Chatbots and Facebook Messenger Marketing: Success Strategies for Event Planners
“Hi, if you have any questions, I’m here to help.”
Go to just about any website these days, and these familiar words pop up, made possible by chatbots – a type of computer program designed to simulate conversation and interactions with others.
Also known affectionately as bots, these types of tools are becoming a critical resource for enhancing and providing excellent customer services.
More proof on the power of these tools?
Chatbots are the fastest-growing brand communication channel, according to Drift’s 2020 State of Conversational Marketing report
Gartner predicted that a chatbot will handle 15 percent of global interactions
67 percent of global consumers had an interaction with a chatbot over the last 12 months
For event business owners and planners striving to work smarter, automation enabled by chatbots and messaging apps has become an invaluable tool.
Given the power of chatbots and Facebook Messenger marketing, we invited Henry Chen from Wedding Chat Marketing to chat about chat marketing and how to keep it personal while enhancing the customer experience.
The Changing Age of Information Requests
Henry explained that no matter what type of event business you have, many of the first questions from new leads revolve around basic information, such as costs, availability, and other services provided.
He also shared that time to respond has become of the essence. Customers want information – usually within minutes – and instant communication can help set you apart from competitors.
Combine that with the idea that many potential clients want replies sent via text or DM versus a phone call or an email, messaging apps make sense.
“It’s essential that any new potential leads be able to take action, basically raising their hands and saying I’m interested in what you have to offer,” Henry said. “And that’s where chat marketing comes in – being able to communicate back and forth with prospects and customers. Automation components are what helps us as business owners not only save time and minimize mistakes but to also get that information whenever a customer wants it.”
For context, Henry explained Facebook Messenger has over 1.3 billion global users. “Most likely, and I wouldn’t say all, but a majority of potential customers are on Facebook Messenger. But they also use other apps – whether that’s WhatsApp, Instagram, or even mobile wallets – which are additional ways we can communicate with our leads.” This all means that information requests as we know it has drastically changed.
The Benefits of Facebook Messenger
Henry explained that one of the best strategies is to integrate Facebook Messenger with your event’s website. “Many times, a guest browsing your website isn’t quite ready to fill out a contact form or call,” said Henry. “But having a pop-up on your site, which is integrated with Facebook Messenger, can capture their contact information and turn them into a lead, which comes into your customer relationship management (CRM) database.”
Henry added, “By using the messenger app to highlight aspects of your business, like FAQs or case studies, with enhanced capabilities powered by artificial intelligence (AI), guests can start receiving specific content relevant to their interests.”
Another benefit of using a widely used platform like Facebook Messenger is that clients don’t have to download another app since they’re likely already using the app to chat with friends and families. But with Instagram on the rise of many event pros, Henry offered this tip. “With availability being a common question from potential customers, add a link in your Instagram bio that uses a link tree with a couple of choices, including an option like check availability. Facebook Messenger can be integrated with your schedule and CRM, and then instantly display to your guest if you’re available.”
Henry also added this same idea can be applied to pricing and promotions too. “And at any time, as a business owner, you can step in and start having a conversation, incorporating details or interests that have been gathered along the way.”
Bottom line, according to Henry? “How we communicate as business owners needs to mimic how we communicate in our personal lives. If clients are text messaging, you have a text messaging option. If they’re sending us a message from our Facebook page, we need to respond promptly and be available in those different avenues.”
Ideas for Integrating Facebook Messenger into Your Business
Henry shared several ideas for integrating Facebook Messenger into your business to capture the attention of potential clients while still delivering a personalized experience.
Even though email marketing continues to be an essential part of most businesses, open rates are slowly dwindling. Sending follow-up communications – responsibly, of course – through Facebook Messenger is one way to boost response rates and increase the likelihood your communications are read. Henry shared that the average open rate for Facebook Messenger is 70-plus percent, compared to the typical email average open rate of 17 percent.
Integrate a chat widget to your website, which works the same no matter whether the site is viewed on desktop or mobile. Site visitors can tap a button to connect and answer a few questions, which allows them to quickly become a lead without having to fill out a traditional contact form.
In your Instagram bio link, use a link tree that goes to different parts of the Facebook Messenger chatbot. One section could be packages and pricing, another may be lead magnets that allow them to receive information from you by entering an email address or a section with portfolio examples.
Combine chatbots and messenger marketing with other marketing efforts, including SEO, blogging, email marketing, social media, in person, and even virtual games too. For example, create a QR code and invite in-person attendees to scan it to download a freebie or chat with you via messenger.
Henry explained that the possibilities are endless with chatbots and messenger apps, but the goal is the same. “Take your existing marketing strategy and add a chatbot and automation to it, and you will generate more leads while saving time.”
Want to see more examples of chatbots in action – including learning more about recent Instagram automation developments? Watch the entire presentation recording.
For other business-building tools, explore our easy-to-use digital Allseated Ops, Allseated Vision, and Allseated exVo platforms that allow event professionals to plan and visualize events with clients.