In an attempt to understand the different aspects of Line and what it means particularly for organizations and businesses, I decided to follow a few organizations and celebrities myself. Don't laugh, but I have Maroon 5, a Taiwanese Line Living app, LINE Careers, Katy Perry, China Airlines, Paul McCartney, and just to keep it interesting I threw in shu uemura for giggles.
Immediately you receive a 'thanks for the follow!' message in the Official Account's respective language (Line Careers and China Airlines, for example, were in Mandarin on account of them being Taiwanese accounts I chose to follow), whereas Katy Perry and co had English. Maroon 5 had a cute little quiz as a welcome, "please pick your favourite picture. Press a or b." It then auto-responds with 'Great Choice!', sending you the picture in full.
Almost to my disappointment, in the 7-10 days that I've been following these accounts, I only got one advert from shu uemura. It tried to convince me to sign up to a membership to get a one-to-one consult on some makeup. The others have all been quiet. I think it's worth noting that Paul McCartney and Katy Perry both say 'thanks for following!' in their intro message and also inform you that notifications for their chat has been turned off, and if you want to turn it on you can (reverse psychology? afraid of unfollowers because they spam? They haven't spammed me at all yet).
Going through the English bit of the Official Accounts section on Line's official site, you can learn a bit more about how to use an Official Account. The biggest takeaway, I feel, is that you can reach your audience directly. Goodbye Facebook Pages and Groups where you hope for the best. Goodbye Twitter where people might easily scroll past your latest tweet. Here people that decide to follow your account will get every notification pop up on their phone. Perhaps this is also why Official Accounts don't abuse it. They would rather keep you wanting more than inundate you. Seeing as how I was saying before how people can expect to receive over 150 Line messages a day from groups they're in or from friends, it really does make sense.
Different Functions of the Official Account:
- Message- Message all users at once
- Rich Message- Put photos and text together for a more appealing message
- Research Page- Place to collate information from quizzes etc you ask your fans to do
- Timeline- Other than messages, you can also post public 'timeline' posts that users can interact with, once they have decided to add you as a friend.
- PR Page- Where you can offer coupons or send longer texts that don't necessarily fit in a message. Great way to get conversions.
- Keyword Answer Message- As mentioned earlier, you can make automated responses with perfect match responses from fans. Great for quizzes, questionnaires, etc.
To put it in the perspective of Interaction 2.0 , it really is making people feel special, unique, and a way to engage with them directly. On other social media platforms, consumers can often feel like it's a one-to-many formula. On Line, though, not knowing who else follows you, and receiving messages directly from you, you can make it more of a 1-to-1 experience for the consumer. Really quite brilliant if you ask me! Now, if one of them would just freaking message me already 😝.