The Epichat Blog

Blog about facebook messenger marketing and chatbots.

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Why Your Business Needs a Dedicated Facebook Messenger Marketing Strategy

January 4, 2019 in facebook

Most businesses in the world are now social media believers. Terms like Snapchat and ‘viral post’ are common in boardrooms and meetings at the biggest corporations. But success online takes more than just a social media strategy; it requires a deep understanding of the mechanics of each platform.

Facebook Messenger is no different. With more than 1.8 billion users, it is hard to overlook. What should excite businesses is that Facebook has shown clear intent in making the platform amenable for marketing to that large audience. It’s why over 60 million businesses have already made a beeline for Messenger. Here’s what you need to know about what makes Messenger unique so you can have success on the platform.

Chat, Not Social

News flash: Facebook Messenger is not social media. Yes, it has the word Facebook in it. Yes, people on Facebook have automatic access to Messenger. But Messenger itself is not social media and to call it that is to ignore what makes it such a powerful tool.

Messenger is about chat and it’s important for businesses to recognize that people using the tool aren’t there to consume social media posts. It’s actually a place where people are having real conversations with their friends and family. To do well on Messenger, you have to play into its conversational DNA.

Messenger has a few tools that give you a headstart creating conversations with your audience. A feature called Messenger Greetings lets you create a message that users see when they initiate a chat. Instant Replies and Saved Replies can be used to automate responses about common queries like business hours and product availability. The businesses that have the most success on Messenger are the ones that use these native tools in combination with a dedicated strategy.

Web Integrated

Facebook Messenger conversations don’t live only on Facebook Messenger. They can also be initiated on websites. You’ve probably noticed the blue Messenger icon on the bottom corner of certain web pages. What you’re seeing there is businesses letting people know that they can turn that website visit into a conversation with the business in no time.

Facebook released the on-site chat plugin in 2017 and it has proved to be a game-changer for businesses. Before, you had a very short window of time in which to make an impact on the people who visited your website. With the website chat plugin, you can parlay a website visit into a longer conversation that lives on Facebook Messenger. It’s an invaluable tool for businesses to create relationships with customers who have shown intent to engage with their brand online.

Now, Payments

Of all the features that make Messenger unique, this one has to be the most important. Facebook came out with a payments feature on Messenger this year. It is linked to your bank account like other payments tool and is free to use. Messenger is available to both individuals sending each other money as well as those looking to transact with businesses.

Being able to accept money from customers from within Messenger is a major opportunity for businesses on the platform. What that means is that you can go from the prospect stage all the way to a full conversion all on Facebook Messenger. You don’t have to be concerned about moving the conversation from Messenger to your own website or an external payments tool. Given that ability, it is imperative that businesses create strategies that cater to users at every different stage of the customer lifecycle.

Is your business Facebook Messenger-ready? Visit Epichat.io to create chatbots for your business instantly and for free.

Epichat Dashboard Walkthrough – Here’s What You’re Working With

December 19, 2018 in Uncategorized

We used the first post on our blog to introduce Epichat to you. Now that that’s out of the way, we can dive a little deeper into the software. More to the point, it’s time to take a look at the tools you’ll be working with and what they do. Here’s a quick primer of the different parts of the Epichat workspace.

Dashboard

Epichat’s dashboard is your home base. It’s here that you will get a bird’s eye view of everything that’s going on with your Facebook Messenger marketing efforts.

Epichat dashboard

At the top of the screen, you can see how many total subscribers you have, how many of those are active, and how many have unsubscribed. And below that you will see that information visualized in the form of a graph, just in case that’s how you like consuming data.

The dashboard is meant to give you a handle on how well your current strategies are doing. Based on that feedback, you might double down on your approach or work on new ones. Epichat offers you tools to use in case you’re looking for new ways to communicate with your audience. We will look at what those tools are in the next section.

Growth Tools

Epichat’s growth tools have been designed to help you drive engagement with your Facebook audience. There are currently two growth tools available to use on Epichat: Send to Messenger and the chat widget for your website.

Send to Messenger is used to send messages to all of your subscribers on Facebook Messenger. This is useful in cases like when you want to fire off updates to users. The chat widget lets you embed your Messenger chatbot directly on your website. That way you can make the experience seamless for visitors moving between your website and Facebook pages.

Those are the two growth tools we currently have on Epichat. We’re working to add more to that list soon.

Flows

The next section we’ll be talking about is Flows. This is where you will be designing the brains of your chatbot.

Epichat flows

Flows are the sequences of messages that constitute the conversations your chatbot will engage users in. These can be really basic or quite sophisticated depending on how you plan on using them. A flow generally starts with a message sent by the chatbot. Users can respond to these messages by selecting one of the options offered to them following the message. You can also use images and other files within these sequences.

The steps in different Flows can be linked to each other to form elaborate sequences of messages. You probably don’t want to make things too circuitous for users, but there is no limit to how many steps is in a Flow.

Broadcasts

Broadcasts are messages that are sent out to many subscribers all at once. These are Flows that you create for particular instances where a mass message makes sense. For example, you might come up with a Flow advertising a Christmas discount for your users. This can then be turned into a Broadcast sent out to your entire audience on Facebook Messenger.

Menu Builder

Finally, we have the Menu Builder. This tool lets you build a menu within the chat so that certain options are always available to your subscribers.

So there you have it, your Epichat dashboard summarized. Ready to try all the tools out for yourself? Sign up for free at Epichat.io.

Will Facebook Remain A Digital Marketer’s Dream in 2019?

December 12, 2018 in facebook

Let’s start by stating the obvious: Facebook has been mired in controversy for a while now.

It started with the Cambridge Analytica scandal, where we found out that millions of users’ data had been handed over to third-party firms. In that particular case, it was used to rig political elections, among other things.

There is, of course, the ongoing discussions on how Russian entities used Facebook to meddle in the US elections. The investigation into the extent of Russia’s impact is still under investigation, but the public consensus seems to be that Facebook was a pawn in that geopolitical battle.

And there were less high-profile controversies, like when it came out that the company was retaining videos that users had ostensibly deleted. Or Facebook’s admission that it scans content sent over Messenger. The list goes on and on.

To sum things up, it has been a trying couple of years for the social media giant. And its users. In the process, Facebook found out that not all press is good press. It turns out that Facebook’s younger demographic are less than impressed with developments. One survey concluded that as much as 44 percent of Americans aged between 18 and 29 deleted the Facebook app in the last year.

Facebook’s fall from grace raises an important question for businesses. Is it still important for digital marketers to cater to the social media network in 2019? All of the acrimony surrounding the company has led some to conclude that it’s time to move on from Facebook to alternative platforms. But it isn’t. Facebook will continue to be a valuable channel for businesses to reach out to new customers. Here’s why.  

Global Reach

Despite its travails, Facebook continues to be a global phenomenon. As of the third quarter of 2018, the social network has 2.27 billion monthly active users. That is a 10 percent increase in year-on-year figures. 1.49 billion of those people are daily active users. Facebook doesn’t just have massive reach, it also has an audience that is highly engaged. This, for obvious reasons, makes the social network a goldmine for digital marketers.

Access to Other High-Reach Platforms

Facebook is clearly a behemoth all on its own. But that’s not all. The company has become a multi-tentacled monster by acquiring other huge companies–namely, Instagram and WhatsApp. The former reached 1 billion monthly active users this year and continues to display strong growth. Whatsapp recently announced it may start displaying ads in statuses, making it another resource available to marketers. Facebook’s ad platform will give digital marketers a way to reach diverse target markets across its different apps and products.

Continued Preeminence Among Social Networks

Sure, Facebook has had its problems over the last couple of years. Despite that, there isn’t a single other social network that has risen to compete with it in any substantial way. Facebook, Whatsapp, Instagram, and Facebook Messenger currently occupy four spots among the top six most popular social networks. WeChat is among those six but is mostly limited to China. The only other name in there with a global audience is YouTube.

It’s evident that Facebook leads the pack in terms of worldwide reach and engagement. Digital marketers will do well to continue leveraging the social network to create communities and sell products.

If you’re looking to get started with marketing on Facebook Messenger, visit Epichat.io.