Note from Dave: This is a guest post by Louis Allport of Allport Consulting.
In today’s post, I’m going to introduce you to “Facebook Messenger Bots”, and how they can benefit your business.
Now, don’t let the technical sounding term scare you! It’s actually quite straightforward to get started with this, so let’s go through this one step at a time…
Step 1 — Be Active on Facebook
I’m going to assume you’re already on Facebook since I think that’s a pretty safe assumption these days! 🙂 Not just for sharing and socialising, but also to help promote your business of course.
Okay, next assumption…
I’m going to assume you have a Facebook page for your business. Whether you’re offering fitness training, run a gym, lead yoga classes… whatever it may be (in the fitness, health and wellness space)…
Being visible on Facebook makes an awful lot of sense.
Step 2 — Get Leads
Now, every business needs leads of course. And getting someone’s phone number and/or email address is the absolute bare minimum information. Postal address, interests, and other pertinent information is great to get too.
But there’s new ways to contact people, ways that people really pay attention to (unlike emails which often don’t get read). And one of those effective ways to contact people is through Facebook Messenger.
So what if you could do the following 100% automatically:
- Build a list of people happy to hear from you on Facebook Messenger
- Be able to send out a message on Messenger to dozens, even hundreds of people at once (these are people expecting to hear from you)
- Be able to send follow-up messages to people through Messenger automatically
- Set up “automatic conversations” in Messenger so you answer people’s questions, and qualify them as valuable leads, without ever lifting a finger!
Now, Facebook Messenger isn’t new, and you probably have people already contacting you that way. Either because you’ve friended them on Facebook, or because you have a “Contact Us” button on your Facebook page.
But Facebook Messenger Bots (which is what this post is all about) really takes the power, and usefulness of Facebook Messenger to a whole other level…
Step 3 — Lay The Groundwork
Now, a Facebook Bot is really just a fancy way of saying that a lot of your communication through Messenger can be automated.
And let me be right up front — this is a potentially a HUGE topic, so rather than overwhelming with details in this first post, instead consider this article an introduction to the possibilities of Facebook Bots for your own business, and how you can get started with them. In future posts, I’ll dive into all this in a lot more detail.
So here’s how you can implement a Facebook Bot into your page – even – today:
Do you have something valuable you can give away?
Perhaps some videos or an eBook?
Basically, some valuable content that’s relevant and of interest to the type of client you’re looking to attract. For example:
- A series of videos showing how anyone can exercise, however busy their lifestyle
- Some simple changes to your diet that help you lose weight naturally and for the long-term
- Three yoga moves any beginner can get started with
- … and so on
Now, the usual way to get people to opt-in when giving away valuable free content is to ask for their email address. Well, building an email list is fantastic, but many people ignore a high percentage of emails they receive. Honestly, a 20% open rate when you send a bulk email is considered pretty good these days. That would mean 80% of people you send to never read your email!
So one way to get people to actually read your message is to text them from your phone. You can also text in bulk using special software, but I’ll save that for another day too, since this post is all about Messenger…
And right now, most people read every message they get through Facebook Messenger. Basically, with Messenger you can almost be certain that:
- Your message will be received
- Your message will be read
This is fantastic news for you!
Now, it won’t always work so well, since anything that works great for marketers (basically, anyone who runs a business) often ends up getting overused until it stops working so well. BUT — it’s working great right now, so jump on Messenger marketing! Okay? 😉
So from your Facebook page (and even from your website), you want to start offering great content to build a “Messenger List”. People who have given you permission to contact them in future via Messenger.
Now, they can reply “stop” if they don’t want to hear from you anymore, and that’s fair enough. But if your content is helpful, and if you don’t contact people too much, most will stay on your list and read what you send them.
So this list is a great way to:
- Generate leads
- Send valuable content to those leads
- Become an expert in their eyes (since you’re providing helpful content)
- Recommend those leads attend a “taster” class or session with you
- And so a good percentage of those leads can become clients, which is the whole point of this! 🙂
Here’s the next step…
Step 4 — Start Creating Your Bot
For creating your Facebook Bot, you can go about this:
- The very hard way
- The easy way!
Which one would you like to take? 😉
For the hard way, you have to know how to develop software from scratch. That’s one option, but thankfully there’s a MUCH easier option…
The much easier way is to use a service that does all the complicated stuff for you, so you can focus on managing your content and your lists.
Here’s three “Messenger Bot” creation options that make it easy for you:
Option 1 — ManyChat
Option 2 — Chatfuel
Option 3 — Botsify
Step 5 — Your First Bot Campaign
Once you’ve signed up with one of those services and got familiar with it, here’s how you can get started with your first campaign:
- Decide on what you’re going to give away in return for someone opting-in to your Messenger list
- Create that content if you don’t already have it
- Promote the offer on Facebook and also on your website
- Set up your “Subscribe” button so that people who are interested can access the content
- Then, when you’re ready, start trying to get people on that list to come to one of your “taster” classes or sessions
- And keep in touch with your list with great content so they’re used to hearing from you, then promote your next free taster class/session from time to time
- Over time, more and more of the list will try out your service, and a good percentage of those will become clients
And here’s a simple (but vitally important) fact about marketing:
The more ways you’re in front of someone with valuable content, the more likely they are to remember you, pay attention to you, and respond positively.
In other words, if you’re in front of people:
- On Facebook
- Through Messenger
- By email
- Perhaps by text and phone
As long as each contact is valuable, you’re much more likely to turn a good percentage of people into clients, rather than just depending on one single way of communicating with people.
That’s called “multi-channel marketing”, and there’s a reason established businesses use as many methods as possible to promote their message. Because you’re far more likely to have a positive response that way!
In other words — do make the most of Facebook Messenger marketing as it’s working great right now, but make sure you use other ways to communicate with your leads and clients too.
Okay, have I convinced you to get up and running with your first Facebook Bot?