As you probably know, Facebook is the biggest social media site on the planet, with over one billion active users. Because of this, it is a marketing goldmine–if you know how to use it. Targeted ads and sponsored stories work quite well, but there are always new methods being developed. One new avenue that is looking to open up a completely untapped area of marketing on Facebook is through its integrated, yet stand-alone, messenger service, Facebook Messenger.
For those who use Facebook on the go, Facebook Messenger is a necessity. This messaging app is used by as many as 900 million people every month. It runs like any basic messaging service. Recently, Facebook started to work closely with developers to open it up for advertising. This advertising will look and behave very differently than the simple, generic ads that typically show up on the side of the screen or in a user’s newsfeed. Instead, these are ads that are personalized and interactive, allowing a customer to read and respond, and in so doing, change the overall experience. These ads will create a completely new experience for both the customer and the business.
How will it work? Simply put, through the use of automated chatbots, who will interact with customers, talk with them, and learn their preferences. By developing these bots, Facebook hopes that Messenger will soon be the primary way that businesses and consumers communicate with each other. One important thing to note is that businesses will not be allowed to blindly contact people they have never dealt with before. However, if a user has already had a personal interaction with a business on Facebook before, then that business (or rather, chatbots built by developers for that business) will be allowed to talk to that customer, even starting the conversation by sending individually-tailored communications to their Messenger service. These ads can send product information, online shopping options, news and weather–really, depending on the business and the customer’s preferences, the sky’s the limit. The interaction can be text- or click-based, depending on how the user prefers the shopping experience.
The eventual outcome of this? Who knows. One thought is that this could be the beginning of the end for individual company apps. Instead of having to download and install an app to shop at a specific company, why not just have a continuous conversation with that company through Facebook Messenger? The more a customer uses it, the more it will learn what he or she likes, and what sort of experience they’d like to have with the many and varied businesses that are now at their fingertips. Regardless, Facebook Messenger is going to get a whole lot busier.