How to drive a closer relationship using Facebook Messenger

Facebook continues to push the boundaries on creating new ways to communicate with customers (and vice versa) with their push into Messenger Ads and the recent announcement of improving functionality within Messenger Ads.

We’ve document before how we’ll be using Facebook Messenger Ads, but since then (it was only a couple of months ago) the functionality has opened up even more opportunities.

But first, why are we talking about Facebook Messenger and why is it important to your business?

In 2015, the top 4 messaging apps surpassed usage by the top 4 social networking apps. Even with the acclerated growth of Snapchat, Instagram and continual growth of Facebook – messaging is still more popular.

But why is that? My prediction is that at the heart of all relationships we have online, people still want to communicate with people. Even if it is via message, webcam or virtual reality; peer to peer communication is still an area that businesses need to be mindful of.

What tactics can you use for Facebook Messenger?

Remember that each time someone messages your page, they’re effectively opening up the lines of communication for you to offer value that is relevant to them.

An interesting tactic I’ve noticed (and tested) is automatic replies to comments on Facebook posts.

Wait, what?

Yep. Messenger Ads have given rise to a new marketing tactic. Facebook Messenger Bots.

How does this tactic work?

Because the user has commented on your post, Facebook allows you to private message that user as a reply to their comment.

Programs have managed to automate the process and can even customise it according to the comment left on the post.

For this to work, you need to use a 3rd party app such as ManyChat. There are others on the market but we’ve found this the most user friendly and has the best support. (we have no affiliation with them and wouldn’t promote a product we don’t use ourselves)
The main added benefit of a program like Manychat is that once they have messaged your page they become a ‘subscriber’ in your Manychat account. You can then use the program to send a broadcast out to your subscribers down the track, with valuable information that is relevant to them.

Sounds a bit like your email list, right? It’s actually pretty similar but the biggest difference is the open rate!

Compared to email, it’s far outperforming the dwindling opening and delivery rates. Digital Marketer has experienced over 60% open rates with some up to nearly 90%!

Seeing this tactic in action

Recently, we tested this with a page based in the UK targeted to people interested in gardening and offered the opportunity of a free gift for leaving a comment.

The results for the ad were great, we had over 200 comments in less than 5 days:


As a test campaign, the metrics were really positive, at only $0.23 per comment and less than $50 spent. But now those users that commented are now effectively subscribers to that page. We can use Manychat to send messages to them, much like we would to our existing email database.


So can I classify that as $0.23 per subscriber? Well, kinda but there is one point I need to emphasise here. You need to be clear with the users on what to expect if they message you. Facebook users won’t be expecting a business to message them via a medium they’re used to communicating with their private friends and family on, so to prevent the element of surprise (and annoyance) its best to keep the broadcasts to a minimum and speak to them like they’re on an exclusive list of users that can choose to hear directly from you.

Another example I’ve seen is this one by Derek Halpern of Social Triggers.


As you can see, I left the comment of what I thought was a good conversion rate and this was the reply I received from Derek, customised to me and everything!


Where to from here?

Is this what we should expect from companies in the future? In my opinion (and of many others out there as well), Facebook Messenger will continue to become an important communication channel for users and for businesses.

The positive of improvements in the features of messenger, means people will become more comfortable with the fact that businesses are appearing in an area usually left for family and friends. This is reflected in a recent study that found 67% of people expect to message businesses more in the next two years.

And just because you might be a small business, doesn’t mean this feature is just suited to the big corporations out there. In fact, I’d argue that people will be more comfortable with small businesses in their Messenger inbox before large multi-nationals.

So don’t wait for others to jump on board this new trend, stay ahead of the curve and beat your competitors before they take your business.

Reach out if you need a hand setting it up and want to find out more information.