Chapter 2: Messaging
The biggest shift in the way we communicate on social media is the shift from public to private posting. That’s a completely different way of interacting online that is an entire world away from “traditional” social media platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, MySpace...we talk in secret now, or at least hidden away from the public view.
The platforms that have sprung up as a part of this shift are gaining massive traction, and the legacy platforms are in a mad rush to add in the features that can allow them to be a part of the movement.
So let’s dive into how you can make messaging work for your brand.I want to talk through a couple of case studies and ideas around messaging that are effective and unusual.
What’s the purpose of a messaging app, for you?
You use messaging in order to establish, build and maintain a personal connection with your audience and with your buyers. That’s what makes the difference between messaging and public posting, is that it’s going to feel like an increased level of intimacy that people are going to respond to in a positive way.
Which means that in any case where you can show a deeper level of intimacy that feels authentic and doesn’t feel lIke you’re attempting to replicate a connection, you’re going to have a win on your hands.
There is a danger here that people will just use the exact same techniques and formats they use everywhere else on a messaging platform and expect them to work. They won’t. And, in fact, they can have a hugely negative impact on the platform itself as it becomes used for the wrong purposes, and when that happens - you’ve missed out on an opportunity.
You need to use native messaging that is going to work for each platform, and for the kinds of communications people want. Here’s the first case study.
How I use Snapchat
When I get a lead through a form on my site or my content, there’s a couple things I can do with them.
I can send them an email blast. And I do. I use ConvertKit to do it, and I automate it, and it does convert. But it’s not the best way forward. It’s cheap, it’s easy, I can fake personalization pretty damn well, but it’s not going to close as effectively as getting to know people and talking to them. Because when you use most communications channels, you’re talking AT people, when you should be talking TO them.
So my preferred method is to qualify whether or not that lead is on Snapchat. In my email blast, I’ll encourage folks to add me there. Once I have them, I can get to know them by chatting constantly, sharing information, offering products and services through a DM and so on.
I add back everyone who adds me. One by one.
And I start with a Snapchat message right to their profile, asking them what they’re after, what their situation is and how I can help.
I use that conversation to suggest services and products based on my Sales Stable.
That conversation converts all the time, because it’s detailed and it’s personal and it’s one on one. That, and Snapchat is still such an intimate platform that people are open to chatting more than they are anywhere else. Here’s how that convo looks initially:
By using a creative way of approaching messaging, and keeping it extremely personal, I am able to close valuable leads for my agency on a regular basis. People actively want to pay me money, because the intimacy leads to:
- Investment in me
- Investment from me
That last part is important!
One of the things that can make messaging so powerful is that it can allow you to grow a friendship. There are folks who think that you can’t mix friendship and business, but those people have missed the point of social media. The point of any social media, no matter the format or platform, is too make friends online.
When I build up a friendship, that’s going to mean that people are that much closer to being repeat and continuous customers.
You can apply similar concepts wherever you can communicate with someone through a direct message.
Here’s another case study. Josh Fechter, one of the most popular Quora writers of all time, uses Facebook messenger both personally and through a bot. When Josh connects with anyone on Facebook, he has a policy of messaging people - never commenting, never liking, just messaging.
If they post something that he enjoys, some thing he finds valuable, he will message them. If they post something that he disagrees with, he will message them. Every single birthday, milestone, he sends a message to his prospect.
And ultimately, he encourages people to subscribe to a Facebook Messenger channel/bot. That’s one of the strongest channels for Josh, because he often finds that the open rate he can get through sending blog posts and content there instead of through email massive.
When Josh uses messaging, it becomes a hotline to him and his deep knowledge on tech and marketing. He doesn’t blast things into the void, he communicates them to specific people in a targeted and highly impactful way.
This approach could be used anywhere.
If your business can find a creative and personal way to talk to people through Twitter DMs, through Whatsapp, through Instagram DMs - those are all excellent messaging platforms.
Here’s a tip though. Messaging requires you to be open.
I love Twitter. It’s my favourite platform, to this day, and I use DMs and messaging powerfully to build relationships. But the only reason doing so works is because I keep my DMs open, and I allow anyone and everyone to get in touch. I encourage it. The danger here is that I do open myself up for some negative comments, abusive messages and spam.
That’s the trade-off that you have to make when you use messaging as a platform, on any service. It’s a trade-off that I believe is worth it.