For an SMM-specialist, Telegram is not “another social network”, but a separate world with its own rules and laws. I studied it in practice for four years and in my magistracy for two years. From the main observations, I compiled a checklist that will help to avoid serious mistakes and increase the effectiveness of the content in the channel.
Yes: personification. No: impersonality
What is the essence… According to my research, it is better to use personalized content in Telegram. It demonstrates to the reader the identity of the author (or authors) and creates the appearance of direct personal communication. Channels with impersonal content – without the author’s “I” or “we” – show results up to 40% lower on a number of performance indicators than personalized ones.
Why is it important… Telegram is a messenger, so the perception of content in it differs from other platforms. It doesn’t matter whether the readers realize it or not, on the site they are in a kind of private-public space, and all communication is passed through the frame of personal correspondence. In other words, in Telegram, for the reader’s feelings, the difference between a message from a friend and a post from the channel is minimal.
What to do about it… Imagine that a channel is a chat with a friend or colleague. Choose key, send and format based on this. Show your subscribers that there is a live person or a group of living people behind the channel.
Here are some ideas for personalizing your feed content:
- First-person spoken texts… Reason and convey information in such a way that it is saturated with personal experience and looks like a message from a friend or acquaintance. Less officialdom, more “me”.
- Authors’ signatures… Unlike one-on-one dialogue, in a channel (if it is not personal), readers do not know who is writing to them. The first option is to enable the “Sign Messages” function in the settings. The second is to manually add signatures at the end or introduce yourself at the beginning of the message.
- Podcasts and Voice Messages… Voice is another powerful means of identification. Audio conveys an additional layer of information through intonation, timbre of voice and tempo of speech, so the effect of personification is enhanced: podcasts in telegram channels cause readers to empathize with the presenters and the editorial board. In the latest updates, voice chats have appeared, which allow you to conduct a dialogue with subscribers. Real-time dialogue helps to reveal the identity of the author much better than audio recording.
- Native video circles… Telegram makes it possible to record round videos up to a minute long. They can be used as an analogue of Instagram Stories – to shoot content that is not polished and as close to life as possible.
What is the essence… The two main strategies for Telegram are to build close communication in a chat that is tied to a channel (community), or to conduct a channel without regular feedback (a mouthpiece). The third way I call the “social media affiliate” is trying to manage the channel like a regular page on another platform with likes, comments and engaging content for a wide audience.
Why is it important… The concept of “private-public” space in Telegram assumes that each reader participates in both personal and mass communication at the same time. On other platforms, these spaces are separated, so social approval and stimulation of engagement in the public space play a large role. Attempts to wedge these techniques into a partially personal space can cause rejection and negativity.
What to do about it… I recommend that you immediately decide on the format so as not to go the third – the most disadvantageous – way. Creating a community increases costs through communication and moderation, but in the long term it increases loyalty and forms a community of brand advocates. The “mouthpiece” strategy is more economical, but without horizontal communication, each reader is left on his own – this is both the plus and the minus of the “mouthpiece”.
Read on the topic: “How to promote a channel in Telegram without attachments.”
Yes: texts and multimedia. No: link mass
What is the essence… Channels are independent media, so they benefit from unique content. You can take users to third-party resources and use content from other sites, but the effectiveness of the channel drops if you do it too often.
Why is it important… If used only as a relay of publications from other platforms, it will be up to 50% less efficient than channels with a large number of original publications.
The only plus of the “repeater” channel is the increased contact efficiency. Relay requires fewer resources than production of original content, so the frequency of posting in the “relay” can be higher. Then readers will see posts more times. This is a mechanical advantage that I would assume does not affect the overall efficiency of the channel.
What to do about it… If you are not ready to create separate content for Telegram or there are no resources for this, it is better not to start a channel at all. In an already working channel, I recommend using no more than a third of the content from other sites.
Yes: mutual PR. No: simultaneous placement
What is the essence… Mutual PR is the exchange of advertising posts between channels with approximately the same number of subscribers.
Why is it important… Thus, you mutually share your audience, increase your subscriber base without paying for advertising.
What to do about it… For mutual PR you can use:
- Native advertising… Mentioning a channel in the context of a post.
- Forwards… Reposts from the channel or adding a link post.
- Collective mutual PR… Admins collect links to many channels in one post and link the publication to some event, often to a round number of subscribers.
- Trap posts… A post or poll where the link to the channel is hidden under buttons or text. Use with caution, not all users like this approach.
Do not post posts at the same time. When the user clicks on the link, he will immediately see the advertisement of the channel from which he came. As with any overt advertising, this can make it feel as if the channel is being imposed. It is wiser to post a reciprocal link to the channel with which you are engaged in mutual PR after a certain period of time. For example, in a day.
What is the essence… The Telegram has an unconditional bargaining chip for promotion. Reposts on other sites spray audience activity into likes, comments, and other reactions. In the messenger, the whole focus is on the message and the sender, so the chance that after the post is forwarded, the interlocutor or readers of another channel will subscribe higher.
Why is it important… Messengers are not ordinary Social, but the so-called Dark Social. The main difference is that most of the communication takes place in private messages and group chats: for example, readers do not repost the message they like to the public space, but simply forward it to their friends. Despite the fact that Dark Social creates problems with the collection and analysis of statistics, its features can be successfully played. At the same time, direct obsessive advertising in channels often causes rejection – all because of the same effect of the personal-public space.
What to do about it… Encourage your audience to forward messages. To do this, the content must be both highly valuable to the reader and packaged in a format that is enjoyable to share with friends. According to my observations, a good effect is given by a series of picture cards (the text can be illustrated with works of great artists or hand-drawn drawings), sincere long reads or detailed analyzes, podcasts and selections.
To stimulate the forwarding of advertising publications, try cross-promotion: instead of head-on advertising creative, you create valuable content along with another channel. Such a post has a better chance of reaching not only the partner’s subscribers, but also their acquaintances in private messages.
Read also: “Telegram bots for SMM: current selection for 2020”.
Yes: new, but not empty channel. No: subscribers first, then content
What is the essence… Before attracting subscribers, it is important to fill the channel with content. And this is not one or two posts, but a sufficient number of publications so that the visitor can scroll through what is not hooked and stay on the interesting.
Why is it important… Few people want to subscribe to an empty channel. A post or two will not give a complete picture of what the author is going to post. Even if the subject is clearly indicated in the description, it will not convince the visitor that it will be useful here.
What to do about it… We’ll have to spend a week or two on this. The main thing is not to upload content at once, but to upload it daily in the order, quantity and time interval that you have planned. More on this below.
Yes: regular but moderate posting. No: push attack
What is the essence… Telegram sends the channel’s readers push notifications about new publications. At the same time, they have the opportunity to completely drown out notifications about publications or unsubscribe from the channel.
Why is it important… Push messages are a significant part of communication in Telegram. They help remind audiences of the channel and increase the number of contacts with the content. Some subscribers will turn off push notifications anyway, but it is in your best interest not to give others a reason to turn them off.
What to do about it… I have not yet met statistically reliable studies on the relationship between the frequency of posting and the disabling of push notifications in Telegram. According to my observations of myself, colleagues and telegram bots statistics, the lower bar is about three publications a week, the upper one is about three to four posts a day.
Pay special attention to the gaps between the post exits. It’s one thing if four notifications are more or less distributed in time during the day, and another thing when readers receive four notifications in five minutes. If you need to publish several messages in a row, I recommend using the “Send without notification” function. SMMplanner, a service where you can schedule the date and time of automatic posting, will help you avoid errors in the publication schedule.
The article has been updated. First published April 21, 2020
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