Think that messaging apps are just for making plans with your friends?
When Facebook began, it was essentially a hub of cat pictures and memes. Now, it's a billion-dollar channel that businesses can use to nurture leads. Facebook Messenger is undergoing a similar transformation, with messaging rankedsecond out of the top nine best ways for customers to connect with brands.
Not only are 53% of people more likely to shop with a company they can message directly, but people exchange2 billion messages with companies on Facebook each month!
In other words? Your clients are chattier than ever.
The question is, are you ready to join the conversation?
Facebook Messenger for Brands: Building your Social Presence
First of all, let's look at why Facebook Messenger for Business is an essential part of your social strategy.
FB Messenger is the biggest instant chat platform in Australia. More than42% of Aussie web users are already active on Messenger, making it a natural and native addition to your advertising plan.
Still not sure what makes Messenger so special?
How about the fact that messaging apps are more popular today than social networks? According to Business Insider, the four busiest messaging apps have500 million more active users per month than the top 4 social networks.
With messenger image ads, chatbots, and a range of other strategies to choose from, Facebook is giving brands a chance to connect with their audience on a deeper level. In a world where people aresick of seeing ads splattered across their social feeds, Facebook Messenger for business:
From messenger image ads designed to appear on the app's home screen, to chatbot and customer support strategies, the opportunities are endless.
Let's start by looking at the three main ad formats for Messenger:
Home tab ads: Like a news feed ad, these Messenger image ads appear on the home screen and send your customers wherever you want them to go. For instance, you could have a sale banner linking to your online store, or a lead magnet that takes visitors to your landing pages.
Click to Messenger ads: Available across the entire Facebook portfolio (that means Instagram is included too), click to messenger ads include a button that sends people straight into a conversation with your company.
Sponsored messages: Ever seen those "sponsored ads" on the right-hand side of your news feed? Sponsored messages are similar, except they appear directly in the Messenger conversation, showing off a sale, product or launch.
Now, which ad is right for you?
1. Supplementing your Strategy with Home Screen Ads
Why should Facebook marketing be hard work?
The easiest way to get involved with Facebook Messenger for Business is to simply place your image ads on the home screen. If you're looking for a quick and stress-free way to connect over Messenger, all you need is asimple graphic, and you're ready to go.
Messenger ads are currently available as part of the complete Facebook placement optimisation experience. You can use them to drive customers to your website through the messenger browser, improve brand awareness, or boost app installs. The great thing about Home Screen ads is that they can deliver a wide selection of audiences, including people who haven't visited your Facebook page before.
Using Messenger image ads is simple enough. If you choose the "Automatic Placements" option for the ads in your traffic or website conversion campaigns on Facebook, you'll already be opted-in. On the other hand, if you're selecting your placements manually, you can set up messenger ads under "Platforms > Messenger > "Home."
One of the biggest benefits of Messenger home screen ads is that they allow you to take advantage of Facebook's epic targeting abilities. Just choose the gender, location, hobbies, and other key characteristics of the people you want to target and track your placements to see how they affect your campaign performance with Ad manager.
2. Cultivate Engagement with Click to Messenger Ads
Next, we've got a more immersive way to engage with Facebook Messenger for Business.
Messenger ads give today's companies a fantastic way to connect with their customers quickly. The question is, how do you get people to discover your incredible Messenger presence in the first place?
Facebook offers a selection of ways to get discovered, by adding a button to your Facebook page, to messenger codes.
However, the best way to really scale who you reach is with Click-to-Messenger ads. These are links shared in your Facebook feed that encourage people to get talking to you on Messenger.
With click to messenger apps, you can use all the standard Facebook targeting solutions, including "Interests," demographics, custom audiences, and more. While any company can benefit from having more conversations with their community, the main strategies associated with click-to-Messenger ads are:
Prospecting: Target your preferred audience on Facebook and drive them to find out more about what you can offer through Messenger. Money off codes and competitions can be a great way to drive interaction. (Check out the awesomeOz Hair and Beauty campaign below)
Retargeting: Use theFacebook pixel to target customers that view your products, but don't purchase straight away. Remind them to message you if they have any questions your ads haven't already answered.
Educating: Your customers can't decide that your product/service is right for them if they don't understand it. Give them a chance to learn what you're all about with automated responses to frequently asked questions.
3. Strengthen Customer Connections with Sponsored Messages
The best thing about social media marketing? It's social.
If you already have a bunch of people engaging with you on Messenger, then "sponsored messages" are the strategy for you. In fact, abouthalf of all Millennials prefer to use Messenger as their mode of customer service communication. So, if you're not already using Messenger, you're probably going to start soon - whether you like it or not.
Sponsored Messages look at the people who have already connected with you on Messenger as leads. They've signed up to communicate with your business - so they must be interested in what you have to offer!
Though your audience size is limited to "existing conversations," this restriction means you end up with super-targeted Facebook campaigns. Focus your marketing budget on the people who have already shown interest in your brand, and you're sure to get a good response. Just remember to:
Give your messages a personal tone - so your customers don't feel as though they're being spammed by bots.
Segment your ads based on age, gender, group, interest and other demographics
Use sponsored messages to remind your audience of your awesome products, send them an offer, or simply show them a new product (like in the Tieks example below).
To Bot, or Not? Using Chatbots for Customer Service
Want to go beyond the ads with Facebook Messenger for business?
How about using your strategy to cultivate customer delight?
The average customerhates using the phone for customer service. Modern businesses are re-designing the customer service experience with chatbots, messenger, and real-time support. Though some companies will be able to simply guide their customers with real-life agents available on Messenger - not all brands have that luxury (or budget).
Fortunately, Facebook's chatbots and chat extensions make managing customer queries a little easier. With a chatbot installed into your Facebook system, you can answer common questions quickly with automated responses. For instance, as soon as a customer visits theMakita Australia page, they see:
There's even aMessenger Platform customer chat plugin available in Beta that allows you to integrate your Facebook experience into your actual website. This could be the perfect strategy for a brand that wants to create a consistent omnichannel experience for customer service.
Chatbots, smart replies, and automatic responses help companies to give their customers the simple and effective service they've been looking for, without investing in additional on-site staff. It's a win/win.
Centralise Messages for Speedier Customer Service
If the opportunity to connect directly with your customers through Messenger wasn't exciting enough, how about the fact that you can bring all your Facebook-related messages together on the same pane of glass?
Facebook has madelive conversations with customers as simple as possible. In fact, it's the closest you can get to face-to-face interaction, without an in-person conversation.
Facebook's unified inbox allows you to centralise the conversations you're already having online. This means you don't have to constantly log in and out of different services to keep track of your customers.
The average consumer automatically heads to social media when they need help with something or want to report a service issue. Byworking in the same inbox to serve your customers easily, you can achieve a better experience for your clients, and separate yourself from the rest of the pack.
Making the Most of Messenger
Essentially, Facebook Messenger for business is a way to connect with, cultivate and support your customers throughout the buyer journey. Every day Messenger campaigns are growing in popularity as more people continue to use the platform. Facebook even says that63% of people are messaging more today than they did two years ago!
Facebook Messenger ads are your chance to adapt to the shift in social media marketing from campaigns that focus on reach, to strategies all about engagement and relationship management. Facebook Messenger is a pure engagement channel, designed for personal interactions and unique conversations with leads.
As customers continue to ignore emails, block banners, and generally overlook traditional marketing, Messenger is a customer service solution with incredible reach, sure to boost your brand awareness.