If you’re running a business, by now, you must have heard about the importance of interaction and being accessible many times. You even might have taken some steps to facilitate communication between yourself and your clients. One of the best means to do that, that I frequently discuss on this blog, is live chat, allowing you and your community to hold real-time conversations. This tool, however efficient it is, in a sense, doesn’t work on its own. Making your chat room buzz with activity requires some effort, but it’s nothing outside of anybody’s reach.
If you happen to suffer from an empty chat room syndrome, I’ve got some good news for you! Below, I discuss a number of things you can do to boost your community engagement using social chat platform.
To those of you who haven’t yet installed a chat widget, I suggest first acquainting with the features that any good chat should have. Readers already familiar with the tool can just go ahead and learn how to make users not want to leave your chat room.
Customize your chat box to make the first impression count
First things first. The bulk of the people who come to your website may be visiting it for the first, and unfortunately, the last time. It’s up to you to make your virtual premises nice, clean and coherent enough to make as many of them as possible want to stay and see what you’re about, or at least raise their their interest enough to come back in some time and check up on you.
Chat widget is a bit like a room where you entertain your business prospects. Make sure they know where they are, who they’re talking to and that it’s an integral part of your company.
If you want to engage more users and make them talk to you or interact with each other more frequently, customize your chat box, so that it matches the overall looks of your website but is sufficiently easy to notice. With great chat software you will be able to do things like color customization of all the elements, either by typing in a precise hex value or selecting from a palette and choosing the font and its size.
Encourage users to talk by setting the Welcome Cloud
Saying ‘hello’ and acknowledging people is simply a sign of good manners. Running a business online doesn’t differ from the real world in this aspect. Try boosting user engagement by displaying a nice welcoming message on top of your live chat tab to make yourself noticed and encourage visitors to talk to you.
The trick here is the contents of the message. I think it’s safe to say that in the virtual world you can allow yourself to deviate a little from the classic convention.
This works a lot like the email topic line or an ad slogan, so you should spend some time on it and bounce the ideas off others to come up with something original, intriguing or otherwise positively provoking the visitor to start a conversation. Yes, this is a crucial element. You never know who’s the next visitor to your website going to be. You may turn him into a client or he may become a strong voice in your community.
Enable auto-login to your chat platform
Here’s a thing you may not have thought about, that can make your chat room burst with users on a daily basis. While setting up and customizing your software widget, make sure to enable the auto-login option. This will transform every visitor to your site into a potential contributor to the discussion.
I don’t think this is overly intrusive or in any way harmful to the guests. I do, on the other hand, reckon that this can prompt those who were rather indecisive or shy to start one or jump into a public conversation in order to get the information they’re looking for. You may, in fact, be helping them break the ice!
Boost chat room activity by enabling social media login
This idea is similar to the auto-login option in a way that it makes joining the conversation easier. These days, a lot of people have social media platforms opened in separate tabs all the time when browsing the web, which means they’re constantly logged in. By allowing your website visitors to log in to the chat box directly using their Facebook, Twitter or Google+ accounts you’re saving their time and increasing the security. They don’t have to come up with another password for another account and that’s big.
How is social media login beneficial to chatroom activity? Well, a lot of people are trying to build their personal brands online. They may consider the opportunity to expose their names or Twitter handles to large, or smaller but highly specialized audiences, by participating in a live social chat and engaging other users to be of great value.
Encourage people to chat using the Full URL option
The Full URL feature of a chat platform allows you to expand beyond your website. Basically, what this boils down to is that in the admin panel you have a URL address which, when clicked on, opens up a full-size live social chat window in a separate tab.
You can boost the number of users of your chat by posting the link, for example, on your social media profiles and inviting people to join a real-time conversation. Since the address is pretty long, you should consider shortening it, using online service like bit.ly. You can also make it a hyper link with an encouraging text for other purposes.
Great thing about this feature is that once the link goes out to your fans/followers, they can start sharing it among their friends, inviting them to join, doing a lot of the promotional work for you. It sounds easy when you read about but in real life, in order to achieve increased activity, you might have to think about providing some kind of incentive for the fans who will share the link.
Raise chat room activity by organizing a live event
Another solution to a buzzless chat box might be organizing a live event. To be more precise, you can take a look at some of the many live webcast services available online and think about putting together a live transmission. Its subject is totally up to you, it can be a product presentation, an interview or a panel discussion on topics hot in your industry. You might as well combine all of these.
Of course, the point will be to get your website visitors talking. To maximize the impact of your webcast, attract as many users as possible and increase the chat room activity, you need to plan for and announce the event in advance.
Send the information in a newsletter, post about it twice to three times (depending on how much ahead in time are you making the announcement) on your social media channels and maybe think about a perk you can offer to those who will show up in the chat box. A little contest with a prize would do.
Oh yeah, and don’t forget to have moderators ready to react in case the conversation starts to get out of hand. Depending on the subject of your live broadcast, users’ tempers may flare.
Be active in the chatroom
Last but not least, be a good host and the man of the house. Show your users that you really care by participating in discussions and not just being a Big Brother type of supervisor.
On the list of to-do things that guarantee to boost chat room activity are: asking questions, prompting discussions, asking for opinions, sharing links to quality content, adding personal touch by welcoming new users, especially in tighter communities, etc.
Having a live social chat on your website provides you with a tool to obtaining first hand feedback from your clients and learning what they do and don’t like about your company, including the chat itself, that you want to be more buzzing. Don’t miss the opportunity to get to know people’s expectations and understand them better.
I have previously discussed the idea of boosting engagement on a website. One of the ways I mentioned was live social chat, which as you can see is a topic worthy of its own post.
To sum up, there’s a number of ways to get people engaged and use your chat more. Starting with color customization, having an encouraging welcoming message, through additional login options, expanding beyond just your website and, obviously participating in discussions yourself.
Some of these you may have thought of, some of them may not have occurred to you before. Regardless of the amount of experience you have using a chat platform, rest assured that you can implement all of the ideas discussed above with the Chatwee live social chat platform. It can be yours. Forever and for free. Unless you decide to upgrade and have even more control. Take a minute, have a closer look and let me know what you think.