Almost everyone uses Facebook Messenger.
In the US, it's probably one of the most popular messaging apps around.
When you think of messaging apps, marketing usually isn't the first thing to come to mind.
But, many companies have been getting some very promising results by using Facebook messenger bots.
These bots can add functionalities through Messenger that would normally be found elsewhere, adding an extra layer of convenience for your customers.
It's also a great medium for offering customer support.
The bots themselves have artificial intelligence capabilities that enable them to understand, and respond to, statements and questions from customers.
The technology has advanced to the point that, for the most part, users can communicate naturally and conversationally with messaging bots. Some bots also have a pre-set “menu” for customers to find what they're looking for.
Businesses in a wide range of industries are implementing messenger bots as a key part of their marketing and customer service strategies. In a recent post from Hootsuite, the author explains the many benefits of bots.
Benefits of Facebook messenger bots for business
Bots represent the first large-scale appearance of AI technology in real life. Until then, AI was very much the realm of science fiction like 2001 a Space Odyssey, Bladerunner, and Westworld.
There’s no doubt this gives bots that novelty factor that draws in many early adopters and generates publicity, which further increases adoption.
However, bots aren’t gimmicks—people genuinely find them useful.
If you’re one of the 1.2 billion people who use Facebook messenger every month, it’s probably because it’s convenient and easy-to-use. And your Facebook friends use it.
Bots offer the same convenience and ease-of-use.
Plus they let you perform tasks within Messenger that would otherwise require you to open an app, go online, or make a phone call. You can perform simple tasks like ordering a pizza or do something trickier like dispute a parking ticket.
Bots also deliver automated customer service in a more personal-feeling way.
Type a simple “Hi” in the chat window, and most Facebook Messenger bots will respond immediately, answering questions conversationally and in real-time. It feels more like talking to a friend than a customer service agent.
From a business point of view, bots offer many benefits.
Not least is Facebook Messenger’s huge user-base. It makes sense to use a platform everyone is already using to enhance your customers’ user experience.
Customer service is a popular use of Facebook Messenger bots.
It’s a way to help customers in a more personal way that incorporates your brand values and voice. It also helps you be seen as more available in the eyes of your customers.
For example, if you’re an insurance company you can enable customers to pull up policy information or even start a claim. Or a retailer can let people pull up their most recent orders, track a delivery, or find the return policy.
Businesses also use bots to help customers research their products, or to deliver content.
For example, the Whole Foods bot focuses on helping people find recipes. Others provide specialized services and enable transactions.
Brands also use bots for awareness campaigns.
For example, to promote their “Genius” series National Geographic used Facebook Messenger to allow people to chat to an Albert Einstein bot.
You can read more about how to use Facebook Messenger for marketing over at Hootsuite.