Instant Messaging (IM) is a real-time, text-based, online chat between two or more participants via the internet.
Instant messaging allows for an immediate acknowledgement of receipt of the message and reply.
One exciting thing about IM apps is that tech giants are investing a lot in instant messaging apps.
Microsoft owns Skype; Google owns Google Hangout and Android Messages. Facebook has WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger. These findings go to show you the importance that these tech giants have placed on instant messaging apps.
Moreover, the number of users of these instant messaging apps runs into several million, which means that you cannot afford to overlook instant messaging as a marketing channel for your brand.
In this post, I have decided to focus on Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp. Why? No particular reason other than the fact that these two messaging apps seem to be on the mind of many Nigerians when someone mentions instant messaging.In extension, you can also use Facebook Messenger as a tool to improve your customer service. Click To Tweet
So how can you use these instant messaging apps for marketing? Let’s take them one by one.
With an estimated 2 billion active users worldwide, people use Facebook Messenger to send text messages, exchange photos, videos, stickers, audio, and files, as well as react to other users’ messages and interact with bots.
It also supports voice and video calling. You can use Facebook Messenger for marketing in the following ways:
1. Auto-Reply Feature
If you have a Facebook business page, you can set up Facebook Messenger to send out auto-reply messaging to anyone that sends you a message via your business page when you’re not online.
Then when you get back online, you can reply to your fans message at your convenience.
2. Messenger Ads
You can create Facebook ads and direct same to your Facebook Messenger thereby creating an avenue for you to converse with consumers on a platform that they’re familiar and comfortable.
3. Customer Service
With its massive active users worldwide, using Facebook for customer service is a no-brainer for any brand thinking of being relevant today. We have written extensively on this blog about how you can use Facebook for your customer service.
In extension, you can also use Facebook Messenger as a tool to improve your customer service.
4. Find a new Customer
To use Facebook Messenger to find new customers means that you have to be active on your Facebook business page, to begin.
Having an active page with your fans engaging and interacting with your post will lead them to be curious about your brand and want to find out more information.
Their curiosity about your brand opens up opportunities for meaningful conversations that could lead to you finding new and loyal customers from within your existing Facebook fan base.
WhatsApp is a cross-platform mobile messaging app that uses your internet data plan to send and receive messages, so there is no cost.
In addition to simple text messaging WhatsApp users can create groups, send each other unlimited images, video and audio media messages.
Famous for being purchased by Facebook for several billions of dollars, WhatsApp is another top-rated instant messaging app that boasts an active user base of over a billion persons worldwide.
So how can you use WhatsApp for marketing? Here are the three main ways.
1. Customer Communication
WhatsApp has a 70% open rate so if you use WhatsApp to communicate with your customer base the majority of your customers will read your message as soon as they receive it.
However, it’s also crucial for you to realise that with WhatsApp your customers expect an instant reply to their queries.
So make sure you have adequate human and technical resources to handle customer communication via WhatsApp. The last thing you want to do is to make your customers frustrated by answering their questions several hours after they send it.
The fact that clients expect you to answer their WhatsApp messages instantly was one of the significant challenges I faced during the time I tried using WhatsApp for our customer service and marketing.
It was exciting but became an additional chore that I wasn’t ready to handle.
You can also create a group of interested people for your brand and use the group chat feature on WhatsApp to reach out to the group to keep them abreast of the latest news about your brand.
2. Customer Support
Since WhatsApp is compatible with desktop devices, you can use it along with your other desktop applications to create a robust customer support system.
The more avenues you create for your customers to reach you for their customer support issues the higher your chances of winning new customers since they know that they can get fast customer support.
Over to You
These are the few ways that you can use Facebook and WhatsApp Instant Messaging Apps for marketing. Are you using any of these ways in your marketing?
Alternatively, is there another way that you are using Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp in your marketing that I have not mentioned? Let me know in the comment section below.