What are the best practies for making your Facebook Messenger marketing conversational experiences stand out in the crowd?
Ever since Facebook opened its gateways to messenger marketing back in 2016, more and more companies are exploring the potential of this new form of marketing. The idea is simple: As with traditional salesmen, your customers learn more about your product or service in a conversational form, acquiring information through a series of personalized questions and answers. However, in contrast to traditional methods, users receive these messages in their preferred instant messaging app where the texts can be enriched with pictures, links, videos or even GIFs and cards. What’s more, these conversations can be fully automated, using what’s known as chatbots, making it possible to run them 24/7, every single day of the year. The days of hundreds, if not thousands, of marketing emails camping unopened in your spam folder are long gone. Whether you are using messenger marketing for lead qualification, re-engaging your potentials, running personalized campaigns, live broadcasting during an event, customer service, or one-to-one content delivery, the advantages are pretty obvious. However, there are a few best practices and guidelines that are good to follow to make the most out of the new wave.
The 24-hour window:
Facebook distinguishes three different message types when using messenger: Standard, Subscription and Sponsored. It is important to know when you should pick one over the other and when you can use them. Standard messages can be sent during a 24-hour window after the user has sent a message to you. One additional bonus message can be sent outside of this 24-hour window to follow-up on the conversation, hence the ‘24+1 policy’ name. Subscription messages can be sent any time, but they are strictly forbidden to contain any promotional content. The typical use cases Facebook lists are the following: “News: Integrations whose primary purpose is to inform people about recent or important events, or provide information in categories such as sports, finance, business, real estate, weather, traffic, politics, government, non-profit organizations, religion, celebrities, and entertainment. Productivity: Integrations whose primary purpose is to enable people to manage their personal productivity with tasks, such as managing calendar events, receiving reminders, and paying bills. Personal trackers: Integrations that enable people to receive and monitor information about themselves in categories such as fitness, health, wellness, and finance.”
Transform your content:
Now that you are familiar with the basic rules, there are a few other important things to keep in mind. Instant messaging apps and the way they are used for communication is different than, for example, email or Facebook ads. You need to approach them differently and can’t just copy and paste the message you deliver on other platforms. People are used to smaller chunks of information so you will probably need to deliver the message in multiple smaller parts or in a condensed form. The key is to grab attention and build interest over and over again to keep the users engaged in the long run. You can use rich media, link videos or external articles, and it is probably the only business channel where it is actually advised to use emojis. The key is to adapt your message to fit the messaging app you are using.
Adjust to your users’ needs:
Marketers are applying personalization more widely than ever before, and it’s simply because it works. However, a good marketer also knows that personalization means more than just using the recipient’s first name. Personalization can be as easy as offering different topics that your users can subscribe to or giving them different replies based on the conversation history, but can get more complex if you integrate the solution with your other systems and you can offer more personalized information based on the stored account information, previous purchases, preferences, etc. A great practice is using tags at multiple parts of the conversation so you can better segment your audience and provide the best experience possible.
A definite advantage of delivering your message in an instant messaging app is the open rate. Compared to the results you had with email, you can be sure that you will see a significant boost. People are still used to receiving personal messages on those platforms so whenever a notification shows up, it means something important has arrived that needs their attention. However, you can’t just automatically text users—you need their consent first, and they can mute the notifications, unsubscribe, or even report you with a few easy clicks, so you need to make sure that you are not spamming them with something uninteresting.
Create a persona:
If you think about your chat conversations, you don’t write or respond the same way you would via email. It’s more personal, more open, and that is why you need to make the voice of the messenger channel personal, too. Think about it like the mascot figure of your favorite sports team that you can all like and relate to. This will also define the way your chatbot talks, the style and tone of the conversations, and some special elements that make the conversation an engaging and memorable experience. Make it an experience that urges users to come back and do it again.
Never disguise the chatbot as a human:
It is proven that the right persona can boost your chatbot channel, but it’s also proven that you should never fake the chatbot replies as real human answers. The best practice is to make it clear right at the beginning that your audience is talking with a chatbot, so this way, if something goes wrong, they will be a lot more patient and understanding. Ask for confirmation whenever the input can be interpreted in different ways and offer a surrender option where users can switch to live chat and talk to a real human member of staff.
Guide users through:
As a final piece of advice, there are two really simple tricks: Don’t ask users to type too much, and don’t leave users unattended. There are multiple ways you can implement buttons in the conversation or even provide a complete messenger menu to help users to get to what they want quickly. It’s equally important to always have a response, even when the chatbot is unsure what to do or doesn’t have reply. These cases should be part of your default conversations and have a funny or cute reply that can set the expectations.
Implementing messenger and chatbots into your marketing plan can help reach your customers and engage and inform them about your products and services through a channel they are comfortable with. By following the best practices and guidelines above, you’ll be sure to make the most of your chatbot and create a high-quality messenger marketing experience for your users. Need more helpful bits of advice? Just get in touch with us!
You must have heard: Mark Zuckerberg has spoken.
He says, and I quote, “future versions of Messenger and WhatsApp [are] to become the main ways people communicate on the Facebook network.” His words seem to stress the importance of speed, simplicity and usability on the one hand, and privacy, security and accountability on the other. You could rightly ask “What’s going on here, and is there something for me in this?”
So let’s take a look at what’s going on. First, the price of data has grown immensely in recent years. Facebook, along with other social media platforms, has been pushed to change the way it operates, become more transparent about their data use, and fend off ill-intentioned fraudsters and shady opinion hackers. The increasing value of our data currency also makes authorities uncomfortable all around the world. That is the public logic behind Facebook’s change of focus from social media to private sharing. This change will give them the opportunity to encrypt messages so that no third parties, not even Facebook, will be able to track them.
So Facebook is shifting their focus from a broad social media platform that is very difficult, if not impossible, to control. They instead will concentrate on smaller circles of trust. However difficult this may sound, business logic can support this direction. Facebook will not necessarily lose on the deal, and of course as a business, they’re very aware of the bottom line. However, businesses who do not follow emerging trends may find themselves facing a dire predicament. It seems that traditional media advertising tools will undergo some changes that may catch businesses off-guard.
The rise of messaging marketing
In recent years, brands have increasingly decided to interact with their customers over messaging services, such as Messenger or Viber, just to name the biggest ones. The number of active users on these platforms is in the billions globally, and people are much more likely to engage with over messaging platforms.
The immense growth of these platforms, plus Facebook’s imminent strategy shift, together make a very good case for taking messaging marketing even more seriously.
So what are the perks of using messaging marketing?
- Customers prefer live chat solutions for support. Over half of customers will be likely to repurchase from a provider who offers chat options.
- Engagement is a given in chat, which creates an easy avenue for direct upsale options.
- Quality chat solutions attract more customers, but clients who are kept waiting can damage the business. Once you introduce a direct messaging platform, it is in your best interest to provide timely and accurate answers to consumer queries.
- Live chat helps you win more customers. Speedy and accurate answers are an excellent way to contribute to great word-of-mouth statistics.
- Using a well-optimized and reliable chat bot will help you gain traction: you can use the bot as a sales assistant that can pass on the issue to your human colleagues only if it requires extra attention. And that is only a part of what you can do with a modern chat bot solution.
- Chat bots are also a perfect fit to tackle tasks such as customer surveys, to guide customers around seemingly complicated client paths, retrieve abandoned carts, and more.
- Businesses with AI-based chat bots hosted on Facebook Pages or other messaging platforms will certainly benefit from these changes.
We cannot say with certainty whether Facebook will follow through with the proposed changes. However, it’s a fact that the share of messaging marketing in the global marketing spending is on a steep rise, and enabling technologies, such as AI-operated chat bots, are on a roll.
The drive toward messaging marketing is taking place regardless of any proposed major changes in the market, and it looks like any changes in social media platforms will lead toward a greater use of messaging marketing.
Drop us a line if you interested in some new messaging marketing tips!
We are starting a mini series, in which we are going to collect a few tips and tricks for small businesses. Here are the first three on our list:
- organize frequent webinars
- focus on content marketing
- consider spending on Google ads
Social media and the ubiquity of the internet have opened up novel, powerful new ways for small businesses to market themselves. Here is a short sampling of some of the more effective strategies available.
Webinars, or “web seminars” are an effective way to generate leads and drive sales. Marketers create free webinars that introduce potential customers to their product or service, giving away just enough free, useful information to whet a customer’s appetite, enticing them to request more information or purchase the full package.
Webinars can be modified to sell just about anything. If you’re selling products you can host a free, online demonstration that finishes with a discounted offer. Informational products can excite their audiences with webinars that feature select excerpts from the material being sold, just enough to establish the value of the product. For services tied to a specific person or group of people, a webinar can introduce them and help establish their knowledge and credibility.
If you’ve ever shared an interesting, brand-produced infographic on social media or posted a link to a funny or thought-provoking video that was loosely tied to a business, you’ve participated in the proliferation of content marketing.
Content marketing is the process of creating interesting, entertaining, educational, or otherwise useful content which also attempts to stimulate interest in a business, and its products or services. The idea is to produce content that people want to view and want to share, turning people, and their social media accounts into vectors for your marketing messages.
Content marketing distinguishes itself from advertising in that advertising is something most people try and avoid, whereas content marketing is welcomed and shared. Your marketing has to be subtler as a result. People won’t forward advertisements to their friends. But useful content they will, and if that content just happens to travel with mild marketing language in tow, all the better for your business.
Videos, infographics, memes, podcasts, and short eBooks are all good examples of the sort of content that can be used to promote your products and services.
Google’s Adwords platform is one of the oldest online advertising platforms but is still one of the most relevant. Google controls roughly 75% of online internet search traffic, making it a huge, captive audience for marketers to advertise to.
Adwords uses keywords, linked to advertising and marketing messages, to determine when and where your ads are seen.
As an advertiser, you choose keywords and keyword phrases that you think best represent the words people will search for when looking for something your business offers. You then bid on those keywords, meaning you set a maximum price per click that you’re willing to pay for those keywords.
When someone searches for the keywords you’re bidding on, Google’s algorithms quickly compare your max bid to the bids of every other ad vying for those words, tempering the rankings with ratings on how well your ad and the content it links to answers the customer’s true search intent and other metrics, and then displays the ads for the winning bids.
You don’t pay when your ad is displayed. You pay only if the searcher clicks on your link. Therefore it’s important to focus your message and write effective copy that converts. Google rewards marketers with high click-through rates (the ratio of clicks to ad displays) by serving your ad more frequently. So an effective message can create a positive feedback loop that helps you reach more people.
Keep following our blog for more marketing tips and strategies for small businesses, coming in the future.