Facebook Messenger Day

Earlier this month, Facebook launched Messenger Day – a Snapchat-esque expansion of their Messenger app. Messenger Day brings the slideshow visual storytelling format to Facebook Messenger, allowing users to share photos or videos from their day, making them available for view for 24 hours. Users can share these photos or videos with their friends on Facebook Messenger, or send direct photos to friends on your messenger list. Oh, and of course, you can also decorate your photos with drawings, cartoons, and additional text.

It’s also been reported that Facebook is pushing to roll out Facebook Stories, another Snapchat clone which will be nested within the Facebook App. Currently this feature is being tested in Chile, Greece, and Vietnam. Facebook-owned Instagram has also had their own Snapchat clone, which so far has been a moderate success. For all intents and purposes, it looks like Facebook is pushing hard to take over Snapchat’s type of social media storytelling.

With all this being said, Messenger Day was greeted with mixed reviews from Facebook users. While some users seem excited about the new features, others have called it obtrusive and distracting.

Any time a new social media feature is released, most marketers (myself included) begin to brainstorm ways brands can leverage these new platforms for marketing. Even as I type, I’m taking a photo of my blog and uploading it to Facebook Messenger, to both test impressions/views and to simply show my Facebook friends what Newbird is up to. Similar to when Facebook Live launched, digging into these features as quickly as possible allows brands to uncover early adoption methods that will maximize exposure without an investment.

As of right now, Facebook has yet to roll this feature out to brand pages, and it’s only available at a personal profile level. Whether Messenger Day lives or dies is yet to be seen, but it’s is a safe bet to assume that if it prospers Facebook will act quickly to make it available and monetize it for Pages.

So, what can brands and marketers do right now to take advantage of Messenger Day? Is it even of value to your business right now? Well, it depends:

Until Messenger Day is rolled out for Pages, you’ll have to make the decision on whether or not your personal Facebook network, or your employee’s personal Facebook network, is a viable audience to market to.

Say you manage an e-commerce brand and simply want to promote your business or products to your Facebook network, or if you want to create more brand awareness no matter what your industry is – Messenger Day could prove helpful.

For example, I’m currently using Messenger Day to promote Newbird’s Lunch Giveaway to my own Facebook network:

Despite the crudeness of my finger to iPhone painting, Messenger Day allows my friends to be informed about this giveaway when they otherwise may not in their newsfeed due to the Facebook algorithm. Plus, as someone who has been in the digital marketing industry for over 10 years, I have had the fortune of making many personal connections who may be interested in Newbird’s services – or in simply just winning free lunch!

So, whether or not Messenger Day is useful to your brand, product, or industry really depends on your own comfort level and network viability. However, if all those things are in place, here’s just a few more examples of how you can use it to your advantage:

Encourage Employees to Use Messenger Day for Brand Awareness: Again, this comes down to a comfortability thing. However, using employees as “brand influencers” is not unheard of. For example, if you run a jewelry store, you can have your employees show off your latest offerings to their network through Messenger Day. Plus, company culture humanizes your brand, and what better way than content generated directly from your employees.

If Not Employees, Brand Influencers: If you’re a brand that has an established network of brand influencers, now is the time to encourage them to start using Messenger Day in addition to their current social media arsenal. This will create an additional touch point for influencers to connect with their followers, and it can be leveraged to gather insights for you to whether or not Messenger Day is a worthwhile platform for your brand.

Promote Other Networks Through Messenger Day: Getting your brand seen through Messenger Day is great, but it won’t mean much if you can’t move these users through the funnel that will get you seen more often. Similar to my example above when I promoted the Newbird blog, you should use Messenger Day to drive users towards visiting your other content outlets – whether that be your website, blog, Facebook page, Instagram, etc.

Possible Drawbacks 

Between testing Messenger Day and discussing it with friends, I’ve found that there may be several drawbacks to the platform and its viability. Between general confusion about what it is and how it works, to downright hatred for it, mixed with the possibility that it’s still not available to all users and that there may be a Facebook algorithm preventing the content to be pushed out to everyone. These hypotheses were even more cemented when I started crunching some numbers and doing platform comparisons:

On Snapchat, I have roughly 50 friends, around 25 – 30 of them are active Snapchat users – meaning, I see their Snapchat stories show up from time to time. Typically, when I post to my story, within the 24 hours of it’s availability I will receive about 12 views on average. Although by no means scientific, this means out of my active Snapchat friends, roughly 40% of them see my snaps.

On Messenger Day however, I haven’t been nearly as lucky. On Facebook, I have (a possibly meager) 700 friends. We’ll say, in the least, that roughly 300 of them are active on Facebook Messenger. In the tests that I have run, I have received anywhere from 8 – 15 views of my Messenger Day stories. Again, although not scientific, this means only 5% of my active friends are viewing these posts.

What Does This Mean for You?

You won’t necessarily know until you test, test, test. Like nearly every social media platform, testing to figure out what works and what doesn’t is your best bet at seeing results that show growth. You may be in a situation where all your friends are using Messenger Day and they love it, and if that’s the case –  you definitely want to use it. However, if you find that you’re getting less than stellar results despite having thousands of Facebook friends, it may simply not be worth your time.

It will definitely be interesting to see whether or not Messenger Day becomes available to Pages and how that will look for social marketers. Personally, I’m a little skeptical. However, in the mean time, I’m not above trying it out for fun. After all, there does seem to be some hope for this platform as a marketing option and we encourage you to try it out.

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