Considering the rousing success of Facebook’s Messenger service, companies are looking for new ways to utilize it for maximum potential—and eMarketer has provided a plethora of helpful pointers in going in the right direction.
Through a new report titled “Facebook Messenger: Strategies For Customer Service, eCommerce, Content Delivery and Advertising,” the study breaks down into four key components that can serve companies well when it comes to using Facebook Messenger to their best benefit.
The report quickly noted that the service currently has over 105 million active users in the US alone for this year (expected to expand to 139.2 million by 2020), with 4 out of 10 different mobile phone users making use of it. That makes it the leading over-the-top (OTT) messaging app available in the market.
It’s also managed to do quite well in the worldwide messaging app game, with 37 percent of overall usage for Q3 2015, with the WhatsApp application closely behind in second place with 33 percent.
As far as the four strategies that are key to success on the Messenger front, they break down like this.
Content Delivery: Even though this particular step is still in the early going process, there are many companies looking at better content delivery through Messenger, including the NBA and CNN, as well as Activision and HealthTap. This could expand even further with push notifications to interested consumers, bots that utilize visual recognition and content personalized based on Facebook behaviors (though there is a question in regards to how much data would be used).
e-Commerce: Even though the app itself doesn’t quite have a way to make purchases, there are a number of businesses that are working on ways to integrate potential consumers with it, including Spring and 1-800-Flowers. It could improve in a number of areas, including personalized shopping options and conversational commerce.
Customer Service: A number of brands such as eBay, KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, Staples, Hyatt, and most recently American Express with their chat, utilize Messenger as a tool that can supplement—although not entirely replace—existing channels. As a result, there’s a better flow of support that can be delivered to customers, and could improve with smarter bots for better understanding and integration with CRM tools, based on company needs.
Advertising: Again, with the Messenger app still fresh, ads have not yet been utilized, but a number of companies are looking to roll out ideas with advertising, possibly starting as soon as this fall, including possible interactions with a business through ads and direct offers.
One thing to consider with each of these is how to market on Facebook Messenger the right way. A number of respondents were asked if they would interact with brands through the app, and only about 18.4 percent noted they were likely or very likely to, while 25.9 percent remained neutral. That’s not stopping companies from finding out what they can do with the app, but there’s a reason they’re proceeding carefully, so not to bombard potential consumers with unwanted messages.
As for the type of messages consumers would want from companies, 54.7 percent noted that they’re all for discounts and promotional offers for products that they’re interested in, followed by event updates (26.1 percent) and feedback requests (25.9 percent). However, 27.7 percent noted that they aren’t looking for any kind of interaction with brands—at least, not yet.