Whether it’s catching up with family on Facebook or watching funny cat videos on YouTube, social media is a huge part of people’s lives, with over 4.2 billion active social media users in 2021 (up 13.2% from 2020).* As part of this growth, more people than ever are using social messaging to stay in touch.
This article will take a closer look at social messaging and answer your questions including:
- What is social messaging?
- Why is social messaging important for business?
- How can I use social messaging for business?
- Making the most of social messaging
What is social messaging?
While social media has primarily focused on allowing users to share updates, pictures and other content with a wide selection of followers and friends, it’s also become a popular way of communicating one-to-one. Rather than sending an email or even an SMS, people today are more likely to use social media messaging.
For example, while Facebook remains the most popular social media site, social messaging apps like WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, WeChat and Telegram can all be found in the top ten list of most popular social networks.**
One of the reasons for this increasing popularity is that it’s often easier (and cheaper) to share media with your friends. Rather than sending multimedia via email or text, people can easily add gifs, photos, videos and other media to their social messaging.
Why is social messaging important for business?
Social media apps have become a place where customers can (and usually prefer to) get in touch with a business. As social messaging continues to grow, businesses need to decide how they can use it effectively for both sales and customer service. If you want to improve the online shopping experience, being available on your customer’s preferred social messaging app is a good start. Likewise, if you’re aiming to offer true omnichannel customer service, then you have to be capable of responding using whatever channel the customer chooses which, in many cases, will be via a social media messaging app.
Social messaging is more than just a popular channel though; for many situations, it’s the more convenient choice for consumers. Nobody enjoys listening to hold music for hours on end, or waiting days for an email response. Especially when the customer is looking for a quick answer to a simple question, then jumping onto a social messaging app will often make more sense. They can also share relevant media files — such as a screenshot or video demonstrating the issue they’re facing — making it easier for customer service teams to quickly resolve their issues.
Social messaging also offers other advantages for businesses. For example, customers are more likely to be conversational when they use a social messaging app, meaning your customer-facing teams can learn more about them. In turn, they can offer a truly personalized service, leading to better customer engagement and increased customer satisfaction.
Remember, your customers are already using social media messaging — it’s time that you were part of the conversation.
How can I use social messaging for business?
While it can be a simple way to improve the way you communicate with your customers, using social messaging for your business means you’ll need a way of managing those conversations, to ensure that prospects and customers can easily reach out and get the answers they’re looking for.
This starts with an awareness of what social communication channels your customers are currently using. There are plenty of options out there, and trying to effectively manage social media messaging on every single one would be almost impossible. Instead, look at your customer demographics to see which channels you should focus on. For example, B2C companies might find that Facebook Messenger and Instagram Direct work well. Businesses selling into Asian markets could use WeChat, but those selling into Europe will get better results with WhatsApp.
Once you know which channels to prioritize, it’ll likely be worth investing in a messaging platform. While smaller businesses might be able to manage their social messaging manually, having a platform that allows you to monitor and respond to different channels from one place is a good investment.
Zendesk and LiveChat are two examples of customer service platforms that allow you to manage social messaging from one app. As an added benefit, when you integrate those platforms with SnapCall, you’ll be able to call and speak to your customer with voice and video calls — as well as screen-sharing — all within their social messaging app.
The SnapCall/LiveChat integration supports calls in:
- Facebook Messenger
- Apple Business Chat
The SnapCall/Zendesk integration also supports calls in:
- Facebook Messenger
- Apple Business Chat
- Instagram Direct
- Twitter DM
- RCS Messaging
So, if a business is using SnapCall with LiveChat for example, the agent would be able to send a call card directly to their Facebook Messenger chat with a customer and instantly get on a voice/video call.
Making the most of social messaging
Not only does using an app to manage your social messaging make it easier to see all of your messages in one place (reducing the chance that they’ll go unnoticed and unread in your inbox), but it’ll also mean you’ll have more time to focus on the content of the message, rather than the background admin work. That’s essential, because a key component of social messaging is the personal touch.
While channels such as email might be more formal, social media messaging is by definition more conversational. While an auto-responder chatbot might be good enough for initial contact and confirming key details, people who reach out with social messaging expect to speak to a person. They’re looking for a personalized response, not a script.
While this might be possible through a text-based chat, incorporating a one-to-one voice/video chat is a powerful way to demonstrate your genuine interest and improve the customers’ experience.
With more than half the world active on social media, social messaging can give businesses a real advantage by giving prospects and customers a convenient and familiar way of getting in touch with your sales and customer service teams. This means you can respond to their questions sooner and offer a more personalized service, one that will delight customers and improve their experience.
Take your social messaging further with SnapCall. By integrating with leading customer service platforms, SnapCall makes it easy to talk directly with your customers with voice/video calls and screen sharing, all within their favorite social messaging channel. Book a demo and start your free 14-day trial today.