Ever since it was announced that Facebook intended to open up their Messenger platform to businesses, many companies have been wondering how they can best capitalise on it, and what the benefits are for them.
Facebook Messenger is used by over 1 billion people worldwide, so the potential for companies to engage with their audience is huge. But how does Messenger help companies connect with this massive audience?
The short answer is that there are a variety of ways, including bots and subscription messaging, but for us, the most exciting opportunity is to integrate Messenger as part of a multichannel communication solution.
Here’s the sort of thing that can be implemented with the current level of functionality:
Add value to your existing communication channels
Our most requested solution allows businesses to contact their customers via SMS and ask them if they would like to opt-in to use Facebook Messenger as their primary communication channel with the business.
If it’s a no from the customer, then they will continue to receive their communications via SMS. If it’s a yes, then their correspondence will be sent via Messenger, with an SMS sent in case of the customer not being logged in, not having read the message or not having internet signal.
This can be used to send confirmation messages of all types ranging from appointment reminders to package delivery information.
This resolves a key challenge with Messenger – determining the response to the following factors:
- Does my audience use Messenger?
- Are they logged in to their accounts?
- Do they have an internet connection?
The beauty of combining SMS and Messenger is that you can always rely on SMS as your fail-safe. SMS enjoys a 98% open rate, doesn’t require internet access, doesn’t require a smartphone to be received, and ensures that your messages get through.
What else can Facebook Messenger do for your business?
Once you’ve got the all-important opt-in, you’ve got plenty of options open to you. For example, how about policy/contract renewals? We can work with you to create a bot which automatically contacts customers and lets them know it’s time to renew, and then links to your web portal.
If the customer doesn’t have their policy/contract details to hand, no problem! Via Messenger we can ask some security questions, which, when answered correctly, will provide them with the details they need to process the renewal.
Customer satisfaction surveys via Messenger
If a customer’s opted to go ‘Facebook First’, you can send your post-service surveys out via this platform, with responses routed back into the Esendex platform for collation with your SMS Survey responses.
Again, you can deploy SMS Surveys if that’s the customer’s preference, or they’re not online at the time of sending the message.
What can you expect in terms of engagement rates through Messenger?
It’s really too soon to tell, but if we use email (20% open rate) and SMS (98% open rate) as benchmarks we can make an educated guess. Messenger won’t immediately suffer from the same issues with spam as email, but equally it’s not as accessible as SMS, so we’d expect read rates to average around 50% depending on use.
What could you do in the future?
As Messenger continues to evolve, so will the variety of functionality. How about using Messenger as part of a broader multichannel business communication solution, or subscription-based news alerts and marketing? Improving engagement with your audience to gain better market research?
This is happening right now…
In the first month since launch, over 5,000 traders that use the Shopify ecommerce platform started to send order confirmations and alerts through Facebook Messenger (source).
It’s safe to say that based on the numbers of businesses who have already added Messenger to their communication strategy, that this is a viable channel for both B2B and B2C industries.
We’re currently working with a range of partners and customers to help create their perfect bespoke Facebook Messenger solution, and we’d love to work with you to create the right Facebook Messenger integration for you.
We have some extremely exciting Messenger developments in the pipeline so please watch this space and get in touch to see if we can help you.