Seeing ‘Messenger Bots’ floating around the web and wondering what the heck they are?

Facebook offers people the ability to communicate and stay updated on the latest news from their contacts, and the brands they follow online. With over 1.2 billion accounts on Facebook, brands are continually finding ways of using this social networking giant to reach out to their respective markets.

Facebook continues to evolve as well. One of the latest in digital marketing at Facebook are Facebook Messenger bots.

So what’s a bot?

Simply speaking, a bot is a software that can be programmed to perform tasks. Facebook is not the first to offer this feature. Apple’s Siri functions in the same way.

You can use and instruct Siri to perform a Google search on any query or make an appointment. The bot is designed to learn from its interactions. Use the bot more and, over time, the bot will respond to your requests better.

What makes the Facebook Messenger bots different is that the bot offers users the ability to interact with customers and send personalised messages. Businesses and brands can use it as a means to provide efficient and personalised customer service. They can also be programmed to greet or provide answers to frequently asked questions.

This is a great function for businesses because it provides the opportunity to talk directly to customers in an automated fashion. It’s been reported that 53% of people are more likely to purchase off a business they’ve interacted with directly – what potential for businesses!

Check out our article on other types of Facebook Ads and why you need to implement them into your business:

How they can affect your business

Premium services are typically offered to people and businesses that can afford to pay the price. With Facebook Messenger, even small companies can use chat bots. Entrepreneurs are seeing a lot of potential for this messaging feature.

For one, chatbots can be used to give brands a stronger presence online. As a result, businesses can use this feature to improve their lead generation efforts. They can also be used to help leads or clients find the information they need to make a decision. Chatbots can also be programmed to inform clients of new products, services or upcoming deals. Using chatbots to interact with your customers haven’t completely replaced the need for customer service representatives or hotlines, but it takes the ease off in a way that’s transforming

Ways to use a Messenger Bot

Like email marketing, you can have multiple streams of messages sent out to different segments of customers or leads.

A great example is RITA, the new Messenger Bot being used by Transport NSW. RITA assists you with your trip, much like the Tripview App. The difference is that it’s on a popular platform (Facebook) which you’ve probably already got on your phone (while Tripview is an external app), and there’s less clicking and typing to search for your results.

Here’s what the chat looks like when you begin:

‘She’ first greets you, and asks how you plan on travelling. With Facebook Messenger Bots, by adding buttons to your messages to allow your audience to respond, and keep the conversation going from there.

The only options you have as a customer is to click the prompts she provides. So a sequence is essentially being followed, and with Messenger Bots you’re able to create this sequence.

After answering the questions about your trip, Rita provides you with a real-time image of the next services, as well as further options. The button adjacent to the text box also gives you even more options, should the options Rita provide not be enough.

And that’s how she keeps the conversation going!

How to get started

Creating your first Facebook Messenger Bot can be a daunting task. It’s highly technical and requires constant modifications as you set up new campaigns. Here’s a quick run through of how to get started.

There are a number of external software you can use to design your ad, from ChatFuel to ManyChat to Botsify to OnSequel – for now we’ll be running through the basic Facebook Ad Manager.

Begin by going to Facebook’s Ad Manager and choosing the objective of your campaign (if you don’t have one already)

You have the option of choosing traffic or conversions.

Second, know who you’re sending your messages to, and what messages you plan on having the chat bot send. Once you have a clear idea of these, set up your Audience.

Custom audiences are great to start off – you get to choose viewers of your ads, company page, etc. to create a wide but relevant audience. Fill out your audience information as required.

When creating your Messenger Ad, you need to start by choosing the layout of your ad. You’ll have the option to choose from carousel, single image, single video, slideshow or collection. Choose what’s suitable for your ad.

The next part is the interesting part. It’s where you get to creating your ad.

You have the option of creating your ad through ‘Quick creation’ or ‘JSON creation’, like below – since we’re making it from scratch on Facebook Ad Manager, quick creation is the way to go (JSON creation allows you to basically copy and paste the ad you’ve created on the third-party software into Ad Manager).

The ‘actions’ part of this step is crucial, because it’s your end-game – your call-to-action. Since you’re sending off an ad, you’re going to want to choose the ‘button’ option rather than ‘quick reply’ – you want them going somewhere and seeing what you offer and why they should need and want it.

Here, you can add your lead magnet or landing page to the URL section.

When you’re done, you have the option to preview your ad:

After reviewing your ad’s summary details and placing your ad, you’re done.

Remember, these are the basics of the basics when it comes to placing your Messenger Ad on Facebook. There’s a lot of programming that goes on in the background, so external applications like those mentioned above play a big role in creating very specific ads while somewhat simplifying the process.

Facebook Messenger Bot has more functionalities than purely sending out ads. You’re able to send automated responses to frequently asked questions, play games, direct them to other sites, and more.

Conclusion

With 2 billion messages being exchanged between people and businesses in 1 month alone on Messenger, this form of marketing has incredible value, and few businesses have hopped onto the trend as of yet.
The most practical approach would be to hire a software developer to create the bot for you or get a marketing agency to develop a marketing strategy for your brand or business. But all in all, get those bots running, automate some of your customer service functions and ultimately build your leads and save some expenses making more efficient operations!

Next Step

Learnt a new thing or two about Messenger Bots that you could see being implemented into your business? Comment below, we’d love to hear from you.

Need help to create a Facebook messenger campaign and get more leads? We love helping businesses generate more enquiries and sales online.

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