Facebook marketing has formed a key component of marketing almost since the dawn of social. As Facebook itself has realised the full potential of its platform for marketers, it has played with autoplay video adverts, sponsored content and provided a wealth of user data to brands looking to drive leads.
Yet all this applies to Facebook proper. Since 2014, Facebook has been split from its main communications tool, Facebook Messenger. It is now possible to download and use Messenger without keeping the Facebook app on your smartphone. So, if marketers have a Facebook marketing strategy to reach potential or existing customers, what happens if some of those customers are in fact only using Messenger?
The need for a Facebook Messenger strategy is increasing, and more and more brands are buying into the potential that it holds. Want to know how you can use Facebook Messenger for your own needs? Read on for three suggestions.
1. Provide one-to-one customer service
With so much competition in every marketplace, and customers demanding ever more from the brands they interact with, providing personalised and meaningful customer service is a must for brands looking to strive.
Facebook Messenger can be a useful tool for providing interaction with customers at an individual level. This is exactly what Dutch airline KLM has done since 2010, when a volcanic eruption over Iceland left hundreds of its passengers stranded and desperate for quick, convenient information. In the eight years since, KLM has become ‘the first airline to integrate its customer experience and service into Facebook’s Messenger platform.’
According to an article by Marketing Week, 80% of adults and 91% of teens use messaging every day, thus making it an invaluable tool in any brand’s marketing arsenal. KLM added a ‘send message’ button to its Facebook page that allowed customers to message its airline operatives directly and with sensitive information if necessary. This service has since expanded, with KLM customers encouraged to use Messenger to ask general questions about its services, access their boarding pass or make a complaint.
KLM has seen a ‘40% increase in customer interactions since the airline began using Messenger and today 15% of all online boarding passes are now sent via Messenger.’ This demonstrates the huge demand for Messenger-led customer interactions that can offer an efficient, quick service for time-poor customers used to instant-gratification, and can act as a model for other brands looking to employ the same strategy.
2. Convert email subscribers to Messenger contacts
For years now, marketers have relied on email as a primary method of communication with customers. This is particularly true when it comes to content, with subscriber lists for newsletters, sales offers and order information remaining a key feature of direct marketing strategies.
Yet according to Business2Community, it is in fact remarkably easy to convert this data into a Facebook Messenger contact list, enabling you to shift your brand away from reliance on email to a platform that is already being used every day. The article provides actionable steps to take to achieve this, including:
- Create an opt-in page to sign up Messenger subscribers.
- Test your opt-in page, set up keyword triggers, the usual.
- Send this link to all your email subscribers in an email blast and include it in your email signature.
- Create a custom audience in Facebook Ads, sending traffic to your Messenger opt-in page.
By following these steps, it is possible to shift your focus to Messenger and take advantage of the marketing potential it holds. This method also ensures that you are GDPR compliant, as by obtaining explicit opt-in consent you can ensure the data you collect can be used in a safe and protected way, thus building confidence among your customers.
3. Try video and AR for Facebook Messenger
Video marketing is huge, with thousands of hours of video content watched every day on YouTube and other platforms. This potential is now being tapped into, as last month Facebook launched autoplay video ads in its Messenger app and will gradually roll out the feature in line with user interactions and responses.
Facebook has also launched a tool to help marketers build their video from existing images and video footage using their Video Creation Kit. According to Marketing Land, by using the kit marketers will ‘be able to upload images or videos and add overlays or logos to build ads for Facebook News Feed, Instagram, Messenger and Facebook’s Audience Network.’ One company that has tried this out is Noom, which found that content it created using the Kit ‘resulted in a 77 percent increase in performance compared to their static image ads on Facebook.’
However, according to Marketing Land, as yet Messenger video ads are only available as an extension of a Facebook campaign and so are not viable as a stand-alone marketing tool. This could all change when the feature is rolled out in August if marketer demand proves high and the feature delivers results.
Facebook Messenger has huge potential as a marketing tool for brands of all shapes and sizes, and the prevalence of existing Facebook marketing strategies means that, for many, making the shift will not be too much of a leap. As Facebook adds new features and brands demonstrate that it delivers results, this move towards Messenger only looks set to continue.