Advertisers on Facebook are already taking advantage of the new Messenger bots to start promoting and selling their products and services through messages with their prospects. If you are already advertising on Facebook, you just need to comply with the new rules for standard messaging for three months. If you are a new advertiser, Facebook will review your bots within five days.
Creating Sponsored Messages
To start using sponsored messages, your Page Administrator needs to create a campaign or ad in Power Editor. You will be asked to select your objective, which can be either “Clicks to Website” or “Website Conversions.” Under “Custom Audience,” you should choose “Create New,” then “Custom Audience.” Choose “Engagement on Facebook,” then “Page,” and pick “Who had a message conversation with this page.” Make this your audience.
Once the above is set up, you need to decide on a budget and schedule for your sponsored message. Do this by finding “Messenger” under “Platforms.” For your ad, choose “Single Image option” and “connect the ad to the brand’s Facebook Page.” Bear in mind, you need to pay for your ad every time a user receives a sponsored message in the Messenger inbox, even if the user never opens the message.
Finally, select your call-to-action button. Options include “Shop Now” and “Contact Us.” You will have the chance to review your order and see how your sponsored message will look before choosing “Place Order.”
As it is against Facebook policy to message users until they have contacted you, it is necessary to go to some extra lengths to engage users and encourage them to start a conversation. There are couple ways to achieve this.
Plugins allow you to include buttons on your website and in emails. Available buttons are “Message Us” (to send users to a new conversation) and “Send to Messenger” (to allow users to start receiving information from your brand). Facebook recommends the latter for transactional notifications like receipts and shipping alerts. Include some text with the button to give users an idea of what will happen after they click.
Codes and Links
You can bring users to your conversations faster with scannable codes that lead people to your Messenger bots or with short URLs that open into messages.
Customizing the Welcome Screen
Before users start talking to your bot, they will reach a welcome screen. You can personalize this screen with a greeting of up to 160 characters. This should explain the function of the bot, how users can interact with it, and what are its capabilities. Include just the most important information, to entice users into a conversation. You can offer more details in your first message.
To begin a conversation, users will need to click a call-to-action button, featuring the words “Get Started.” Once users have tapped this button, your first message will appear. Customize this initial message to encourage users to make a response. For instance, you can mention keywords for users to write according to whether they want to receive help, tips, advice, or something else. Alternatively, you can add buttons to appear at the bottom of the message screen for users to select specific actions.
If your brand is located in the U.S., you can sign up for a beta program that will allow you to receive payments for products and services over Messenger. To submit an application, you will need to supply Facebook with information including your application name, page vertical, page URL, and ad account ID (if you already have one). You will also be asked how you currently process payments and how you plan to integrate payments in Messenger. Companies need to submit separate applications for each of their Facebook Pages.
Expect to see many changes as Messenger bots take off. As advertisers discover new ways to take advantage of all that sponsored messages have to offer, you will need to adapt and update you campaigns. Plus, you should regularly tweak aspects like your welcome screen and initial message to ensure they remain relevant to your objectives and maximize your interactions.