In the History of Chatbots section from our in-depth, What is a Chatbot? piece, we mention that in 2016 Facebook announced it had developed a platform for users to build bots which could connect with Facebook Messenger. This was big news at the time, and rapidly led to tens of thousands of bots being created to maximize the potential of Facebook’s marketing and advertising ecosystem.
For many businesses, it represented a terrific opportunity. Recent data published by Facebook shows why – more than 20 million messages are sent between people and businesses on Messenger per month, with a Nielson study finding that 64% of people prefer to message rather than call a business.
But should you integrate your chatbot with Facebook Messenger? In this post, we cover some key considerations to keep in mind, as well as what you stand to benefit if you do implement it as part of your digital marketing strategy.
In our section on adopting the Best Chatbot Strategy, we recommend asking yourself some basic questions, 3 of which are highly relevant here:
- Where is your audience?
- What is the ultimate goal of your chatbot?
- Do you have the marketing budget and resources for your chatbot if it’s on an external platform like Facebook?
Let’s take a closer look at these questions. Firstly, you should know where your users are most active. If they are interacting with you on your website rather than your Facebook page, then perhaps it might be best to focus your strategy rather than expand it to every platform. We’d suggest beginning with the place where the majority of your audience engages with you, and then building outwards from there. That being said, try to find out if your target audience have Facebook accounts and use Messenger in their daily lives. If they do, this hints at strong potential for Facebook marketing.
Secondly, what problems are you looking to solve with your messenger chatbot? For example, is it to increase or nurture leads, or to assist your support team by providing another communication channel to your customers? It helps to know this beforehand, so you invest in the right technologies. We cover some use cases and benefits that come from such an integration in the next section below.
Thirdly, there is little point to opening up a new communication channel with your customers if you don’t have the time, energy, and resources to properly support it – by which we mean: using templates or a chatbot builder to customize your bot to represent your brand; training your bot in Natural Language Processing or NLP (so that it better understands user intent and can therefore provide more relevant and personalized responses); handling those questions your bot is unable to answer; and reviewing data analytics compiled by your bot to track and improve customer experience. Make sure you know whether you can support inbound inquiries from Messenger.
Use Cases and Benefits of a Facebook Messenger Bot
Facebook is the most popular social media network worldwide, with approximately 1.93 billion daily active users, and Messenger is one of the most popular global apps. This means that integrating your chatbot with your Facebook page builds for your business a whole new channel for your sales funnel.
Your bot can pop up and greet visitors to your Facebook page with a personalized welcome message, using language consistent with your brand tone. What’s more, your bot will collect any important information visitors share with you to build out user profiles that are saved to your database. You can use this information to nurture leads via customized offers and content – studies have found that in comparison to email marketing, Messenger marketing can lead to open rates and click-through rates being as high as 95% and 25% respectively.
With such an integration, you can support your customer service team by providing customers with multiple channels by which to contact you. Bots are available 24/7, provide instant real-time responses, and can reduce call volume by resolving FAQs or swiftly directing potential customers to the products or resources they are searching for – in essence, they meet people’s rising expectations of how a business should be able to communicate with its audience. Facebook’s own data points to how important this is – 71% of people they surveyed say they're open to messaging businesses, with the majority stating that being able to message a business helps them feel more confident about the brand.
Another key advantage that comes from a Facebook Messenger chatbot is that it not only boosts engagement via more conversations, but it provides personalized user experiences and customer support at scale. Your bot can simultaneously handle multiple conversations simultaneously. You can also use automations to free up resources and maximize efficiency in your sales and marketing processes. Say, for example, a trigger could be when a new user visits your page, with the action being to engage them with a welcome message, or a trigger could be when a user engages with your bot and completes a goal like sharing their contact details, with the action being to add their details to your CRM. If automations are important to you, make sure you invest in a chatbot platform which has REST API capability, so it can “talk” to your internal systems like your inventory or CRM systems.
Instabot comes with an easy-to-connect Facebook integration. If you are looking to support your Facebook pages and customer service teams, increase lead generation opportunities and streamline workflows with a chatbot messenger platform, get in touch with us today.