In 2018, HappySocks — a Swedish online retailer of socks — was looking for new ways to boost their holiday season sales. With Christmas and Valentine’s Day soon approaching, they knew that searches for last minute gifts like socks would be heating up, and they needed to engage with their target audience in a way that was as fun and playful as their brand. They decided to try a Facebook Messenger campaign.
Happy Socks created a choose-your-own-experience in Messenger and through a custom bot design, allowed potential customers to find the perfect pair of socks to give as gifts during Christmas and Valentine’s Day.
- 2.39X return on ad spend for the Christmas campaign
- 3X return on ad spend for the Valentine’s Day campaign
Messaging apps like Whatsapp and Facebook Messenger are quickly becoming key marketing channels for brands across the world, as their growing user base overtakes social media platforms.
Facebook Messenger is the leading social networking app in the United States, with over 2.3 million downloads in the Apple App Store and 103.55 million monthly active U.S. users as of February 2018. Nearly 8 billion messages are exchanged every month through Facebook Messenger worldwide. Globally, Facebook Messenger continues to grow its user base exponentially, second only to WhatsApp.
Given its global access and low-cost offering, it has become a level playing field for all businesses. Conversations on Facebook Messenger blur the line between personal chats and business communication, making brand engagement feel conversational. Because people are already spending a majority of their time on platforms like Facebook and Instagram, they don’t feel like being marketed to. They are the consumers’ hangout of choice; they like interacting with brands that have a presence around them.
How to market your business through Facebook Messenger
In order to start using Facebook Messenger for your business, you can either use your existing Facebook business page or create a new one. Setting up a Facebook business page has many benefits including the ability to run Facebook ads, get reports on your marketing campaigns, and build a community around your brand.
1. Add Facebook Messenger to your business page or website
You can now add Facebook Messenger either to your Facebook business page or to your company’s website – whichever one usually draws higher traffic. In order to integrate Facebook Messenger to the latter, you will have to use the chat plugin from the Messenger Platform. Once that’s done, users who land on your website can go through the Facebook Messenger experience directly from your website. They can also sign up from within Messenger to receive regular, personalized updates from your brand.
2. Set and enable responses
One of the reasons that consumers prefer interacting with brands through messaging apps is that it feels conversational and immediate — similar to how we chat with our friends. The problem is that unless you have a robust support team, being available online 24/7 is impossible. That’s why we recommend setting up basic messages such as personalized greetings, welcome and away messages, the typical time to reply, etc at the very outset.
One of the key metrics to measure the success of your Messenger efforts is ‘Typical Response Time’. Facebook determines and prominently displays your typical response time by aggregating your response time and rate as you start interacting with customers through Messenger. Therefore, it’s critical for you to maintain a good response time and rate from the very beginning if you want to earn the badge of being a responsive brand. For example, if you want Facebook to identify your brand as “Very responsive to messages,” you have to maintain an average response rate of 90% and response time of less than 15 minutes over the last seven-day period.
Of course, if your timezone or team bandwidth doesn’t allow you to be online for a prolonged period of time, you can avoid a negative impact on your Time to Respond by simply setting your messaging status to away. This feature not only helps you set the right expectations with your visitors, it will also track your responsiveness only on those hours that support is online.
3. Hire an interactive chatbot
Another way to expand your capabilities on Messenger is by using chatbots to automate some of the common processes handled by your team, including customer support, automated marketing, and even promotions.
The Messenger Platform has over 33,000 bots built by various businesses and developers from around the world to automate almost every task you can think of. From accepting payments to sharing weather updates, and sending flight status updates to confirming hotel reservations — you can customize many of these bots to fit your specific use cases. Some of the most popular bots include:
- An e-commerce bot that helps customers find and order goods
- A FAQ bot to answer routine queries
- An inquiry bot that replaces forms and collects information interactively
- A lead bot to capture email addresses and qualify leads
- An information bot to offer answers to transactional queries like “Where’s my order?”
While Facebook ads allow a one-to-many distribution channel for your marketing efforts, Messenger allows a much more personalized, one-to-one relationship between your brand and customers. Chatbots can start more conversations than any other business teams out there – they can address every single visitor, re-engage with old leads, upsell or cross-sell products to warm leads. You can even program your chatbot to engage with a window-shopping customer – to nudge a casual customer to make a purchase decision by simply answering their basic queries or offering them a quick incentive.
4. Run ad campaigns
Apart from organic engagement and support, you can also run sponsored campaigns on Facebook Messenger – similar to how you would on Facebook ads, but with better results. Recent studies have shown that some of the better bot experiences on Messenger are getting 80-90% response rates while even the least favorable experiences are in the 35-40% range.
Plenty of businesses already market their products heavily on Messenger these days for accomplishing specific campaign goals. In 2017, the marketers at Bud Light launched a sales campaign during that year’s American football season through a chatbot on Facebook Messenger. Users could select beer cans branded after their favorite teams and place orders through the chatbot to get them delivered within an hour.
The campaign was a hit because it was personalized, hyper-local (Facebook Ads Manager lets you select geographies), and repeatable for future game days. And with an equally brilliant #MyTeamCan hashtag, the campaign went viral and saw an 83% engagement rate.
Creating a campaign in Facebook Messenger is as simple as signing up for a new Facebook account. All you have to do is follow a series of easy steps below:
- Go to Facebook Ads Manager page.
- Select your objective (e.g., lead generation or conversions) and click Continue.
- If you select Messenger, users will be able to start a conversation when they click your call-to-action button.
- Choose between Automatic placements or Edit placements.
- Set your target audience, ad budget, schedule and click Next.
- Select the ad format.
- Click Done to finish editing.
- Click Place Order to make your ad live.
Ensure seamless integration with your existing marketing mix
If your business has an aggressive marketing goal and ambitious growth plans, you need to be able to exploit Facebook Messenger to its full potential. It can undoubtedly be a high-value addition to your marketing arsenal. However, it shouldn’t be yet another untrackable, un-attributable source of leads, adding to the pain of a disconnected marketing source mix.
If you don’t have a unified view of your campaigns across multiple social media platforms, accounts, objectives and teams:
- Sales and customer service queries can get jumbled up together, meaning that either both teams start working on tickets simultaneously, or worse – tickets get missed by both.
- The sheer number of conversations on each platform rises, and without analyzing common topics, you end up over-hiring in order to engage with all your customers.
- With no single view of campaigns or customers, multiple teams log into multiple different tools and have no context of what is happening in other branches of the company, meaning your response times and your customer engagement suffers.
The solution to this problem is to always ensure that your marketing and sales channels are cohesive by unifying them as much as possible. That’s where Freshchat adds great value.
In addition to being a modern messaging app designed to improve customer engagement, Freshchat integrates with WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger — the world’s two biggest messaging apps. It gives you a unified dashboard to view all incoming chat conversations that pour in through WhatsApp, Messenger, and other messaging apps like Slack and Apple Business Chat. So on a mad dash Super Bowl Sunday, your sales team won’t have to hop between multiple tools to respond to customers on time.
When you integrate Facebook Messenger and all other chat channels with Freshchat, you can –
- Get a unified dashboard to monitor and respond to all customer queries
- Smartly route queries to the right team
- Use Smartplugs to get users’ context
- Get customized reports on team performance
- Use email campaigns to engage with lapsed customers
Freshchat offers a full-fledged capability for your business to engage with customers without having to put additional stress on your existing team. Facebook Messenger can have an incredible impact on your growth trajectory and Freshchat can help you harness that power by bringing all your messaging needs to one place. Schedule a personalized demo with Freshchat to learn how you can leverage Facebook Messenger to your business’ advantage.
(Blog illustration designed by Saravana Kannan)