10 Facebook Messenger Marketing Ideas

Facebook Messenger app icon on a phone
Facebook Messenger app icon on a phone

There’s no denying that Facebook Messenger marketing is gaining a measurable edge over more traditional communication methods. The public’s expectations for communicating with each other fundamentally transform the way they expect to communicate with businesses. When we consider the fact that a staggering 20 billion messages are sent between people and companies every month, it’s not surprising that so many organizations are flocking to chatbots. 

While people power some messenger marketing strategies, others are driven by bots — but most are likely a combination of both. Regardless of how you fuel your campaign or whether you use Facebook Messenger marketing, Instagram Direct or WhatsApp, all messaging apps have the means of creating powerful connections with audiences in the moments that matter. If you’re interested in learning more about how companies are using Facebook Messenger for business, read on as we’re about to spill the tea!

What is Facebook Messenger?

Facebook Messenger, commonly known as Messenger, is a free instant messaging platform that lets users exchange photos, videos, audio, files, start group chats, interact with bots and more. The platform has come a long way since its launch back in 2008 and currently ranks as the second most downloaded app globally, just behind the main Facebook app, with over 1.3 billion monthly active users.

What are the business benefits of messenger marketing?

There’s a ton of reasons why so many companies are leveraging Facebook Messenger marketing, including benefiting from:

  • Heightened engagement
  • Improved experiences
  • Increased sales
  • Lower cost per purchase
  • Higher deal value
  • Shorter lead to deal time
  • Higher net promoter scores (NPS)

How can marketers use Facebook Messenger for business?

Before exploring Facebook Messenger for business, we’d recommend creating a Facebook business page. Not sure how? Our Complete Beginners Guide to Creating a Facebook Page for Your Business will help. OK, now back to the creative ways that brands are thinking innovatively about messaging to build rewarding conversations with their communities...

1. Solve customer service queries and issues

Airline carrier, KLM, naturally gets a never-ending stream of customer service-related queries. So, to improve response efficiency and make it easier for their customers to chat with agents, they were keen to expand their social media services with Facebook Messenger for business. The airline knew that its audience spent a lot of time on social media, making Facebook the ideal communication platform to test. However, they also understood that people didn’t want to share sensitive travel information on a public Facebook Page. To overcome this, KLM included a “Send Message” chat widget button to its main business page, allowing audiences to ask questions. 

Since going live with their Facebook chatbot, 15% of all online boarding passes are sent via Messenger! Customers seem more than happy with this communication channel, considering KLM saw a 5-point higher average Net Promoter Score (NPS) on Messenger compared to other channels! Have a read of the full case study.

KLM plane

2. Reduce overheads

Facebook study found that 59% of people who message businesses say that doing so provides faster response time than more traditional channels. Another benefit of automation is there's less need for costly human involvement. Instead, marketing teams can focus on improving critical focus areas.

Expanding on the KLM example above, when their staff receives a question via the bot, they’re automatically given a proposed answer through AI. Since the bot is trained using AI, it can learn based on the agent's action and become smarter and more efficient in real-time. The agent then decides whether the answer is correct, makes any necessary adjustments, and replies via the chat platform.

HelloFresh is another brand using Facebook Messenger for its business that has benefited from faster response times after implementing their chatbot. A high volume of incoming messages meant they desperately needed to automate the follow-up of replies since customer-service agents were required to monitor incoming Facebook messages round the clock, to keep up. To put things into perspective, it took their support team between six and twelve hours to get through all the necessary steps to resolve a customer issue from just one of these messages. In 2018, HelloFresh’s average response time to customer inquiries was five hours. Fast forward to 2019, and one rolled out messenger marketing strategy later, it’s dropped dramatically to one hour and 11 minutes. That’s a 76% decrease in response times, even though they now get 47% more messages on the platform overall!

A fun quiz carried out by HelloFresh's chatbot

3. Improve conversions

Then we have the legendary Danish toy company LEGO, which leveraged Messenger to increase sales conversions through Facebook Messenger ads and streamlined shopping experiences. Leaning on the chatbot they playfully named Ralph, LEGO aimed to enhance the customer experience by removing customer journey friction. They did this by guiding audiences through the company's vast e-commerce catalog and offered users gift suggestions during the festive period. This was a perfect way for their marketing team to convert more potential customers on social media, simply by speaking with them at their moment of highest intent. 

Thanks to Ralph, the virtual assistant, LEGO saw an x3.4 return on Facebook Messenger ad spend, 71% lower cost per purchase for Messenger than their website and 1.9% higher value for website purchases made from click to Facebook Messenger ads! LEGO was so happy with Ralph that it implemented it again during Easter and is also now considering making Ralph a permanent feature of the brand's Facebook experience. You can read the full case study here.

Lego's chatbot Ralph in action

4. Build relationships

Every great relationship starts with a great conversation. Unlike traditional marketing, which is pretty much a one-way sales pitch, chatbots encourage two-way engagement. They’re a form of conversational marketing that allows brands to speak with their target audience and not at them. By doing so, marketers can optimize conversations by building more meaningful customer profiles and then use this additional data to create personalized drip campaigns. 

5. Drive brand affinity

Having the ability to chat in real-time also helps position brands as being accessible, a welcomed characteristic that reinforces a positive image. Speaking of brand image, chatbots can also drive brand affinity by aligning the bot’s personality with your brand’s identity. RuPaul’s Drag Race is a great example of this. 

Their marketing team used a Facebook Messenger appropriately named “Siss that Bot,” which lets fans browse GIF summaries of each episode across the seasons, share exclusive content and play fun RuPaul games. The bot feels like being inside the show and has lots of Drag Race attitude with links and responses written in the show’s and/or drag’s tone of voice. This is just one example of how bots can help brands build stronger relationships with their audiences through more human-like dialogue.

RuPaul's Drag Race Messenger Bot Case Study

6. Help audiences find relevant content and streamline experiences

Sometimes it’s difficult to find what you need on a website due to the sheer amount of content and pages present. And this can provide a noisy and frustrating landscape for audiences to navigate. Chatbots improve the experience by reducing noise and quickly finding answers to questions, so audiences needn’t go through the uphill battle of finding the content. In turn, responsiveness helps create positive and meaningful messaging experiences.

Whole Foods uses Facebook Messenger marketing to helps customers find recipes for their next shopping trip without perusing the entire website. For example, users can search for recipes, products and food inspiration. You can even send an emoji, like a strawberry or pepper, and Messenger will reply with a recipe that includes that product! This is a prime example of how messaging provides the concierge-like experience that customers expect from brands today.

Facebook research finds that over 55% of people feel more personally connected to brands using messenger marketing and over 68% believe messaging will create better customer experiences.

7. Increase awareness 

To raise awareness of mental health, help people approach difficult conversations and ease some of the anxiety felt when discussing such topics, Time to Change (a campaign run by UK mental health charities Mind and Rethink Mental Illness) used Facebook Messenger marketing. Many people still feel uncomfortable opening up about our mental health, and when asked how they are, often say, “I’m fine” when we’re not. The “Ask Twice” campaign encourages people to question ‘I’m fine’ type of responses if their friend or relative is acting differently by asking how they’re doing more than once, giving them a second chance to open up.

The campaign, which was promoted via video click to messenger Instagram and Facebook ads, used Messenger to offer advice and helpful resources. In doing so, it reached more than 2.6 million people and resulted in 4,064 Messenger conversations — 26% of which pledged to help a friend in the real world.

Jo Loughran, Time to Change's Director, commented: "The Ask Twice campaign has successfully encouraged people to 'ask twice' as a way of showing genuine interest and support for someone who might be struggling with their mental health. The experience we developed gave us a way to encourage those who might be nervous, dispel common misconceptions and give small but powerful tips in an efficient and interesting way."

If your mate's acting differently, #AskTwice

8. Grow marketing databases

Do you need to rebuild your marketing database post GDPR? Has your email marketing open rate taken a dive? Are you a small business just starting out? Messenger can help get your brand in the inbox. Brands are using this savvy bot to super-charge their contact list growth by attracting those that like their Facebook business page and turning them into subscribers. One of the ways they’re doing this is through competitions.

Messenger has the functionality to gather emails, choose a winner, and let the winner know how to redeem their prize. What’s more, it's more effective at collecting email subscribers than traditional landing page-based giveaways since Messenger can pre-populate the email address associated with a user’s account. This means it’s easier for them to opt-in and you also reduce the chance of acquiring false emails or addresses with errors.

9. Lead generation

To help increase sales in Egypt, 7Up, the Pepsi Co-owned lemon and lime sparkling drink, looked to Messenger to help position the beverage as something that could be enjoyed over a meal. To do this, they created engaging Instagram and Facebook Messenger ads that featured catchy images and jingles and launched them over the Ramadan period. Each Facebook Messenger ad contained information on how to claim a 75% discount on delivery from one of the region's leading digital food delivery platforms when 7Up was included as part of a meal. The discount code promoted in the ad was then sent by Messenger to all those that enquired...and this clever mix of Facebook Messenger ads paid off! Despite the brand planning to have the promotion run for two weeks, all 500,000 coupons were redeemed within 3 days! 

Online food ordering company, Uber Eats UAE, also saw success from using a similar Facebook Messenger ad tactic.

To help increase first time orders, they opted for a split test using two different campaigns. One was a control campaign using link ads and the other was a test campaign using click-to-Messenger ads. Both Facebook ads featured identical creatives, but the control campaign let people click through to the Uber Eats app and the test campaign directly to the chat. The result? The messenger marketing tactic proved more powerful, delivering 6x more first orders compared to ads that clicked to the app!

10. Enhance experiences

The idea of messenger marketing is to create a frictionless experience for customers by reducing barriers in their customer journey. While all of the above examples have enhanced experiences in one way or another, a few other companies have gone above and beyond. SEPHORA is one of them, having topped audiences’ visual expectations in messaging when they rolled out an immersive augmented reality experience.

After launching in 2018, the virtual and physical worlds were brought closer together when branded AR camera effects were embedded into the Facebook Messenger platform to help drive awareness, consideration or purchases. This helped solve real online shopping challenges, like not being able to visualize a product before buying it. However, with SEPHORA's AR experience, you can try on six different looks, each incorporating three beauty products for eyes, cheeks and lips. For such an easy-to-use feature, it sure does make all the difference to the sales process! 

Sephora Animation

So there you have it, 10 creative ways marketing teams can use Facebook Messenger marketing:

  1. Solve customer service queries and issues
  2. Reduce overheads
  3. Improve conversions
  4. Build relationships
  5. Drive brand affinity
  6. Help audiences find relevant content
  7. Increase awareness
  8. Grow marketing databases
  9. Lead generation
  10. Enhance experiences

Hopefully this article has shown how nifty a Facebook messenger ad and bots can be for increasing marketing strategy ROI for both small businesses and large brands. If Facebook messenger marketing is something you’re looking to roll out, make sure your messenger strategy is aligned with your wider Facebook strategy. Our previous blog, 6 Ways To Create Amazing Facebook Content [Guide] (and the 5 Most Common Facebook Marketing Mistakes to Avoid), will help. Have another cool use case for messenger? Tweet us and we’ll include it - @Meltwater!