresh, direct, and feel personal.

Businesses that successfully manage to use these messenger apps for marketing purposes have a huge market at their fingertips.

 

Privacy for Both Parties

If you use social media for promotional purposes or customer service, then everything posted there is public. This can help with outreach but can also have negative effects for both customers and companies. Although some customers are still happy asking for help or giving feedback publicly on social media, many will leave it as they don’t want everyone to see their business.

If you use messenger apps to contact people directly, they’re more likely to see what it is you’re trying to share. It’s easier to scroll past public posts on social media than a message directly sent to you, which is more personal and will gain more interest from consumers.

While some negative feedback visible to the public can be beneficial to your business, not everyone wants to deal with issues publicly. Having a private option will increase feedback and help you drive your business forward.

Sprint introduced Messenger as part of its customer service strategy, and saw a 31% increase in private messaging with a 23% decrease in comments on their public page.

 

Multiple Options for Use

You can use messenger in a number of different ways to benefit your business. The obvious way is to message people directly, but you can also use group messages, mass messages or timeline posts to reach as many consumers as possible.

Another use, and one that is becoming increasingly popular amongst messenger and social media apps, is stories. You can use stories to reach a bigger audience with a wide range of content. For example, the Danish branch of the World Wildlife Fund used snapchat stories to run a campaign to help endangered animals.

The campaign was hugely successful. They sent Snapchat users images of animals that are endangered and named the campaign ‘#lastselfie’. Three days after its release, they had reached their fundraising goal and showed how successful using messenger apps can be for outreach and marketing purposes.

Toyota is another example of a global brand that is successfully using marketing strategies on messenger apps. This time, utilizing WhatsApp, the car brand requested that people in Spain send cheesy pick-up lines to their company WhatsApp account. The winner won their new model, the Toyota Aygo, on Valentine’s Day.

 

Customer Service Requests

Away from marketing and focusing more on the customer service side of business, many businesses lose out on potential customers because they don’t respond to customer service requests quickly enough. Live chat is already a popular way to offer customer service, but combining this with a familiar social media platform can be a path to success. Facebook Messenger is one platform commonly used by businesses.

Messenger apps give you the opportunity to respond quickly and directly with consumers, and they have also paved the way for chatbots. They use artificial intelligence and machine learning to respond instantly to customer queries on the company’s behalf. Becoming ever more intelligent, these chatbots give an instant response, keeping customer satisfaction levels high and stopping you from potentially losing out on business.

Not only are bots useful for responding to customer queries, but they can also be used on websites to help customers without them having to ask. The H&M bot, for example, will give you outfit suggestions based around a piece of clothing that you indicate you like. 

These bots are becoming increasingly smarter, and if they prove to be successful, businesses could soon be leaving customers in the hands of AI.


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