"Automated chatbots have the potential to completely revolutionize the face of customer service, marketing and sales as we know it" - Forbes, July 2018
Do you remember the days of MSN instant messenger? The little menus that would pop up on the bottom of your screen and you could see which of your friends, family or colleagues were online? You might also remember the introduction of messaging into Facebook, which used a similar interface as the old MSN version.
Messaging on Facebook became easy, convenient and in a lot of cases provided more privacy and was less prone to spam than giving out your phone number or even email address. More and more of us began using Facebook Messenger, and then Mr Zuckerberg and his team had a pretty genius idea.
Fast forward to 2016, when Facebook announced that Messenger would be its own platform. And to top if off, they also announced they were allowing developers to build automated chatbots on the platform.
Why does this matter? Well, Facebook has confirmed that Messenger is their priority, and the aim is to make it the hub through which we all communicate with friends, family AND businesses.
Think about it this way: though it might seem like a bold statement, we're currently with Messenger marketing where we were with web sites in 1998.
Consider these stats:
Here's the Zuck himself at the 2016 F8 conference telling us all about his new plan (video has been bookmarked at 13:07):
If you're a business owner, marketing manager, creative or in any industry where you want to reach your customers directly and engage, entertain and delight them then a Messenger Marketing strategy makes a lot of sense.
What's more, this is prime time to get ahead of the trend here. Consider this graphic showing the amount of chatbots on the platform compared to the amount of users and businesses with a Facebook page:
If the amount of active Messenger users was shown in proportion, you wouldn't even be able to see the number of chatbots!
When first implementing your chatbot for your company, there are a few best practices to remember:
This is an exciting time to be getting onboard the Messenger train. Yes that's Messenger with a capital M! Your customers will love the novelty of engaging with your chatbot, and you'll love the tracking options that allow you to see exactly how they're responding to the content you're sending! Email isn't dead, chatbots just makes it so much easier to collect email addresses. YouTube isn't going anywhere, however Messenger makes it so easy to deliver a link to a video right to a customer's fingertips.
In an upcoming post I'll be talking about how Messenger can talk to just about any other app. Uber ride to my favorite restaurant at the tap of a button without having to use the actual Uber app? No problem!