- Nowadays almost everyone uses Facebook Messenger to communicate but is it really a powerful tool when we talk about getting in contact with our potential customers?
- Is there a way to grow or re-engage my audience? How can Messenger help me?
- Messenger Ads - a great way to get in front of your target audience in non-crowded areas. Here's how!
The sales pipeline for a small-to-medium business (SME) is standard - it is to acquire leads, nurture into prospects and convert into customers and then, encourage repeat purchases.
The challenge for SMEs in today’s digital world is to capture the attention of their target market and keep it.
Where do you find your target market? Well, look at where they hang out. A popular channel is Facebook. In Australia, there are 4.4million user of Facebook between the ages of 25-34. As at January 2018, 14.8 million adults (18 - 64 years) in Australia, are on Facebook. The opportunity is undeniable.
Many SMEs are already on Facebook, however advertising costs can get expensive. There is, however, one avenue that isn’t being used as much as it can be, which is Facebook Messenger.
What is Facebook Messenger?
Facebook Messenger is Facebook’s instant messaging tool. It allows for 1-to-1 messages between individual users on FB as well as group messages. It also allows a user on Facebook to message a business page. So if a customer who likes or follows your page has a question, they can message your business directly and start a conversation.
How is this different to Facebook?
Messenger is the inbox or message tool attached to Facebook. All users have access to it and it’s free. It’s different because, unlike on your Facebook Page, where comments are public, messages via Facebook Messenger are private.
The key reason that Facebook Messenger is fast becoming a prefered communication tool for businesses is that it allows for a one-to-one conversation with the customer. It is these conversations that lead to conversions.
If you like clear, irrefutable evidence, here are some numbers to stew over:
2 billion messages are sent between people and businesses each month
53% of people are more likely to shop with a business they can message directly
56% of people would rather message than call customer service
1. Generate leads and grow your list
Messenger ads are a great way to turn page likes into hot, qualified leads. You do this via a ‘Traffic’ or ‘Conversions’ campaign and select Messenger as the destination.
Via Messenger, you can deliver something of value - a how-to guide on growing a veggie patch in a small space, a checklist for prepping your pool for the summer or a 10-step guide to prepping your house for maximum sale value.
Let’s see how this might work in a scenario of a real estate agent running an ad to attract potential sellers and invite them to book a meeting.
You will need an image or a short video for your Messenger ad. Here’s what it looks like in the News Feed.
The ad is the same as a regular ad, with the only difference being the call-to-action button. For Messenger Ads this is either ‘Send Message’ or ‘Chat Now’. When a user clicks on the button, it takes them to Messenger, as shown in the right hand side. This is where you can have a conversation with the person.
You can find out how serious their intent to sell is, how urgent it is, all the basic details of the house - number of bedrooms, bathrooms, car spaces, etc.
Then, you can confirm email and phone details and book a time for a visit straight into your calendar, or get someone on the team to call them.
On paper, the outcome for the real estate agent is the same - a potential seller has provided information about their house and expressed an interest to have a discussion about it. In reality, the person has already started a conversation with you and your business. They have invested time in sharing information about their intent to sell in a very personal way (via short messages) and the relationship has already begun, without you even having to pick up a phone.
The possibilities are endless:
- Bookkeepers and accountants can book calls with potential customers
- Car dealers can book test drives
- Retail / e-commerce store owners can offer first-time purchase coupons
- Florists can take a simple order for flowers to be delivered
- Personal development coaches can offer an ebook or free exploration session
A common misconception is that Facebook is only for consumer and lifestyle products and services. But you’d be surprised the types of businesses that bring in leads and sales from Facebook. If your target audience is of a more professional nature, you could try these:
- Business coaches can offer a time management framework
- IT services companies can offer a back-up checklist
- Consultants can offer an audit of the key business system they work with
- Software or app providers can put on a free online seminar (webinar)
- SEO agencies can offer a sample keyword list based on industry and location
2. Re-engage customers and leads
If you have customers or leads who have previously engaged with your business, i.e. the user and you (via your Business Page) have exchanged short texts or chats via Facebook Messenger, then you can run a ‘Sponsored Message Ad’ directly to that user’s inbox.
This is a highly targeted approach and is a great way to re-engage past customers for renewals or upsells. It’s also a good way to remind those who were interested in your product or service and give them an irresistible offer that converts them into a buyer.
3. Reach a larger audience similar to your target market
If you haven’t started much of a discussion with your Page fans (those are the people who like your Facebook Business Page), you can still take advantage of Messenger ads, with the Messenger Homepage Ads.
These are the Sponsored Ads that show up in Messenger just after the first message.
IMAGE CREDIT: Screenshot via Facebook
This type of campaign is a great way to get in front of your target audience in an area which isn’t crowded and you’re not competing with too many other distractions….yet. There is a lot of potential with Messenger Ads so it’s best to get in while it’s still early days.