Exclusive Offer: Sign up for any LeadsHouse Plan and Get a Lead-Generating Website Built for You!

Unlocking LINE Official Account Excellence: A Comprehensive Guide for Businesses

When it comes to establishing a robust presence in countries like Japan, Taiwan, or Thailand, leveraging a LINE Business Account can be a game-changer. In this extensive guide, we will explore the ins and outs of using LINE for business, from the fundamentals of LINE Official Accounts to its unique features, associated costs, customer acquisition strategies, and the step-by-step registration process.

LINE Business: What is LINE

LINE, conceived as a response to the Tohoku Earthquake in 2011, quickly evolved into a multifaceted instant messaging app. Initially developed by NHN Japan, LINE was a pivotal innovation during a time when traditional communication networks were compromised. Its capacity to facilitate texts, images, videos, audio messages, and voice and video calls was a breakthrough.

LINE Business: What is LINE

LINE Business: Key Markets

Since its inception, LINE has solidified its position as the leading instant messenger in Japan, boasting a staggering 70% adoption rate among the entire population. While its roots are firmly planted in Japan, LINE’s popularity has transcended borders. Globally, it garners over 182 million Monthly Active Users, with key markets including Japan, Taiwan, Thailand, and Indonesia (although the latter has seen a shift in user preferences towards alternative messaging platforms).

LINE’s key markets

It’s worth noting that LINE is gaining significant traction in Laos, as evidenced by its position as the third most popular messaging app in their Play Store. This popularity can be attributed to the app’s extensive use in business interactions between Laos and Thailand. Moreover, in 2021, LINE outpaced WhatsApp in Cambodia, signifying a remarkable surge in popularity within this region.

Emerging Markets: Laos and Cambodia

Special Features of LINE

LINE transcends the conventional boundaries of a messaging app, morphing into a comprehensive digital ecosystem. In its key markets, LINE functions as a mobile payment service (LINE Pay), a ride-hailing platform, a cryptocurrency trading hub, an advertising portal, and more. However, for most users worldwide, certain key features take precedence.

LINE Pay: Your Digital Wallet

LINE Pay, a mobile payment service, transforms your smartphone into a secure digital wallet. It allows users to make online and in-person purchases, as well as convenient money transfers between users. This service is available on iOS and Android devices in most countries, excluding mainland China, Indonesia, Korea, and Singapore.

What LINE Pay can do

LINE Friends, Stickers, and Points

The introduction of LINE Friends in 2015 was a strategic move to rival KakaoTalk’s Kakao Friends. These endearing characters have become integral to LINE’s brand, featuring in official merchandise, games, animated content, and, notably, Stickers. These expressive alternatives to conventional emojis have played a pivotal role in solidifying LINE’s popularity.

Cute, colorful characters make up the LINE Friends

Strategic Collaborations with Big Brands

Major brands have harnessed the power of LINE’s special features for impactful marketing campaigns. Collaborations like Burberry x LINE and limited-edition merchandise with Starbucks have not only elevated brand visibility but also enriched the LINE user experience.

What is a LINE Official Account

A LINE Official Account serves as the designated business account on the LINE channel. While personal accounts can facilitate business interactions, they often fall short for enterprises with extensive clientele. LINE Official Accounts offer a spectrum of features, including verifiability, broadcast capabilities, and access to the Messaging API for seamless integration with external business messaging platforms.

LINE Official Account features

Acquiring Contacts: A Strategic Approach

Building your contact list on a LINE Official Account requires a strategic approach. Unlike traditional communication channels, you cannot import existing contacts. Instead, customers must initiate the first interaction. While big brands leverage Stickers to attract new contacts, alternative methods also prove effective.

LINE Official Account: What you should know

LINE Official Account Subscription Plans

While creating a LINE Official Account is free, varying message limits and additional message fees are contingent on local subscription plans. These plans range from free, offering a monthly message quota, to paid tiers (Light and Standard) that allow for exceeding the limit with additional charges.

LINE for business subscription plans

Choosing the Right Platform

Businesses can interact with customers through the LINE Official Account Manager chat console or a connected business messaging platform via the Messaging API. The choice depends on the scale and nature of operations. The LINE Official Account Manager is suited for smaller enterprises, while integrating with platforms like Leadshouse unlocks advanced features for larger businesses with extensive sales or support teams.

Types of inboxes

Creating a LINE Official Account: Step by Step

Setting up a LINE Official Account is a straightforward process:

1. Visit the LINE Business ID page and click “Create an account”.

Create an account

2. Choose the appropriate sign-up method (LINE account or email).

Sign up with LINE account or email

3. Provide essential company details.

Fill in your details

4. Review and submit the information.

Double-check your details

5. Access your LINE Official Account Manager.

Your LINE Official Account is ready

The Significance of LINE Official Account Verification

Signing up for a LINE Official Account marks the initial stride towards establishing a robust business presence on this platform. However, to truly thrive, understanding the nuances of account verification, enhancing discoverability, and effective customer messaging is paramount. In this section, we delve into the best practices that will propel your LINE Official Account to new heights.

Verifying Your LINE Official Account

The badges adorning LINE Official Accounts serve as visual cues to users, indicating the level of credibility associated with an account. These badges are color-coded – Unverified (grey), Verified (blue), and Premium (green). 

LINE for business: Verification badges

More than just cosmetic enhancements, verification has a profound impact on an account’s visibility within LINE. An Unverified account is primarily discoverable through its Basic ID, a string of alphanumeric characters that isn’t easily memorable for contacts. This contrasts with Premium IDs, which provide an elegant solution to this issue.

In the current landscape, the majority of LINE Official Accounts remain Unverified. Verification, denoted by a blue badge, is presently exclusive to LINE’s core markets, including Japan, Thailand, and Taiwan. Verified accounts enjoy advantages such as enhanced payment features, making them more appealing to users. If your LINE Official Account operates within these pivotal markets, pursuing verification is highly recommended.

LINE for Business: How searchable are accounts

That said, for businesses situated outside of LINE’s key markets, verification isn’t a prerequisite to access the fundamental features of a LINE Official Account.

Exploring Discoverability on LINE

Beyond the initial setup, ensuring that your target audience can effortlessly find your LINE Official Account is of paramount importance.

LINE for business: Help customers find you

Premium IDs: Tailored Discoverability

Consider opting for a Premium ID, an option that empowers you to customize the ID used by customers to locate your Official Account. These IDs can be up to 18 characters long and may include lowercase letters, numbers, periods, hyphens, and underscores. For instance, let’s consider the example of “Grub N Go Food Delivery LINE Official Account.” While its assigned Basic ID may be @403plelw, with a Premium ID, it can be transformed into @grubngo-delivery. This alteration significantly heightens the memorability and searchability of your account within the LINE app.

A nominal annual fee of $12 covers the maintenance of Premium IDs. It’s worth noting that this feature is currently unavailable in the United States, Singapore, and Europe.

QR Codes: A Visual Shortcut

QR codes serve as a swift gateway for users to initiate a chat with your LINE Official Account. These codes can be printed on business cards, posters, and other physical locations, extending their reach beyond digital domains.

LINE QR codes

Click-to-Chat Links and Website Buttons

LINE links facilitate convenient addition and messaging of your account. On mobile devices, these links directly lead users to your LINE Official Account profile or a chat window within the LINE app. On desktops, users are directed to a page where they can scan a QR code with the LINE mobile app. Likewise, website buttons, which are graphic counterparts of LINE links, are generated through the LINE Official Account Manager platform.

Website button

Once generated, these links and buttons can be shared across blogs, social media posts, emails, and any medium compatible with URLs.

Leveraging LINE Ads for Customer Acquisition

For accounts based in Japan, Taiwan, or Thailand, LINE Ads present an invaluable opportunity to acquire new customers. Running targeted campaigns can entice LINE users to add your Official Account and initiate contact for further information or to place orders.

The initial step involves applying for an advertising account with LINE. It’s imperative to familiarize yourself with LINE’s stringent advertising guidelines, as ad account applications and advertisements are subject to approval.

LINE Ads

The review process typically spans five working days before you gain the capability to submit ads for assessment.

Mastering Customer Messaging on LINE

Having established a strong contact list, the final crucial step is to engage with your audience through effective messaging strategies.

LINE Business: How to message customers

1:1 Messaging

The LINE Official Account Manager chat console provides a user-friendly interface for business communication. It centralizes all conversations, featuring functions like labeling, notes, and the ability to mark chats for follow-up or resolution.

1:1 messaging from the chat console

While the chat console boasts a plethora of features, third-party inboxes like Leadshouse offer the added advantage of automating responses and managing frequently asked questions. It’s worth noting that precise read receipts are exclusively available within the LINE Official Account chat console. For accurate read receipts through a third-party platform, permission to utilize the Mark-as-Read API is required.

Broadcasting Messages

Broadcasting messages through the LINE Official Account Manager is surprisingly straightforward, obviating the need for complex chatbot setups. The platform accommodates various content formats, from coupons and stickers to rich messages and surveys, in addition to standard text, video, image, and audio files.

LINE for business: Broadcast messaging

However, for more targeted broadcasts and enhanced segmentation capabilities, integrating the Messaging API with Leadshouse is recommended.

Group Messaging

LINE Official Accounts are equipped to participate in group chats, streamlining communication with multiple recipients in a single chatroom. This efficiency translates into saved time and message quota, as there’s no need for redundant communication.

LINE for business: Group messaging

However, it’s important to note that group chats are restricted to one LINE Official Account as a member at a time, and access is facilitated through the Manager chat console. For those desiring LINE Official Account group chats via Leadshouse, supporting the feature request is advised.

With a LINE Official Account in place, businesses can seamlessly connect with their audience on this dynamic platform. By understanding the nuances of LINE Business, from its key markets and special features to subscription plans and messaging strategies, enterprises can harness its full potential for marketing, sales, and support endeavors. Whether you’re a budding start-up or an established corporation, the power of LINE is at your fingertips. Visit our website today!

Facebook
Twitter
LinkedIn
Pinterest

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *