Facebook’s announcement of the Messenger Platform at the F8 developers conference in March opens up the Messenger app to developers and third-party apps. For marketers, this is something like a gold rush. Expanded Ramblings reports that currently more than 800 million people user the Messenger app. For the social-media savvy marketer, this new platform offers many exciting and new ways to use Messenger to build brand awareness. Here’s a look at some of the ways your brand should be using Facebook Messenger Platform.
The first change from Messenger to Messenger Platform is the integration of e-commerce services such as Everlane and Zulily. Businesses will be able to compartmentalize the entire process of purchasing something and tracking shipping within the confines of the Messenger app. Customers will be able to sign up for Messenger through your main website if they like, and Facebook will serve as the communication medium while Everlane handles the processing of orders and shipping information. The new Messenger Platform for business may very well be the jolt that e-commerce needs to streamline these type of services. It may be months away before this aspect of the new Messenger will be available to all businesses, but Facebook is currently signing up businesses for when the Business shift on Messenger occurs.
Messenger will be offering much richer options for content, and brands will be able to share their image-based content from their third-party apps directly into Facebook and Messenger. It goes without saying that having an active Facebook for your business will be a critical component of capturing user interest in your content on the social media front. The newly revamped Messenger will be more in line with other communication applications like Snapchat, allowing GIFS and other animated content to be shared. What this means is that your brand can develop a proprietary app that generates content that can be viewed directly in Messenger – essentially, the emoji taken to the next level, with your content center stage. The days of navigable microsites may very well be a thing of the past when rich content can be shared through Messenger.
The need for real-time conversations is one of the driving factors that keeps people using Messenger, and brands can utilize the Messenger Platform to provide real-time customer service. Consumers will be able to choose to speak with your customer service representatives through a button or tab that opens Messenger, and customer service technology giant Zendesk has connected with Facebook to support this service on the new platform. By integrating the Zopim chat application with Messenger, Zendesk is offering online retailers an agile and responsive way to stay in communication with their customers.
Perhaps the best news for brands is that Facebook will no longer require a Facebook account to sign up for their Messenger App, according to Business Insider. What this means is that your social media campaign doesn’t need to increase focus on your Facebook site to take full advantage of the potential that awaits you with the new Messenger, and previously unreachable demographics may very well start using the social media giant’s telecommunications app even if they don’t “do” social media – and that means more conversions for your brand.