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Will social messaging transform the way we advertise on the internet?

Published by Alba Caride on June 28, 2018

social messaging

The way we communicate has changed dramatically since social messaging began to be a part of our lives.

People stopped sending letters and started to talk to each other using a new virtual format: the email. Sometime later, due to the increased desire for instant communication, this more traditional way was, little by little, being replaced by social messaging.

Social messaging is instant and is the preferred way of communication of millennials and their “little brothers,” the centennials. The main media for this group of people are WhatsApp or Facebook Messenger.

At the beginning of the boom of these applications, they were divided into two groups:

Apps used in social networks (Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat |) and the instant messaging systems (Whatsapp, Line, Telegram).

However, they all allow communication between users, so they merged into a single term, social messaging. And it’s about this concept that we are going to talk in this article.

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· From the mailbox to the inbox

The digital revolution was able to reduce the waiting time for new messages.

In the past, if you didn’t live near the recipient of the message you were sending, you had to wait a long time to send and receive a letter. Also, it was almost impossible to know if the person you were trying to contact received the message or not.

In fact, the only thing you had was the hope that one day your letter would be delivered and with luck, answered in a few months.

Over the years, messaging methods have been created that allowed shortening this waiting time and that’s how the email was born.

Since what is always sought in communication is a response from the recipient of the message, email marketing plays a fundamental role in that task.

When working with email marketing, you will have detailed information about the messages that you are sending, as well as about the behavior of your subscribers, which was impossible with the traditional  letters sent on paper.

Although you can send emails to anyone, anywhere in the world, you will not have concrete data to confirm the effectiveness of your campaigns.

Did the recipients open your message? Did they get into the inbox? Did they mark the email as spam or clicked to access your site?

Little by little, the use of traditional email is falling into disuse, giving rise to an even more instantaneous form of communication, as users want to receive quick responses, so social messaging is  becoming more and more popular.

The future is here in this type of communication and as advertising depends on the available communication channels, this will be the main way of sending business messages in the future.

· Email marketing as a complement to your social messaging strategy

Everyone is connected, we are more and more engaged, spending hours talking to our friends.

The first thing we do when we wake up is pick up our smartphone to read our new messages and notifications.

As evidenced by the American psychologist Maslow (1908-1970) in his pyramid (unveiled in 1943), one of the great necessities of humans are to be integrated into society, as we hate to be alone.

This form of communication allows us to be always interconnected and we like that, it gives us security.

However, as the name implies, we don’t consider social messaging as a serious form of communication, since most of us use these tools to chat with friends or family, or with colleagues from work, but more informally and directly.

► In turn, e-mail has always been the favorite method for communications of a professional nature.

It is perceived by users as a more formal platform than instant messaging, as these applications don’t have the security required for sending commercial messages.

As expressed in the last two paragraphs, it is clear that each type of application is preferably used for different functions, which differ significantly in tone and aesthetics.

Also, gamification is widely used in social messaging, which makes these applications even less serious, from a commercial perspective.

While no one knows if, in the future, companies will decide, more and more, to talk in a closer and natural tone with their consumers, people don’t trust these apps with their corporate messages.

► Email marketing is the most commonly used feature for business communications.

It’s preferred by all companies when sending the sales newsletters, which we receive daily in our inbox.

The problem is that it is increasingly challenging to improve the open rates of these campaigns.

So, companies are asking the following question: Could email Marketing Really Be Replaced by campaigns created using social messaging tools?

Regarding that, there is nothing written, but the answer could be to combine the two types of communication that is, in a digital marketing strategy based on merging email marketing and social messaging.

Facebook Messenger has high engagement rates.

The key to the success of this type of applications is that users can create groups, which means they can interact with other people interested in the same topics. So, for instance, you could have a group  of people interested in digital marketing, or you could create a group with your family.

These applications are used daily by millions of people, but are not considered the main form of commercial contact, either between companies and their customers, or between companies and their suppliers.

In fact, users often prefer not to link their personal profiles with their professional profiles.

► Although a priori, you may think that this type of instant messaging could be an alternative to email marketing, that is not the solution.

What will happen when users are saturated with commercial notifications on WhatsApp or Facebook?

Of course, they will look for another alternative of communication, since, for most of them, the purpose of this type of social networking is to keep informal conversations with their friends or family.

This is what motivates them to click on the message.

So the key to new advertising and marketing strategies will be in finding the balance that blends email marketing with social messaging, trying to convince users to read the messages in their inbox with the same interest that they demonstrate when opening a message they received from their friends.

It’s not a matter of finding a strategy to replace your actions. But rather to create broader planning, encompassing the two alternatives to improve their results in the medium and long-term.

Alba Caride

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