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    facebook subscription messaging and 2019 updates
    2019 Facebook Messenger Updates You Need to Know

    It’s no secret that Facebook has been taking strides to improve their business features and to continue to position the Messenger app as a “serious channel for business communication”. In fact, at the F8 2019, Zuckerberg notably kicked off his keynote speech saying, “If we would rebuild the Facebook platform today, we would focus it on messaging.” Fast-forward to September 2019 and we find that Zuckerberg has held true to his promise with various updates having been rolled out recently for the Messenger app. Perhaps the most notable of these is subscription messaging.

    If you’re interested in learning more about the subscription messaging update, how you can apply for the service and remain compliant if accepted, as well as other various updates recently announced, then look no further than these next few lines.

    Subscription Messaging

    Facebook is now offering what is considered to be an advanced messaging feature which allows business pages “to send non-promotional content on a recurring basis” via the Messenger application. This service essentially allows you to keep in contact with your customers on a recurring basis as long as the content you are sending is not considered to be promotional in nature. This means that as of July 31st, Facebook business pages which aren’t approved for subscription messaging are no longer able to send chat blasts to their customers unless they do so via the sponsored messages feature.

    So, what exactly are sponsored messages?

    They’re essentially ads.

    That’s right – if you’re not approved for subscription messaging, your chat blasts are going to start costing you a pretty penny. How much, exactly? Sponsored messages will cost around $20.00 – $40.00 per 1,000 impressions. However, the platform recommends that businesses set their bids at $30.00 per 1,000 impressions.

    The 24+1 Rule

    Bear in mind that the 24+1 Rule for Facebook Messenger is still in full effect. For those of you who are unaware, the rule essentially allows businesses to send unlimited updates and messages to users who have opted in for messaging for the first 24 hours. These forms of communication may be either promotional or non-promotional in nature. However, after 24 hours, companies are no longer able to send unlimited promotional updates. Instead, they can only send unlimited non-promotional messages and just one single promotional follow up message.

    Any promotional message must now be initiated through the sponsored messages feature for a fee and if you’re looking to send non-promotional subscription messages, you must receive approval first.

    How do you initiate a request to be considered for subscription messaging?

    Fortunately, there’s no fee associated with applying for the subscription messaging feature. In order to do this, companies must have a page administrator initiate a request for review. The downside is that while the application process is indeed short, the review process is tricky and many times it takes businesses several applications in order to obtain approval.

    In order to initiate the process, you can start by clicking on the Settings tab on the top right corner of your Facebook page next to the “Help” icon. From there you will go to your Messenger Platform.

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    You then go to Advanced Messaging Features and click on Request within the Subscription Messaging box.

    Once this is completed, you will be directed to the application.  You will then be asked to describe how your page intends to use the subscription messaging feature. You have three options:

    1) News

    2) Productivity

    3) Personal Tracking

    You also have the ability to provide them with additional details. An actual person will be reviewing your application, so it helps to personalize what you’re writing and to add as much detail as you can about the information, updates and services that your bot provides.

    PRO TIP: We’ve found through our research that it’s rather difficult to get approved for productivity and personal tracking. As a result, if you choose the “News” option, be sure to provide examples in your application which are actually newsworthy in nature. That means if it sounds like a news site would pick up the story, then you’re good. If not, then don’t include it.

    You will then be asked to provide examples of the blasts that you plan on sending to your customers via your chatbot.

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    PRO TIP: The most common cause for denials is for inappropriate descriptions and examples. Accounts are also often denied based on the 24-hour standard messaging window. The platform may find that based on the examples you’ve provided, your Messenger experience simply doesn’t need subscription.

    Once you complete the application, the platform is then supposed to respond to your request within five business days. However, the truth of the matter is that according to various reports, this is not always the case. In fact, the five business day review period is turning out to be more of a rough estimate than anything else. Users interested in submitting requests should instead realistically expect a response time of a few weeks to a month.

    It’s also worth mentioning that responses to requests are not made via email. Instead, users must head to the Page Settings > Messenger Platform > Advanced Messaging Features page and look for a green check mark next to the Subscription Messaging option in order to identify whether or not they’ve been approved.

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    How to remain compliant with the subscription messaging feature when approved

    If you happen to be one of the lucky ones who gain approval for the subscription messaging feature, it’s important to keep in mind that there are usage guidelines with which you must comply. Failure to do so will result in your account being flagged.

    First and foremost – the recipient of your message must have already opted in to subscription messaging. You absolutely cannot take advantage of this feature by using it to send content to individuals who have not opted in to subscription messaging from you.

    Second – never send any promotional content to your users through the subscription messaging feature. The platform is pretty much giving you a hard “no” when it comes to this. Keep in mind Facebook uses machine learning to analyze content and as a result, even words such as “free” or including a link  to your website can be considered promotional in nature and cause your account to be flagged.

    Third – subscription messaging is only allowed for three very specific use cases. Any use outside of these three is considered a violation. They are as follows:

    1) News

    2) Productivity

    3) Personal Tracking

    According to platform, news is considered content which  informs individuals about “recent or important events” or provides them with “information in categories such as sports, finance, business, real estate weather, traffic, politics, government, non-profit organizations, religion, celebrities, and entertainment”.

    Productivity on the other hand includes “integrations whose primary purpose is to enable people to manage their personal productivity with tasks such as managing calendar events, receiving reminders, and paying bills.”

    Personal tracking is de fined as integrations which “enable people to receive and monitor information about themselves in categories such as fitness, health, wellness and finance”.

    Fourth – If you find that a user responds to one of your subscription messages, the conversation is then considered standard messaging and as a result, it must “comply with standard messaging policies”.

    What happens if you get denied for the subscription messaging feature?

    If you submit your application and find that you’ve been denied, rest assured that you’re far from alone. As we mentioned earlier, the approval process can be quite tricky. There are pretty much two options you can take from this point:

    1) Modify and resubmit your application for approval.

    2) Try to obtain permission from your customers to contact them on a different channel such as SMS, email or phone.

    If you plan on taking the first option and resubmitting your application, chances are there was an issue with the descriptions or examples you provided. Take a look at our PRO TIPs mentioned in the article to ensure that you’ve done your due diligence in providing the best descriptions and examples possible to ensure approval.

    7 Additional Facebook Messenger Updates

    While this article has primarily focused on the very newsworthy subscription messaging update, that’s not the only feature that’s been making waves in the Facebook community. Take a look at these seven updates which are rolling out this year as well so you can get one step ahead of the game when it comes to crafting your best Facebook Messenger strategy.

    1. Messenger Desktop App
    On the consumer end, Facebook is continuing to seek out ways in which they can further improve their user experience. One of the updates they noted they will be introducing to the public is a standalone desktop application for Messenger.

    2. End-to-end Encryption
    At F8 2019, Zuckerberg announced that the team will be prioritizing the transformation of Facebook into a “privacy-focused social platform”. To achieve this goal, Zuckerberg stated that the platform will be focusing on “six main principles” in order to make the platform more secure. Of the six principles mentioned, encryption was included as one of their priorities with the team seeking to expand end-to-end encryption across their apps including Messenger.

    3. 24-Hour Response Window
    Among the updates includes the implementation of a 24-hour response window for businesses on Facebook. This means that business accounts will now have one full day to respond to incoming messages from users. This change is being implemented as a way to “ensure fast responses and better service”.

    4. Message Tags
    The platform will also be implementing what are called “message tags” for business accounts. These tags enable businesses on Facebook to send personalized tags for “specific use cases”. These tags are se up to help enhance the customer experience even further by including features such as event reminders, post-purchase updates and more.

    5. Automatic Lead Qualification
    The platform is also taking steps to make lead generation more organized, simple and efficient for business users. Their automatic lead qualification process in messenger includes templates which are available in the Ads Manager and the ability to sync these with your company’s CRM tools.

    6. Appointment Booking
    There’s also a new interface within the Messenger app for booking appointments. These can now be done directly in chats and include real-time confirmation as well as the ability to integrate appointments with calendar software.

    7. Conversion Tracking
    Facebook will also be updating their conversion tracking features so that businesses are able to track certain events in Messenger which happen during a conversation.

    Conclusion

    Facebook Messenger is quickly being transformed into a serious channel for businesses and marketers alike to leverage in their efforts to attract more customers and engage with them in more effective and efficient ways than ever before. According to recent reports, Messenger alone has over 1.3 billion users who are sending a whopping 8 billion messages “between businesses and people” every month. Furthermore, one experiment by HubSpot found that content sent through Facebook Messenger had an astounding open rate of 80% as well as a click-through-rate of 13%. These rates are more than twice as high as those for email. So, the question begs to be asked – are you currently taking advantage of the opportunity?

     

    What’s your opinion on the new updates rolling out this year? Do you plan on taking advantage of any of them? Let us know in the comments below! We’d love to hear from you!

     

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    9 Ways to Generate More Leads on Facebook Messenger

    Did you know that Facebook is officially the most downloaded app of all time? Now, this may not come as such a huge surprise given the platform’s insane popularity, but do you know which app came in at the number two spot?

    Facebook Messenger.

    That’s right — and it’s popularity is steadily increasing every single day.

    With statistics such as these it’s easy to see why Facebook’s Messenger app is quickly becoming an extremely popular and powerful tool for businesses of all backgrounds and sizes. This is due in part to the fact that the company has rolled out various features making it a legitimate and highly effective platform to use for marketing purposes. This in combination with Facebook’s massive reach makes it an ideal channel to leverage in order to generate high quality business leads.

    So, let’s say that you’re a business interested in leveraging Facecbook Messenger, but you’re not exactly sure where to start. Well, if this is the case, then you’re in luck. This article will detail nine ways you can use Facebook’s Messenger to generate high quality leads to increase conversions and boost business growth.

     

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    Create a chatbot

    A main reason why Facebook Messenger has become such a popular platform to leverage for marketing purposes is due to the fact that you can create custom chatbots to integrate into it. In fact, many of the tactics listed in this article are used in conjunction with a chatbot. As a result, it is highly recommended that you consider moving forward with a  custom chatbot development solution if your looking to ensure your efforts are most effective.

    With these nifty little guys you can automate and personalize conversations with customers and nurture them into leads through communicating important information about your business, products and special offers 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

    Chatbots are not only highly programmable, they can have intelligent conversations with the help of natural language machine learning and are capable of handling and processing thousands of conversations simultaneously. Talk about productivity.

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    Use Messenger to qualify leads

    Did you know that you can program your chatbot to ask your customers qualifying questions and gather important information to store for marketing purposes? That’s not all, you can also use it to segment audiences based on their response to various questions created for the purpose of doing just that. Using Facebook Messenger in conjunction with an automated chatbot gives you the ability to qualify potential leads all while adding the personal touch of a conversation.

     

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    Use messenger campaigns to target people who have visited your website

    You can create messenger campaigns through your Ads Manager for the purpose of targeting hot audiences with the use of Facebook’s website custom audiences feature.  As long as you have Facebook’s pixel installed on your website, Facebook can effectively track the individuals that visit it and market to them. The platform automatically defaults the setting to target individuals who have visited your website in the last 30 days, however you can customize this number to your liking as well as target individuals who have visited specific pages such as a product page, landing page, contact page or blog.

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    Use messenger campaigns to target warm audiences via video custom audiences

    Facebook also gives you the ability to target warm audiences via the video custom audiences option. All you have to do is head to your Ads Manager, click on Menu in the top left corner, select All Tools, Audiences and then click on Create Audience. From there, choose Custom Audience and click on the option that says Engagement on Facebook in the pop-up box that follows and then select Video. From here you will be able to target audiences based on the percentage of your video that they’ve viewed.

     

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    Use messenger campaigns to target warm audiences via page engagement custom audiences

    You can also create Facebook Messenger campaigns which target individuals who have engaged with your Facebook page. This is a great option compared to traditional targeting options presented on the platform. This is because targeting audiences based on generic demographic data such as age, location and income simply isn’t as effective. However, audiences who have visited and furthermore engaged with your page are officially considered warm leads.

    To do this, you simply go to your Facecbook Ads Manager and create custom audiences in a similar manner to the way you would if you were creating custom video audiences. From your Ads Manager, you go to Menu, click on All Tools, select Audiences, then Create Audience. Select Custom Audience and then click on the Engagement on Facebook option, then Page. For the “Include” option, select Everyone who engaged with your Page, or, customize it accordingly to your liking.

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    Use your Messenger bot for website chat

    Did you know that by adding a chatbot to your website you can effectively increase conversions by as much as 45%? Use your Facebook Messenger chatbot to handle and automate tasks such as answering popular FAQs. You can also use it to promote special offers, products, discounts and services that your business offers. Furthermore, you can additionally program it to alert a human to take over the chat when necessary. What’s even better is that it’s mobile friendly and you can additionally save new contacts into your system as leads. Tools such as MobileMonkey make implementing it onto your website easy as pie.

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    Create a messenger landing page

    Did you know that you can use tools such as MobileMonkey  to create customized messenger landing pages as well? The first step to carrying this out is obviously ensuring that you have an effective landing page set up in order to implement your Facebook Messenger button. From there, all you need is a quality lead magnet such as a special offer, discount or download in order to entice your audiences to learn more about your business through the Facebook Messenger platform.

    Once the button is clicked, you can send your audiences to certain conversations that you’ve programmed into your chatbot and gather further information such as their name, location and contact data. From there you are able to send your contacts follow up  messages, get to know them, qualify them as leads and guide them effectively through your sales funnel.

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    Use a Messenger checkbox to convert more people with your website forms.

    With tools such as MobileMonkey you can also implement Facebook Messenger on your website forms. This is particularly useful if you’re having an issue with conversions. With the MobileMonkey platform,  all of the forms have a Facebook Messenger checkbox plugin that can be used for chat opt-in which can effectively be used to nurture your audience into leads and increase conversions.

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    Create Facebook QR codes

    Did you know that recent research projected that a whopping 11 million households in the United States alone will scan QR (quick response) codes in 2020? Believe it or not, this number is steadily continuing to grow year after year and has increased from 9.76 million in 2018. QR codes present an interesting and unique opportunity for businesses looking to stand out in the crowd.

    Facebook QR codes allow your audiences to scan a code with their phone which can then direct them to your website content. You can also implement this technology with the help of chatbots. QR codes are great because they can be used both online and offline to convert audiences into leads and generate interest in your business.

    With tools such as MobileMonkey, creating a custom QR code can be done in a matter of minutes. All you have to do is head to your Lead Magnets section and click on Scan Codes in order to create a new one. From there, you can select which chatbot dialogue you want the code to link individuals to, save it and then proceed to distribute it on various channels such as Facebook Messenger.

    Conclusion

    Recent data shows that over 1.3 billion individuals actively use Facebook Messenger on a monthly basis. This translates to roughly 11% of the global population. It comes as no surprise that messenger bots can easily present the biggest opportunity for both marketers and businesses alike. However, what does come as a surprise is the fact that so little businesses are actively leveraging this platform in order to market to their online audiences. In fact, recent research found that just 1% of businesses are actively engaging their customers through chatbot messaging.

    The good news about this statistic is that you as a business officially have an opportunity to stand out in the crowd. So, what are you waiting for? Get started on using Facebook Messenger to generate higher quality leads and greater returns in 2019.

     

    Are you interested in learning how you can develop a customized chatbot perfectly tailored to your business in order to implement on Facebook Messenger? VisioneerIT offers chatbot development for businesses of all backgrounds and sizes. Contact us today to learn more about our custom chatbot development services!

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