The Best Instant Messaging Apps You Should Use

Facebook Messenger is a popular messaging platform with 20 billion messages exchanged on a monthly basis. But how do you use it if you’re operating a business?
Faye Chong
Faye Chong

Content Marketing Lead

Reading time: 4 minutes

Instant messaging apps have revolutionized the way we communicate.

And messaging apps aren’t just used to text friends and family.

Businesses have started using messaging apps to engage with customers and connect with them on a more personal level. And this will be even more apparent in the coming year. 

But before we get down to the list of best messaging apps, let’s run through the basics.

Contents

What is an instant messaging app?

Instant messaging refers to real-time online communication that connects two or more people. 

Instant messaging apps facilitate session-based exchanges of text, audio, video communication, and files. Because most of these apps are free to use, communicating with one another has become easier and more cost-effective.

Over the decades, the rise of messaging apps has skyrocketed. In 2020, there are 2.7 billion mobile phone messaging app users worldwide, and this number is projected to increase to 3 billion by 2022.

Must-have messaging app features

The number of instant messaging apps out there can be overwhelming. But before you hit that download button, we’ve compiled a list of features that you should take note of!

End-to-end encryption

With the sheer amount of data shared via messaging apps, data protection and privacy has been a concern for many users. 

That’s why messaging apps implement end-to-end encryption.

This technology applies encryption to messages on one device so that only the device to which the message is sent can decrypt it. Your messages are secured with a ‘lock’ and only you and the recipient have the ‘key’ to unlock them.

In other words, end-to-end encryption ensures that only you and the person you’re communicating with can read what is being sent. This includes photos, videos, voice messages, documents, and calls.

If your messages are end-to-end encrypted, it’ll be impossible for a third party to intercept and read your messages (even the app provider itself!). And for businesses, this is extremely important if your clients will be sharing personal information such as their home address or phone number.

Scheduled messages

Scheduled messages allow users to plan weekly or monthly reminders and automatically send them at a specified time in the future. This means that you no longer have to manually send messages at a given time.  

Scheduled messages allow users to plan weekly or monthly reminders and automatically send them at a specified time
Scheduled messages allow users to plan weekly or monthly reminders and automatically send them at a specified time.

With this feature, businesses can send posts such as payment reminders and product launch updates at a specified date and time. 

Group chat

Different from a 1-to-1 private conversation with a recipient, group chats are messages sent in a group of 3 or more people. Conversations in group chats are visible to all members of the group, and members can join in the conversation whenever.

Businesses can use the group chat function to create exclusive communities where messages can be shared quickly with multiple people at once.

E-commerce features (e.g. Bots)

As mentioned earlier, businesses have also begun using instant messaging apps. So why not look at a feature that’s beneficial to businesses as well?

Bots can help to simplify and streamline tasks.

For example, bots can be used to automate answering. This means that businesses can use bots to help engage with customers and answer simple questions before a real person takes over the conversation.

This is especially useful when there’s a high influx of messages coming in and reps are unable to handle all conversations at once.

Telegram's main bot.
Telegram’s main bot.

Aside from automatic answering, bots can also be used to send updates about the weather, share useful news articles, and even schedule reminders.

Broadcast/Announcements

Broadcast features allow businesses (or even you and I) to send a single message to multiple users without the need to send it to each individual recipient.

Broadcast features allow you to send a single message to multiple users without the need to send it to each individual recipient.
Broadcast features allow you to send a single message to multiple users without the need to send it to each individual recipient.

Why should you use Facebook Messenger for business? 🤔

According to Statista, there are 1.3 billion active users on Facebook Messenger. If that isn’t enough to convince you to start using the app, then here are a few other reasons.

1. Be where your customers expect you to be

The rise and success of Facebook Messenger (and other messaging apps) evidently shows that the way customers engage with businesses has evolved.

Your customers now expect to be able to message you.

Research shows that:

  • More than 81% of respondents message businesses to ask about products or services
  • 75% of respondents message businesses for support
  • Over 74% of respondents message business to make a purchase

On average, that’s 76% of your customers contacting you on Messenger for these purposes, and possibly more!

Imagine all the opportunities lost if you don’t have Messenger set up on your Facebook business page.

2. Generate high-quality leads

In a survey done by Facebook, 56% of respondents said that they message businesses across their entire customer journey

This gives you countless opportunities to follow up with that customer. You can take this chance to gather valuable information and learn more about your customers to build stronger relationships. 

Furthermore, leads who reach out to you directly through Messenger are likely to be familiar with your brand and have shown some interest in your products or services. 

Also, since you’ve already got them in your inbox, take the chance to re-contact them regarding product updates, new releases, or promotional offers. 

3. Gain customers’ trust

The concept is pretty straightforward — if you’re easily contactable by your customers, you gain their trust. 

That’s because being able to directly communicate with a brand like how they would with friends and family makes you more human. And people tend to trust businesses that provide them with a human connection

Customers also feel more confident about a business if they are able to connect with them this easily. 

4. An additional medium for transactions

As mentioned above, 74% of respondents said that they message businesses to make a purchase. If you use Messenger as an additional platform for transactions, this increases customer experience as well as conversions. 

Here are 2 scenarios:

1. A customer takes interest in your product or service from your Facebook Ads. They click onto your profile and decide to send you a message. Your rep directs them to your website, where they’ll have to fill in a form or add the item to their cart to purchase. 

2. A customer takes interest in your product or service from your Facebook Ads. They click onto your profile and decide to send you a message. Your rep guides them through the buying process, and the purchase is made in Messenger.

Which do you think is better?

(We hope you chose the second one 😅)

In the first scenario, they could drop off if you direct them to an external site. This also prolongs the buying cycle.

Processing their transaction right in Messenger means you can “lock them in” and close the deal faster. You don’t have to worry about them dropping off since you’re handling it all on one platform. 

But if you have a longer sales cycle, such as SaaS businesses, Messenger can serve as a platform to create personalized touchpoints. 

Facebook Messenger tips 💡

1. Proofread your replies

This is important especially if you’re using Messenger’s auto-reply feature. 

Typos are common and they’re an honest mistake. However, they shouldn’t be appearing in auto-replies that you’ve crafted and set up beforehand. You wouldn’t want to give a bad impression to customers when they send you a message and your reply is full of typos!

Keep in mind that you should also make it a habit to proofread your replies when replying to customers.

2. Keep it personalized

People approach businesses when they don’t sound robotic. 

Something as simple as using a customer’s name in your replies can make them feel validated and important.

According to a survey done by Facebook, 91% of consumers are more likely to shop with brands who recognize, remember and provide them with relevant offers and recommendations. 

3. Be very responsive (and show off your badge!)

In today’s world, businesses are required to be responsive. Leads who are contacted within 5 minutes are 9 times more likely to convert.

Leads who are contacted within 5 minutes are 9 times more likely to convert.
Leads who are contacted within 5 minutes are 9 times more likely to convert. Source: Novocall

Luckily for you, Facebook awards businesses with badges for being responsive. To earn a “responsive” badge, you must have a response time of less than 15 minutes and a 90% response rate.

Facebook awards businesses with badges for being responsive
Facebook awards businesses with badges for being responsive

Once you’ve obtained the badge, be sure to show it off on your page! This tells customers that you’re prompt in your replies, and they won’t be left waiting for a reply that never comes. 

Furthermore, having this badge will increase customers’ willingness to message you because they know they’ll receive a reply.

4. Be mindful of the 24-hour messaging window

Did you know about Messenger’s 24-hour messaging window?

To make the experience more enjoyable for Facebook users, Facebook put a limit on how often businesses can reach out to customers on Messenger. 

When businesses receive a message from customers, they only have 24 hours to respond. They can send unlimited messages, and that includes promotional content like offers and ads. 

Do take note to close the deal within the first 24 hours, otherwise, your only other option is to send a Sponsored Message

However, this doesn’t mean that you should send them a message every hour. That’ll just get you flagged for spam and you’ll probably never see that customer again. 😔

What does this mean?

Facebook Messenger is a fantastic app that businesses should definitely use to communicate with their customers!

That said, it shouldn’t be the only app that you are using. As of February 2020, Whatsapp has a total of 2 billion users worldwide

While LINE does not openly publish user statistics, it is known to be the most popular messaging app in Taiwan, Japan, and second in Indonesia. 

And let’s not forget Telegram that’s continuing to grow in popularity! As of April 2020, it reported a total of 400 million monthly users worldwide.

Using multiple messaging apps helps businesses connect with a larger number of customers and helps improve customer relations. Software like chat messaging platforms even allows you to manage multiple messaging apps on a single tool.

Conclusion

We hope that this guide has been helpful in helping better understand how to send messages via your Facebook business page!

From generating high-quality leads to gaining customer trust, Messenger brings about many benefits to businesses. But why stop there?

Using multiple messenger apps can further enhance the benefits that these apps bring to businesses.

If you’re interested to know how else you can communicate with your customers through various messaging platforms, sign up for NovoChat for free today!

Try NovoChat for free! 🚀

An e-commerce chat marketing platform to grow your sales. 

Faye Chong
Faye Chong

Faye is the content marketing lead at NovoChat. When she’s not busy writing articles for NovoChat's blog, she spends her time baking and playing with her dogs.

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