Should I use instant messengers to promote a business? In a world where advertising can be seen on fences, pillars, underfoot on asphalt and even on toilet paper, this is a strange question. To use such a convenient and popular channel of information dissemination is necessary. In this article you will learn how to use instant messengers in business.
- How to choose an instant messenger for project promotion
- Facebook messenger
- QQ and WeChat
- How to solve practical marketing tasks with the help of instant messengers
- Use instant messengers for around-the-clock customer support.
- Mobile operator Tele2 helps through Telegram
- Dutch airline Transavia communicates with passengers using WhatsApp
- BBC invites readers to share hot news on whatsapp
- Distribute commercial content via instant messengers
- Mashable Edition uses Viber public chats.
- Telecom-company "Terralink" informs customers through the channel in Telegram
- The publication Meduza informs the audience using a bot
- Universal solution: sharing buttons
- Interact with potential and existing customers with the help of instant messengers
- Absolut brand implemented a textbook campaign using WhatsApp
- Universal tool: Facebook Messenger can be installed on the site
- Another versatile tool: Telegram group chats.
- Give users the ability to perform transactions via instant messengers
- Textbook example number 2: jewelers help choose wedding rings in WhatsApp and WeChat
- Apple accepts WeChat payments
- A common example: ordering pizza with Viber
- Yandex offers Telegram users a search bot
- AliExpress offers to look for products using a robot.
- Use instant messengers for internal communications.
- Soon the question of using instant messengers in marketing will be absurd
Why business should use instant messengers for marketing communications
There are two answers to this question: convenience and popularity.
What explains the convenience of the tool? People use instant messengers on smartphones and tablets. These devices are next to a person, even during sleep. Thanks to this, messaging applications are among the actively used programs. Here are some confirmations:
- According to a study by Flurry Analytics and Yahoo, 68% of users open it at least once during the first month after the installation of the messenger. One year after installation, at least once a month, 62% of users use the application. For all applications, regardless of the category, these figures are 36% and 11%, respectively.
- According to Verto Analytics, young people prefer instant messaging applications. Mature audience uses email more often.
- The Economist claims that the average WhatsApp user communicates in the app 200 minutes a week. It's about half an hour every day.
- According to App Annie, the average British user starts 13 dialogues in instant messengers daily.
- According to the statistical service Statista, about 70% of the total number of URL distribution occurs on the territory of the so-called Dark Social or dark social media. We are talking about instant messengers, e-mails and other personal messaging systems. Only 30% of publications occur publicly on pages in social networks or on websites.
But the data illustrating the popularity of instant messengers:
- According to Statista in April 2016, WhatsApp's monthly audience exceeds 1 billion users. For Facebook Messenger, Skype, Viber and Telegram, the figure is 900, 300, 249 and 100 million users, respectively.
- According to The Economist, in the first quarter of 2016, 2.5 billion users installed and used at least one messenger.
- Business Insider claims that the four most popular messengers in the world are ahead of the four most popular social networks in the number of active users. The monthly audience of four messengers is about 3 billion people, and four social networks about 2.5 billion people.
- According to Wired, 600 million WeChat users make monthly purchases using bots. Bots help users of this messenger to call a taxi, book flights, make financial transactions and so on.
Due to convenience, instant messengers have become popular among owners of smartphones and tablets. Therefore, marketers can use instant messaging software to interact with customers.
How to choose an instant messenger for project promotion
Use the obvious criteria: the overall popularity of the program, as well as the popularity of your target audience, the functionality of the messenger, the features of the business project, the ability and convenience of using bots. Below is a rough list of instant messengers that can be used for marketing communication.
As of spring 2016, WhatsApp is the most popular instant messenger in the world. In Russia, the Facebook-owned program ranks second in popularity. In WhatsApp there is no way to send paid messages or show ads. Application developers are just beginning to test tools that allow companies and their customers to interact. However, WhatsApp itself has become a tool for direct business communication with the audience.
Use WhatsApp if:
- You work in the international market.
- You need a channel of direct communication with consumers.
- You need a system for employee communication.
This is the most popular instant messenger in Russia. According to J'son & Partners Consulting, in early 2016, up to 60% of smartphone owners, or about 60 million Russians, used the program. Viber has tools for business promotion, engaging and informing the audience. Choose this messenger in such cases:
- You work with a Russian-speaking audience.
- You want to experience and use the new content distribution channel and attract users.
- You need a tool to communicate with customers, as well as for interaction within the company.
This is the second most popular messenger in the world. His audience is approaching a billion people. The program can be used to communicate with personal friends, as well as with the company's subscribers. Messenger suits you if:
- You or your company is actively using Facebook.
- You need an alternative to the contact form on the site. Messenger allows site visitors to post to the brand’s Facebook page.
- You need a handy tool to communicate with customers and colleagues.
QQ and WeChat
So far, the main audience of the third and fourth most popular in the world of instant messengers lives in China. Programs win the sympathy of users from India, South Korea, Thailand and other countries of Southeast Asia. WeChat marketers are making ambitious plans to conquer the American and European markets.
The program impresses with its versatility: using WeChat, you can send text messages, make video calls, share videos and photos. Should I use Chinese messengers today? Definitely yes, if you have partners or customers in Asia.
Convenient tool for personal communication with customers and partners. The program is used by about 300 million people worldwide. With Skype, customers can call you directly from the site. When to use the tool? Here are the options:
- If you are organizing an online user support system.
- If you need an instant messenger to communicate with colleagues and partners.
- If the function of video calls and conferences is important for you.
The messenger is good for those who remember the big brother watching them. It is literally about paranoid security measures: from encryption to secret chats and self-destructing messages. In addition to security, Telegram boasts a well-developed bot infrastructure and opportunities for distributing branded content.
Who is the messenger from Pavel Durov? Companies that:
- Need secure communication channels.
- Ready to interact with the audience with the help of bots.
- They want to use all available channels to attract new users and distribute content.
You can use other popular instant messengers for business communication, for example, Google Hangouts, ICQ, QIP, [email protected], Line and so on. Moreover, no one will forbid you to use several popular programs for one purpose or another. What tasks can be solved with the help of instant messengers? This will be discussed further.
How to solve practical marketing tasks with the help of instant messengers
From systems for two-way text messaging, instant messengers have become full-fledged channels for the dissemination of information, platforms for business transactions, new social media and a space for attracting new users. The list of tasks that can be solved using instant messaging systems can be divided into the following groups:
- Technical and informational customer support.
- Distribution of content.
- Involving users in interaction.
- Performance of operations, for example, registration and payment of orders.
- Internal communications.
See how you can solve these problems in practice.
Use instant messengers for around-the-clock customer support.
This is one of the obvious ways to use instant messengers. In this case, messaging programs act as a communication channel, just like a telephone or email.
By the way, is it not easier to support and inform consumers via telephone or email? It does not interfere. See for yourself: Email can be used to solve non-urgent issues. The phone is suitable for solving any practical issues, including emergency. But it’s not always convenient to use it to your customers:
- It is expensive to call if the buyer lives in Kazakhstan and the seller works in Belarus.
- It is inconvenient for the customer to call even the 24-hour support phone, if it is outside the window, and a child is sleeping in the next room. You can think of a few thousand more situations in which the customer is uncomfortable to call.
- Consumer reluctance to call, because he is a misanthrope, a social phobia, he has a bad mood, sore throat or nose.
Messengers complement phone and email capabilities. With their help, you can make free calls from South Africa to Alaska, exchange messages with a support operator, sitting in a cinema hall, write to your doctor without getting out of bed.
Here are some examples of using instant messengers for customer information support.
Mobile operator Tele2 helps through Telegram
To find Tele2 support service in Telegram, you need to find and add a Tele2_support contact. Convenient, right?
If you have a small company, and customers rarely ask for information, it is enough to publish the contact person in charge on the website. If you have a large company and customer support is provided by several support managers, it is better to organize a chat using the Telegram API. For example, you can use a bot to distribute client messages among employees.
Dutch airline Transavia communicates with passengers using WhatsApp
Transavia Airlines offers customers to contact for information on Facebook, Twitter and WhatsApp. You can write or call from 8:00 to 22:00 daily.
BBC invites readers to share hot news on whatsapp
Another example of using WhatsApp is showing the BBC. In this case, the company receives information from the audience.
Distribute commercial content via instant messengers
It is said above that messengers belong to the Dark Social or dark social media. And any social media can be used to distribute content. Programs for instant messaging differ from traditional "Vkontakte" and "Facebook" only the mechanics of communication. Therefore, include them in the list of sites for publishing content. See how well-known and not very well-known companies spread information using instant messengers.
Mashable Edition uses Viber public chats.
Public chats appeared in Viber in 2014. That is the point: employees of the company discuss various issues. This can be working discussions, announcements and discussions of publications on websites, even personal communication. Subscribers read the discussion and, if they wish, put "I like" marks to individual messages.
Almost 700 thousand users subscribed to the Mashable Public Chat. Only 49 people participate in the discussion. Pay attention to the announcement of the publication dedicated to the birthday of Elizabeth II. It practically does not differ from announcements in social networks. Subscribers can like and forward announcements to other Viber users. However, it is impossible to comment on the publication in the chat.
To create a public company chat, open up Chats Viber. At the bottom of the main page, apply using the Sign Me Up button. You will receive an email asking you to confirm the application. Chat will be connected after the manual moderation of treatment.
Telecom-company "Terralink" informs customers through the channel in Telegram
Subscribers of the company can subscribe to the channel and follow the news of the company in the Telegram. In this case, the messenger is used to inform customers rather than to attract traffic to the site.
The publication Meduza informs the audience using a bot
To read the news of the publication, you can use the @meduzaprobot robot. The robot is able to show the latest and most popular materials, search for materials by keywords, broadcast posts from Twitter and even show random materials about cats.
Universal solution: sharing buttons
Pay attention to the currently undervalued strategy of informing users and increasing audience coverage. These are the buttons for sharing Viber, WhatsApp, Telegram and other instant messengers. Their principle of action does not differ from the principle of the action of the "Share" buttons on social networks. Here are some tools you can use to get additional traffic to your mobile site:
- Viber sharing button.
- Plugin to install the "Share WhatsApp" button on WordPress sites.
- Plugin plugin: add-on for the popular Jetpack solution, with which you can add a Telegram button to the Share box.
Interact with potential and existing customers with the help of instant messengers
Instant messaging software is a two-way street. With their help, you can not only inform customers, but also receive feedback: from comments, “I like” marks and reposts to live communication with the audience in chat or call modes. Examples below.
Absolut brand implemented a textbook campaign using WhatsApp
The brand’s advertising campaign has already gone down in history as the first large-scale promotional campaign conducted by WhatsApp. It was like this: the manufacturer released a new product for the Argentine market and organized a party in honor of the start of sales. Tickets for the holiday were not sold. To become a participant in the show, a person needed to contact WhatsApp with Sven of Absolut and convince him to donate a ticket.
Naturally, Sven is a fictional character. The account was managed by an employee of an advertising agency Woonky. Thanks to the trick, the brand received a huge number of messages and tons of user-generated content. The advertising campaign stimulated public interest in the party and the brand's product. In the video report of an advertising agency there are several examples of user posts.
Universal tool: Facebook Messenger can be installed on the site
Using the Facebook page widget, site visitors can write messages to the company’s Facebook page administrator. This tool can be considered as an alternative to the feedback form and Jivosite chat rooms.
To use the tool, go to the page settings page. In the "Messages" check box next to the option "Allow people to send private messages to my page." Save the changes.
Click the "Get code" button, copy the widget code and paste it into the site. If you use CMS WordPress, use the menu to install custom Text widgets.
Notice the data-tabs attribute highlighted by the marker. To enable the message tab, you need to change it. After the comma, add the messages attribute after the timeline. Save the changes.
Check the availability of the "Messages" tab in the page widget on the site.
Users will send the first messages directly from the widget on the site.
The dialogue continues in the Facebook Messenger application.
You can also publish the scanned code of your page messenger. To contact you, the user simply starts the application and reads the information.
Download the image with the scanned code can be on the tab "Messages" in the community.
Another versatile tool: Telegram group chats.
As an example, look at the chat dedicated to SEO. Any user of Telegram can join discussions in group chats.
How can a business use chat rooms to engage users? Here is an approximate algorithm:
- Choose an interesting topic for your audience related to your business. При выборе учитывайте, что с помощью чата вам не нужно продавать продукт. Обсуждения можно использовать для привлечения внимания к проблеме, актуализации потребностей, популяризации идей и технологий.
- С помощью опции New Group создайте новую группу.
- Пригласите в группу участников. Расскажите о ней на сайте.
- Общайтесь на интересные пользователям темы.
Дайте пользователям возможность совершать операции через мессенджеры
It is about ordering, paying, booking, choosing a product, exchanging and other business transactions. If a potential buyer and a sales department employee communicate with the messenger, the program serves as a communication channel. And with the help of bots, you can turn it into an automatic customer service system. See for yourself.
Textbook example number 2: jewelers help choose wedding rings in WhatsApp and WeChat
British jewelry retailer Rare Pink has been using instant messengers to communicate with customers since the beginning of 2015. According to the company, as early as November 2015, about 10% of buyers, when choosing a product, consulted with managers using instant messaging programs.
The most common counseling in WhatsApp is for men who choose a wedding ring for the bride. To keep a secret, young people do not use their home or work telephone, e-mail or messages in social networks to communicate with the jeweler.
Guide Rare Pink talks about the features of communication with people from Asian countries. If European and American men keep their intentions secret and buy rings on their own, Asian men choose jewelery with a bride. They often offer to rate your favorite rings to parents, friends and colleagues. For such cases, Rare Pink managers use the Chinese WeChat messenger, where you can quickly create group discussions.
Apple accepts WeChat payments
Pay for iPhones and iPads using the system WeChat Pay can only residents of China. Naturally, the opportunity extends only to the official Apple online stores in China.
Chinese messenger is actively developing the international market. Already today, 300 million people worldwide use WeChat Pay, including Asian countries, North America, Europe, Australia and Oceania. In the foreseeable future, you may have to connect this payment option in your online store for the convenience of users.
A common example: ordering pizza with Viber
Pizza sellers from Armenia offer customers to order delivery via Viber and Skype. You need to pay attention to this banal example, as it illustrates an important way to use instant messengers. This is a user-friendly channel or communication tool.
Yandex offers Telegram users a search bot
The bot of the largest search engine of the Runet answers user questions. The proposed answers are almost identical to the results of issuing in the normal issuance of "Yandex".
It is more convenient to read illustrated manuals in the browser. But if the user is looking for simple information that can be broadcast in text format, using a search bot is quite convenient.
Search bots can become a serious competitor to traditional search engines. Probably, Yandex understands this. Therefore, offers users their own bot.
AliExpress offers to look for products using a robot.
To find a product on the marketplace, just enter a chat message like @alisearchbot + product name. The robot provides a selection of links to products of interest to the user.
Use instant messengers for internal communications.
You probably already do this, so examples are not needed. Just once again note that with the help of instant messaging programs you can not only communicate with colleagues, but also attract the attention of the audience. We are talking about the above mentioned public chat rooms.
Remember group video calling. For example, using Skype or Google Hangouts, you can organize a video conference, hold a meeting or a training event with remote employees.
Soon the question of using instant messengers in marketing will be absurd
Why? Today, no one asks how to use mobile phones or offline mail for marketing purposes. The same thing happens with messengers: they become traditional communication channels that are used to communicate with colleagues, partners and customers.
On the other hand, the functionality of instant messengers takes them beyond simple communication tools. The broader capabilities of programs are determined by a number of factors, including the availability of bots, the development of infrastructure for distributing content and engaging the audience and the mobility of users.
Focus on these factors to successfully use instant messaging programs in your business. They will help you to consider messengers not only as a means of communication. In the end, fundamentally new channels of information broadcasting and user services do not appear every day.By the way, Texterra has its own Telegram bot, @TexterraBot. So far, he can only notify about new materials in the blog, but soon we plan to teach him much more. Add our bot if you do not want to miss a single publication. kak-ispolzovat-messendzhery-v-marketinge