FACEBOOK MESSENGER UPDATES The New Rules You MUST Follow to Survive the Messenger Bot Apocalypse!
If you’re using Facebook Messenger for marketing there have been some critical facebook messenger updates that WILL affect you.
How do we know this? Because we’ve already seen accounts get squashed by the powers that be over at Facebook, and entire business pages banned. These are people who had thousands of prospects inside ManyChat.
So for this blog post, we brought it in the one dude we turn to most when it comes to Facebook Messenger Marketing, ManyChat and FB ads expert Antonio Thompson!
All so that YOU can not just survive what many people are calling the Messenger Bot Apocalypse...but THRIVE!
Before we get too deep into all the scary stuff that’s going on with Facebook Messenger and this Bot Apocalypse...
What you must know is that Messenger Marketing is STILL a seriously untapped opportunity (if you embrace doing it the right way.) Which means you should not run for the hills right now like so many other people will.
You just need to learn how to avoid getting your page shutdown,and your messenger account banned... by understanding the new messenger rules. And once you do, you’ll be able to profit BIG TIME.
What's a Messenger Bot?
Messenger Bots are simply apps that create an "automated" way for you to communicate with your audience using messaging apps like Facebook Messenger.
So if you use Facebook Messenger and ManyChat you’re using a bot. Think of it like what 'autoresponders' did for email back in the day.
Why Is Messenger Marketing So Important to Your Strategy
You’ve probably heard people say that email is dead. That’s absolutely false. In fact we just had one top marketer show us how he had a $98K summer using email marketing.
However, email has gotten quite crowded. Open rates and click thru rates have decreased significantly.
But your email list is the only thing you actually own online. Those are YOUR leads, which is your number one asset. This Messenger Bot Apocalypse is a great example of why that’s so true.
All that being said, the proof is in the pudding. People prefer to use messaging apps to communicate with each other and businesses
Some simple reasons why...
- Opting in is easier than email. (A simple click of a button)
- Messenger is instantaneous..which means the sales process can move along faster.
- You’re getting the real data of your prospects. No fake email addresses, junk emails. You get an account that they actually check.
The Numbers Don't Lie! Just look at these messenger app statistics...
1.3 Billion Users
1.5 Billion Users
200,000 Messages sent every second
WeChat (China based app)
1.057 Billion Users
Look at what Mark Zuckerberg is saying about the future of messaging...
We think that you should just be able to message a business in the same way that you message a friend" ~ Mark Zuckerberg (2016)
Private messaging, ephemeral stories, and small groups are by far the fastest growing areas of online communication" ~ Mark Zuckerberg (2019)
What those quotes tell you from the Zuck is that messenger isn’t going anywhere but UP! Facebook is doubling down on on Messenger, and let’s not forget they own WhatsApp and Instagram. There’s plenty more to come with Messenger!
Chatbots are projected to be a 1.25 Billion Dollar industry in the next 6 years. So don’t bail out, just continue reading to see how to do it right!
Here Are the Challenges that Facebook Has (Which Will Explain the New Rule Changes)
As we talk about the massive numbers of users on Facebook, we must also look at the challenges to Facebook’s #1 priority... which is to always maintain a positive user experience (a.k.a. Preventing Spam!)
So here’s the challenge…
- 60 million business pages
- 7 million advertisers
- The Facebook newsfeed has been oversold with advertising
- Over 300K messenger bots (only 31% of businesses use Messenger)
As Gary Vee says: “Marketers ruin everything”, which means Facebooks must always be working toward keeping that from happening. Therefore we get updates like the ones we’re seeing now.
So let’s jump into these new rules and show you how to deal with them!
Below we are going to cover the changes that are happening with Facebook Messenger. We'll cover the rule as it used to be, and the new changes that YOU MUST FOLLOW in order to continue using Facebook Messenger. (Ant not get your business page shut down!)
The 24-Hour Window with Standard Messaging Rule (As Relates to a Facebook Business Page!)
THE OLD RULE
The old rule stated that if someone engaged with you, made a comment, or messaged you on your business page (and you have a bot like ManyChat connected to that action)... you as the page owner had 24 hours to respond.
During that 24-hour window, you could be promotional once that person had subscribed to your chatbot. AFTER that 24-hour period, you could send ONE additional message... which could be promotional.
THE NEW RULES
You still have a 24 hour window where you can be promotional.
However, after that 24 hour period... you can NO LONGER send one additional promotional message after the 24-hour window is GONE!
So you can still be promotional during the 24 hour period, but that's it.
‘Message Tags’ with Subscription Messaging Rules
THE OLD RULE
The old rule stated you were allowed to send 'Subscription' messages outside the 24 hour window, IF it aligned with 1 of the 16 supported tags.
THE NEW RULES
The new rule has reduced the number of tags from 16 to just 4 tags.
These tags now include...
- CONFIRMED UPDATE - Lets you send reminders or updates for events, appointments, travel, etc. (webinars, trainings, etc.)
- PURCHASE UPDATE - Lets you send a notification or update about a recent purchase, such as a receipt, a shipping update on the purchase, a status, etc.
- ACCOUNT UPDATE - Notification of a non-recurring change to an account or application, such as a credit card issue, fraud alert etc.
- HUMAN AGENT - Allows humans to respond to inquiries within 7 days after a message
But here's the thing...There can be NO PROMOTIONAL CONTENT...UNLESS THE USER ENGAGES!
So what does the new Message Tags rule mean?
Let’s say you send a reminder about a webinar that someone already registered for.
If you send a message and they click a button that says "yes i'll be there", you can NOW send them a message (within 24 hours) that could say something like...
Great, before you join would you be interested in checking out this cheat sheet that can help you move faster!
But again, this is ONLY if they've engaged in your original reminder!
Subscription Messaging Rule
THE OLD RULE
The old rule stated you could send recurring messages outside the 24-hour window for specific use cases (news, productivity, and personal trackers)
You had to apply for subscription messaging to send non-promotional subscription messages using one of the allowed 16 tags.Then you could send recurring messages outside that 24 hour window...as long as you were using one of the 16 tags.
THE NEW RULES
You still have 24 hours to respond to a new user after they engage with you in messenger...but that’s all you get.
There’s no longer any need to apply because there's only 4 tags.
If you're a news publisher (an actual news publisher) who sends regular news updates, you should register under the ‘Facebook News Page Index’ to be able to send recurring messages outside the 24-hour window.
Do These Facebook Messenger Updates Mean the End For Facebook Messenger Marketing?
Just like when FB reduced organic engagement on business pages, and they wanted you to invest in your business and actually advertise on the Facebook platform...that's what you're going to have to do now. Pay to play!
Sure this is another revenue stream for Facebook, but it's also a way to make sure the platform remains user-friendly and they can protect the user.
Which is actually a good thing because now it's going to get rid of the lazy marketers. (Unless of course, you're a lazy marketer.)
If you're not a lazy marketer, the good news is that you'll get to see a big chunk of people bolting.
The true marketers willing to either spend money or do business the right way...will be the ones who get to succeed with ‘Sponsored Messaging.’
What Is Facebook Messenger Sponsored Messaging?
You'll now be able send ads directly to users you've had past conversations with.
In other words, if you've had engagement in the past, and they're in your messenger bot, you'll be able to send messages to them that they will actually see.
Which means you can re-engage with those people outside the 24 hour window. And these messages CAN be promotional or non-promotional.
These Sponsored messages look like every other conversation in their inbox. They’re NOT marked Sponsored -- until the chat is opened.
Some Important Notes About Using Facebook Sponsored Messaging...
The truth is it’s going to take FB a while to figure out this new feature, and see how it's going to work.
So you'll want to plan in advance.
Facebook recommends spending $30 per 1,000 impressions. But if you have a message you want to get out right away...sponsored messaging won’t be the best way to go unless you plan.
You'll want to run sponsored ads for at least 5 days to maximize delivery. If you run a Facebook sponsored message for just 1 day, it may not deliver within that day.
So you want to be conscious of how it falls into your overall strategy when it comes to paid traffic. You cannot just wing it with ads!
What Happens if Your Break the Messenger Law?
By now you're probably a bit worried about how you're going to stay out of trouble with these new changes.
So let's jump into that. And it’s pretty cut and dry.
Your 1st Offense You'll be restricted from sending messages.
Facebook will send you an explanation in your Page support inbox.
At that point you should reply and inquire exactly WHY your page was shutdown, and actually engage with support to see if you can get your messages reinstated. And then you'll not want to do whatever it was again.
If you continue to break the messenger law after that... you will be shutdown.
Shift Your Marketing Mindset
What's taught in MLSP works in every marketing platform. Messenger, youTube, Instagram, Pinterest. ETC. It’s more important now than ever before to always lead with value, and attract your prospects with know, like, and trust.
Understand it's NOT about you...Until it Is!
Nobody cares about what you want, what you're selling, what your product is. They only care about themselves.
So you must always keep this in your mind, and always focus on others...not YOU!
Don't Treat Messenger Like E-mail
This is not email. Email is a one-to-many approach. Messenger marketing is a one-to-one individual approach.
You're asking your prospects direct questions, engaging them one on one, and moving them to the next step that's right for THEM!
One of the biggest mistakes that people make with Messenger Marketing is that they treat it like email.
You must treat it like the one-to-one strategy that it really is.
Don't Hack, LISTEN!
You must ask open ended questions, so that you can get your prospects to tell you what they need and want. This will allow you to direct them in the right way. If you’re engaging them correctly and providing value, they WILL tell you.
Be prospect focused.
It's always their needs and wants first. You provide them the value to address those exact things. And you do that only by building relationships and engage in authentic communication.
So How Do You Approach Facebook Messenger Marketing and Facebook Bots Now?
First of all...always assume that nobody wants to come and use your bot.
The fact is that nobody goes to social media trying to find bots.
So you must give people a reason to come to your bot. You'll want to reach out to people on a regular basis. See what they want, and what's going through their minds.
And then (and only then) give them the opportunity to buy!
Get them into your bot using a lead magnet (checklist, pdf, quiz, coupon, samples, etc.)
Offer them something of value they want. This will allow them to take the next step to enter your bot. Now they’re on the Facebook Messenger Ferris Wheel...
Make it a Fun and Engaging First Interaction
You want to get them excited about being connected with you. Your first impression should be a great experience for THEM.
Which means you’re thinking of their needs first, and your #1 focus is to bring them value!
Educate and Deliver Value Through Sequences (daily tips or step-by-step process)
This is where you provide value while they're on the Ferris Wheel. This will not only keep them engaged, but will establish authority and credibility. Which will lead to know, like, and trust!
Ask Qualifying Questions
You have to figure out what they want and need. What are they struggling with? This means you can offer them something that fits perfectly to their needs.
Soft Sell Them In an Educational Context
This is where you can simply say
At this point they may purchase, or they may not. If not, we move on to Step 6 and continue the wheel...
Keep Giving Value & Further Qualify Them
Just because they didn’t buy on your soft-sell, doesn’t mean they’ve gotten off the Ferris Wheel. It simply means they’ve got to go back around a couple times to receive more value!
CONTINUE TO GIVE MORE & MORE VALUE!
Give a Strong Call-to-Action to Buy
Those who are ready will hop off the ferris wheel and gladly give you their credit card to buy.
Those who don't...you keep them on the ferris wheel and keep providing value. And then offer them what they need when they need it.
That's how you succeed with messenger marketing after these Facebook messenger updates... The Messenger Bot Apocalypse!
And you do this effectively using Messenger sequences!
Important Notes About Sequences...
- For now... sequences are not guided by the 24-hour messaging Window.
- This does not mean it’s okay to be overly promotional
- Educate, deliver value, and then sell.
- Your Starting Message should not contain ads or promotional material
- The initial message of each day should not include promotional material.
- Create intrigue with your starting message to entice subscribers to engage (click buttons and reply to you)
Above is how you re-start the 24 hour clock, and then you can sell in a sequence right then and there.
Bottom Line...These Facebook Messenger Updates Won't Negatively Impact Your Business IF You Approach Messenger Marketing the Way Just Described, and the Way That MLSP Teaches!
Now go out there and start using what’s STILL one of the most powerful marketing tools the world has ever seen.
Grow your business with the attraction marketing principles that MLSP has been teaching for over a decade, while everyone else is bolting!
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