Businesses to benefit from Facebook Messenger’s latest bot updates

There’s no questioning the staying power of Facebook Messenger. Since its introduction in 2016, it’s become the second all-time most downloaded app ever right behind Facebook. Currently, there are approximately 300,000 developers building on the Messenger Platform, and people and businesses are exchanging over 20 billion messages on Messenger each month.

To help streamline communications, Facebook is introducing 2 updates to make it easier for brands to connect with people and get business done on Messenger. The announcement was made at Facebook’s annual F8 developer conference and will present exciting new ways to use the platform. Read on to find out more.

The updates

Appointment booking

Facebook is making it easier for businesses to connect with their customers on the Messenger bot platform with the introduction appointment booking. To make the booking process seamless, Facebook have created an appointment booking interface in the Messenger Platform API. This can be integrated with a business’ calendaring system, so people can see the most up-to-date appointment availabilities.

Bots that make appointments can be reached directly in Messenger or in conversations that begin with a Facebook News Feed ad, Messenger home page ad, or via a web chat plugin on an organisation’s website. From there, prospective customers can book a time to visit a business or schedule appointments for a range of purposes.

With over 40 million businesses currently using Messenger to speak with customers, the feature could help sprout bot adoption. And appointment booking through Messenger can be used across all industries – from restaurant reservations to haircut appointments, test drives and more.

Lead generation

Businesses use Messenger many different ways, but generating leads is one of the most common use cases on the platform. So they’re making it even easier for businesses to connect with potential customers by adding lead generation templates directly into Facebook’s Ads Manager console. Businesses can create an ad that drives people to an automated question and answer flow in Messenger to learn more about what their potential customer is looking for.

To give you a better idea of how it can be applied to your own business, let’s use a case study supplied by Facebook. General Motors, one of the world’s largest automotive manufacturers, teamed up with a developer partner, Smarters, to build a Messenger lead generation experience. The result? 3,000 leads in 8 weeks and a 30% higher conversion rate compared to other digital marketing channels. Now that’s an exciting development.

What this means for your business

So, how can you use these updates to your advantage? As we’ve seen over the last 3 years, Messenger has become one of the world’s most popular messaging tools by offering a platform that brings people and businesses closer together. And this is only set to continue.

Since its introduction, a number of improvements have been made including built-in natural language processing and handover protocol to relay messages from automated bots to humans. Booking appointments and lead generation right in the bot platform is the logical next step in Messenger’s evolution.

Reaching people right there in the platform offers a more streamlined approach and aids the customer’s experience with your brand. However, keep in mind both appointment booking and lead generation in Messenger are still in beta testing, but will be more widely available later this year.

Could your business benefit from one or both of these updates? Contact Bang Digital today. We stay on the pulse of what’s happening in the social world so your campaigns are optimised for the best results possible.