Ever been in a budding relationship?

If so, you’ve probably had those sweet “good morning” messages every day and felt your heart soar at every single one.

You may also have furiously sent huffs and sad faces at each other over SMS from the office, your first lovers’ tiff.

This type of banter is part of determining your compatibility long term. A beta test of “for better and for worse,” you could say. Most relationships start out like this, a dialogue of thoughts, jokes, and personal facts in a subliminal attempt to sell each other on the idea of long-term commitment.

If the relationship is to last, the connection needs to be deep, and honest, and genuine.



It’s the same with wooing a customer


A similar principle applies in building a relationship with customers. As humans we indeed relate to brands much as we do to people – each has a personality, with its nuances and complexities; we like or dislike brands for reasons that are often quite deeply emotional.

Welcome, then, the new tool in building meaningful relationships with customers in a way that is closer to wooing a potential life partner than almost any other form of business: Facebook Messenger.

Welcome also to Facebook Messenger Broadcast – a new feature currently being tested (and we were among the first to test it.) Conclusion: a tool that could make – or break – business.


Facebook Messenger Broadcast


In a nutshell, the Messenger Broadcast tool would essentially let companies send mass private messages to anyone who’s engaged with them via the Messenger platform. To use it, you would simply write up a title and message, add an image, and select between a call-to-action or scripted responses.

Right now there’s no cost to use it, but Facebook evidently plans to add a charge very soon. If you want to know more about how it works, our Chief Conversologist Jam Mayer went live on Facebook to reveal her findings.




In the video, Jam outlines how the Broadcast feature would be used, and the responses and reactions of the audience – including block/delete rates. She also reflected on the impact of the broadcast on the business’ contact centre, the greater cost (actual and opportunity) compared that to the efficiencies and results expected from a chatbot.



“You had me at …”


One of Jam Mayer’s key conclusions was that the Broadcast Feature would not be as easy a platform as it may first appear. Crucial to its performance, as with any would-be suitor, is what to say.  And here is its biggest danger.

Although Facebook currently has a cap on the number and frequency of broadcasts to deter spamming, particularly while it is free, messages seem unlikely to be monitored for quality. Blasts can be targeted to different audiences using tags which might minimise irrelevance, but even that doesn’t guard against a bombardment of unimaginative sales pitches from less marketing-savvy merchants once subscribed.

Add to that the fact that some of these leads may have only ever been ambivalent at best, and an over-the-top message blast could easily push them away – as the test broadcast did, to an extent – or even turn them into active critics of the brand.



Facebook Messenger Broadcast Versus Chatbots


With a combination of annoying messages, display ads, and sponsored message ads, Messenger could quickly become the spam folder of this generation.

Consider, then, the potential of a chatbot. While the name might conjure images of an impersonal or technically complex marketing tool, chatbots are neither. Well scripted, they are customer service superstars, charming, personable and engaging – and can be easy to set up. The stuff dream brand relationships are made of!

Take it from our friend, Penny Lawler, whose simple but delightfully chatty chatbot resulted in a 900% return on investment. 

Chatbots offer many benefits for businesses over Broadcasts – not the least their lower cost. Chatbots require the approval of users before any messages are sent, to avoid the spam problem. They also follow a goal-oriented strategy to help customers along a journey, maintaining rapport through dialogue.

Let’s look at the two side by side.


Messenger Broadcast

  • Send messages to multiple users at once
  • Target specific audience groups
  • Potential to be seen as spam
  • Difficult to manage a mass response


Social Chatbot Marketing

  • Less risk of annoying a potential customer
  • Communicate only with qualified leads  
  • Ensure a better customer experience
  • Achieve more with a goal-oriented strategy


Although both of these tools have the potential to improve the performance of businesses on Facebook, we suggest a strategised approach.

While you’re trying out Messenger Broadcast on its limited-time free offer, consider also getting a chatbot for your business. To find out more about how a great chatbot can look, check out some of our work.

Send us a message if you want to dive right in, read more posts from our blog, or book a personal consultation with Chief Conversologist Jam Mayer to discuss exactly what your business needs.