Social media and social media messaging have changed the way in which customers interact with brands.
During and after COVID-19 pandemic, users have turned to digital channels for a majority of their business and social interactions, accelerating the importance of social messaging. In 2021, there were 2 billion WhatsApp users and 1.3 billion Facebook Messenger users.
By 2023, over 60% of all customer engagements will be delivered not in-person, but via social messaging, chat apps and similar digital channels.
In this article, we will look into the importance of social messaging and how your business can leverage this massive trend to your benefit.
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What is Social Media Messaging?
Social media messaging is how businesses communicate with their audience – prospects and customers – that follow them on social media.
Social messaging is about communicating the brand voice and values and the way in which a company delivers its main message.
Each audience – social media followers, organic traffic and newsletter subscribers, for example – have different awareness of your brand and different needs. Different platforms and social media channels require a different way of communicating with the audience.
For example, messaging on TikTok – which embraces a more informal, short-form voice - will differ radically from LinkedIn, a more formal and professional platform.
Social media messaging extends to all types of communication with the audience, including:
- Private/direct messages
How to Tailor Your Social Media Messaging For Each Platform
People follow businesses and brands on social media because they want to learn about new products and services (57%), stay up to date on company news (47%) and be educated (34%).
Although, the caveat here, as previously mentioned, is that every social media platform is different in terms of type of messaging that resonates with their users.
Here are the facts about business messaging for each platform to help you get a better idea of how to tailor your own.
Two thirds of adults get informed on the news and topics they’re interested in through Facebook, a social network that is predominantly used by an aging audience, relative to TikTok or Instagram.
Facebook is mostly verbal platform and is good for driving discussions, so finding the right balance between informing your followers and starting a conversation with them in comments is the way to go here.
This platform for brief messages (now at 280 character limit per post) started out as a news hub, but is now a source of entertainment for more than 40% of users. Edutainment is the best way to go about your content on Twitter, and is a great place to handle customer concerns by directly addressing the person(s) raising them.
As Twitter is a public and transparent network (all posts are visible to everyone, no matter if they follow a page or not), positive interactions with your audience don’t go unnoticed and help you build a solid reputation. It is also advisable to be a bit more casual, personal and to show a human side of your business when interacting with Twitter users.
Instagram is all about injecting personality into your messaging. It’s important that your Instagram profile feels like there is a living, human being behind it and not a series of algorithms and content calendars.
Instagram is a main hub for influencer marketing and social shopping. Specifically, businesses that sell products should communicate the benefits and ease of use of their products, as well as their affordability or exclusivity, depending on the niche and brand positioning. This is especially effective via social selling the inbound way.
For more on Instagram messaging, read our complete Instagram marketing guide.
LinkedIn is, primarily, a business social network of professional advice and content that inspires career betterment through growingly popular storytelling. Your audience here are, most often, B2B decision makers and managers that you should target with unique insights and expert takes on subjects relevant to your industry. Also, this is a good place to communicate your unique value propositions and how they can help solve their pain points.
The fastest-growing social media platform in 2022 and the home to most Gen-Z-ers, TikTok audiences are usually the youngest demographic segments of any brand. Therefore, it is important to talk to them in a way that they understand and embrace their slang and way of speaking.
Also, education is a primary driver of content discovery on this network, meaning that TikTok users are eager to learn new things. Explainer videos and “did you know” content is a safe bet when it comes to messaging. Don’t forget to be transparent, honest and stripped-down when communicating here: youngest demographics value honesty and realism more than usual corporate talk.
What is the Difference Between Social Messaging and Brand Voice?
Social media messaging, marketing messaging and brand voice are three entirely different things and important aspects of any company’s communication strategy.
Social messaging uses the best practices of marketing messaging and brand voice to create posts, comments and direct messages that address their audience’s needs and engage customers.
Marketing messaging is the way in which a business communicates its brand mission and product/service values to their consumers on multiple channels.
Brand voice is a brand personality (or brand persona) reflected in the tone and choice of words a brand uses to communicate with its audience.
All of these three aspects are equally important and you should analyze them thoroughly when putting together your social media messaging strategy.
The main reason why this is important is that your audience should be able to understand your message and see your social media presence as a go-to place for information, education and, to some extent, education (depending on your market).
Why You Need a Messaging Strategy as Part of Your Social Media Presence
As brands keep embracing social messaging and integrating it into their customer care and content marketing strategies, it’s important to know why they keep doing it – other than meeting customer engagement and service requirements.
Understand and Solve Your Customers’ Pain Points
Providing a better customer experience is a business aspect that a majority of companies compete over, according to Gartner research.
Social media platforms is an environment your customers are quite familiar with – so a simple way of providing a winning customer experience is meeting them on social media and social messaging apps like Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, Telegram and others.
Social media messaging gives your customers a bigger degree of control when interacting with your brand. Conversational and relevant social messaging ensures you engage directly and personally with your customers and prospects that can have their issues resolved on a familiar channel and in a time that suits them.
Boost Customer Loyalty and Retention
For almost 80% of customers, knowledgeable help and friendly service, aside from speed and convenience, are the most impactful elements of a positive customer experience.
Social media is a great environment for creating and repeating momentous posts that have a big impact on your audience. By delivering personalized messaging and services on the social media of your customers’ choice is an effective way to increase your clients’ loyalty.
Social media management tools such as Hootsuite let you provide customized, proactive messages and automations for lasting customer impressions and improved experiences.
Become More Personal and Relatable
One of the most effective ways to reach audiences with targeted content is through social media messaging. Similar to how brands can get personal with customers through social messaging, they can also integrate consumer data into their messaging strategy.
For a smooth customer experience, integrate your social media and messaging data with your customer relationship management (CRM) platform such as Sparkcentral by Hootsuite.
You can personalize messaging bots and add some automation to your customer interaction and customer care workflows to handle repetitive inquiries in order to provide personalization at scale.
Customers will receive a prompt response if bots are set up to auto-respond to their messages. Additionally, seamless transitions from automated to human operators guarantee that customers still receive the advantages of a personal touch.
Gain Customer Insights to Help Your Sales and Marketing Tactics
Understanding your social media audience by delivering the right kind of social messaging will help you create more powerful social marketing campaigns, deliver better customer service, interact with customers more effectively and ultimately create better products.
To understand the "online mood" of your audience, go beyond just metrics. You can learn more about consumer sentiment toward your brand by analyzing data from social media and social messaging.
You can maintain the direction of your marketing and product development efforts by being aware of how consumers feel about your brand.
Additionally, it enables you to instantly reply to both positive and unfavorable posts and messages. Maintaining brand reputation and minimizing the effects of a crisis depend on quick and accurate responses.
Help Other Departments Succeed
Customer service and social media are your company's front lines of operation. It's where you cultivate a sense of loyalty, handle emergencies, or just work to fulfill each customer's request promptly.
By incorporating social messaging into your customer service and social media strategies, you can guarantee that your teams have the resources they need to be successful in their jobs.
Rich media content, such as interactive voice, video, and images, is supported by messaging apps. This enables you to engage with customers more deeply and gather insightful information to raise customer service KPIs like first contact resolution (FCR), average handle time (AHT), and customer satisfaction (CSAT).
Additionally, integrating data across all customer touch points improves the customer experience and streamlines team workflows.
Social Media Messaging Takeaways
Social messaging is a growingly important business aspect that cannot be understated, as more than 50% of all customer interactions will be happening via social messaging channels in 2023.
Remember that “one-size-fits-all" policy is invalid when it comes to coming up with your own social media messaging strategy. Each social media platform requires a specific approach tailored to the needs, habits and requirements of their specific demographics.
Should you succeed in nailing your strategy, you can expect numerous benefits like boosting customer loyalty and retention, gaining insights that can help your bottom line, improve personalization and solve your customers’ pain points.
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