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Strategy

Asking the Experts: How Social Networking Services Impact your Marketing Strategy

Utilizing LINE, Messenger, and WhatsApp is a savvy decision

Keith Loria
August 22 2019

For anyone in the online retail world, it’s critical to cut through the tremendous amount of online advertising noise that influences consumers. Though there’s another solution to swimming against the constant stream of marketing messages.

“Connecting your marketing outreach to include apps like WhatsApp and Messenger allows you to directly reach your customers with new offers that will typically be delivered directly to their mobile screen via push notification,” said Seth Kravitz CEO of PHLEARN. “There is nothing more direct than that, plus messaging has the single highest open and response rate of any marketing channel currently in 2019.”

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Social Networking Services profoundly supports relationship building, networking endeavors, and allows your company to actively reach new and existing customers through direct communication and engagement activities.

Shakun Bansal, head of marketing with Mercer-Mettl, said smart use of instant communication tools like LINE, WhatsApp, and Messenger means sending season’s greetings, business notifications such as any management and leadership change, product or services launch, or stories about ongoings in your organization.

“One caveat before leveraging SNS is that you are navigating in the personal space of your audience and you should do it intelligently because customers of today are smart and can easily know when you are being too pushy or intrusive with your information,” he said. “The content should be aiding the end-users’ awareness and emotions and not badgering them with high-on-sales messaging.”

Sense Chat’s VP of growth, Eyal Toledano said that messenger marketing is a proven asset for brands, enabling open rates of around 80% and click rates reaching 10 times higher than email.

“However, the prospect of building atop another brand’s platform continues to be seen as a risky endeavor, the likes of which supports the need for a messaging solution that empowers people and brands to communicate and do commerce without the worry of getting locked out or throttled,” he said. “In the meantime, brands are coming to grips with the fact that messaging outperforms most tools in their stack by several orders of magnitude.”

Success with the Messenger Bot

Sadman Nihal, CMO of Excel Capital Management, has found great success using Messenger and overall, SNS greatly impacted the company’s marketing strategy.

“The use of AI-powered Messenger bot has been a game-changer for us. Instead of someone going in manually to convert clients on Facebook ads, we are now able to completely automate the process where clients get taken to our messenger bot and it takes care of the whole process,” he said. “Since we are a finance company, time is of the essence; even a little delay results in us losing clients to our competitors. And at this point, the technology is so advanced that our conversion rates have gone up significantly because of how intuitive the process is.”

Building Customer Loyalty

Everyone has had a poor customer service experience, whether over the phone or by email. Most customers dread setting aside time to resolve the issue in the first place; a long wait is often superseded by an incompetent agent, who likely places the customer on hold as they try to assess the situation.

According to a Contact Center EX Study conducted by the SQM Group, 28% of customers’ issues aren’t resolved during the first call—a significant number, given that customer satisfaction drops 15% with each callback, and 19% of customers with unresolved issues report their intention to discontinue their association with the business, product or service.

Sparkcentral’s VP product marketing and emerging technologies, Tobias Goebel, noted that while email reduces the dreaded customer service interaction, in some cases, it lengthens the time it takes to resolve the issue, turning what would’ve been a 30-minute phone headache into a days-long migraine.

“Nowadays, people do everything on the go from their smartphones. They want to resolve issues while they’re thinking about them, in any available cracks of time, on their lunch breaks or in their doctors’ waiting rooms,” he said. “The last thing they want to do is carve out a special time to contact Customer Service or spend days trying to resolve an issue that shouldn’t have occurred in the first place.”

That’s where messenger communication apps come in. Not only do they help with the marketing message, but they become important relationship builders between a customer and a brand.

One of Sparkcentral’s clients, ENGIE, Belgium’s largest energy provider, transitioned the company to utilize these important tools.

“Research reveals that the same impetus that has compelled companies to switch from phone to email is now causing forward-thinking businesses to move from phone or email support to live messaging solutions,” Goebel said. “In addition to adding social media channels like Facebook Messenger and Twitter in 2017, ENGIE has recently begun out-phasing live chat in favor of Sparkcentral’s asynchronous messaging solution.”

As of December 2018, customers can now contact ENGIE via WhatsApp. Within the first three days of implementation, customers showed a marked preference for the WhatsApp service channel, with 33% favoring it over Twitter (1%), Facebook (1%), and Facebook Messenger (26%).

Clearly, the ability to manage coexisting live chat and instant messaging systems from a single platform is a big bonus for businesses trying to transition to the next level of 21st-century tech tools.

SNS is the future. Forward-thinking marketers should start adapting their business model or at the very least, have a funnel set up around each of them to fully take advantage of all they can offer.

Customer marketing challenges and opportunities

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Keith Loria

A graduate of the University of Miami, Keith Loria is an award-winning journalist who has been writing for major newspapers and magazines for close to 20 years, on topics as diverse as sports, business and healthcare. You can view some of his recent writing at keithloria.contently.com.

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