Facebook messaging bots are a marketing strategy that some savvy marketers have used in recent months, as Facebook has rolled out some exciting new features for their Messenger service. However, many do not know how to manage this new form of marketing. This means many do it badly, which means a lot of wasted time and effort.
In this guide, we will be explaining
- what Facebook Messenger (FM) is,
- why bots are so useful, and
- how to use bots to engage with your customers effectively for more leads and sales.
Let’s get started with a look at what Facebook Messenger is.
A Beginner’s Guide to Facebook Messenger Marketing
What is Facebook Messenger?
Facebook Messenger (FM) has been around for several years, but has recently become a main area of attention for Facebook as a chance for businesses to market themselves effectively and even accept payments from shoppers.
The FM app has been downloaded over 1 billion times onto smartphones and tablets, as compared with the 1.8 billion Facebook users who visit the site every month. Facebook’s goal seems to be to create a world in which you can stay in the Facebook environment to accomplish all of your most important tasks. This includes instant messaging to friends and family, telephone calls and video chat.
It also means looking at ads and engaging with content, including marketing content and special offers businesses would like to put in front of you. Think of FM as your email inbox, but more immediate. Most people only read their email when they get around to it. FM is ‘in your face’, with the messages popping up on screen, sometimes with a ping or other sound to notify the person that they have received a new message.
Push your messages
This is referred to as ‘push marketing’, getting your marketing message in front of your potential customers without them having a particular desire or interest to buy your product or learn more about it.
Push marketing can interrupt what a person is doing and be annoying, sort of like endless Geico ads on TV if you don’t need car insurance. On the other hand, it is a useful tool for making people aware of your brand and giving them the chance to engage with it.
Studies have shown that it takes up to 17 exposures to a brand before people even start to recognize it. A steady stream of messages to help your target audience become familiar with who you are and what you do can be one of the best ways to build your brand and generate leads and customers.
But there are a lot of ways to market online. Why should you take the time and effort to learn how to marketing on FM? Let’s look at this next.
Why Use Facebook Messenger?
There are a number of reasons to use FM. There are other messaging apps out there, but this one is within Facebook and driven by it. It’s a good way to have everything you need in one place. Facebook wants you to ‘live’ at their site and are continually adding new features to make this possible. Now you can chat, shop, and even play games in the FM environment.
This is a chance to connect with a wider audience. Facebook is one of the best advertising networks to use because it is so highly targeted. Facebook collects a lot of data on users and everything is keyword-driven, which means it is easy to tap into what people in your niche are interested in and offer them great content related to it.
Engagement signals matter
Offering great content is what Facebook is all about. Photos, videos, slideshows and more are all ways you can market your business effectively free. With any luck, you will get engagement for the posts you create, that is, likes, shares, and comments. These are signals to Facebook that there are a lot of interesting things going on in your business.
Similarly, high FM use signals to them that there is a lot going on in your business. They will even give you a badge for being a highly responsive site if you reply quickly on a regular basis to the messages you receive.
If you are a company of one person only, this can seem like an impossible feat. You can’t be at the computer 24/7. This is where Facebook Messenger Bots come in. The robots, or bots, can do a lot of the work for you IF you set them up correctly. It will take some time and patience, but it can add a whole new marketing channel to your business.
Bots vs emails
If you’ve ever set up an email autoresponder series in your email marketing service, such as Aweber, Constant Contact, Mailerlite, etc., you will be familiar with the concept of an autoreply.
With email marketing, you create an email marketing list. You pre-load a welcome message and other emails with interesting information and promotions for the products you are selling. A lead (potential customer) asks for information via a sign-up box. The email-marketing platform sends out the information, one email at a time, until the sequence you have created is complete.
FM is similar in that you will be pre-loading messages and they will be sent out according to the actions your leads take. But what makes FM even more exciting is you can ‘chat to them’ in relatively real time using the bots rather than sitting at your computer banging out millions of replies.
The bots can be set to recognize keywords. This means they can send out information related to that keyword automatically, to help your leads and customers even when you are nowhere near the computer. Again, it will take some time and a good understanding of the kinds of questions your prospective customers are likely to ask, but all you have to do is set up the messages once and they will keep on earning for you repeatedly.
You can use FM bots to market your business effectively, in a number of key ways. Let’s look at some best practices next.
Use Facebook Messenger Bots to Market Effectively
FM bots will do what you tell them to, so they are the ideal way to automate your business online, particularly in reference to mobile users who love this handy messaging app. There are 7 main ways you can use FM for marketing purposes. Let’s look at each of these briefly.
1. Extending the brand awareness and the reach of your brand
People can’t do business with you if they don’t know you exist. Allowing them to message you enables you to connect with each other and you can show them all you have to offer.
2. Automating welcome messages
Facebook allows you to set up a range of FM autoreplies, including welcome messages. Write them, copy and paste them into the interface, and FM will do the rest.
3. Generating leads
Once people contact you, you can move them from a person who messages you once to a lead who is interested in building a deeper relationship, getting to know more about your products and services. You can accomplish this through FM, and do it in conjunction with your email marketing if you wish.
Send those who message you to a landing page where they can sign up for a great free offer. Once they are on your email-marketing list and/or messenger list, you can send them more and more useful information that conveys you’re the right company for them to do business with.
4. Broadcasting news messages
FM allows you to contact people with news-type message in a way that is much more immediate than email. Email might sit in the box for days, but a FM will usually ‘ping’ or make a similar sound when it arrives on a person’s phone, unless you set the message to be silent.
The message will also be highly visible, showing up on their screen. If you’re a local marketer, for example, announcing a 2 for 1 dinner offer at your restaurant on a Tuesday night, you will be sure to get customers in the door because your message is so visible.
5. Automatically pushing new content to your connections
You can set FM so it notifies your Messenger connections each time you publish new content. This will boost your readership and hopefully the sharing of your content, and engagement with it on Facebook.
6. Answering typical customer service questions automatically
FM can use artificial intelligence (AI) to answer frequently asked questions (FAQs) about your products and services. The AI relies on keywords to send the right replies that you have pre-loaded into the bot. When the AI sees the keyword, it sends the correct message. It isn’t 100% perfect, but it is accurate.
7. Converting browsers into buyers
You can set up FM message windows to trigger on certain pages of your website in order to encourage them to ask more questions. For example, if they are on a sales page, a bar across the top could read, “Any questions? Message us now.” It is not quite the same as a Live Chat feature at your site, but it’s pretty close. And again, you can preload AI messages that can help deal with any queries.
These marketing best practices might sound really exciting on the one hand, and scary on the other. How can you ever manage it all if you are a business with only one person in it and can’t spend 24/7/365 on the computer?
This is where the value Facebook Messenger bots can really be felt in your business. Are you game to using Facebook Messenger bots in your business?