Messaging is the new social feed, as more users choose to share information with their more private groups through DMs rather than their main, public stream.
In 2019, WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger both had 1.5 billion users globally, while WeChat had one billion users.
Aged 30 to 59, 66% of Americans who are in their peak earning years use Facebook Messenger. Additionally, the corporate world has taken note. Every month, 20 million businesses communicate with consumers on Facebook Messenger.
Today, according to Andrew Hutchinson, “A key reason behind this is the divisive nature of conversations within social apps, with more political and topical discussion leading to argument, and often causing more angst than it’s worth.”
How many times have people had the impulse to share something, began typing it out, and then decided it wasn’t worth it? Even business accounts probably had this experience. They could have an opinion on the topic at hand, but they need to be more solid to support it. Moreover, it is a risk to get into a debate with complete strangers in the comment sections of any social media platform.
This encourages more individuals to share information in private simply because most of them are tired of the arguments that come from public expression. And as a result, the primary social apps are currently undergoing a dramatic shift in focus.
We are a digital marketing agency in Market Harborough, and we encourage brands or businesses to adapt to the shift without compromising the quality and discoverability of their products or services.
How the social media giant deals with the change
With new features like Instagram’s “Channels,” which are effectively broadcast messaging, and the re-integration of Messenger into the main Facebook app, Meta has experienced a significant change towards interaction inside messaging and is leaning into this.
While Instagram is also experimenting with better sharing options in DMs, such as displaying recently shared posts within one’s inbox, this might significantly influence how people engage across Facebook and Instagram.
“The implications of such for marketing are not entirely clear, as people are still discovering content on Facebook and IG, but are sharing what they find in messages. That suggests that social feeds are still solid options for reaching your audience, but for interaction, brands may want to consider how they can incorporate DMs, and provide more ways for customers to message them directly, as opposed to seeking direct engagement in app,” Hutchinson said.
How the shift affects businesses
Public communication is recommended when team members of a business are speaking with customers about non-personal matters, such as how to reset a password or business hours, especially if additional customers might find the information useful. When required, marketers may use direct messages (DMs) to move consumer dialogues to a private setting. For instance, when it takes more than 140 characters to address the issue or when it’s important to provide information that the brand or the customer may not want the public to know.
It is simple for a moderator to add a link to a public response that will take the customer directly to where they can compose a DM and work with an agent to resolve an issue if a customer contacts your brand, for example, via public Tweet. Personal information may be exchanged, so in order to reach a resolution, the agent can then speak privately with the consumer.
One advantage of this shift is that it makes customers realise that, when appropriate, businesses may use DMs to move discussions into a private setting.
As per Khoros:
“For many brands, this method of moving to private social messages allows their agents to have more in-depth conversations and collect more detailed information from customers, such as a product description. But if the brand or the customer needs to share more personal information, such as an email address, phone number, or birth date, the conversation should be transferred to a more secure channel to protect that data.”
Even if it seems straightforward, it’s crucial to do it correctly. To validate the customer’s identity and safely discuss sensitive data, marketers must too frequently divert clients from social media to phone or email.
How businesses should deal with the shift
Businesses should protect both themselves and their customers when it comes to direct messaging. These are the recommended practices when engaging in an online discussion privately:
• Owners of businesses should teach their staff about various data formats.
• Admins of the business account should verify customers.
• Transfer the discussion to a more secure brand-owned, digital channel.
• Use the phone only as the last option.
The fact that social media discussions are moving to private messaging is a sign that every user must learn how to communicate properly with other users as they message one another privately. As a digital marketing agency in Market Harborough, we advise business owners to conduct training on how to handle DMs because private communication may build or destroy their name.
Other Social Media Marketing Resources
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