Have you considered using the Telegram app as a Marketing Tool?

By Kiki Schirr, {grow} Contributing Columnist

On January 31, 2018 Apple banned Telegram and Telegram X from its App Store, citing “inappropriate content.” The backlash was immediate, and the apps returned to the store almost overnight.

At its core, Telegram is a messaging app. It features both direct and group messaging and has a strong commitment to privacy. In part because of this commitment, Telegram has been widely adopted by international users, cryptocurrency fanatics, and also, most notoriously, by criminals.

So at first glance, it might not appear that Telegram should have a great marketing use case. Why would a reputable and established brand wish to use an app often touted by petty crooks?

And the answer is that Telegram allows anyone to build a vibrant and dynamic community. Telegram creates real-time interaction between a brand and their users, or between fans. Telegram channels can even host up to 100,000 members so it will scale as your brand grows.

How to use Telegram

To begin on Telegram, either download the service onto the platform of your choice or use the web app. Telegram is available on PC or Mac computers and on iOS or Android devices. Once you’ve downloaded the software, you’ll need to sign in with your phone number. When on your phone, you can also choose to connect your contacts to look for friends.

Once you’re set up with an account, join a public group to better explore and understand how other people and brands are using Telegram.

Here are a few channels that you could consider joining:

  • WIP (work in progress) for software and product makers
  • Minion Quotes isn’t great content unless you love Despicable Me, but it will show you the ropes
  • Mindful Makers for makers seeking inner peace

Creating your own channel

When you go to create your own channel there are a few things you should keep in mind.

First, your community will be international–depending on your brand’s needs that might mean having a bilingual staff, keeping shifts to be available 24/7, or at the very least posting a pinned post with your available hours in GMT.

Second, because your community will be able to interact not only publicly but also with each other, you’ll want to be very careful and protective of your users. BEBO is the acronym you’ll want to remember for this: Ban Early, Ban Often. I’d recommend having an informal appeal process via email but retaining the right to ban anyone for inappropriate behavior.

Last, because your community will be tightly knit, it is important to remain friendly and transparent at all times. In these one-to-many conversations, it doesn’t pay to be touting company marketing. Do your best to be real. If you have several staff members, encourage them to have separate accounts with first names to identify who they are. Never let several days pass without some word from you or your staff.

While these are just the basics of getting started, I hope that I’ve been able to pique your interest. Telegram is a fascinating new tool for savvy brands to connect and engage their user base. Do you think its viable for your company?

KikiSchirrKiki Schirr is the founder of WeKiki distributed video platform. She is a marketer and author. Currently living in San Francisco, Kiki enjoys absorbing the tech scene and current trends.You can contact her easily through Twitter or on Telegram her handle is @kikischirr.

 

 

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