Using a bot in marketing (including a Facebook Messenger chatbot as a well-known example) is one of the popular social media trends nowadays and one that’s going to continue for sure. Bots can automate many processes and, as a result, increase a brand’s revenue and contribute to maximizing exposure.
Of course, proof is in the pudding. According to the Outgrow 2021 research, Messages are preferred over phone calls by 56% of customers, and bots complete 30% of live chat communications.
Messaging apps surpassed social networks in 2015, with more people using the former than the latter since then. Currently, the 3 most popular global mobile messenger apps are Whatsapp, Facebook Messenger and WeChat. For this reason, the popularity of various messenger chatbots like Facebook Messenger and other messenger bots for businesses and marketing is continuously rising all over the world.
What is a Facebook Messenger chatbot?
According to the Cambridge dictionary, a chatbot is “a computer program designed to have a conversation with a human being, especially over the internet”. Such a piece of software is designed to simulate human-like conversations based on voice or text, often in fun and light-hearted ways.
In the modern world, chatbots have become widely used for customer support and marketing purposes. Basic bots can answer simple predefined questions based on keywords, while AI-powered chatbots can conduct more complex conversations tackling various topics. Simply put, bots can appropriately react to the context of certain conversations, making them look like they’re real people we’re having a chat with.
Chatbots can be implemented in various ways and in various places. The most popular places that companies use chatbots are on their websites and/or apps, as well as in Facebook Messenger.
What are the benefits of implementing chatbots in your strategy?
- Automation — customers can get instant responses to their enquiries and messages, practically anytime, including the times when you’re closed, such as weekends and holidays
- Saving time — chatbots can take over repetitive tasks and enable your team to focus on more ambitious and complex engagements within your organisation.
- Personalization — thanks to gathered data, you can provide your customers with a personal touch, even via a chatbot.
- Accuracy of response — when it comes to data, bots are by far more reliable than humans.
- Engagement — as chatbots interact with customers in a conversational way, such interactions can be far more engaging and improve customer experience, as well as contribute to brand recall and recognition
- Proactive customer interaction — thanks to bots, you can interact with customers, even if they don’t contact your team. For example, you can ask them for feedback automatically.
- Being up-to-date with the latest trends — other brands are implementing chatbots to improve their customer support and marketing strategies, you shouldn’t fall behind your competitors and aim to be a pioneer within this topic.
- Delivering an omnichannel experience — by enabling contact via bots, you can offer a more convenient communication channel for your customers.
As you can see, chatbots can influence your business in many ways, so you should definitely take advantage of the technology to boost your brand’s performance now. It’s very easy.
What can you use a Facebook Messenger chatbot for?
Implementing a bot in your social media strategy can spice up your interactions with customers and become an even more effective communication channel, both for customer support and sales purposes. Check out in which cases you can use a Facebook Messenger Chatbot instead of, or alongside, other communication channels.
Nowadays, with rising customer expectations, brands receive messages practically 24/7. Thanks to the Facebook auto-reply bot, you can answer repetitive questions immediately without disturbing your agents’ time. It’s a win-win situation for both your team and your customers. By taking advantage of machine learning, you can even teach your Facebook Messenger chatbot how to solve more complex and challenging issues, like those associated with system errors, orders and more.
Proactive support to increase customer satisfaction
When it comes to customer service and increasing customer satisfaction, you don’t have to wait for users to contact you through Facebook Messenger first. Let your customers know that they don’t have to hesitate to ask their questions and that your support is available via Facebook Messenger anytime they need it. A friendly welcome message in your Facebook Business chatbot can be a game-changer for customer-brand interactions. However, ensure that it’s not being too invasive or spammy. Keep it simple and warm.
Getting feedback from your customers
You can also ask for feedback in a conversational way that simulates human interactions. Conduct a brief survey so that, in a few clicks, you can gather essential information and find out how your customers perceive your brand, support, and products or services.
Use a satisfaction scale or prepare some statements to choose from. This way, you’ll increase the chances of getting feedback compared to relying on customers to type out their own opinions. While this method may not give you very precise results as it’s limited to your own, pre-made formulas, it’s always better than nothing.
Facebook live chat on your website
You can also implement a Facebook live chatbot on your website. This way you can deliver omnichannel customer support and provide customers with the same experience that they already know from Facebook. It’s a great idea for building your chatbot audience, as you’ll be able to contact users who have previously asked questions via live chat on your website.
In addition, it’s a great way to efficiently manage and organize your communication channels. Keeping everything in one place will allow you to stay organized and on top of your performance.
Conversational commerce to increase sales
At the end of the day, every brand’s purpose of being active on social media is to increase sales. Conversational commerce, by using rule-based or AI-driven chatbots, enables shopping via voice assistants or text bots.
It’s a great way of doing things, especially when your business is characterized by that type of consumer who loves shopping when you’re closed – on weekends and holidays. Take advantage of the existing technology and increase your revenue in no time.
Browsing products via the Facebook messenger bot app
Customers can view online store catalogues within the Facebook Messenger bot app – it’s easy, comfortable and fast since everyone is already on Facebook 24/7 anyway.
For example, Shopify provides e-commerce businesses with The Messenger Sales Channel, which enables browsing of products via Messenger. Once customers make a purchase decision, they’ll be redirected to your website to finalize their purchase.
Moreover, this channel lets brands send automated notifications regarding their orders directly through the Facebook Messenger chatbot. What’s not to like?
Shopping directly in the app
A “Buy Now” button enables purchasing within the Messenger app, letting you shorten the buyer journey and increase conversion. During this quick check-out process, the Facebook bot will automatically fill out the form with a users’ data (if they have updated it on Facebook).
Who doesn’t like a quick and easy order placement process you can enjoy from the comfort of the Messenger app? We certainly do!
A great example of a company that allows users to purchase hotel stays using the Messenger bot is Marriott International – a globally known hotel, residential and timeshare property chain. Customers can use their bot to arrange stays, manage other hospitality-related matters, for example group conferences. Seems convenient and easy? That’s exactly because it is!
Some brands go beyond customer expectations and use bots to give advice during purchasing. Instead of browsing hundreds of products on their own, users can ask for recommendations relating to sets of products or gifts, etc.
The sky’s the limit!
Depending on seasons and occasions, you can engage with your customers and offer appropriate products. For example, LEGO helps customers choose the best products based on the age and interests of the recipient.
Suitable, appropriate, and noninvasive recommendations can also contribute to up-selling. When a customer chooses a selection of pants, why not offer them a set of matching shirts as well?
Promo codes distribution via chatbots
You can use chatbots to reward those who follow you on Facebook or regularly visit your website, by distributing a special deal via Messenger. Instead of placing promo codes in your social media posts and ads, encourage users to contact your brand using your Messenger chatbot for businesses.
This way, your customers can receive a promo code and you can build your audience for future correspondence, for example, newsletters and seasonal deals
Lead generation and nurturing
Chats in Facebook Business Messenger bots can boost your sales strategy. By interacting with users, you can segment them and identify your leads quickly and efficiently.
Adjust your bot’s scenarios to your sales funnel and create a positive customer experience that will contribute to increasing brand recall. First, find out what challenges your potential customers face, then offer free advice or a valuable piece of content and enable easy contact.
Bots can be also effective when it comes to lead nurturing. You can send automatic, yet personalized, regular messages with a follow-up or a new piece of helpful content. This way, you can build a strong relationship with potential customers and warm up your leads. That’s a great way to work on customer loyalty, so make sure you don’t forget about it.
A great example of chatbots working as a lead generation tool is Roof Ai, a chatbot with a mission to help real-estate social media marketers with automating interactions with potential leads through social media.
Chatbots like this essentially make the job of marketers easier, allowing for discovering lead potential effortlessly. In addition, a simple interaction with a bot can result in a sale, so that’s also a way to increase revenue and sales volume in a way that’s automated and doesn’t really need a lot of time and resources.
Increasing engagement and brand awareness
AI Bots can help you entertain your customers and engage with them in a conversational, and often funny, or creative way. For example, you can automatically answer Facebook comments, organize quizzes, surveys, challenges, puzzles or lotteries, provide frames and even use geolocalization to identify your customers’ locations, all via Messenger bots that work on their own.
A great example when a company wanted to raise awareness about their product (a movie in this case) is when Disney introduced their Zootopia movie-inspired chatbot on Facebook Messenger back in 2016.
Another great idea is to organize a social media contest using a bot! Instead of posting or commenting, users can submit their tasks via Messenger so that they’re not public. You might receive more submissions than usual because users more often value their privacy.
A great bonus is that when you wish to reach out to them again in the future, your conversation with them will already be there and they will recall your brand much quicker.
Facebook Messenger chatbots for business can be used as a substitute for email marketing. As mentioned above, you can send automatic notifications regarding customers’ orders, send follow-ups and distribute content.
One might wonder why they should switch from email to Messenger. Well, the former and more conventional communication channel is becoming less and less effective.
Since many users receive tons of emails, they simply don’t open them all. On the other hand, Facebook Messenger users still don’t get as many messages from brands as emails, plus it’s faster and more convenient to use.
What’s more, users will probably check out your messages on Facebook as a result of the FOMO (fear of missing out) phenomenon. Test it out on your audience and find out which channel’s open rates are higher.
How to build a Facebook Messenger chatbot?
For starters, Facebook offers a native option called ‘Automated responses’. As an admin of a Facebook page, you can set up automatic messages that will be sent to users depending on the options chosen. In this case, there’s no bot that uses data to solve issues, but rather the system automatically sends responses to the selected questions. You can set up:
- FAQs with answers to enable simple and predefined interactions with customers.
- An away message and instant reply that informs users that you’ll respond to their message as soon as possible.
- Response to feedback – you can automatically message people who recommended your Page to provide more insightful feedback.
You can use Facebook’s templates or craft your own engaging messages that are tailored to your brand. It’s not a very complex or advanced solution, but it definitely can be a start when it comes to improving customer experience through Facebook.
To create more helpful and complex interactions, try building a chatbot for yourself. There are two ways to do this. The first is to program your own bot from scratch. For that, you’ll need a professional who specializes in bots, which can be extremely expensive and time-consuming.
The second method, which can eliminate potential costs and wait-times, is to use a chatbot platform, on which you can take advantage of templates and ready-to-use plugins without any coding skills. Today, the market is filled with such solutions.
Below you can find a few of the most interesting tools, with some of them even offering basic plans for completely free:
Advantage: a rich variety of integration possibilities
Pricing plans (per month): Free $0, Pro $10, Business – individual
Advantage: it’s an open-source platform, so you own your data and can download your code
Pricing plans (per month): Free $0, Developer $19, Pro $199, Enterprise – individual
Advantage: easy setup process with no developer involvement required
Pricing plans (per month): Free $0, Pro $15, Premium – individual, Agency – individual
Advantage: wide range of integrations and utility cases (marketing, sales, support, education, enterprise, healthcare)
Pricing plans (per month): Starter $42, Team $126, Business $424, Enterprise – individual
Advantage: multiple languages available
Pricing plans (per month): Personal $40, Professional $125, Business $415, Custom – individual
With these platforms, you can program conversation scenarios, so that chosen actions will occur based on users’ behaviour. They’re intuitive and provide drag-and-drop editors that let you know exactly how your bot will function. With more advanced plans, you can take advantage of AI (even voice and image recognition) for training your chatbot to interact with customers more intuitively and accurately.
Build a stronger and long-lasting relationship with Facebook messenger chatbots
While revamping your social media strategy, make sure a Facebook Messenger chatbot is a part of it. Start with simple FAQs and automatic responses to improve customer support, then implement more options over time, such as product recommendations, content distribution and contests.
Don’t hesitate to interact with customers in a more engaging conversational way to build stronger and more long-term relationships with them. Try out a few different free solutions to find out which of their features suit you the most.