The Shout blog includes a lot of content around text marketing best practices, but what about group chats? SMS marketing is a great strategy for social sellers to adopt, but when social media algorithms prevent those same sellers from reaching their Facebook and Instagram audiences, where do they turn?
Group chats are the modern way to keep your followers, customers, team members, and subscribers active and engaged in your community.
But with so many chat platforms available, you may feel hesitant to start one more group and invite your contacts to join one more conversation. We get it! That’s why developing a strategy for what you’ll post—especially when the group chat gets a little stale—is so important.
In this article, we’ll help you feel less hesitant about starting a group chat to support your business or community. We’ll do this by showing you the types of messages you can use to populate your posting calendar, as well as the results you’ll see in your business from having a dedicated space to talk to your subscribers.
1. Always Announce New Product Releases
Using group chats is a great way to let your customers know about new product releases without bombarding their email inboxes (that they probably ignore anyway).
Be conscientious about always sending group messages to announce sales, discounts, and new products. Consider the timing and the stage of the product launch you're in.
- If it's before the product has launched, take the opportunity to create buzz around the planned launch. You can let people know something awesome is just around the corner.
- If it's a new product, give your group chat subscribers an exclusive chance to buy it before anyone else.
- If you've already launched, take the opportunity to keep the excitement surrounding the launch going. This is especially good for people who may have join your group after you launched the product.
- If it's a popular product that everyone wants and gets sold out, let them know when it's back in stock.
An example of a new product release message might be:
"I've got a secret, and I just have to let it out! We're taking on lululemon with buttery soft leggings in the prettiest colors for summer. Reply NOW to reserve yours!"
2. Provide Product Tips
Say you have people in your group who have already made a purchase. In that case, you might want to provide them with tips on using, caring for, and maintaining whatever it is they bought.
It's an excellent way to show your customers that you're thinking about them even after they've made a purchase, and it helps build brand loyalty. Plus, it allows you to upsell or cross-sell related products later.
For instance, if you’ve recently sold several pairs of the same show, you could send a message to your group with tips on caring for the shoes and extending their life. You could also include a link to buy shoe polish or replacement laces.
By providing value in the form of product tips, you're helping your customers while also growing your business. It's a win-win!
In keeping with the example of tips for caring for shoes, you could send a brief but valuable message with tips on shoe care like this:
"Thanks to everyone who’s bought new shoes this month! Here are some vital tips on how to take care of them and extend their life. [Include links to shoe polish, replacement laces, etc.]"
3. Encourage Positive Online Reviews
Group chats are a great way to send customers to your review page in order to help build social proof.
Include a link in your messages that goes directly to where customers can leave their positive feedback about your business, product, or service.
You could say something like this:
"Thanks for being awesome customers! We would really appreciate it if you could leave us a review on [Platform Name]. [Include link]"
4. Encourage Your Audience to Follow You on Social Media Platforms
Now, you already know that group chats are a great way to increase community engagement and followers. However, you can also use your group chat to send messages encouraging your subscribers to follow you on your social media platforms.
Doing so is an excellent way to help improve your overall follower numbers across your online social accounts, and to build community across communities.
Think about a direct invitation to your group members to follow you on LinkedIn, Pinterest, Facebook, or Instagram. Include links to your profile on these platforms along with your invitation.
You can say something simple, like:
"Hey! Did you know we're on [Platform Name]? Keep up with all our latest news, deals, and long-form content by following us on [Platform Name]! [Include link]"
Also, think about promoting any rich media content you might create. For example, you could promote:
- A new YouTube video
- A Facebook Live video
- An upcoming webinar or podcast episode; or
- A new eBook or white paper
One caveat: if you have a lot of activity on your social media platforms, especially if you're using group chats to blast out updates as they happen, be selective with your notifications.
Don't spam people's phones with alerts about every little thing; save those for essential updates.
5. Allow Customers to Pre-Order Through Group Chats
Suppose you're selling a product that customers can preorder. In that case, a Shout group is a great place to get the word out and generate excitement. You can use group messages to let people know when the product will be available. You could then provide a link to where they can preorder it, and even offer a discount for doing so.
By giving people the ability to preorder through group chats, you make it easy for them to take advantage of your offer and increase your chances of making a sale.
Although preordering comes with a few risks, it is ultimately a beneficial process for both consumers and businesses.
Consumers can ensure they can get the product they want as soon as possible without worrying about availability or lines on release day.
An example of a text message you could use to get customers to preorder your products is:
"Get your hands on the newest release before anyone else! Pre-order now, and we'll guarantee availability on release day. Reply 'PRE ORDER' to this message to get started."
Use Shout and Grow With Group Chats
Remember that by creating an engaged community around your brand, you help to create a stronger relationship between your business and the customer. This builds trust and can lead to increased sales as customers come to see your brand as one they can rely on.
With Shout, starting and managing a group is easy (and free!). You can upload your content and manage it easily, share it with your audience, and even gate it behind a paywall.
Plus, you can manage customer and team conversations, invoice customers, and print shipping labels on the go, all while growing your audience on your terms.
Say what you want to say. When you want to say it.