If you could go back in time and be the first business to utilize Facebook ads, the first brand to post an Instagram Story or the first company to post a video on Facebook, wouldn’t you be?
Unfortunately, time machines don’t exist (yet!), but you can be among the first businesses to use Facebook’s newest treasure: Messenger chatbots.
There are currently only around 300,000 Facebook Messenger chatbots active – making it a prime time to beat the competition and take advantage of a new marketing tool.
But what exactly is a chatbot?
It’s a simple way for customers to reach a business. They’re super smart and can converse back and forth with customers to answer FAQs such as what time does your store open, how many size 7 shoes do you have left in stock and how can I buy tickets for this weekend’s festival?! Pretty cool, right?
The discover tab in Facebook Messenger even lists the most popular bots and gives users the option to search for new ones. Before you click to open the Messenger app on your phone (yes, the one you thought was only a means to chat to friends and family) here are the answers to questions you will probably have!
How do I get my Messenger bot featured in the Discover tab?
Messenger Bots take time and strategy to develop, of course, you want as many users to see it as possible. To have your bot included in Discover, you will have to utilize the Discover submission form (access by heading to your Page settings -> Settings -> Messenger Platform). From there, Facebook will ask you details on the following:
- Overview: Brief description of your bot
- Category: Primary and secondary categories that your bot should be featured in
- Keywords: 10 keywords that will be used to find your bot via search
- Language: The languages you would like your bot to be in
- Summary: Description of your bot that will be displayed for users to see
Take time and care while doing this – Facebook’s approval depends on the information you provide. If your goals change after approval, however, the form can be revised at any time in your Page Settings.
Once approved, the Discover tab is curated in respect to their algorithm. While they won’t disclose filters and rankings here are some of the things Facebook says will increase your chances of your bot appearing in the Discover tab:
- High responsiveness rate. Can be seen from within Messenger thread with a page.
- Making good use of platform features, including the persistent menu and get started button.
- Low block and report rates for your bot. Can be found in Page → Insights -> Messages.
You will also notice that the Discover tab changes for every person based on their behaviors. Just because your page’s bot isn’t appearing on your friend’s Discover tab does not indicate no one is seeing it.
Can I advertise my chatbot?
Of course! New users will be able to use your bot via Facebook ads by using the “send a message” button. They won’t have to submit details or information, but will simply open the bot in Messenger and will be subscribed instantly.
Alternatively, you can allow a chatbot to start conversations and get more customers with users after they comment on a Facebook post – organic or paid. Talk about a convenient way to get customers interacting! I went into depth on this subject on Facebook Messenger bots and you can read more on this subject in depth in my post titled “Facebook Messenger Bots Are Here To Change Customer Service”.
Can I retarget with Facebook chatbots?
Again, of course! A user that viewed one of your products can be sent a future message with more information about the product they were interested in. Facebook Messenger bots also just may be the key to increasing your abandoned cart revenue. You can program your bot to send a gentle reminder to existing customers that they left their cart full of products. Chances are they’ll revisit it! The best part? All of these retargeting options are free.
Can I have users sign up for my chatbot outside of Facebook?
Smart thinking! Yes, you can. Your business can create a link to your chatbot sign-up page to be included as a call to action in emails, blog posts, and directly on your website. This is a great way to increase users!
Can messenger bots sell for me?
Quite possibly their biggest asset – Facebook Messenger bots can sell products for you with the right scripts. The drop-off rates tend to be lower than in a traditional ad-to-web pipeline, too, since users do not have to leave the comfort of Facebook Messenger.
Facebook Messenger bots won’t just spit out prices, either. They act freakishly human and have the capabilities for personalized up-selling, like asking a hungry customer if they’d like a side of mozzarella sticks with their pineapple and ham pizza.
However, we do suggest starting off slow and getting comfortable with basic Facebook Messenger scripts before utilizing selling features.
Are brands actually using them – and seeing success?
You bet. During the 2017 NFL season, Bud Light allowed users to order beer via Facebook Messenger app. Thirsty football fans could order an extra case right from the comfort of their couch (after verifying their age, of course) and it was delivered within an hour. It’s no surprise that this bot saw an 83% engagement rate.
Bud Light isn’t the only brand using Facebook Messenger Bots wisely. 1-800-Flowers allows you to send a beautiful arrangement to a loved one through the bot, Wall Street Journal sends users live stock quotes and HP will coordinate with your printer to print your favorite photos quickly. Now that’s creative!
No two Facebook messenger bots should be identical in services. Customize yours for your customers’ needs. Ask yourself “How can I make my a customer’s life easier?” and use your chatbot to bring your answer to life.
Do I have to build my own Facebook Messenger Bot?
Absolutely not. In fact, if you have little programming experience, we advise against it. There are tons of third-party chatbot programs available that will allow you to easily create bots that seamlessly integrate with Facebook Messenger.
Here are a few platforms you can use:
Its Alive: This company prides themselves on building customized chatbots that meet each businesses brand strategy.
Flow XO: A flexible chatbot solution with a plethora of options that allows users to create completely automated bots.
Chatfuel: If you’re on a time-crunch, this may be your best bet. Chatfuel creates a chatbot for you in just seven minutes – no coding required.
It’s easy to create a chatbot, but difficult to create one that works well and has your specific audience in mind. Always enlist help – it will pay off in the long run when you create a satisfied customer base. The best part about chatbots is their customization – you can truly curate it to fit your customers’ needs perfectly. What do you think is the best use for chatbots? We’d love to hear your thoughts.