Facebook Messenger Is More Than A Conversation
Facebook Messenger is changing the game when it comes to communication. Just as email revolutionized how people interact and share information, Messenger offers companies an entirely new channel to reach customers and vice versa. It is transforming a communications channel into a direct, interactive marketing and sales channel.
Many companies are already realizing the benefits of adding Messenger to their marketing mix. It’s the ideal platform by which to engage customers on a more personal level. The beauty of Messenger for businesses is that it is the only channel thus far where they can have instant, 1-on-1 dialogue with a customer in a private setting – something most social media platforms do not offer. Companies are using Messenger to build relationships with customers as they keep customers engaged with a real person, a chatbot, or both throughout their customer journey.
Messenger dismisses one-way marketing to create interdependent relationships with consumers, providing relevant offers and service while also extending a private line for customers to instantly and securely connect with a brand. Whether they are in the store and need the personal assistance of a representative right then and there, or are wanting to ask a question, make a suggestion or find a product while they are on the go, Messenger puts them in touch directly with a brand anytime, anywhere without the wait.
It appears that organizations are jumping on the Messenger bandwagon in droves. It gives any company, large or small, an instant facelift as they can provide real-time customer support without adding much staff. By using chatbots for FAQs, simple inquiries and interactions, they can knock out many of the incoming messages. Alternatively, they can interject human agents when the bots need a little help. Either way, the customer gets what they need faster in a more customized, on-demand way.
The Rise of Messenger
Facebook Messenger is popping up everywhere and every indication points to an influx of Messenger in virtually every industry. Businesses are advertising the Messenger feature in their stores, on their websites, in social media and in marketing campaigns, driving customers to the Messenger app for a truly personalized experience – and it’s working.
Customers are using messaging apps more than ever. Mark Zuckerberg recently said, “Messaging is one of the few things that people do more than social networking.” Since those words, Messenger and WhatsApp, the two largest messaging apps (both of which are owned by Facebook), has mushroomed to nearly 2 billion active users worldwide. It’s only a natural extension to use the app to connect with businesses as well.
Beyond messaging back and forth, companies have another incredible opportunity to keep the conversation going. It starts with knowing your customers – what they like, how they shop and engage, and what interests them. Building on this knowledge, companies can direct market to them on Messenger with customized content, promotions, and offers. In essence, Messenger becomes an entirely new content distribution channel.
Getting to Know The Customer
Messenger and social media gives companies unique insight into customer behavior. By integrating information from social media and sales history with details from prior Messenger conversations, companies can stitch together a more accurate personality profile they can use to develop ongoing, highly personalized marketing strategies. The more personalized the content and offers, the greater probability the customer will be intrigued, engaged and satisfied.
Studies show Not only does it save them time, but it shows the company is listening. After all, we all want to be heard. Messenger gives companies access. Personalized marketing maximizes that opportunity. But there’s more to the story than just tailoring marketing on Messenger. As with most things, there is such a thing as too much of a good thing.
It’s Not All about The Offer
Smart companies realize a balance must be struck between dialogue and content, between perceived valuable content and promotions. Few consumers want to be hit over the head with promotions and content, nor do they want to engage in endless conversations that never result in any beneficial outcome. It’s the companies that can leverage conversational marketing to understand customer interests in order to know how much of each the customer prefers, then be able to tailor the marketing and service to align with these desires.
The best way companies can keep customers engaged beyond answering their questions on Messenger is to offer them content and promotions they actually want when the opportunity is most evident. Many companies are successfully engaging customers through social media (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat, etc.), such as offering tips, recipes, contests, discounts, and other promotions. Messenger is yet another channel where these strategies can work, and work quite well when they are tailored to the customer.
Using Messenger simply requires a shift in how organizations approach 1-on-1 marketing. They must design content specifically for these digital channels and be deliberate in their timing. By simply expanding their social presence to include private dialogue with customers, organizations can begin to deliver valuable content along with the helpful answers for which most consumers use Messenger.
As beneficial content is offered to them at the right time, consumers begin to view the business less as a store and more as a resource. They see the business as caring about more than just a profit, but about them as individuals. They spoon feed entertainment, loyalty discounts, advice, and free content, along with products and services, and consumers are eating it up.
Messenger in Action
Companies are getting quite creative in their use of Messenger for conversational marketing. For instance, a financial institution uses Messenger to offer recent visitors to their branches and website helpful financial planning tips based on their most recent transaction. If a customer comes into the branch to open a checking account, within minutes of departing, they may receive an instant message thanking them with the bank’s five best tips to quickly building up a savings account. The message ends with “We can set up a savings account for you in less than 10 minutes. Ready to talk?”
A grocery store chain can use Messenger to message customers after they make a purchase, offering recipes based on their most recent purchase. A big box store can use Messenger to send customers promotions while they are shopping or enter them into a contest if they message back within five minutes. An online store can message a customer when they see the customer has abandoned their shopping cart, giving them the opportunity to ask an expert product questions, for help finding the right size or a coordinating product. The possibilities of striking up 1-on-1 conversations with customers when the company is top of mind means businesses reach customers when they are most likely to want to engage. When you can catch the customer during this leg of their buying journey, you are much more likely to capture their interest.
Companies are using Messenger increasingly more as they become keenly aware of the customers’ desire to have a more personalized experience. By integrating Messenger private conversation capabilities into the marketing mix, companies can gain greater share of wallet and even better, a greater share of customers.