Group chats have never been more popular. They remind me of a miniature version of online forums, which in turn are an extension and distant relatives of ancient Roman fora, where people gathered for business and various social activities. The main difference now is group chats require no physical space. But what makes them so appealing to individuals and how businesses can take advantage of this opportunity? Let’s find out, shall we?
Early this year I wrote about The State of Texting in 2019. It was a comprehensive look at text-based online communication and how well it’s doing in the current year. Despite its seemingly trivial nature and the availability of other forms of communication, texting asserts its importance time and time again, not losing any of the popularity.
Recently, I read an article about the future of Facebook, which loosely cited Mark Zuckerberg saying that messaging will be at the core of the platform moving forward.
This comes on the back of another recent Facebook’s statement concerning the planned integration of Messenger, Instagram, and WhatsApp that will allow seamless communication across all three of them.
It becomes clear social media giants are treating instant messaging and group chats very seriously. Naturally, a lot of marketing efforts will be diverted to these newly evolving communication channels as well.
Understanding group chats
Group chats, unlike online forums for example, are exclusive – therein lies their appeal. They’re closed societies, governed by peculiar rules and habits of their members. They’re enclaves on foreign territories of social media apps.
According to Zuckerberg,
“private messaging and small groups are by far the fastest growing areas of online communication“.
Now that’s a pie businesses would surely like a piece of! Reaching highly- engaged audiences with well-adjusted marketing communication would surely bring in great results.
Still, there are some significant problems with that.
- It remains to be seen how exactly businesses will evolve to get access to these group chats.
- As a business, you’ll forever be at the mercy of whichever platform you’re trying to market on.
Getting ahead of the pack
So, how can businesses harness the potential of group chats? How can they reach and engage with people to become a part of the conversation?
Like I said before, group chats are heavily rooted in exclusivity. A brand won’t be able to just join the conversation like “Hey, WYD?“.
Well, you know what they say – if you can’t join ’em, beat ’em! And how exactly would you do that? Easy, by starting your own online community!
Own social media
Owning always beats renting, especially long-term. The initial investment may be bigger but it quickly pays off. When it comes to social media, you can forever rent space and be subject to perhaps limiting policies and features, or you can grab the bull by the horns and implement your own communication platform.
If you’re wondering whether you need a social element on your site at all, keep in mind people will talk about your business regardless.
Besides, you’ve probably thought about setting up company social media profiles anyway, or already have them.
Why rely on Facebook though, when you can build an online community directly on your site and have way more impact on the broader discussion concerning your brand.
Chatwee, an instant messaging and group chat app lets you do just that. It’s basically a social hub for businesses to reach and interact with their audiences in public chat rooms and private conversations. Chatwee creates space on your website where people can have fun but also vent. You can turn this into an opportunity to improve brand experience, collect feedback, and address various pain points.
There’s no single template for how to use Chatwee because it’s a multi-purpose tool. What’s most important is that you’re attracting people to your site and making them stay by letting them engage in group chats, among other forms of interaction the app allows for. Next step is turning them into paying customers…
Group chats are posed to remain a staple of online communication. Social media giants like Facebook and Instagram are investing heavily in the development of features that will keep users active and engaged on their platforms.
Their long-term business objectives will involve getting brands and marketers to pay for reaching these communities. Plus, the ever-growing privacy concerns are likely to never be fully resolved, as having access to and processing sensitive information is a part of social media operators’ strategy.
Luckily, you can avoid the negative aspects while still jumping on the group chats wagon and capitalizing on it business-wise. I believe the smartest move is to set up your own social hub on your website, which should be the center of your online operations anyway.
Chatwee offers advanced instant messaging features, including private and group chats, as well as multiple chat rooms. Your online community can use it for its day-to-day social interactions, which you can draw insights from. On top of that, it can also serve as a team communication platform for your staff.
Sign up in under a minute today and get social on your own terms!