Messenger is bigger than Snapchat, Twitter and Instagram combined.
You probably already market to customers on social media channels like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Instagram. But have you made Messenger — Facebook’s standalone messaging app — your top marketing priority?
Ten years ago, consumers used email, AIM, and MySpace to chat. Five years ago, it was Facebook andTwitter. But today, that activity has moved to messaging apps. Over 3 billion people use messaging apps on a regular basis to communicate with friends and businesses; and messaging is the most preferred channel for customer service.
That’s why Messenger marketing has become so hot. It’s the art and science of reaching customers at scale using Facebook Messenger, much in the same way marketers have relied on email marketing and newsletters. Messenger marketing often involves using automation software or chatbot builders to send push notifications and targeted conversations to the over 1 billion people who use Messenger.
Messenger will quickly become one of your most important marketing channels. Consumers simply are moving away from the noise of email. Messenger marketing can yield over 80 percent open rates, multiples more effective than email. This makes developing a marketing strategy around Messenger critical to your business.
Not convinced yet? The Facebook team recently released stats regarding the insane usage of Facebook Messenger worldwide. Here are the key stats you need to know that affirm Messenger’s importance to your business:
- Facebook Messenger has 1.3 billion users. Yes, billion. That’s more users than Snapchat, Twitter and Instagram combined. Messenger is where your customers are communicating.
- Messenger adds 100 million new users every five to six months. Facebook Messenger hit 1 billion users in July 2016, 1.2 billion in April 2017, and 1.3 billion in September this year.
- Users have 7 billion conversations on Messenger every day. That’s over 2.5 trillion conversations every year. For comparison, Snapchat users send 3 billion photos per day.
- 260 million new conversations are started daily. These are not just new threads between people, but between people and businesses too. This number will only grow.
- There were 17 billion realtime video chats on Messenger in 2017. That is double the amount of video chats Messenger users were having just a year ago.
- Messenger users shared 500 billion emojis in 2017. That’s 385 emojis per user, or just over one emoji per person per day on Messenger.
- 18 billion GIFs were shared via Messenger this year. In the world of Messenger, GIFs are sent over 500 times per second. GIFs are a powerful communication and storytelling medium for both consumers and brands.
- There are over 100,000 bots on the Messenger platform. Bots (or chatbots if you prefer) are how many businesses communicate with their customers on Messenger, letting their bots do the heavy lifting of customer support or conversational marketing. There were over 100,000 of these bots in April 2017, so this number has only grown.
- Over 2 billion messages are sent each month between people and businesses. If you think Messenger is only for people and not brands, you’re wrong.
- 2.5 million Messenger groups are started every day. Private Messenger groups are like the social networks of old — it’s how people are connecting with their closest friends.
- The average Messenger group has 10 people. This has become a truly social platform. Imagine how much word of mouth can you create with that level of interconnectedness.
- 11 billion reactions were shared in Messenger this year. The most popular reaction was the heart eyes emojis
Convinced that Messenger marketing is here to stay? Here are some beginner’s tips for anyone who’s just getting started:
- Automate your customer service. Messenger bots can automatically respond to queries, and Facebook’s Smart Replies feature lets you create responses to common queries.
- Use Messenger marketing software. These are SaaS products similar to what Mailchimp and ExactTarget were to email. They help you create bots, send messages, track click-throughs, automate responses, and more. Facebook has a list of preferred providers on its business section.
- Automatically recover abandoned carts. Messenger’s “Send to Messenger” plugin lets you get permission to send messages via an opt-in on your website. One of the best uses of this plugin is to send Facebook messages whenever someone abandons a cart on your ecommerce store. Many of Facebook’s preferred software providers offer this functionality.
Facebook Messenger marketing shouldn’t replace your existing marketing. You still need to do email and social marketing. But Messenger marketing can greatly augment everything you’re doing on the marketing and sales side and you’d be crazy not to be investing in Messenger as a channel for your business.
By Ben Parr