Facebook Messenger officially launched its chatbot platform in April. These bots have opened the doors for businesses to deliver more services to their customers in new and unique ways. Services include subscription automation, customized communications, e-commerce purchases, and much more. With 50 million businesses already using Facebook Messenger, chatbots are quickly becoming popular. This leaves many people wondering, what more can Facebook Messenger do for businesses? Facebook has already responded. They plan to allow “Sponsored Messages”.
Facebook Messenger will send Sponsored Messages to users who have already voluntarily initiated a conversation with a business. Currently, they are being tested with a small group of advertisers. This new Facebook Messenger feature, however, will not be free. Facebook plans on charging businesses to use it. This is similar to how Facebook currently charges businesses to place normal Facebook Ads.
Sponsored Messages will have the ability to pull users into a conversation with a chatbot. The bot can then try to sell them products or services. Currently on Facebook, potential customers have to click on an ad that then leads them to an unfamiliar e-commerce site. But with Sponsored Messages on Facebook Messenger, potential customers can just tell a bot their preferences. It will then show them relevant products they might want to buy. This feature has the ability to be a priceless tool for many businesses.
Despite all the benefits that can come from utilizing Sponsored Messages, some businesses still fear that their followers will view it as spam. Businesses have nothing to fear. The main focus of the tests that are currently being conducted are to ensure that this feature will not get too spammy. Facebook’s Vice President of Messaging Products, David Marcus, has even guaranteed that Facebook will be vigilant about how these ads are used in order to avoid discouraging users. He states, “These will definitely be limited… we’re very paranoid about that and we don’t want bad things to happen to anyone.”
In regards to the exact timing or frequency with which businesses can send Sponsored Messages, the rules still aren’t fully defined. Facebook will, however, definitely have the ability to control the number and quality of messages that are sent to followers. There will also be a block button at the top of every conversation with a business that has the ability to silence all messages, or just sponsored ones. According to Marcus, all of these cautionary features will create a “high quality, high signal, low noise experience for everyone.”
Sponsored Messages have a great potential for businesses to draw people in, without annoying them. Businesses may finally have a fool proof way to monetize the 900 million potential customers that currently use Facebook Messenger. If you have any further questions about Facebook Messenger, Facebook, or social media in general, contact us! We are the social media experts of South Florida that would love to help your business grow digitally! Call us at 561-429-2585 or connect with us online today!