How to Use Facebook Messenger to Drive Business Results

April 25, 2018

Why advertise on Facebook Messenger?

Over the last few years messaging has become more important and popular. Believe it or not, since the beginning of 2015, there have been more people using messaging apps than social networks.


We recommend that all forward-looking advertisers consider where messaging stands in their social media strategy. Businesses might be quick to dismiss this advertising channel, thinking that only the young and tech-savvy use it. However, a few reasons say that’s not the case:

  • Messaging apps now have more active users than social networks, including Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. At over 3.5 billion people, that’s a huge reach—almost half the planet use messaging apps.
  • People across generations prefer to message than call or email when chatting one-to-one or with a group.
  • Customers like the speed and simplicity of instant messaging. In fact, Facebook research shows that 53% of people are more likely to shop with a business they can message directly.


Facebook Messenger itself has reached over 1.3 billion people, allowing brands and businesses to reach customers at scale. Facebook built out a number of features, allowing brands to:

  • Extend their reach on the Messenger placement
  • Drive new users to chat with your business
  • Re-engage existing customers with Sponsored Messages

Here’s a quick guide on how to use these Facebook Messenger features to drive business results.

Extend your reach using the Messenger placement


One of the easiest ways to add Messenger to your social media strategy is to extend the reach of your Facebook ads to the Messenger Home placement. You don’t need any additional preparation, as this can complement your existing Facebook activity as part of placement optimization.

Here are a few things to consider before testing this placement:

  • Messenger Home placement is available as part of placement optimization and not a standalone placement. Although you can’t create Messenger Home-only ads, you’ll still be able to review how the placement performed against others through breakdown reporting.
  • You can test this with Link or Carousel ads.
  • It supports the Messages, Reach, Brand Awareness, Traffic, Conversions, and App Installs objectives.

Test this placement to see if you can get extended reach and improve your campaign performance. As this will be served as part of placement optimization, the algorithm will aim to serve your ads on a placement that can deliver the best price possible at the time. Make sure you allow enough time for the test and gather data before making big strategy decisions—depending on your audience, Messenger Home might be a small part of your campaign delivery.

Drive people to your Messenger chat

We outlined some of the merits of engaging with your customers via messaging apps. Messaging offers speed and convenience, and can increase customer satisfaction. However, how do you get people to discover your Messenger presence and reach out to you?

There are a number of organic ways you can get discovered—Messenger Codes, adding a button to your Facebook page, sharing an link. However, you can really scale and tailor who you reach with Click-to-Messenger ads. In a nutshell, these are Link ads served in the Facebook feed that entice people to open a chat with you on Messenger.


You can use all of the regular Facebook targeting—demographics, interests, custom audiences, and more. There are a number of different strategies you can explore here:

  • Prospecting: Target your audience on Facebook and drive them to find out more about your products through Messenger.
  • Retargeting: Use the Facebook pixel to target those customers that viewed your products but haven’t purchased yet. Messenger could work as a great bridge from interest to conversion, allowing your customers to ask important questions and get immediate answers.
  • Seasonal: Create a Messenger bot around a season or event that’s key to your business. For example, target a gifter’s audience in the lead-up to Christmas offering to help them choose the perfect gift.

Before testing this ad unit, there are a few guidelines to note:

  • It’s supported under three objectives: Traffic, Conversions, and Messages.
  • You can use these ad formats to increase Messenger usage: Image Link, Video Link, or Carousel.
  • You can place Click-to-Messenger ads on the Facebook and Instagram news feeds.

Re-engage customers with Sponsored Messages

Finally, if you already have plenty of people engaging with you on Messenger, you should consider running Sponsored Messages. These are targeted, in-context ads allowing you to re-engage a warm audience.

The way I like to think about this ad unit is seeing people that have connected to you on Messenger as leads—people who signed up to communicate with your business. They’re already an open audience more likely to show interest in your products, respond to your marketing, and convert.

Sponsored Messages can only be targeted at people who already have an open conversation with you, meaning that your audience size is very limited. You’re able to layer additional targeting, based on Facebook data; however, I suggest keeping it simple and not reducing your audience size too much. A few strategies to consider:

  • Using the Facebook Pixel, data exclude people who already converted and aren’t likely to convert again. That way, you can ensure your Sponsored Messages are still relevant to your audience.
  • Make the messages personalized by segmenting your ad sets based on gender, age group, or interest.
  • Remind your Messenger audience about your business by sending them an offer.

Sponsored Messages are an interesting ad unit in the Facebook ecosystem, reminding me of Sponsored InMail on LinkedIn. As such, there are a few things to note before launching them:

  • The ad unit is currently supported by Messages objective only.
  • It can only be served in Messenger and only to people who already have an open conversation with your business.
  • You will be bidding manually on CPM—the recommended bids are much higher than you would bid on the Facebook news feed.
  • It only works on accelerated delivery—due to the smaller audience sizes than you’re used to on Facebook, the goal for this unit is to deliver the messages out, fast.
  • You can place 1x message per ad set and serve it at a frequency of 1. This makes sense since you don’t want to bombard your customers with the same message over and over again. If you have 2x messages you’d like to serve, you have to create 2x ad sets.


Sky Jusaityte

Marin Software
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