If you’re like most organizations, you have a Facebook page. You’re sharing relevant content like everyone else, including carefully crafted blog posts that highlight your work, humorous and shareable gifs or memes, and even experimenting with the powerful Facebook Live feature from time to time. At best, you’re probably getting great engagement and building your brand, but are still wondering how to leverage your Facebook page in order to build relationships with active donors and supporters while also building your email list?
There’s one increasingly popular benefit of having a Facebook page that nonprofits should explore. It is currently one of the most engaging tools on social media right now and for those who are willing to utilize this tool early, it’s helping them to not only build a list of donors and supporters, it’s helping them stand out amongst comparable organizations online. It’s called Facebook Messenger, and it’s exactly what your marketing team needs to get acquainted with.
The open and engagement rates with Messenger are outstanding both because of the rate at which people are joining and using Facebook Messenger and because it is still a fairly new place for both nonprofit and for profit engagement. Messenger users don’t have “banner blindness” or an aversion to responding to Messenger notifications like they do to other forms of marketing and outreach such as email, ads, and phone calls.
Messenger bots in particular are a great way for nonprofits to automate the email capture process and engage with their followers at any time of the day or week. Followers or new visitors need only click on the “Message” icon on the nonprofit’s page, and a Messenger bot can engage them to take multiple actions depending on the type of messenger campaign the organization would like to run. A few things that nonprofits are doing well with messenger bot are:
1. List Building
As mentioned before, email list building is an automated process through Messenger bots. It is super simple for visitors to your page because they’ve already submitted their email address to Facebook in the creation of their accounts. The bot can simply ask if they’d like to opt-in and present an easy “join us” or “sign up” button where the user can join with a simple click.
2. Action Taking
I came across Climate Reality Project’s Messenger bot when reading, 5 Ways Nonprofit Facebook Messenger Bots Can Deliver Impact. Here is a simple conversation between myself and the messenger bot to give a visual example of how a messenger campaign can inspire visitors to take immediate action:
As you can see, it was easy for me to take action with a simple response or by clicking on the “take action now” button. Climate Reality then began to send me messages periodically, which I naturally was inclined to open upon receiving, read, and then engaged with all within a matter of seconds.
Other than asking followers if they’d like to join your organization’s email list, there is a major opportunity to create deeper engagement around campaign stories that highlight the details and impact of your work. For example, Charity Water partnered with Lokai to create a truly interactive and engaging story experience for their Messenger bot, sharing the story of a girl name Yeshi who had to walk for two and a half hours to access clean water. This story experience even includes audio messages and gifs from Yeshi, creating a personal touch to their Messenger bot campaign. Needless to say, this type of powerful storytelling makes it easy to not just garner an email contact, but to turn a visitor into a super engaged action taker who is invested in the work you do, quickly moving followers up the ladder of engagement within a few quick interactions.
When a Messenger campaign is executed well, there is a seamless transition into making a donation ask during a Messenger bot conversation with a Facebook page follower or even first time visitor. Here is an example of how Charity Water does this:
The nature of this ask seems so simple and easy to do and logically flows well after receiving messages that explain the importance of the work they do. This eliminates some of the larger barriers to nonprofit giving, such as confusion around how to give easily and regularly and uncertainty about who is really impacted by the gift.
Similar to email drip campaigns, Messenger campaigns can include automated messages to those who have already engaged with your page through a direct message or the Messenger app. These messages can be sent out periodically over a series of days or weeks, allowing the messenger campaign to tell deeper stories and share snippets of easy to digest information that can both inspire action, refer people to the website, or simply provide insightful information as a follow up to the initial interaction between the Messenger bot and user.
This type of conversational and short form content shared through a Messenger campaign is an easy way to make the most of your organization’s Facebook page by creating a unique experience for your followers, seamlessly build your email list, and move your audience up the ladder of engagement. An easy first step toward exploring and strategizing a suitable Messenger campaign is to engage with other nonprofit Messenger bots to take note of the experience and brainstorm the pieces that you would like to include in a Messenger campaign. After assessing the Facebook pages of several nonprofits that I follow, I realized that Messenger bots are still few and far between, making a Messenger bot campaign a unique and effective way for your organization to stand out in a crowded social media space.
Does your organization already use a Messenger bot campaign or are you thinking of creating one?