Social $ense: Trends for business

Think of how many social media apps you have on your phone and the fact that one out of five of those apps is a messaging platform. Millions of people use messaging apps daily to communicate with companies, consumers, family, friends, and so forth.

Social messaging’s more popular than social media

The genesis of messaging apps was the SMS (text), but now that’s evolved. Yet it remains an easy and convenient form of one-on-one communication. You can add images, videos, music, and voice to your messages using new and improved apps.

Social messaging is the next shift in how we communicate. Its usage has already surpassed that of social media. According to Business Insider, more people use the top four social messaging apps ( WhatsApp, Messenger, WeChat, and Viber) than the top four social media apps ( Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn). Facebook Messenger alone has more than 1.3 billion monthly active users, and Instagram is officially testing a standalone messaging app, Dire ct.

What does that mean for businesses?

Social messaging is showing no signs of slowing down and should be explored by businesses. How can they use this? It’s not as hard as you think:

1. Bots: Chatbots are programmes that “know” how to manage a dialogue. In 2016, Facebook launched a ChatBot API for Messenger, and it became viral overnight. Some of the biggest companies in the world started using a bot on their page’s Messenger to improve their response time and their customer service standard.

2. Direct messenger: More and more companies are using direct messages to reach out to customers. Direct messaging is going to be one of the main ways to communicate with clients.

Chelan Smith is CEO of Chelan Communications. She has over 13 years of social media experience working with local and international companies to implement strategy and develop and solidify their digital brand voice.