Good customer relationships are important for growing sales in any industry. For direct-to-consumer brands, they’re the lifeblood.
Building relationships with your customers and keeping them engaged is how you build value and grow your customer data. It’s a virtuous cycle where positive customer experiences generate more sales and more data to drive your growth.
If customer experience and data are the new engines of growth, why are leading Facebook brands ignoring their customers and damaging those relationships?
A simple way to test if you’re damaging customer relationships
We contacted 132 of the biggest brands and 110 of the most popular direct-to-consumer brands on Facebook (based on number of page likes). We reached out on Messenger from a personal Facebook profile to each of their US Facebook pages with a business- or transaction-related request.
Good customer experience means quickly responding to your customers. It shows them you care. It offers your brand an opportunity to convert them or build a relationship. So how did leading brands on Facebook measure up against this simple test?
45% of brands don’t respond within 5 days
Responding instantly in a personal way is clearly the winning strategy. Responding within a few hours is decent. Within a day is still acceptable. Ignoring your customers or not responding within 5 days? That’s a clear sign you’re damaging customer relationships.
Smart brands live where their customers are. They build customer relationships to gather data and drive conversions. Users and businesses already exchange over 10 billion messages a month on FB Messenger alone. Leading Facebook brands are in the perfect position to leverage their investment on social media. Yet, nearly half of them are completely ignoring their customers.
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Want more insight on how brands are damaging customer relationships on Facebook? Download a copy of the whitepaper and find out how easily you can drive conversions on Messenger.
Messaging is one of the biggest marketing opportunities of the next 5-10 years yet fewer than 1% of brands leverage chat for growth. With Instagram Direct opening for business in May and over 10 billion messages already sent each month on FB Messenger between businesses and customers, the opportunity to reap first-mover advantage is there for the taking. So why are brands failing to convert their customers?
A simple test to see if brands can handle transactions on Messenger
Leading Facebook brands clearly invest a lot of time and money on building up their social following. You would expect these brands to leverage Messenger to drive transactions. Particularly direct-to-consumer brands built on owning their customer data and simplifying online transactions. That’s pretty low hanging marketing fruit. The reality shows just how much money is being left on the table.
We contacted 132 of the largest brands and 110 of the largest direct-to-consumer brands on Facebook (based on number of page likes). We sent a message from a personal Facebook profile to each of their US Facebook pages with a transaction-related request. The results?
92% of brands can’t handle transactions
You read that right. 92% of leading Facebook brands can’t handle transactions on Messenger. That’s not just leaving money on the table. With the amount of money invested on the platform, that’s tantamount to throwing buckets of cash out the window.
Customers are engaging with brands on Messenger more every day. Smart brands make transactions seamless and easy. Few marketing success stories start with brands adding more steps for customers to make a purchase. It’s shocking how many leading Facebook brands are failing to drive conversions on the one channel their customers increasingly engage them.
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Want more insight on how brands fail to drive transactions with their customers on Facebook? Download a copy of the whitepaper and find out how easily the transaction problem can be fixed.
There’s little doubt that brands care about customer experiences. Job titles containing customer experience have been steadily on the rise and some analysts even suggest return on experience (ROX) is now the key KPI for marketing teams. That metric might prove very hard to measure but it begs the question. With so much focus on the impact of customer experience on acquisition and retention, why are brands failing to deliver it on social media?
An easy way to test your customer experience
We contacted 132 of the largest brands and 110 of the largest direct-to-consumer brands on Facebook (based on number of page likes). We sent a message from a personal Facebook profile to each of their US Facebook pages with a transaction- or business-related request.
You would expect major brands, especially direct-to-consumer companies built on positive customer experiences, to reply quickly and engage potential customers showing high intent to purchase. The reality is a very different story.
Brands with slow response times are neglecting their customers
Considering how much these brands invest on Facebook, it’s shocking how few are using the opportunity to drive growth on Messenger. 85% of brands didn’t respond to a message within the first 5 minutes. That’s ignoring your customer precisely at their moment of highest intent.
Only 32% of brands followed up within an hour. The breakdown of response times and methods in the report clearly shows that brands are struggling to engage customers on their preferred communication channel.
Download the whitepaper
Want more insight on how brands fail to engage their customers on Facebook? Download a copy of the whitepaper and find out how easily the customer experience problem can be fixed.
A quick explainer what changed and how brands can grow their Messenger audience with Messenger games.
Many of us remember the time when we received a handful of FarmVille invitations a day and, maybe for the first time Facebook was pretty annoying if you cared about friends rather more than your digital pigs.
Zynga, the game company behind the FarmVille craze, started after Facebook opened their platform for third parties in 2007.
They launched with Texas Hold’Em Poker, the first game on the social platform, and were the fastest growing third party on Facebook with 40 million users in April 2009.
Then came FarmVille. 10 million daily active users in 6 weeks, 80 million in 6 months.
Zynga became an upstart with a billion USD valuation and hundreds of millions in revenue through in-game purchases — gaming on Facebook was a global phenomenon.
In 2012 Facebook changed their mind and decided to walk away from gaming.
Mini-games started to hurt the user experience and Zynga became too big.
This was a tough decision, as Facebook made about a quarter of their revenue through gaming.
Facebook banned games into the dark corners of their platform and it became niche compared to the scale of Facebook.
Now Facebook is changing their mind again. Facebook Messenger games are placed front and centre and are starting to thrive like in the old days.
Facebook is displaying the active (!) players of a game every time you open the game. So it’s easy to spot that classic arcade games like “EverWing” (14 million users) “Basketball FVR” (8 million users) or “Super bowling” (3.6 million users) are dominating the platform.
For consumer brands, Messenger games are a real engagement and growth engine.
Here is why:
Brands which want to increase the engagement on social or increase the customer lifetime value (CLTV) have to build a Messenger bot audience.
To get an audience on Messenger the user has to opt-in, eg. through writing a message or clicking on an ad. Otherwise, the brand can’t message the user. Those are the customer acquisition costs (CAC) brands have to get Messenger user.
Messenger Games provide that opt-in, so every game user becomes automatically a Messenger bot user. 🎉
Red Bull – launched the Airdrop Game. Collect Red Bull organics with your balloon and avoid the rocks.
KLM – One of the leading brands in the messaging space launched „Flying in the sky.“ Flying with KLMs historic machines to collect coins and not run out of time.
The average CPC for a Facebook Messenger ad is currently a little above 1.20$.
With the traction that the first brand Messenger games have shown the CACs by using a Messenger game is around 3x lower than using ads. The best part about this: it’s a one-time investment so the return on investment is getting even bigger over time.
Especially for large brands which aim for a bigger audience that is a real opportunity to grow their audience on Messenger quickly.
Facebook announced major changes to it’s most central product, the Newsfeed, on the 11th of January. Facebook will begin prioritizing posts from friends and family over public content and posts from brands.
All eyes will be on Facebook’s Developer conference, as the company is expected to make some big announcements. Two weeks ago, Facebook released the Facebook Messenger platform v1.4 and it already shows the shift in directions regarding their approach to Messenger.
Facebook announced the “Business on Messenger” platform as part of their 10 year strategy.
The goal from Mark Zuckerberg to connect all kinds of businesses with the over a billion Messenger users is nothing less than creating a new operating system. iOs and Android with its apps are running the mobile world, but Facebook with both platforms — Facebook platform and Messenger — is in a good position to create one app to rule them all, because of its high penetration.
WeChat got a 3 year headstart on messaging integrations. It already is the messaging platform for China that Messenger is striving to become for the western world. Most of the online-offline services, including e-commerce, transportation, payment and many more are integrated and most used over WeChat.
Bearing this in mind “Business on Messenger” attracted thousands of engineers and entrepreneurs. They developed over 40.000 bots and created one of the biggest (media) hypes in 2016.
Bearing this in mind “Business on Messenger” attracted thousands of developers, entrepreneurs to develop chatbots and created one of the biggest (media) hypes in 2016.
But despite the hype, Facebook is not in a rush.
After the launch of “Business on Messenger“ and early difficulties Facebook continued to improve the platform. New features for the integration of chatbots rolled out every few weeks, and Facebook was in quite open discussions with many developers in Facebook groups. The pace was so fast that many developers and start ups had difficulties integrating all the features and improvements in their products.
Besides the ambitious timeline for integrating chatbots in Messengers as the business to customer connection, Facebook also launched instant games in November of 2016. The viral basketball game 🏀 for f8 was demonstrating the potential of HTML5 minigames in Messenger, and with the update Pacman x y z, many more were following.
The third integration in Messenger
The lastest update of Business on Messenger came as unexpected to many. The Facebook Messenger platform v1.4 release includes several updates providing a sneak peak into what will be presented at f8, but the most interesting update was the “enhanced menu structure.”
The enhanced menu structure contains multiple changes. The persistent menu got upgraded from a small helpful feature to a very prominent persistent menu with submenus right in the middle of the chat interface.
In addition to the new persistent menu and maybe even more important: the message input field can be now disabled.
With a menu instead of a message input field and web view, Facebook is basically creating a new integration on Messenger: instant apps.
The conversational interface is challenging. For many developers, brands and entrepreneurs the field of AI and NLP is quite new. As a result many chatbots were providing bad experiences. Instant apps are addressing this problem.
Instant apps makes sense for use cases in which chatbots with a conversational approach are not working, because of technical challenges in the field of AI and NLP or because of a simplicity that doesn’t require a conversation at all.
Business on WeChat, which started years earlier, is almost entirely based on a conversational interface with buttons and webview only, for the exact same reasons.
So now there are three different types of Messenger integrations: (conversational) chatbots, games and instant apps.
Facebook is rather a user (data) driven company than interested in rushing to create new experiences based on gut feelings. So it’s quite likely that we will see a lot of continuously rolled out changes and other experiments on Messenger very soon.
How Facebook will handle the three different types and which ones work best for which use case will be for sure one of the most important question for and after f8.