More than 900 million people use Facebook Messenger monthly. Snapchat, WhatsApp and other messenger programs are growing rapidly, and as consumers embrace the immediacy of technology, messaging apps are poised to completely redefine what marketing is. They have created an explosion in the technological world, one that’s reached businesses and organizations of all sizes. Now, consumers can reach a person, usually immediately, to get questions answered and to make buying decisions. Clearly, messaging apps are the best new way to get leads and to convert them to sales.
By the numbers
If you still aren’t convinced, maybe the numbers will help. In addition to Facebook’s 900 million monthly messenger users, WhatsApp’s numbers soar over one billion users. Skype even has more than 300 million, while WeChat boasts nearly 700 million users. In fact, “in China, 650 million people a month use the WeChat messaging app for everything from transferring money to hailing taxis and sharing photos,” according to Entrepreneur. Of course, as is the case with most trends that start in the East, the United States is following suit as businesses are quickly realizing that messaging apps are the best real-time feature that also boasts plenty of ways to incorporate media and other advanced technologies.
Connect with customers quickly
One of the best things about messaging apps is that it allows marketers to get personal with their customers. Instead of the traditional forms of communication in which you find a customer calling a store hoping to get a friendly sales person, then asking one quick question and hanging up, you can interact with your customers immediately, help with any purchasing decisions and offer up-sales and add-ons quickly and conveniently. Messaging apps create an unlimited buying experience, one that can follow the customer anywhere and at any time.
Use word-of-mouth to grow your community
As messaging apps grow, so too will the many ways to use them. There are already plenty of games available, but soon you’ll find lots of new ways to interact via messenger. Then there will be no limit to the different ways you can incorporate your new technologies into your marketing messages. The more your customers feel involved and included, the more likely they are to talk your product or service up to their friends and family, helping your business to grow. The more you include your customers, the better your business’s community becomes, and the better the community, the more long-lasting your brand will be.
Provide unfettered access and personal contact
Pretty flyers, slick video and perfectly prepared sales pitches only go so far these days. Now, people want to be connected to an organization, and the success of your future business relies on your ability to create real, believable connections with your customers and employees. Sure, a handy “FAQ” guide on a website will get used a lot, but allowing your customers to message you at any time to get the answer to a question will go a lot further. Plus, imagine their surprise when they find out it’s actually you they’re speaking with and not a recorded message. Now, you’ve built trust and established a connection with a customer, one that is sure to return.
This article was written by Deborah Flomberg of Examiner.com for CBS Small Business Pulse.