Improve Engagement by Following Facebook's Messaging Changes
After its flotation on the stock market in 2012 there was a slight question mark over the future of Facebook as it seemed to be losing its grip on the ever increasing mobile market. Consumers are no longer connecting to friends, family and businesses via their desktop at home, rather they want access wherever they are and this is usually on the move from their mobile phone or tablet.
However, one of Facebook’s strengths is their ability to recognize where the market is heading and in February 2014 they announced the acquisition of WhatsApp for $19 billion, which at the time was the company’s largest purchase yet. So why did Facebook make this acquisition and how can you emulate some of their tactics to increase engagement in your business?
Facebook Leads the Way
Social media and the accessibility of the internet on the move have meant that it is important to provide multiple ways for people to contact you. Facebook has also recognised that, particularly amongst younger audiences, there is a need for communication which fits around people’s daily activities rather than being the focus of it. Fewer people now have the time, or the inclination, to make long phone calls but that doesn’t mean they don’t want to keep in touch in real time.
The live aspect is also increasingly important as people want to be kept up-to-date minute by minute rather than day by day. Periscope and Meercat led the way with live broadcasting and Facebook wasn’t very far behind with its livestreaming application. Originally this was only open to celebrities who had something to say to their fans but Facebook has now confirmed that the application will be rolled out to other verified user accounts shortly. Live broadcasts can be an excellent way for a brand to increase engagement and to build an audience which wants to keep up to date with their latest innovations. It is also a way to add a human touch to a business account and this can be so powerful on social media.
Be Easily Contactable
Furthermore similar applications to Facebook messaging, which is a form of live chat, are something which can be implemented into any business. Click-to-call buttons on your website, added to your online advertising and even embedded in emails make it easy to keep in touch with potential clients. When someone is checking their email or browsing the internet on their phone if they can reach your sales or support staff with one click that considerably lowers the barrier for them to make the call.
Online calls and instant messaging are available through VoIP technology and the advantage to this is that you can make calls or message someone wherever you are in the world, as long as you have internet access either through Broadband or 3G. In addition to instant messaging, communication via VoIP also allows your business to make low cost long distance and international calls; video calls to clients and staff around the world; and it offers screen sharing to reduce the time to solve a support query.
If you want to keep abreast of changes in the way people communicate so you can best serve your clients, it is worth keeping an eye on the decisions Facebook makes. While no business is infallible a company which has as many users as Facebook definitely has its finger on the pulse of how people like to interact and communicate with each other. Therefore if you can take those same applications and make them applicable to your business you have a much greater chance of keeping ahead of your competition. After all any technology which allows you to keep in touch with your customers has to be a good thing. The better you know your audience, the better you can serve them.