LINE for Business – A Guide to Business Growth
4 billion people have smartphones, and 68% of these people use messaging to communicate.¹ While the U.S., Latin American, South Asian, and European markets are dominated by messaging apps like WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, and iMessage, when it comes to countries like Japan, Taiwan, and Thailand, LINE messenger dominates the game.
So if you are planning to build a presence in these countries, you should definitely consider LINE messenger.
What is LINE?
LINE is a free instant messaging app that enables users to connect with others via text, video, and audio calls. People can find friends based on similar interests, share stories, and can even send money via LINE Pay.
The LINE app has 5 screens, and each serves a different purpose. The first screen is the dashboard where users can see all the events, notifications, and other services at a glance. The second is for chats (similar to WhatsApp), the third one is a social media platform like Instagram, fourth one has the news, and the fifth one is for payments, LINE points, and coupons.
How popular is LINE?
LINE is increasingly becoming popular across Asia, especially in Thailand, Taiwan, and Japan. Although Japan has the lowest install penetration of these three counties, it is doing a better job than Taiwan in getting new users and retaining existing ones.
There are 86 million monthly active users in Japan, which constitutes 68% of their population. Out of these, 40% of the people just use LINE and the rest 60% use it along with apps like Facebook and Twitter.²
Unlike other instant messaging apps, LINE messenger is popular amongst all age groups and genders. Also, most people using LINE messenger are either full-time or part-time employed, which translates into the most critical factor for businesses to consider – good purchasing power.
LINE features for businesses
While LINE messenger has a ton of features for users, there are some features that have been built specifically for businesses.
1. LINE pay – It is a payment service that allows users to purchase from LINE merchants, send money, and split bills with their LINE friends. People can make payments with a credit card without registering, and if they register for Line Cash (a Line Pay account), they can make payments with their balance. Below are 3 ways people can make payments offline using LINE Pay.
2. LINE sponsored stickers – These stickers are provided by the company for free, as an incentive for adding businesses as their friend or by making a purchase. According to LINE, it can help businesses increase awareness by being at the top of everyone’s mind and increase followers for the brand’s LINE account.
3. Auto-Response Messages- These are automated messages which are triggered when a user reaches out to a business. These are extremely helpful in closing sales when agents are not available for a 1:1 chat or a customer reaches out after office hours.
4. AI chatbots – LINE supports AI chatbots that will learn from customer questions over time. This feature helps brands/businesses respond to customers more accurately, similar to a human agent.
5. Call Via Official Account (OA Call) – Using the OA Call feature, customers can call your official business account using audio or video calls. The call can only be made by a LINE user via profile or 1:1 chat. All accounts – Unverified, Verified and Premium, can make use of this feature.
6. Insights – Insight is a powerful feature to understand how customers are reacting to your business communication. It provides detailed statistical data, which can be presented as an easy-to-understand graph. The statistical data by category are also available to make your next sales a success.
7. Surveys – Using ‘Survey,’ you can collect customer satisfaction scores, which can be used to improve the business strategy to serve your customers better.
8. LINE Ads (formerly LINE Ads Platform) – This service allows businesses to deliver ads to LINE’s 83 million monthly users. The widespread reach enables brands to pursue a variety of awareness and customer acquisition opportunities with their marketing efforts. The ads can be placed on any of the 5 screens LINE messenger has. The image below shows all ad placements.
LINE for business: The Official Account
Initially, LINE@ was launched for small business owners and the Official LINE Account was released for large enterprises. However, later in 2019, LINE corporation migrated LINE@ to the Official LINE Account. Now, all businesses can connect with their customers through messaging and advertising via their LINE Official Account. It enables businesses to
✓ Have 1:1 chat
✓ Send broadcast messages
✓ Post notices on the Timeline
✓Use multiple accounts for a variety of purposes
✓ Manage an account with multiple people
LINE for business requires an official account that can be created on the website or using the “LINE Official Account” app. Before we get into how you can create one for your business, let’s look at the type of official LINE business accounts.
There are 3 types of LINE official accounts: Verified, Unverified, and Premium ID accounts.
1. Verified accounts – These are the accounts that have passed LINE’s review process. Once your account has been reviewed, a Verified account badge will be issued and appear in LINE in-app search results.
2. Unverified accounts – These are the accounts that have not been reviewed. Unverified accounts can be used by anyone, regardless of whether they are an individual or a company, but they do not appear in LINE in-app search results.
Businesses can create up to 100 accounts (Verified or Unverified) with one LINE Business ID. Accounts created using the LINE Official Account app are Unverified and need to pass the review process to get Verified.
3. Premium IDs – Verified, and the standard official account comes with a Basic ID, which combines alphabets and numbers. Users may upgrade to Premium ID to rename it as they wish. The upgrade costs 444 THB or USD 12 per year when purchasing via Android or website, and 459 THB per year when purchasing via iOS.
How to create an official LINE account for your business?
You can create an official LINE account from the ‘LINE Official Account’ app or website.
To create a LINE official business account (from the website):
1. Visit the LINE for Business website.
2. Select “Create an account”
3. Sign up using email. Users will get a sign-up link in their email.
4. Fill in the required fields and choose ‘Continue.’
5. On the “Check application” page, select ‘Submit.’
To create a LINE official account (from the app):
1. Download the LINE Official Account from Playstore or App Store.
2. Tap ‘Login with the LINE app’ or ‘Login with Email.’
3. Tap ‘Create New Account’
4. Fill the required fields, and tap ‘Continue.’
5. Then tap ‘Create Account’.
If you already have a LINE official account, tap the menu icon at the top left of the Home screen > Create New Account. Businesses cannot create verified accounts from the LINE Official Account app.
To get a verified account, you need to place a request after creating an unverified one. The review process typically takes about 10 business days, but it can take even more time for some.
Note: Review applications are currently only being accepted for Indonesia, Japan, Taiwan, and Thailand. Verified accounts are not being issued for other countries or regions at this time.
Once you sign up for the Official LINE Account, you have to choose amongst different plans based on your business requirements. As shown in the table below, the only difference between the free plan and paid plans is the number of messages you can send and the price per message once you exhaust your monthly message limit.
Using LINE for Business with a Customer Messaging Software
LINE offers APIs to connect your Official LINE Account with a Customer Messaging Software (CMS) such as Freshchat. Although your businesses can respond to customer queries using the native LINE Official Account Manager, there are some added advantages of using LINE integration with CMS.
- Auto assignment of customer queries to different departments, based on the type of question and option to share answers to common queries from your FAQ database.
- Agent side automation to help agents respond faster and adhere to their SLAs
- Real-time dashboard to get a visual summary of your team’s performance.
- Performance reports to track productivity metrics, conversation trends, response rate and more.
- Real-time translation of queries from different languages to help your agents get better context and respond faster.
- To convert a complaint into a support ticket.
- Integration with 3rd party apps.
If you want to deliver effortless and personalized customer service on LINE messenger, then Freshchat is the one solution you will need to achieve all your customer messaging goals.
- Benedict Evans
- Marcomill Internet survey Jan 2021
- Images source – LINE
Subscribe for blog updates
Thank you for subscribing!
OOPS! something went wrong try after sometime