It can be tempting to stick with the big names on social media platforms. But no one wants to miss the next big thing. We don’t want FOMO. But have you heard about KakaoTalk?

This social messaging app is a hot one. KakaoTalk is safe and could be a key component of your digital marketing strategy.

Bonus Get the step-by-step guide that will give you pro tips on growing your social media presence.

What is KakaoTalk?

KakaoTalk (or KaTalk), is a popular South Korean messaging app. It’s a mobile service that allows you to text, voice, and video call, as well as group chats.

KakaoTalk is a similar service to WeChat and Line, but it’s been around for 12+ years. However, its popularity has increased dramatically in recent years with over 8 million users worldwide between 2015-2021.

Chart viaStatista .

You’ve probably heard the expression “let me Google it that” which is used when you want to look something up. KakaoTalk has reached that level of ubiquity with South Koreans using “Ka-Talk”, i.e. “I’ll Katalk you later.”

According to eMarketer as of December 2020, 97.5% of South Korean smartphone users used the app. This is more than three times the number of users who used Instagram, the second most popular app.

Chart viaeMarketer .

KakaoTalk is a part of South Korean culture. However, you can use it anywhere. All you need is the app and an internet connection. KakaoTalk is also very popular in Italy and the Netherlands, so it’s only a matter time before it spreads to other countries.

The platform connects businesses with a vast global network of potential customers. Your KakaoTalk marketing campaign could reach far beyond South Korea.

How can you use KakaoTalk to promote your business?

There’s a lot of potential in KakaoTalk, but how can you make it work for your business? Let’s take a look at the many ways you can leverage your brand on KakaoTalk, whether it’s Kakao shopping, Kakao ads or customer service.

Example of a KakaoTalk Channel Homepage.

Create a KakaoTalk Business Channel

A KakaoTalk Business Channel can be created for free and maintained easily by business owners who want to get on the platform.

This tool will allow you to create a searchable hub for the brand. You can also update your followers with status updates, photos, videos, and status updates. The best part is that you can use the smart chat function built into the program to communicate with your clients in real-time.

KakaoTalk’s official chatbot icon.

Keep your clients updated

There are many ways to promote your brand on KakaoTalk. They’re all worth your effort. You can send direct messages through your KakaoTalk Business Channel. These messages can be used to send brand notifications, coupon drops, or other special offers.

Reach new customers

The Kakao BizBoard is a great way to expand your reach. This B2B service is a standalone that allows businesses to share content across multiple platforms.

BizBoard allows you to create highly targeted ads using Kakao Sync.

Design custom emoticons

KakaoTalk is a social media app that has strong emoticons. Kakao Friends are the main stars. They are so popular that they have their own retail stores in South Korea.

Kakao Friends retail store via Universal Beijing.

It’s unlikely that you’ll come up with something as iconic and beloved as Ryan the lion. You can still contribute custom emoticons for the KakaoTalk oeuvre. To create emoticons that represent your brand, sign up for Kakao Emoticon Studio.

Examples for custom emoticons in KakaoTalk.

If applicable, directly sell food

KakaoTalk Order is an app that offers a new way to order popular services such as UberEats and Doordash. This could be a benefit for some brands.

A boss center is also available for food ordering services. It assists store owners in managing their menus, creating discount codes, and staying in touch with their customers.

How to use KakaoTalk in your business

KakaoTalk is intuitive and simple to use. There are some complexities if you want a KakaoTalk Business Channel. Let’s go over each step of setting up your KakaoTalk Account.

Get the app

KakaoTalk, which is a Korean-language app, will likely be hidden in a corner of your app store. But you’ll find it there.

You might notice negative reviews about the app. These tend to focus on one thing. It can be difficult to change your phone number or email address, so make sure you do it correctly the first time.

Register for a personal account

KakaoTalk will most likely start with your number. It is important to use a number you will keep for a long time, as it can be difficult to change later. This account is personal so you can use your phone number, add verified email address, and upload a profile picture. To maximize security, enable two-step verification.

Create a KakaoTalk Channel

You will need to create a KakaoTalk Channel in order to start using KakaoTalk’s business features. Also known as a Kakao Channel. You can use your browser’s translation tool to learn Korean if you are not fluent.

It is a good idea also to keep Google Translate open in a different window. You can also use the smartphone application, which has an AR translation function.

These steps will help you get ready.

  • Navigate to the Kakao business admin page. Sign in with your personal account. Enter your name. Because 155 is the name of my podcast, I chose it.
  • The next page may auto-translate or not, but the yellow button at bottom says “Create new channel.”
  • Enter the channel name, search ID, and brief description of your channel. Then upload a profile photo (recommended: 640x640px). You can also choose relevant categories for your brand using the dropdown menus.
  • Channels are made private when they’re opened for the first time. To make your channel public, navigate to the channel visibility toggle in your dashboard. To really get your name out there, you can also enable “allow search” or “1:1 chat”.

That’s it. You have created a KakaoTalk channel for your brand and now have access to messaging and analytics.

Upgrade to a KakaoTalk Business Channel (optional).

There’s more. Upgrade to KakaoTalk Business Channel to get the full benefits, including a verified badge, better placement on search results, and access to the BizBoard.

There are some restrictions. To move up to the next level, you will need a Korean business number and a business registration card. You may also need special visas or visits to the lawyer if you are working outside of Korea.

Here’s how to proceed if you have the number.

  • Click the “Upgrade business channel” button in the dashboard. It may not translate, but it’s circled red.
  • Click “Apply” at the top right.
  • Complete all fields with missing information.

Approval of applications takes three to five business day. You will be notified via your registered KakaoTalk Email when they are complete. Your application may be rejected if you have filled in any of the fields incorrectly. Once your application is approved, you will be able to use the BizBoard as well as all the benefits that come with a business account.

Frequently Asked Questions About KakaoTalk

KakaoTalk is still relatively new outside of South Korea and there’s a possibility of a language barrier. Our KakaoTalk FAQ will answer all your questions.

Is KakaoTalk secure?

KakaoTalk is safe if you use it correctly. To protect it from hackers, the app has standard security features such as 2-step verification.

It is important to remember that South Korean laws allow the app to share chat histories with employees. There have also been a number libel cases in which chat records were included.

If you toggle the “Secret Chat”, you can enable end-to-end encryption to further protect your data. To increase anonymity, you can also use a VPN.

What does KakaoTalk cost businesses?

Both KakaoTalk Channel and KakaoTalk Business Channel are free.

This service has far more features than the first, but users must also obtain a South Korean business licence and other documentation.

Some features may require a South Korean number. These are not difficult to obtain, but can be costly.

Are KakaoTalk accounts subject to expiration?

KakaoTalk suspends accounts that are inactive for more than a year to protect their security. It’s possible to get it back up and running if it happens, but it’s not guaranteed. Many people complained that they lost all their chat history. It’s probably not worth it.

Where can I get support to my KakaoTalk account

KakaoTalk has a FAQ page that can answer any questions you might have about your account. It’s also available in English. You can also contact their customer service desk.

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