Using the power of Direct Messages to create brand loyalty at scale


In a world where consumer demands for a tailored service are at an all-time high, with everything from a coffee order to the news feed requiring some form of personalisation, the challenge for brands today is to deliver continuous value to their audience.

This is why the ability to connect with your audience on a personal level is at the forefront of the marketing ecosystem.

One-to-One vs One-to-Many

We have already spoken about the rise of Messenger Bots in the sporting world and across all levels of the brand spectrum, companies are turning to ‘dark social’ for a better consumer experience.

Creating one-to-one personal experiences between brands and consumers is what social media was made for. As social media matured and the leading platforms recognised their ability to commercialise their offering, the one-to-one experience that social was built for was gradually replaced by the usual one-to-many broadcast advertising method that the marketing and ad industry is used to using, a la TV, print, radio. This is fundamentally part of the problem that brands are facing today, not adopting the available platforms in the way they were designed to be used.

We wrote recently about a shift change that has taken place between media buyer and publisher that we call the Attention Economy. In the Attention Economy, the conglomerates of digital media such as Facebook, Google, Amazon, Twitter, Snapchat and YouTube have taken full advantage of the attention that their platforms harvest and used it to leverage their operations. The platforms have the audience at scale, the data that can be monetised through advertising and therefore the power to control the ecosystem.    

The Attention Economy is happening at macro scale. At a micro scale, simply having a one-to-one connection between your brand and the consumer almost puts a small piece of the power back in the hands of the brand. The term, it’s the small things that count rings true, as your audience will appreciate a personal connection in such a saturated advertising world.

The term, it’s the small things that count rings true, as your audience appreciate a personal connection in such a saturated advertising world.

Clouds and Dirt

As a digital marketing agency, it’s our job to live in both the clouds and the dirt (a Gary Vaynerchuk slogan).

What that means is that to be able to continuously deliver in this game, you must have a macro level view of the landscape, with a vision that is supported by a clear strategy on how you plan to achieve your goals and objectives. That’s the clouds. The opposite of that is the micro piece, executing on a day-to-day basis, delivering against your strategy and simply getting stuck in – that’s the dirt. So while you’re out there in the clouds forming the master plan, you also need to have the tactics in place to execute efficiently and that requires the tools and technologies to not only reach a mass audience with one message but engage one single individual with a personal touch.

If you are a new follower of ours on Twitter, you may have received a custom direct message (DM) with instructions on how to subscribe to our WePlay Daily WhatsApp Broadcast. (PS try it for yourself, unfollow and follow @WePlayCo on Twitter for your own slice of personalised DM action).

As part of our technology stack, we use a social management tool called Audiense to build direct one-to-one communications with our clients’ consumers. The platform has a dynamic audience builder that enables us to segment audiences by interests, demographic, language, behaviours, location, influence and whether or not they are already in your CRM. This level of segmentation is powerful, as now it’s fairly simple if you have a large following to create bespoke direct messages to small segments of your audience with relevant, targeted messaging, thus increasing the predictability factor of them converting.

It sounds like small gestures, but those are the ones that are most often overlooked. As mentioned above, it’s the small things that can have the biggest impact on your brand.

Set up. Automate. Optimise. Deliver.

Across our clients, we have set up self-regulating dynamic audience groups that are continuously being optimised. The level of segmentation provides us with the capabilities to create automation, thus if any new follower that matches a specific set of criteria joins the party, they’ll instantly be added to one of the segments and will begin receiving relevant, targeted messaging.


With our audience segments constantly growing, we have rules in place for whenever we get new followers. One of these rules is to send a welcome DM to anyone who follows us. Simple right, but taking it to the next level with rules, means that the message will be triggered only should multiple elements of criteria be matched, such as did they like a post, reply, retweet, follow a competitor, quote a post or say something that we didn’t like. This type of approach has been used by the likes of Man Utd and instantly creates an invaluable a connection between brand and consumer.

Establishing a bridge with your consumer from the get-go is great at both the micro and macro level. In the short term, the feeling of being recognised by a large brand influences decision making with the follower being more likely to interact with your content. Long term, users who regularly engage with your content are the most likely to convert.

Through Direct Messaging capabilities, combined with strategic and creative executions to highly targeted audiences, not only are we delivering effective results and returns in the short term, we’re also building that long term value that organisations, particularly in the sports sector need to capture.

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