Facebook Messenger Bots are the New Frontier in Digital Marketing

By on July 13, 2018

You may be surprised to know that the top 4 messaging apps (WhatsApp, Messenger, WeChat, and Viber) have more combined monthly users as the top 4 social networking platforms (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn)? Once you ponder the implications of this statistic, you will realize the enormous potential that chat apps have for marketing your business.

Facebook opened Messenger to chatbots in April 2016, and currently there are over 100,000 chatbots, a small fraction of the more than 60 million business pages.   Early movers in marketing have an enormous advantage of late adopters.  This is the best time to give your digital marketing a boost with Messenger chatbots. 

Engagement Rates on Messenger Apps are 10 to 80 times those on social media

Today, Facebook Messenger has the best engagement rate over others marketing channels, boasting open rates of 80 percent  and clickthrough rates of 13%. On Facebook, organic post reach is 10.7% of page likes and average engagement rate across all post types (organic or paid) is only 4.2%. With email marketing, the average open rate of emails is around 21.8% according to a report.

Due to the novelty factor, when you send a prospect a Facebook message, they’re far more likely to view and click through than they would with an email marketing message.

You might think that creating workflow for content marketing on Messenger would require a pretty significant investment of time and money. With tools that enable creating chatbots easily, businesses now can automatically engage with Messenger users – to connect, nurture, convert and cross-sell customers.

How can Facebook Messenger chatbots be used?

Create a Sales Funnel with Chat blasting:

You can broadcast messages to anyone who has messaged your Facebook Business Page. This feature can be used to push content like blog posts, upcoming events, company news, webinars, etc. With Messenger marketing automation, you can schedule a Messenger drip campaign, where you automate messages for key user-segments from the time they join to over the course of the customer lifetime. The customer segments could be the referring source, such as whether they came in from an ad or webinar, or the stage of sales funnel.

Tips to create a Sales Funnel

i.   First Step could be to deliver your content bait (e-book, whitepaper, or video)

ii.  Have an engaging interaction, like if they found the content useful + suggest what you could offer next, like a demo or free trial

iii. Deliver daily tips or step by step guide

iv. When appropriate, as questions to qualify the prospect (e.g., digital marketing budget range, time frame to implement a solution, etc.). This will enable you to segment your contacts.

v.  Continue to deliver value and qualify the lead. Use Call to Action (CTA) buttons for conversions

Provide Customer Service: Basic customer service bots run on rules and specific commands. They cannot learn any more than you have taught them. On the other hand, artificial intelligence (AI) get smarter over time, as they learn from interactions. AI Chatbots are complex to create and you need to work with a software developer for best results. They can direct users to a live agent if the bot cannot resolve the issue.

Morph.ai is an example of an AI powered chatbot. It automates up to 70% of customer support, learns new queries and their responses over time with machine learning and AI, and communicates with rich messages such as Carousel, Lists, Receipts, Buttons, Quick replies.

  1. Popular food chains like Subway, Dominos, Starbucks use AI bots to enable customers to place and track orders.
  2. Automate Product Purchases Process : you can use chatbots to show customers the products they searched for and process simple sales within the Messenger app.
  3. Offer special services: you can create  chatbots that offer automated services in Messenger. For example, RemitRadars Chatbot offers automated services to send money, pay for international mobile while abroad, request exchange rates, and find other money transfer locations.

How to Create a Facebook Messenger Chatbot

You can build a bot by using the Facebook Messenger API, but this will require coding skills. If you do not have programming skills, you can use a visual chatbot platform, which helps you create the content using a visual editor. There are many chatbot building tools which are free or have a freemium model, like MobileMonkey, Chatfuel, Botsify, etc. You can read reviews of chatbot platforms here.

You can send Static Chat Content (e.g., texts, images, videos, ebooks, etc.) or Dynamic Chat Content such as forms and guided question and answers.

Follow the Traffic Rules

You cannot message people who have ‘liked’ you page. Only when someone messages your Facebook page, you can chat-blast them or schedule a drip campaign. You can also collect their contact information using forms or during conversation.

It is important to honor Facebook policy on chatbots else your bot will be suspended. 

In “Standard Messaging”, the default mode, you can only “push” a message, i.e., which not a direct reply to user’s) within 24 hours of user’s last message. After that, you can only send one more time. This is called the ’24 + 1 policy’. When the user responds, the clock is reset.

You can apply for exemption under  “Subscription Messaging”, but it is a manual application process and only if you are sending news, reminders, or personal trackers.

You must comply with all unsubscribe requests, which is words related to opting out, like “stop” or “unsubscribe”. 

Using Tags, you can broadcast unlimited non-promotional messages. You are not allowed to use tags to send promotional content such as daily deals, coupons and discounts, or sale announcements.

Optimize with chatbot Analytics

With chatbot Analytics, you get reports for Messenger contact list growth and conversion campaigns from chat blasts, drip campaigns, Messenger Ads and conversions in chat.  You can get comprehensive analytics for any bot with the free Google Chatbase. With analytics dashboard, users can track specific metrics like active users, sessions, and user retention. You can also compare the bot’s metrics across platforms, to see if some platforms need additional optimizations.

Promote Your Facebook Messenger Chatbot

  • Web plugins can be embedded on your website which allow users to start a conversation with you by sending messages with Facebook Messenger.

  • Customer Matching:This feature allows you to reach people in Messenger if you have their phone number and their consent to be contacted.

  • Messenger codes and links can be placed anywhere on your site to invite people to start a conversation with you. With Messenger codes, people use their phone’s camera to scan the image and find you on the app.

  • Facebook “Click to Messenger” Ad formatYou can use click-to-Messenger ads to get more users for your bot. These ads are placed on Facebook News Feed and Instagram feed.  When a user clicks on the ad in Facebook News Feed or Instagram Feed, a conversation with your Messenger bot will be opened. The bot can be setup to give  an initial response of text, image, or video).

 Conclusion

The opportunity to use one of the latest channels in digital marketing is here right now.  Facebook Messenger bots are at the intersection of social media, mobile, and instant messaging, which is exactly the way the market is evolving.

About Anand Rao

Anand Rao is a digital marketing consultant. His agency Ananya SEO Services has been helping non-profits and small businesses with SEO, Social Media Marketing and PPC Advertising since 2009.
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