Masterclass four – A guide to integrating and communicating with Facebook Messenger

Welcome to lesson four of our omnichannel masterclass. With over 1.3 billion users, using Facebook Messenger to engage with customers isn’t just an advantage for your business, it’s most likely a necessity. As with any channel, there are a few things to be aware of before you get started with Messenger, but with over 2 billion messages sent between businesses and their customers every single month, this is a channel rich in both diversity and opportunity.

Who can you message?

Who can you message?

Even before GDPR gripped Europe, it’s best practice anyway to make sure that the people you are messaging actually want to hear from your brand, or you risk alienating them forever. Facebook Messenger has unique opt-in policies that you must follow to start messaging any one, but for a business who understands their consumer base and provides valuable content, these aren’t anything more than a box ticking exercise.

Inbounds

Of course with Facebook Messenger, you have the ability to send a reply to anyone who messages you first. But without a CPaaS provider, these inbound messages can be difficult to manage. High volumes demand a messaging platform to triage and respond, but even a single time-crucial message that doesn’t get seen quickly can cost your business. By feeding these inbounds into a centralised place, you can be sure this wont happen. Furthermore, if you view every inbound message as a customer walking into your virtual store, ready to engage with a sales person, it’s in your interest to generate as many inbound messages as possible. take advantage of your existing Facebook Ads campaigns by making your calls to action a ‘Message Us’ button that drives potential customers to your inbox.

Subscription messaging

In addition to responding to inbound messages, you can also send alerts, reminders and notifications to your customers first by getting page approval for subscription messaging, and integrating with a platform that enables you to send at scale. The first step is something your business must do independently, but a provider should be able to give you all the guidance that you need to gain this approval. The second step will only be as complicated as your messaging provider makes it. (Hint: with Comapi, it couldn’t be simpler!). Remember, you still need consent from your customers to send them these types of messages. But allowing them to opt in to receive a rich order confirmation on a channel that they can reply to if there is something they need to amend (instead of forcing them to call and listen to hold music during their precious free time) has immense value for your customers, and is a service you should be offering as standard.

Features

Facebook Messenger is what is known as an over the top (OTT) channel. Essentially this means it has bypassed traditional network messaging, and is able to easily offer a rich experience for users because it can create its own rules around messaging. These experiences include rich content such as images (including GIFs), videos, audio clips and documents, all of which can be used as effective ways to engage, support and convert customers.

Evolving area

Anyone who keeps up with the news knows that being an OTT app has not made Facebook exempt from consequences of improper data handling, and the fallout from recent events have made the rules around sending with Facebook Messenger an ever-changing landscape. None of these changes are things for you to be concerned about when it comes to your campaigns, providing your messaging provider has the ability to navigate these evolutions for you, and keep you informed along the way.