Can you believe that messaging apps are now big players like their counterpart, social networks? According to a Business Intelligence report, the combined user base of the top four apps—including WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger—surpasses that of the top four social networks. The popularity of messaging apps makes them indispensable tools for any business looking to connect directly with customers.
Here are my top five favorite messaging apps and how you can leverage them to market your small business:
Hands down, this is the most popular messaging app. In fact, according to Ad Espresso, Messenger boasts 1.4 billion monthly active users—or 11 percent of the world’s population!
What’s so unique about Messenger is the opportunity to engage customers with a chatbot. You can use chatbots—which achieve up to 80 to 90 percent response rates—to automatically deliver content, reminders about events, or even sponsored messages (similar to ads) to subscribers and customers.
And, Messenger has one other thing going for it: Compared to other messaging apps, it’s relatively easy to set up a chatbot without coding. Learn about our Messenger Chatbot Setup services.
WhatsApp is the number one messaging app in more than 100 countries, with 70 percent of its 1.3 billion users checking the app daily, according to Ad Espresso.
WhatsApp is very different from Facebook Messenger in that it doesn’t allow third-party chatbots or ads. However, you can use it to connect with customers the old-fashioned way: via text messages.
What makes WhatsApp special is its group-messaging feature, which accommodates over 200 people—more than any other messaging app. As a small business, you could use this to gather feedback, promote new products, or send event reminders. The sky’s the limit!
This image and video messaging app is unique because the majority of its users are under 25 years old—making Snapchat ideal for businesses that want to target a younger demographic. “Snaps” (video stories) are useful for promoting discounts and coupons and increasing event engagement or attendance.
Snapchat also offers a variety of paid ad services, including 10-second videos called Snap Ads; Sponsored Geofilters to target specific locations; and Sponsored Lenses to add marketing graphics to photos. You can even get free exposure by partnering with a Snapchat influencer or “tastemaker” who likes your product.
With Google Hangouts, you can set up group voice or video conversations, including live video calls with up to 10 people (or more, with paid versions). You can capture photos, share your screen, and message friends.
The most unique feature of Google Hangouts is that they are actually housed on YouTube, making it easy for you to promote your videos on other social platforms.
Here’s how: After your Hangout, your video will automatically post to your YouTube channel. Simply copy the YouTube URL for your video and share away on Facebook, Instagram, or wherever your customers interact with you.
This YouTube connection also makes it easy to add your Google Hangout videos to your website. Simply use the embed code provided in the “Share” tab below your video. You can also cross-promote with your website by including your link in the YouTube caption of your Hangout.
Slack is different from the other messaging apps I’ve mentioned because it’s geared toward internal messaging. However, it’s still very relevant to business marketing.
Described as a “shared workspace where real-time conversations are organized, saved, and indexed for you,” Slack is a great way to organize your marketing efforts. In fact, it’s such a valuable communications tool that 77 percent of Fortune 100 companies use it, according to Ad Espresso.
In Slack, conversations are organized in channels—by team, campaign, customer, project, etc—so everything remains transparent and up-to-date. You can even share a channel with another company.
In addition to internal communications, companies use Slack to create open communities consisting of customers, potential clients, and influencers. You can leverage these communities to collect feedback, solve problems, coordinate campaigns, or track customer sentiment, just to give you a few ideas.
Have any messaging apps to add to this list? Which app is your go-to for marketing your small business?