From SMS to Facebook Messenger: how to adapt to a new reality, driven by social networks and messengers

Director and owner of the LEAD9 mobile marketing agency
From SMS to Facebook Messenger: how to adapt to a new reality

The trend of using messengers in business is already 2-3 years old. Many marketers have turned their attention to Viber. But it is not a cure-all solution either. Firstly, it is relatively expensive, and secondly, it is not accessible for small and medium businesses due to the threshold requirement for entering the platform (more than 60 thousand messages per month). Therefore, advertisers are looking for even more affordable ways, in-app push notification being one of them. It is not a mainstream solution since the number of apps is growing, but the percentage of their use is not very high

About 30% of all smartphone owners regularly use business applications like food delivery or guide in the city. Therefore, you should take a closer look at the most dynamic social network – Facebook with their Messenger. According to the research, most people would rather write a message to a business (56%) than call.

Today, almost 60% of Facebook users access the app from mobile devices (so-called mobile only audience) and this social network provides a great, but not yet wide-known opportunity: maintain personal communication with consumers through the news feed and message. How? After all, Facebook Messenger does not offer direct mass-messaging service to its user base. The solution is very simple! But most importantly – it’s free (well, almost 🙂

So how do you find your consumer in the social network and run an effective campaign there?

Let’s suppose you already have a database of consumers – phone numbers, emails, IDs of events on your site. Plus you wish to switch communication channel from super expensive SMS, rather expensive Viber to relatively free Facebook and Messenger.

Firstly, you need to update the base — make a non-personalized search on Facebook with your phone numbers and emails to determine whether this audience is here, and what profile does it match. It is possible to get a consumer profile with age, gender, city, parenthood, and interests.

Secondly, segment the audience and come up with the message you want to deliver. For example, if you already have a campaign targeted on these consumers, it is nice to remind them about it and offer a coupon for a new campaign. Further — provide each specific audience with its own owt, ideally — have an offer for each segmented group, because men 18-30 from Kyiv may have interests which differ from the preferences of their peers from Lviv. You can still send the first message via good old SMS or Viber — e.g. a message which contains a personal appeal, a short sentence and a link to Facebook landing with better targeted message, which is enhanced by the user profile from the social network.

Thirdly, be sure to set up the Click-to-Messenger feedback option on Facebook. Not everyone knows this, but such possibility exists. And if the consumers click on your ad, they will automatically receive a message from you in Messenger, and if, oh miracle!, answer this message, then you can continue personal communication. And this, unlike your regular advertising budget spend, is free (alright, you still have to set up and maintain a bot or hire a person who will handle the messages).

But this is still a penny compared to the budget for sending SMS or Viber messages. As a result, you will have a fresh and up-to-date consumer base, which is more convenient and efficient to work with through Facebook interfaces than through old good, but not that marketing-oriented SMS or Viber.