Facebook has really ramped up its advertising features in 2016 and in my opinion, has become the ultimate platform to achieve any marketing goal.
It's recently improved its Messenger service (the private message feature) allowing you to do some amazing things, such as add call-to-actions to contact your business via the News Feed, make payments and answer user questions using bots.
Messenger On News Feed Ads
As of right now, Facebook is rolling out Messenger for News Feed Ads.
When selecting the website clicks objective, at the ad level you'll find an extra call-to-action that let's users message your Page from the Facebook ad:
Once a user clicks to contact your business, as you can in the image above, you can display a pre-set message encouraging the user to reply or make a certain action.
There are a number of ways you can leverage this.
For example, run ads asking customers for feedback on your product or service for improvement, or serve Messenger News Feed Ads to customers who made a transaction in the last 72 hours, asking if they have any questions about their recent purchase.
Offering this type of customer experience can be turned into a unique selling point, giving customers more of a reason to use you over your competitors.
Mobile Websites In Messenger
Enhanced mobile websites in Messenger lets users access your website directly from Messenger, without having to open a Google Chrome or Safari browser on their smart device.
As well as reducing website load times, you'll be able to customize your website for Messenger by inserting rich-media and changing the dimensions of your pages.
This is currently in beta testing.
Make Payments Using Messenger
This is by far the biggest change Facebook has made to Messenger, and personally I think....
Until now, to make a payment a user had to leave Facebook and visit a third-party website, well all that's about to change.
Users can now save their credit or debit card information on Facebook, and make payments through Facebook Messenger without leaving the platform. As Messenger continues to work on its bot feature, you'll be able to automate the whole buying process through Messenger giving your brand a super streamlined way to make sales.
This feature is also in beta testing in the U.S. only.
Welcome Screen For Messenger Bots
When a user clicks on a Messenger CTA ad, it will start a new thread and you'll be able to create a welcome message listing the bot's average response time, which category of the associated page it manages and what it's capable of doing for the user.
Welcome Screen for bots is being rolled out currently worldwide.
Sharing Your Bots
Facebook users can share your bots with friends like so:
As you can see from the image above, users select from a list of predefined options and the bot returns a message based on their response. If you offer a range of products or membership levels, by asking customers to answer preset questions you can filter them through your funnel to find the best package for their needs.
You can also get creative and script bots that amuse and provide users with a fun and game-like experience as shown above.
Bots Are Taking Over
The Matrix was right all along, bots are taking over. You'll have noticed over the last few months that when you received a message on your Facebook Page, Facebook was asking you yes or no questions about comments left by users.
Facebook is using your feedback to create AI bots that will be used for all the features I've talked about in this article.
Facebook Messenger has more than 1 billion users and data shows that instant messaging is on the rise:
Let's not forget that Facebook bought out WhatsApp for $22 billion in 2014, I'm expecting Messenger and WhatsApp to cross-paths in the next few years.
Facebook is investing heavily on its Messenger service as it believes that will be the future of reaching customers. It's very rare for Facebook to get anything wrong either!
How Will You Be Using Messenger?
Many of the Facebook Messenger features are still in beta testing, so you might not have the functionality to use everything just yet.
The Messenger part of Facebook is going to be very profitable for brands, users may scroll past your news feed ads, but when there's a message in their inbox, it will show a notification icon on their app and a red notification on the top right of their Facebook account, which is super powerful to getting users to consume your content or interact with your brand.
How will you be using Messenger?