Social Media Blogs by Aliza Sherman
Aliza Sherman is a new media entrepreneur, author, women's issues activist, and international speaker.
Marketing Your Business in Messaging Apps
Technology evolves rapidly and completely transforms the way we communicate in a few short years. As the way people communicate and consume information changes, companies are forced to change marketing tactics in order to reach customers and prospects in the way they want to be reached. First, we used websites and online forums, then social networks, then mobile social networks, and now there are instant messaging apps we can use.
Some messaging apps stand alone, offering private, real-time text messaging such as What’s App and Viber as well as Snapchat. Some are messaging features within other social networks such as Google Hangouts, Twitter’s DMs, and Facebook Messenger. For consumers, instant messaging apps help them bypass texting charges with their telecom service providers because these apps can operate on Wi-Fi.
Why are instant messaging apps important for business owners? More and more people rely on them as their primary way of communicating with others. If people are spending more time within messaging apps, it makes sense for business marketing and communications to take place within these apps.
Standalone instant messaging apps are challenging to market within because most are based on private, 1 to 1 communications versus texting within groups or to the public at large. The two most popular messaging apps that can work well for your business are Snapchat and Facebook Messenger.
Snapchat is not the right app for every business, and using it depends on your company image, your business goals and who you are trying to reach. If you have done your homework and are certain that your target market is using Snapchat, you can begin publishing content to it on a regular basis in the form of Stories a blend of video, photos, text and embellishments like filers, stickers and drawings.
Facebook Messenger is a much more widely used messaging app, and Facebook is working hard to make their Messenger app highly used and useful for companies. You may not have noticed, but the Messages feature now has an option to enable messaging for your Page that turns this feature from an Inbox-style communications tool to a private messaging tool. Go to Settings and choose General, then Messages and click on the box to allow people to contact your Page privately by showing the Message button.
Be prepared before you turn on the messaging feature on your Facebook Page. If you are already struggling to respond to messages from your Page visitors, then turning on the real-time instant messaging feature could be a disaster because it requires speedier responses.
If you do opt to turn on Facebook Messenger on your Page, you can change the Messenger greeting that will personally welcome a person when they open up the app to message you. Besides letting people access the Message button on your Page, you can run Local Awareness ads incorporating the Send Message call-to-action button to let customers start conversations with your business directly from the ad on Facebook.
Make sure you’ve chosen a custom Username on Facebook for your Page. Once you do, people can search for your business on Messenger by that Username. Not sure if you have a Username for your Page? Your Username shows up directly on your Page under your Page title with an @ symbol before it. It also appears in the URL for your Facebook Page.
Another way to promote messaging on your Facebook Page is to share your Facebook Messenger Code. People can scan your unique Messenger Code using the camera in their smartphone to open the Messenger app and immediately start communicating with your business. Access and download your Messenger Code image are from your Page’s inbox by clicking the small gray “i” icon (information). Messenger codes operate like Snapchat codes and can be placed on your website, blog, posted as a graphic in any social network, and printed on marketing collateral including postcards, banners, and stickers.
Using instant messaging for your business can be a burden if you are understaffed. However, focusing on instant messaging especially as an alternate platform for customer service can provide customers and prospects with a more personal and immediate experience when reaching out to your business.
Read other social media blogs by Aliza Sherman