Why you should consider transitioning your audience engagement and management to your own private platform.
As more businesses acknowledge the importance of real-time engagement to their bottom line, social media platforms such as Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp have become the default way we communicate with our customers.
Whether it's to send quotes, schedule appointments, or answer support queries, social media platforms offer messaging solutions that seem to address communication needs, supported by a low barrier to entry as most consumers are already on these sites and familiar with the functionality.
So it's no surprise to us that many of the customers we onboard onto our Fabrik platform in have historically relied on these platforms to manage their own community engagement.
As these platforms expand in reach and influence, so too does our awareness of their limitations which range from the mild inconvenience of mixing your business and personal messaging in the same place, to the moral conundrum of supporting platforms that incite the spread of fake news and contribute to social division.
Fabrik seeks to offer an ethical alternative, and has been designed as a private, secure way of engaging with your audience in your own branded environment. With your data stored in a private cloud environment, your community's information can only be accessed by you and never harvested or sold to third-party advertisers.
In addition, Fabrik is a converged technology tool that brings together many different parts of your business operations - each of which come with their own costs and are managed in silos - bringing ease through integrated, fit-for-purpose tools and workflows.
Many of our customers who have consolidated their costs and efforts into their own platform have experienced these benefits on a daily basis, and here are just a few you can consider if you're thinking about how to transform the way you serve your audience or community.
#1: Build intimacy with your community in your own private, inclusive space.
Fabrik offers your community your own branded service point in the form of a mobile app, which - when used to bring all community engagement and messaging into one place - fosters a sense of community that is noticeably absent in platforms like WhatsApp and Facebook.
Your most loyal audience will find you here day after day, creating community cohesion, loyalty and increased engagement over time.
Using a public social network can result in your community and security communication getting lost in a sea of other personal or business conversations, and multiple groups making it difficult to follow important conversations.
The customisable Messaging elements of Fabrik also allow different sub-communities to arise based on different interest groups such as Gardening, Pets and Fitness - which facilitates connections between like-minded individuals.
Hayden Conradie, the Manager of the Upper Umhlanga Security Trust, says what started out as an emergency channel evolved, providing features specifically for older residents, for example.
“People can lend a hand, discuss a market or places that deliver food. All that chatter was on a single WhatsApp group before and that was a nightmare.”
"Now the Emergency channel on the app stays open and the other channels involving pets and bargains and the rest can be muted."
Fabrik is a platform that adds value to many different kinds of communities with different demographics, and although we hear concerns from customers who are sceptical about how easy it would be for example older folks to be comfortable using, what we've seen is that they do so with relative ease.
To illustrate this point, let's take a look at one of our media customers who are a radio station situated in Mozambique with an average listening age of 50+. The station started using Fabrik in mid 2019 and have seen an 1000% increase in app engagement (visits, unique visitors, registered users visitors) since their launch.