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Facebook Messenger Ads Are Coming

Rumor has it that Facebook ads are coming to Messenger, and I have heard that it’s not going to be banner ads or pop-up ads, at least for the time-being.  I believe that Facebook knows it should take care of its users more than their stockholders and the business owner’s spending money with them.  If the user gets pissed off and leaves, that user will move onto another platform, and Facebook will be left with no revenue.  Facebook is very careful about the changes it makes and how users are affected.  That’s why you have so many different rules for advertising on Facebook and so forth.

Back when MySpace was popular, there was hardly any competition for social media platforms.  Now there is a ton of reasons why you may want to leave and go to the next guy.  So, again, according to what I have read, the ads which are being added to messenger won’t be intrusive ads, such as pop-up ads.  I’m sure this is true, and I don’t think they ever planned to go that route.  I believe the way this will work is this:  If a person has engaged with a brand or business owner that business or brand will be able to send out a message.

Let’s say that my business is Nightclub XYZ, and over the past year I’ve had 2,000 people message me on Facebook through Messenger, asking me questions about the events that are coming up and things like that.  This will build a separate audience for me, and when those ads open up, I will be able to send a message to all of my users.  I’m sure that people will be able to opt-out of any list they are placed into.  That way, they don’t have to deal with businesses messaging them if they feel invaded upon.

If this does happen, and I believe it’s very likely that it will, how will this affect those of us in the bar and nightclub industry?  Well, first of all, keep in mind that Facebook has always allowed their elite groups of advertisers to try out new features such as this before anyone else gets a chance to.  If it ends up that advertisers like Pepsi, Disney, and Lexus try this feature, and the people on Facebook absolutely hate it, then the platform will never roll this out.  Alternatively, if it works out, then Facebook will roll this feature out to the medium-sized businesses, and eventually to every single FB page owner out there that wants to advertise.

Let’s put this in perspective.  Back in the day, email marketing was really effective.  You would have massive open rates, like 70% or even 90%.  So, if you had 1,000 people on your list, you could send out a blast to all of them and most of them would open them.  Many of them would even click through.  Now people get so much spam, newsletters, and other types of messages from businesses that people are junking their email, and your open rates are more like 1%.  This will happen to the Facebook Messenger ads eventually too.  At the very beginning, the people who are on FB Messenger all of the time are going to get notifications that say things like “Nightclub XYZ” sent a message.  When they read the message, they are going to see that they can click to get a discount on tickets, or something of the like.

Eventually, people are going to want to stop seeing ads like this come through.  You have to engage people and converse with them before you can sell to them, or at least while you’re selling to them.  It’s only going to be a matter of time before people will start getting tired of this “in your face” type of marketing.  Therefore, if you are going to use this feature, I think it’s important that you begin to think about what story you are going to tell.  You might start by sending out a message that says something like, “Hey guys, just wanted to let you in on this brand new video that came out from [Artist XYZ].  P.S. They are coming in a month.”  You’ve got to tell a story so that your audience wants to click and interact.

A lot of people still use text message marketing.  I don’t use it very much anymore because I think it’s intrusive and people don’t like to have ads in their face all of the time.  This is very similar to what you’ll be able to do with the Messenger ads.  You’ll be able to send out blasts that say things like, “Hey guys, it’s noon and we are offering free appetizers to anyone in the area that wants to come down and orders a lunch entre.”  So, this can be a great thing for businesses, but what I’m trying to say is, use it wisely and don’t get too spammy because the market will turn on you.

Most of the nightclub and bar owners are only doing very generic advertising and not really stepping up their game.  So, if you are even trying to run well-targeted ads, you’re likely doing better than the majority of the people out there.  Throw Messenger ads into that equation and you’ll likely be doing even better.  That is, this will work well for you and put yourself ahead of your competition if you are putting the right ads in front of the right customer, engaging them, and not spamming them with offers constantly.

If you want to be prepared for this change that’s taking place, I recommend that you keep googling “Messenger Ads” to see if there’s any updates about it and make sure they haven’t scrapped the idea.  There’s a lot of blog writers and journalists that are asking questions directly to Facebook right now, trying to get as much information about this change as they can.  You’ll definitely want to keep on top of this trend.  Secondly, you’ll want to create plenty of opportunity for people to message you.  Make it simple and use a very direct call to action, encouraging people to do so.  Instead of having people call you for guest lists, have them Facebook message you.

Here is a quick tip to help out, a new feature that Facebook just rolled out, which is a link that allows people to instantly message you.

You can use this link on your posts, your ads, and on your website.  Not only will this allow people to get in touch with your Facebook page more easily, it’s a way that you can interact and engage with your customers more.  Plus, the case may be that you can only send these Messenger ads to people that have engaged with you before.  If so, you want to make sure that you’ve loaded up that audience with as many people as you can.  If you’ve only had four people message you in the last year, Facebook Ads Messenger may not work for you right away.

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