In Articles, Business, Chatbots, Messenger Marketing

Employ Facebook Messenger now or play the victim later.

Facebook Messenger and Chatbots are the future of marketing. End of story. If you’re a small business owner and wondering what the heck we’re writing about, then keep reading. You’ll be glad you did.

In 2017, Schwieters Chevrolet of Cold Spring, MN embarked on an interesting experiment to sell off its excess inventory of current model-year vehicles. In lieu of a typical TV or radio ad campaign, they opted to engage Facebook ads leading customers to connect on Messenger, where they could name their own price over Memorial Day weekend. The result: 75 percent of click-to-messenger responses resulted in a sale.

“Social media marketing has changed forever. Small business owners can lead the change or be a victim of it. Now is the time to embrace Facebook Messenger and turbocharge your business.”  –Joseph Kenney

In a day where mass marketing has lost most of its teeth and even social media marketing is getting stale, a powerful new marketing tool is generating huge response rates for those who leverage it. Ironically, many businesses fail to take advantage of it or even recognize it, even though it’s sitting right under their noses. We’re talking about Facebook Messenger, and if you’re not using it to grow your business, you’re probably leaving thousands of dollars in revenue on the table.

That’s right. That app you’ve been using to share cat photos or engage in meaningless chatter with friends can actually be used strategically to generate more leads and more business than you thought possible.

What Is Facebook Messenger?

Messenger is a Facebook app that can be used to send a wide range of communications directly with others, including instant messages, photos, video, audio recordings and more. Messenger began as the “direct message” feature on Facebook (and remains so on the website version of Facebook), but a few years ago, Facebook separated its messaging feature from its mobile app into a new app used solely for direct messaging. It has continued to evolve to the point that now users can even play games, make phone or video calls, engage in group texts or calls and even send money—all within the app. 316 Strategy group is leveraging Facebook Messenger to deploy chatbots and further expand the capabilities of Messenger.

Why Should Businesses Consider Facebook Messenger and Chatbots as a Marketing Tool?

How can something many think of as a “fancy chat app” be turned into a powerful marketing tool—and more to the point, why should you be thinking about FM marketing and Chatbots for your business? Consider the following:

Facebook Messenger now sees approximately 1.4 billion users per month, according to Joseph Kenney who recently met up with Stefanos Loukakos, head of Facebook Messenger, in Austin, Texas. It’s now one of the most widely used messaging apps in the world. (Only WhatsApp, also owned by Facebook, comes close to these numbers.)

Users are gravitating away from social media apps toward chat apps. With chat apps now offering similar directed content as social media newsfeeds, users are engaging their chat apps more than their social apps, as Business Insider reports.

Users are far more likely to engage your content through Facebook Messenger than by email. According to research conducted by Hubspot, content sent by businesses to their FM lists experienced open rates of 242 percent higher than their email counterparts—and a whopping 619 percent increase in click rates.

In short, businesses who use Facebook Messenger as a marketing tool are now seeing far greater engagement with their prospects and customers using this tool than through their email lists or Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts. If you were wondering why your email list seems to be floundering or why you’re getting fewer views on your Facebook posts…these findings should provide a clue. Your audience has moved elsewhere!

Isn’t Facebook Messenger Marketing Just Another Form of Spam?

No, it isn’t—not when you employ a smart strategy for using it. Think of Facebook Messenger in the same way you think of an email list. You don’t send unsolicited instant messages or texts any more than you send unsolicited email—we’ve all gotten plenty of both, and no one likes them. Instead, you find creative opportunities to invite people to opt in to your Messenger list, just as you would with an email list. You can then broadcast short, engaging messages to your list—everything from helpful content to promotions and event invitations—all of which serve to build brand awareness, customer loyalty and ultimately more sales.

Why Facebook Messenger Works So Well for Marketing

Facebook Messenger Chatbots 316 Strategy Group Omaha316 Strategy Group met with Mary Kathryn Johnson, CEO of Messenger Funnels, recently. Mary Kathryn dished on all things Facebook Messenger with the President of 316 Strategy Group. When leveraged wisely, messaging conveys less of a mass marketing feel and more of a personal user experience—yet in a non-intrusive manner— which is something today’s consumers value, said Mary Kathryn Johnson. Her team is leading the way in Messenger Marketing and Chatbot building. 

Facebook IQ conducted a study of Messenger users and discovered the following:

Sixty-three percent of users say they’ve begun engaging more businesses directly via Messenger over the past two years.
Fifty-six percent prefer chatting directly with a business via IM than by calling customer service.
Sixty-one percent have a positive response to receiving messages from businesses.
More than half say they are more likely to do business with a company with whom they can message.

Facebook Messenger is a relatively new marketing tool with a wide-open range of possibilities, which also means businesses face a learning curve in figuring out how to use it effectively. However, with an increasing number of tools like chatbots, Facebook ads and more, a knowledgeable marketing firm can help you devise a messaging strategy perfectly suited to your business. If you are ready to get off the sidelines and back into the game, please reach out to a team member at 316 Strategy Group for a private consultation.

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