16 May Are Messenger Bots a Must for Your Business?
At the recent Facebook F8 Conference, Facebook focused on the introduction of Bots to the popular Messenger app, opening the door for heightened commercial use of the app. Facebook Messenger has quadrupled its active users in just two years (currently at 900 million active monthly users) and in 2015 was the second fastest growing social or messaging app worldwide. When Messenger was introduced, there was a lot of concern about privacy issues slowing initial downloads. With that behind them, Facebook is taking the next step for the app.
As marketers, we applaud and even look forward to utilizing this tool, but as users, we may have a bit of a different opinion. And as life-long learners of our trade, we hope the Facebook big-wigs have considered all the potential pitfalls and learned from some of the mistakes from the early days of email marketing, direct marketing or even their own experience with negative feedback from “Farmville” sales.
Too Much, Too Often
Humans are funny – we want to know what we want to know, but that line is dangerously close to our maximum capacity for information. In a digital world, we have become so accustomed to having everything and anything we want at our finger tips. But when does it become too much? We start to tune out and even get annoyed with a constant barrage of sales messages and contact from even our favorite brands. We want to be able to text, chat or call 24/7 and you better be there for us, quickly and efficiently, but it isn’t necessarily a two-way street. Does the user want your brand to be able to reach them 24/7 in a very personal platform?
Remember Facebook before businesses could use it? It was all personal. Then they opened the door for businesses, and then ads. Everyone hated being flooded with ads while trying to check on their friends and family. In response, Facebook introduced a new algorithm that made it more difficult for business posts to show on your feed. Now, they are taking away the privacy of messages and inviting businesses to access that sacred and private aspect of Facebook.
So should we use this platform to engage our consumers? As long as you are using it intelligently, with your customers’ overall Messenger experience always top of mind, Messenger can be a very helpful tool. Remember, the customer comes first. Your goal is to make life better and easier for them when they are doing business with you. So proceed forward cautiously.
Some Examples of Successful Executions
A few early adopters are paving the way for intelligent use of the app.
Uber jumped on the Messenger bandwagon pretty quickly. Users can now send a message to Uber to hitch a ride and pay for it all within the Messenger app. Overall, this is a smart move for Uber. While they have their own successful app, it is important to be where your customers are, and Facebook is proving to be that spot.
Lybrate (an online service that connects patients to doctors with a network of 90,000+ verified doctors) upped their game by setting up their chat Bot to help answer health related questions for their patients. Now it is even easier for patients to connect to doctors and have their questions answered. A health quiz is also available for users to take in order to narrow down symptoms.
So what do you have to do to set up your Messenger Bot?
Set up of Messenger Bot requires an API integration along with the creation of templates to be used, basically creating an app within an app. Messenger then hosts what you have created. Facebook has created a plug-in that can be used on your site to help discover your customers on Facebook and allow interaction with them.
Take the Leap!
If your business is looking for a new way to communicate with your customers Messenger Bot may be worth experimenting with. Stay ahead of your competition and get your Bot up and running sooner rather than later; but remember to do so intelligently and put your customers’ needs first.
Want to make sure you are using this new tool wisely? Contact the wedü team to help you strategize for your business.