In a recent study released this September 2016, new statistics have revealed the epic rise of the messenger apps such as WhatsApp and WeChat over more traditional social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. What’s more, its looking highly likely that if messenger apps continue to grow at their current rate, they will overtake traditional social media platforms in the near future making an already fragmented digital landscape more complicated, and with it bringing new challenges for brands, products and services.
So what does this mean for brands that are currently active on more traditional social networks? How can they break-through the private peer-to-peer conversations, and if successful, what forms of measurement can we expect to use to track ROI?
Firstly, marketers won’t be able to use social listening in a way they have before. Messenger apps are primarily private peer-to-peer social apps, making it near on impossible for marketers to break into these conversations. Marketers can ‘buy’ their way into some of these platforms, however social apps like WhatsApp have pretty stringent T’s & C’s around this subject, citing a more user friendly stance towards advertising on their platforms for fear of being labelled or promoting unwanted, ‘spammy‘ content. I imagine this will change over time as they look for additional ways to monetise their platforms, however the extent or freedom brands have to engage is still relatively limited at this time.
Brands and marketers will need to take things back to basics by creating and owning the conversations that will ultimately take place on these private channels. They will need to think back to word-of-mouth advertising and the approach and activity adopted to engage people in conversation around their brands, products and services.
We’ll also need to change the metrics upon which we measure campaign effectiveness, as more traditional metrics such as ‘reach’, (likes, followers, clicks & views etc) become less applicable and relevant inside this audience. Brands will need to utilise other opportunities in which to get talked about. More traditional offline advertising methods such as Billboards, POS, packaging etc will all play a part in securing your brands conversations within these private social networks.
Enter the Messenger Bots
Probably one of the most successful brands utilising Facebook Messenger at this time is KLM. KLM are using Facebook Messenger Bots as an extension to their customer service department. The KLM Messenger App allows customers to receive their booking confirmation, check-in notification, boarding pass and flight status updates via Messenger, making their travel information easy to find in a single place, available at the airport, en route or at home. Customers can also contact KLM customer services with any questions directly through Messenger, 24/7 making this a very useful, (and relevant) app that will undoubtedly thrive within this private social channel.
If you have an app idea or anything digital you’d like to discuss, why not get in touch with our Digital Department where we’d be happy to take you through some of the latest trends and ideas brands are using to disrupt the digital landscape.
Written by Mike Carpenter
October 12, 2016