Back in 2011, when messaging apps were still quite new in the market, Japanese company launched the LINE app. While it did not match the performance of bigger names like WhatsApp, it was hugely successful in Japan. In fact, within 2 years, LINE became the largest social network in Japan. And we are talking about surpassing the likes of Facebook and Twitter.
What’s all the buzz about LINE?
It was reported that more than 60% of college students in Japan use LINE for communication each day. Among the staggering numbers that LINE has garnered include:
- There are now more than 600 million registered LINE users
- each month, there are more than 200 million active LINE users
- There are more than 70 million LINE users in Japan alone (total population is about 127 million)
- by 2014, total downloads of the LINE app surpassed 1 billion
- About 2.5 billion sticker downloads in LINE each day
If the numbers above do not make any marketer sit up and take notice, nothing will!
Should you user LINE for marketing?
To understand this, you must now what LINE can do. Basically, it is quite the same as any messaging app out there. Think Whatsapp and WeChat and you get the picture. While you get to harness the power of the app, you need to know what you are in for. Spelling it out, LIEN lets you:
- text chat
- send group chat
- make phone calls
- make video calls
- play games
- photo editing
- and a whole lot more
However, there is one distinctive factor about LINE that all other apps do not have and that is the use of STICKERS! Some are free, some are chargeable, but they definitely has that stickiness to it. So, what can you do with LINE for marketing?
Use the LINE it! Button
This is a good strategy to use if you want to promote your website. It was designed to let you share website links. Made visible only on mobile devices, it is a button which upon clicking will open up the app on the user’s device and they will then be asked if they want to share the page with someone they know in their contact or group list.
Get followers and more followers
Small businesses can easily obtain a LINE account for free and then prompt customers to follow. This can be done in various ways which could include:
- Using the LINE ID – The most common way to add users to follow your group. Your LINE ID should be easy to remember and one which can be seen. Users can either search for your LINE ID or simply type in your ID and then follow you straight away.
- Using the QR Code – What you need to do is to generate this code (which is quite automatic). Then you will need to embed it into your platforms. It could be your website, your social networks or even your flyers or posters. Anyone with the LINE app will have the scanner to read your code. Once they do that, they automatically become your follower.
Get into the Creators world
What is the LINE Creators Market? This is the marketplace where anyone can sell stickers. Whether you are a personal user, a business or someone doing it for fun, you can now create your own stickers and then sell it in the market. Previously, stickers were only available via its original characters and some corporate figures. But with the growing popularity of stickers which is a LINE original feature, they have opened up this market.
If you want to enhance your brand, get into this market. Nothing beats having users talking to each other using characters that are associated to your brand. While you cannot use stickers for advertising, you can build your digital brand around it.
Tie up with celebrities
Like it or not, you need to get into this if you are on LINE. A lot of celebrities have already set up their official LINE accounts and they have garnered a lot of followers. So much so that these accounts have now surpassed other social networks. In fact, these accounts have been reported to have more followers than the top 3 social networks combined (Facebook, Twitter and Instagram). When you follow someone, it reflects on your brand and vice versa. Imagine that! if you are not following them, you are losing out.
Target your customers
Using Video calls is the best way to provide any form of customer service. Make no mistake about it, if you can see your customers face-to-face in any form of interaction, then half the battle is won. That feature should always be available.
Besides that, you can use LINE to better target your customers. Look at the countries that LINE is most popular with (and we are talking about Japan and Thailand in the region alone).