This year, we saw a change in social media with the focus shifting away from public to private communication. Although private messaging has been around for years, apps like Snapchat and Whatsapp are bringing the privatization of messaging back to consumers. Social media sites are picking up on the consumer demand for private connections and are quickly adapting to keep up. We will surely begin to see more of these private features being used by top companies in their marketing strategies for 2014. Through these new developments, we can expect customized and multimedia rich messages directly from companies promoting their services or products.
Here are some developments in social media messaging:
- Instagram Direct- On December 12, Instagram launched Instagram Direct, a private messaging tab for users. Instagram Direct allows users to send private or semi-private messages consisting of photos and videos to any user on the network. An Instagram Direct message encompasses the great features of the app, while allowing commentary and likes to be privatized. This new feature provides an avenue for businesses to send exclusive content, to specific followers, and develop a more personalized relationship with the user.
- Twitter Direct Messaging- Direct messaging has been around since the inception of Twitter. Recently though, Twitter opened up the direct messaging capabilities to allow users to message any account. Twitter also announced the addition of photo sharing through the messaging tool. Businesses can utilize this function to improve their customer service and storytelling. Instead of attempting to express something through words, businesses will have the option to include visual media within the context of a private message.
- Google+ Hangouts- Google+ updated the Hangouts capabilities with the addition of SMS and location sharing. Now you can easily schedule Hangouts on Air with a dedicated “watch page” for promotional purposes and monitor the conversation. These functions are great for live conversations with a company’s target market. Businesses can certainly benefit from hosting live Hangouts on Air due to the first person communication from the participants. Should these Hangouts be recorded, it could be utilized further for marketing purposes.
With these new options available, a more personalized experience will be demanded from consumers and employed by marketers in 2014. Companies can and should capitalize on this to build solid, more private connections with their target audiences, resulting in a higher ROI.