Let’s picture a business to consumer encounter online.
We have Jane, who owns a clothing brand and personally monitors her Facebook business page. One day, a client posts feedback on her business page, complaining about the quality of her products. She notices that several others are responding to the feedback with their own opinions, which are a mix of both positive and negative comments. As the owner, Jane wants to issue a statement to address the concerns of her clients and at the same time protect her brand and business image. But how should she communicate?
As a business owner, you don’t want to leave any stone unturned. You need to explore which platforms will best suit your business needs and will best reach your audience. With that in view, let us take a look at these two messaging apps and see how they fare.
We all know how Facebook dominates the social networking battle with over two million users globally, making it one of the major choices for marketing. In fact, Facebook offers a marketing platform through their Facebook for Business. It allows promotion through ads, establishes businesses’ online presence through Business Pages, and provides B2C connection through the Messenger app.
Facebook recognizes that more than half of consumers online appreciate direct communication between businesses and consumers. 53% are inclined to transact with businesses they can message directly while 56% prefer messaging to calling customer service. Therefore, Facebook came up with Messenger in business pages to address the need and augment marketing strategies they offer.
Facebook Messenger has four major selling points as a marketing tool:
1. Customer Care platform
There are writing companies for customer care that allow businesses to outsource work with responses and greetings to the clients. They know that starting on a friendly tone with a potential client is a plus point, so they send greetings to a user who will open the Messenger and initiate a conversation with the business.
Messenger also allows a Page to enable Instant Replies. They know responsiveness is a key factor to sustaining customer relation and satisfaction. In Instant Replies, an automated message will instantly be sent to a client after their first message. This assures your clients that you will get back to them even if you cannot answer personally at the moment.
How about when you’re on a break or a vacation? Messenger also has you covered with its Response Assistant. It sends a message to your clients that you will get in touch with them soon whenever you cannot respond quickly or do not have access to your computer or mobile phone.
2. Sponsored Messages
Once you have established communication with your clients, your next step should focus on re-engagement. You want to sustain your relation with them after all.
This is where sponsored messages come in. Primarily made for re-engagement, sponsored messages are ad format messages that allow you to send relevant updates and content to clients you have connected with before.
For instance, you can send information about new product offerings or promotional discounts to clients you have talked to previously. You can let them know that you have kept them within your range and would like them to have a positive sales experience with your brand.
3. Messenger ads
Not only is Messenger a platform for B2C conversation, it has also become a platform for promotions. You can place ads on the home screen of the Messenger app that will connect you instantly with over one billion potential clients.
Once a user clicks on the ad, they will be redirected to your business’ page or website. You also have the click-to-Messenger option, which will direct your client to a Messenger conversation and allow you to engage with them right away through live chat or a bot.
4. Payment Channel
While still in beta, Facebook is giving businesses the option to complete transactions right in the Messenger application. Converting a conversation into transaction can be easier as Messenger accepts payments through a Buy Button or a Messenger webview.
The Buy Button prompts the payment flow, allowing the customer to select their payment method and input shipping details. The transaction is completed once s/he clicks on ‘Pay’. Meanwhile, Messenger webview integrates your existing checkout and payment process into the Messenger interface.
While Facebook Messenger has its marketing arsenal power-packed, Telegram knows that personalization in communication has its own marketing potential.
We’ve described Telegram as one of the messaging platforms that is rapidly gaining popularity with its 100 million users, exchanging around 15 billion messages daily. Moreover, statistics show that over 200,000 users sign up to the messaging tool every day.
Telegram’s niche is the market share that refuses to budge because of persistent, sponsored social media ads. These people are also those who could use more creativity in marketing and offer non-standard solutions. Your job at hand is to maximize Telegram marketing to convert these users to customers, without having to worry too much about competitors and overcrowding.
Three strengths that Telegram can leverage on are as follows: channels, bots, and stickers.
Small, online businesses can place their best bet on Telegram’s channels for marketing purposes. You can create a corporate channel that would enable you to share all information, promotional plugs, and messages to an unlimited number of subscribers. This way, you get to broadcast your messages to a larger audience.
However, if you want a limited audience, you can also opt to create a private channel. With this type of channel, users need to gain permission from a channel administrator to have access to the information shared in that channel.
This means targeted audience for a specific messaging. Let’s say your business offers a loyalty rewards system, and you need to relay promotions only to those who are qualified for the promo. You can do so through a specific channel just for them!
While communication is at its best when it’s personal, it does not mean that bots cannot deliver the same personalization human customer care can give. Telegram bots offer the same services with same (or even better, with less human error!) quality to customers. They can respond to inquiries, take orders, receive and process payments, and offer real-time, round-the-clock customer support. They can also entertain your customers by engaging with them in games!
Perhaps the most fun and interesting asset of conversations in Telegram are the stickers. While they offer entertainment value, businesses should also see Telegram stickers as opportunities for creating interesting and interactive branded conversations with their customers. You can create customized stickers, according to your brand or tailor fit any promotional efforts you offer. Then, you can share these stickers to your channel to increase brand awareness and catch customers’ attention.
What’s more, these stickers can be added to the user’s profile. Then users can share them through personal messaging, and consequently widening your reach to other Telegram users.
The Takeaway: It’s about the relationship, not just the platform
Whether it’s Telegram or Messenger or any other instant messaging platform, when it comes to running a business, your relationship with your customer is very vital because they are the lifeblood of your business. You can choose whichever platform you think is most suitable for your needs and will enable your customers to have a positive experience.
The success or downfall of your business depends on whether you can keep your customers. And one thing that you can do is have constant communication with them. Technology has been gracious to small and large businesses alike by providing them equal opportunities in reaching their target market, developing a connection with them, and eventually closing sales.