Is Facebook Messenger *So* 2012? Not These Days, Says an Expert B2B Marketer

by | Jun 10, 2020 | Social Media | 0 comments

  • “In marketing, it’s all about first-mover advantage,” says Larry Kim, an authority in B2B marketing. While Facebook Messenger has been around since 2011, it’s still an underleveraged marketing resource.
  • People pay attention: With email, open rates average 5% to 10% with less than 1% click-through rates. With Facebook Messenger, Larry sees closer to 80% open rates and 20% click-through rates.
  • You can tap into the power of custom audiences with phone numbers and email addresses from your top prospects. Using Facebook Messenger, you can get a 50% ad-match rate, which is the highest of any ad platform.

The fact is, not enough B2B marketers are using Facebook Messenger to promote their brands and reach new customers.

Sure, LinkedIn is all the rage right now. Twitter and Instagram are delivering, too. But Facebook Messenger?

Raise your eyebrows in disbelief all you want, but marketing guru Larry Kim believes Facebook Messenger is the future of B2B marketing. So much so, he founded MobileMonkey, a program that makes it easier for brands to leverage Facebook Messenger as a marketing tool.

“It’s probably just a bias,” Larry says. “Like when people say, ‘Oh, Facebook isn’t great for B2B.’ I certainly haven’t seen that to be the case. It’s a really exciting, new, emerging channel for distribution and just for keeping in touch with your customers.”

So what exactly are you missing out on when you don’t tap into the powers of Facebook Messenger? Keep reading, then be sure to listen to our interview with Larry on The B2B Mix Show podcast.

Avoid Facebook Messenger FOMO

You can picture it now. You approach your manager with this brilliant new Facebook Messenger marketing strategy, and what do they say? Probably nothing, because they’ll be rolling their eyes. Isn’t Facebook Messenger so 2012?

Not at all. Here’s what you’re missing out on when Facebook Messenger isn’t part of your 2020 B2B marketing strategy.

1. Only 1.3 billion or so potential customers

In an article for Inc., Larry researched the top messenger platforms around the world. WhatsApp claimed the No. 1 spot, but Facebook Messenger closely followed with 1.3 billion users.

We’ll say that again for the folks in the back: Facebook Messenger has 1.3 billion users worldwide.

“Most people have a Facebook account, so you’re missing out on reach,” Larry says. “If you have all the customers you need and all the leads that you have, then there’s no need to ever market on Facebook — but generally, that’s not the case.”

People spend a lot of time on Facebook, so by not using Facebook Messenger marketing, you’re missing out on an opportunity to get your brand in front of more eyeballs and grab more leads (Facebook has a ton of users, after all).

facebook messenger marketing

2. Powerful targeting parameters

Chances are, you don’t necessarily need 1.3 billion new sales. That’s OK because Facebook has some really powerful tools to help you target your perfect customers.

First, the platform allows you to create custom audiences with phone numbers and email addresses from your top customer prospects. Larry says you can get a 50% ad-match rate, which is the highest of any ad platform.

Second, Facebook offers ad targeting, which can be especially helpful for B2B marketers. You target ads for specific companies by name, size, location, purchasing histories — you name it.

“These are, when used in combination, I think, substantially better than LinkedIn ad targeting,” Larry says.

Here’s an example of what this could look like in the wild when it comes to recruitment using a Facebook Messenger marketing approach: Say you’re looking to fill an entry-level software engineering role at your company based in Boston. With Facebook, you can pre-qualify candidates with these targeting parameters and more easily tap into your city’s talent.

3. An interactive content marketing channel

Here’s the thing: You’re probably already using various forms of content marketing, right?

Maybe you have a podcast, a YouTube channel, an email newsletter, or a blog. Facebook Messenger is just another channel you can take advantage of.

Larry sees it as the 2020 equivalent of email marketing. “It’s just another distribution channel for content and for engagement,” he says.

What’s more: Facebook Messenger is inherently interactive, so it allows you to directly engage with your audience by asking questions. The answers to these questions will then allow you to better serve your customer.

Going back to the job recruiting example, you could conversationally ask a potential candidate if they’re looking for a job. Based on their feedback, you ask another question: Are you interested in a software engineering role?

This is an easier way to serve your target audience and send them down the appropriate marketing funnel.

4. Astronomically high open rates

If you do any sort of email marketing, you know how important open rates are. The higher, the better. But the problem is, your emails could be going straight to spam. Plus, people’s inboxes get flooded with emails each day, so your newsletter might be getting lost in the masses.

It’s a different story with Facebook Messenger marketing. Yes, you can only message people who’ve given you permission, so your subscriber base will likely be smaller, but open rates tend to be a lot higher.

Larry throws out some numbers to put this into perspective. With email, open rates average 5% to 10% with less than 1% click-through rates. With Messenger, he’s seeing closer to 80% open rates and 20% click-through rates.

The click-through rates prove that people aren’t just opening the message to get rid of the notification on their phones — they’re actually clicking through.

“I’m not saying you should do this instead of email, but people overwhelmingly use Messaging in general as their communications platform, so I think it’s generally a good idea to embed yourself into those places where your customers hang out,” Larry says.

5. The first-mover competitive advantage

Sure, Facebook Messenger launched back in 2011, but only recently have companies started using it as a marketing tool.

“In marketing, it’s all about first-mover advantage,” Larry says. “All these marketing channels, they dramatically disproportionately reward the early adopters of the technology, and it’s never going to be easier to get Messenger subscribers as it is today because it’s just so new.”

Think about it. Facebook pages have reported a noticeable decline in organic reach over the years, due, in part, to increased content (read: competition). Everyone is advertising on this social network.

Facebook Messenger, by contrast, is still relatively new. In fact, Larry says only about 1% of businesses are taking advantage of it, so if you start now, you can get a headstart on your competitors.

How to get started with Facebook Messenger marketing

If you’re interested in giving Facebook Messenger a try, Larry shared a few simple tips with us to help you get started:

  • Adopt Facebook Messenger best practices. Larry suggests breaking up your messages into short, informal sentences and sprinkling them with emojis. 🙃  GIFs and abbreviations are also welcome lol
  • Ask questions. One of the perks to Facebook Messenger is its built-in interactivity, so play that up. Instead of making a statement, ask a question. Here’s an example:

DON’T: 5 ways to do email marketing

DO: Hey, are you struggling with low email open rates?

  • Find a partner in crime. Because Facebook Business Manager doesn’t offer any tools to help you manage Messenger, you’ll want to work with a company that knows how to do it, like MobileMonkey. It can help you create chat marketing campaigns, set up chatbots, and drive people to Facebook Messenger.
  • Tap into a Gen-Z audience. It’s no secret fewer Gen-Z folks are hanging out on Facebook. But Instagram messaging (which is also owned by Facebook) is just as powerful. To access that demographic, Larry suggests running a fun video ad on Instagram, and, when they opt into messages from your company, reward them with a gift card — something that gets them excited.

The bottom line: Facebook Messenger marketing is a powerful B2B strategy that not enough of us are tapping into, but the earlier you get started, the more you can reap the benefits of it.

Want to hear more hot takes from Larry? Listen to episode 20 of The B2B Mix Show, and subscribe to The B2B Mix Show on Apple, Spotify, or wherever you listen to podcasts for new episodes each Monday.

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