Fifty minutes: That’s the amount of time the average user spends inside of Facebook’s messaging apps each day, according to a May article by the New York Times.
As brands continue on their quest to reach consumers wherever they are, it’s no wonder why so many have embraced Facebook Messenger.
“We’ve seen brands use Messenger as a driver for brand awareness, launching viral campaigns to drive engagement and increase affinity,” said Stefanos Loukakos, head of Facebook’s Messenger business. “This can be centered around an event, a launch, or a seasonal moment. Further down the funnel we’ve seen businesses generate leads and acquire new customers in a way that is more natural and conversational.”
Brands are also using Messenger to enable transactions, allowing people to browse, shop, and buy within the Messenger experience, he added.
Let’s take a look at five brands that have put Facebook Messenger to work in cool ways.
SnapTravel, a hotel-booking startup, has built its entire business on messaging, with all customer interactions and bookings taking place on Facebook Messenger and via SMS.
Answers to simple questions and FAQs are automated, with human agents stepping in to answer more complex inquiries, Loukakos said. To date, SnapTravel has made over $1 million in revenue from the platform and recently raised $8 million to further its messaging-first business model.
Sephora created the Sephora Reservation Assistant, an appointment-booking bot for reserving makeovers at Sephora stores across the U.S.
Via the bot, people share their locations and the services they want, and then instantly receive the closest dates and times available for an appointment, which they can book without ever leaving the Messenger app.
“Thanks to their bot, Sephora saw an 11% increase in booking rates compared to other digital channels, with people who booked appointments through the bot spending on average over $50,” Loukakos said.
3. The Golden State Warriors
During the recent NBA playoffs, the Golden State Warriors created the Warriors Playoff Assistant to interact with fans, answer questions, and provide live updates including game information, scores, videos, and more. The bot also provided player stats, assisted with the purchase of tickets or merchandise, and even provided parking updates for fans attending a game.
4. Activision—Call Of Duty
Ahead of the release of its “Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare” video game, Activision launched a Lt. Reyes bot, a character from the upcoming first-person shooter game who would reveal clues about the upcoming release.
In its first 24 hours online, the bot exchanged a whopping 6 million-plus chats with fans, proving to be an effective way to increase engagement and excitement.
UNICEF’s U-Report bot is an example of a low-cost way an organization can reach and empower a worldwide audience. So far the U-Report bot has assisted in understanding young people’s views on development issues and helped them gain access to critical, sometimes lifesaving information. U-Report has influenced policy, improved emergency response, and empowered young people to get involved—all of which would have taken UNICEF years to accomplish without the bot.
“We anticipate that messaging will continue to play an increasingly prominent role in the way businesses and people interact, and that these interactions will happen in apps where people are already spending the majority of their time,” Loukakos said.
The first step, he added, is for brands to consider why they want to use Messenger in the first place, as well as what they hope to achieve. “Messenger has the potential to be an extremely powerful lever for your business, but in the absence of clear goals and metrics of success, your likelihood of driving business outcomes diminish,” Loukakos said.