As messaging becomes the next hot area for brand investment, most companies are focusing on Facebook Messenger and ignoring other increasingly popular platforms like WhatsApp and Slack. An estimated 24 million Americans will chat on WhatsApp by 2020, and L2’s Messaging report makes the case that brands should pay attention to the growing platform.
While few brands have experimented with WhatsApp in the US, brand activity in other markets demonstrates the platform’s potential. Dutch bank ABN AMRO gets about 3,000 WhatsApp messages every week even though it barely promotes its brand channel. And half of Hellmann’s site visitors in South America signed up for the brand’s WhatsApp campaign, which connected consumers with chefs who provided recipe recommendations based on the food in the consumer’s fridge.
Business communication platform Slack can also be a valuable messaging platform for brands. For example, Taco Bell recently experimented with a Slack-based chat bot through which customers could place food orders. Slack can also help brands gain feedback from their most loyal customers. Beauty brand Glossier invited its top hundred customers to a Slack channel; the group currently exchanges more than 1,100 messages each week.
While messaging explodes in APAC markets, brand innovation on U.S. messaging platforms has stalled. Eying these platforms could revitalize their approach.