Traffic is an enticing sugar-candy that has little taste and no substance. Unless you convert it into an audience. And for publishers, gone are those days when the comments section would suffice, to engage and interact with the traffic. With changing times, messaging comes across as a rainmaker. Know how chat rooms are not just helping build an audience, but also nurturing them into a close-knit community.
Slack over email. Any day. That is what I would choose if anyone asked me to send something while at work. This graph represents the number of messages sent in the iZooto slack channel in a time frame of 30 days. That is a lot of messages for an organization with just 40 employees.
Slack is convenient and immediate. It goes without saying that millennials are impatient, and to engage them, you need to change your approach, with the changing times. Publishers who have put their heart and soul in bringing eyeballs, find it difficult to bring them back, especially if they are a new website.
Commenting used to be hot. Not Anymore
Commenting is almost as old as blogging. I remember having long conversations with the author on blogs in the comments section. The activity in the comments section continues to be the best proxy metric to measure user engagement. But then here is the thing - comments are great for gauging engagement but not necessarily the best way to drive engagement. Millennials have a thing for conversations and messaging. Millennials write and want a response in the same breath. And commenting for them especially has become slow and tedious.
This is exactly where group chat solves the problem of friction. Messaging comes naturally to most of us. It is instant, on-the-go, convenient. And the best part, with chat rooms, you ‘own’ the audience. Owning the audience puts you in the driver’s seat, you have total control over them. Once you own an audience, you'll know where their interest lies, what actions do they usually perform on the website, and so on. Basically you have data on them which you can further use to build engagement.
Own your audience with chat rooms
Traffic is important. No doubt. But after one point, it is not the traffic that counts, it's your ardent followers that make all the difference. Owning an audience puts you in charge. Now you can reach out to the right people at the right time with the right messaging.
You can understand more about traffic and owning an audience in this LinkedIn video that we had posted-
Chat Rooms give your audience a forum to have meaningful conversations. Brands get an opportunity to have a 2-way conversation with their audience - build rapport and more importantly drive discussions. Owning an audience gives you the power to start conversations, engage with the audience and bring them back to your website.
Looking beyond traffic and audience to reach the summit
Once you convert traffic to the audience, taking it up a notch - build a community. A community is an assurance that people are willing to go to extents to support your brand and even promote it for that matter. They are fully invested in you and they are the ones who would vouch for you on social media or even participate in your referral program without a second thought.
The power of conversations to build a close-knit community
Building an audience is all good, but building a community is what publishers should ultimately aim for. And chat rooms help in evolving the audience into a community. With chat rooms, you no longer have to put in multiple efforts to retain or engage these users. The users themselves would interact with each other; start conversations, debate, discuss and draw out insights from it. Chat rooms turn your website into a go-to brand for seeking information on a particular genre.
How do chat rooms help with something you are striving to achieve?
Conversations have the power to glue people together. And chat rooms do exactly that. It enables like-minded people to connect. While ‘audience’ is when you talk to the user, it becomes a community when they start talking to you. And the conversations are not just one-to-one, it is conversing with people in a group; people from different walks of life who are connected to your platform because of shared interest.
It enables people with collective interest to connect and this helps in-
Building a bond that makes them revisit the website
Users become invested in the conversations they start constantly revisiting your website to share their thoughts and to see what others have to say.
For example- Imagine that the Superbowl is just 2 days away, and users are sharing their love and are discussing who would reach the final or their favorite team or who their favorite player in the Patriot team is and so on. Football fans would see this as a platform to express the mutual love for football. And imagine once the game starts, there would be scores flying, users would be celebrating if the team they like is winning, or comforting one another if a team loses. And just like they are brothers for life- and your website a platform in which all of them can converse.
Building loyalty towards your brand
Chat Rooms increase loyalty towards a brand. Once the audience becomes a community, there is no stopping them from bragging about you. They find what they look for, find people they can relate to and start conversing on topics that interest them. When they find their tribe, loyalty becomes just a phrase.
Let's say, a user finds a website that is similar to yours, chances are that they would still stick you your website, even if they have to pay for the content since they have already built a connection with the users in the chat room.
Chat Rooms make it possible to converse peer to peer and as well as in a group. One tends to get insights not just from one person, but from a lot of people.
Imagine that you are in a therapy chat room for Alcoholics. Now you know what others have done, how you can give it a shot, what the therapist says, how has it worked out for others and so on.
With chat rooms, one can evoke emotions with visuals. The users can complement text with images, videos, audio, and emojis. This helps in putting forward a point better and makes the conversation lively.
They came, they saw, they conquered
Jeux, a gaming website, makes use of live chat to build and nurture a community out of its audience. They have seen some amazing results and have built loyal users. Here is a screenshot of a conversation in the chat room, under general discussion.
Creating an engagement loop with chat rooms
Chat rooms come across as a boon to publishers. Publishers are on a run to double down on their metrics and chat rooms help them in
- Increasing the session duration
- Reducing the bounce rate
- Increasing the Page Views
Stop chasing your audience. Let them come to you.
It’s time. Your users need something quicker, faster and easier. And that's exactly what you are going to do- create an amazing user experience. The users themselves are going to frolic to your website and be delighted at what you have to offer. And that is why chat rooms are becoming the marketer’s wet dream. When change comes knocking at your door, you open it with open arms. Gear up, be ready and create a community of your own!
P.S. - iFlyChat is a real-time chat software that you could give a spin to build a community of your own.