Want to tap into Facebook Messenger’s massive audience of more than 1.3 billion users?
Then create a Facebook Messenger bot!
With a Messenger bot, you can scale your communications with your business’ Facebook Messenger contacts.
You can use a Messenger chatbot just like you use an email marketing app – just as you would with email marketing, you can send mass messages, sort your audience, track open rates, etc.
But unlike email marketing, you can earn unprecedented ROI: chatbots, on average, earn a 70-80% open rate within the first hour.
If you want to take advantage of these sky-high open rates, developing a chatbot for Facebook Messenger is a must.
Keep reading to learn exactly what a Facebook Messenger chatbot is and how to use them!
What Is a Facebook Messenger Bot?
Just like any other chatbot, a Facebook Messenger bot can be added to your site to answer questions and interact with customers – but unlike other chatbots, it’s powered by Facebook.
That means that anyone who has a conversation with your site chatbot will also be added to your Facebook Messenger contacts, meaning you can follow up with them with chat blasts (the new and improved email blast!).
A common misconception about Facebook Messenger chatbots is that they are powered by artificial intelligence.
Facebook Messenger bots are powered by a computer program, and you have total control over the chatbot and its messages (including responses to questions).
How Can I Get Started with Facebook Messenger Bots?
Wondering where to begin with Facebook Messenger bots? You aren’t alone.
“A lot of people don’t understand how easy it really is to build a chatbot. They assume the development is cumbersome when, in reality, anyone can do it – you don’t have to be a coder to build a Facebook Messenger chatbot,” said Purna Virji, Senior Manager of Global Engagement at Microsoft.
In reality, figuring out what to create is more challenging than actually creating it.
“Start with something small. Ask yourself, what’s one thing a bot can do for my business? Find that opportunity and run with it.”
Search Engine Journal developed a savvy Facebook Messenger chatbot using MobileMonkey. Among other things, the Search Engine Journal chatbot:
- Uses automated Q&A.
- Sends out breaking news updates.
- Delivers unique, highly relevant content.
- Sends out reminders for upcoming webinars.
Now, we want to help you get started with Facebook Messenger marketing.
Here are 11 ways you can get started using a chatbot for your business right now.
1. Automate Q&A
Automating Q&A is the simplest way to use a chatbot.
Simple, straightforward questions can easily be answered by a chatbot.
“Go through your purchase funnel and determine what people are asking customer service,” Virji said.
This will give you a good foundation for what kind of questions your bot could answer.
Consider creating a chatbot to answer questions like:
- What are your store hours?
- What is your phone number?
- What is your address?
2. Deliver Daily or Weekly Messages
Depending on your brand, you can send out weekly or evenly daily messages.
For example, a bookstore might send out the New York Times bestseller list on Sundays, or a yoga brand might send out positive mantras every morning.
3. Prompt Users to Book a Service or Make Appointments
Does your business take appointments?
A chatbot can set them up for you.
Sephora’s Facebook Messenger chatbot offers users the ability to book a makeover as soon as they connect.
4. Send Special Offers & Coupons
Meet your customers where they are by sending them exclusive deals, coupons, and promo codes straight via Facebook Messenger.
“Let’s say a Clinique customer buys a 90-day supply of face cream,” Virji said. “What if 75 days after a purchase, Facebook Messenger (powered by a chatbot) delivers a 10 percent off coupon on that same cream? It’s useful, friendly and timely.”
5. Take Orders
If your business takes orders, a chatbot can also streamline this for you.
Pizza Hut’s Facebook Messenger subscribers, for example, can complete an entire order from start to finish without ever leaving the app.
6. Deliver Breaking News
Publishers have the unique opportunity to deliver news up to the second with Facebook Messenger. This is one of the ways Search Engine Journal uses Facebook Messenger.
Let’s say Google announces a major shakeup to the algorithm – Search Engine Journal can immediately send out a message to all its Facebook Messenger subscribers.
7. Conduct Quizzes, Surveys & Polls
You can collect information on your contacts through the strategic use of surveys.
This will allow you to better serve them better and deliver more targeted content.
Take a look at how Spotify does it.
Search Engine Journal, for example, occasionally surveys Facebook Messenger subscribers to identify what topics they’re most interested: SEO, PPC, SMM, content marketing or all of the above.
By having the chatbot segment Search Engine Journal’s subscribers, it allows them to deliver highly targeted, personalized content that will be of value.
8. Give Order Updates & Shipping Status
Once customers have placed an order, you can use Facebook Messenger to ping them with updates on their shipping status.
9. Announce Blog Posts or Send New Content to Subscribers
Think of Facebook Messenger as a new and improved RSS feed.
If you have a blog, you can send out a message promoting your new posts.
By no means does this have to be all your blog posts, especially if you’re a high-frequency publisher. In that case, choose your best content so as not to overwhelm your subscribers!
10. Drive Event Registration
Have an event coming up?
Whether it’s a live event or webinar, you can drive registration by messaging your subscribers information about your upcoming event.
Include a picture, text and add a button where users can sign up – with a simple click, they’ll be able to register.
Here, MobileMonkey invites people to register for a virtual summit, and prompts them to sign up all within Messenger.
11. Send Out Reminders for Upcoming Events
If you’re having an upcoming event or sale, sending out a reminder beforehand is another great use of Facebook Messenger.
This is another way that Search Engine Journal uses chatbots. An hour before one of Search Engine Journal’s webinars is about to begin, a reminder with a link to the webinar is sent out to all registrants.
Time to Build Your Own Chatbot
There you have it: 11 ways to get started with chatbots for Facebook Messenger today.
Now it’s time to get to building!
Connect with Search Engine Journal on Facebook Messenger and subscribe to the SEJ Today newsletter for more news on chatbots and Facebook Messenger marketing!
Full disclosure: I have a business relationship with MobileMonkey.
Featured Image: Paulo Bobita
All screenshots taken by author