While Facebook's main platform is encountering heavy public scrutiny, its Messenger app is emerging as the crown jewel for maintaining engagement with its overall audience. Since its release, Facebook Messenger has evolved to provide a variety of services such as calls, money transfers and chatbot interactions. The rise of these services has been gradual, enough so to cause marketers to potentially overlook ways to measure the platform activity.  

Some marketers may not fully appreciate how Messenger's independence from Facebook in terms of audience and engagement. When Facebook Messenger launched as a separate app in 2011, it quickly became one of the world’s top downloaded apps. So while the name says "Facebook," Messenger is a separate platform. Marketers, therefore, should look to establish a dedicated analytics strategy, not unlike the ones they might have for Instagram or Twitter. Marketers incorporating Facebook Messenger into their campaigns should treat the platform metrics as a dedicated channel.   

Here is what treating Facebook Messenger metrics as a dedicated channel means to an analytics strategy. 

1. Users Generate Engagement That Stays Within Messenger Environment

Customers, or indeed anyone who’s curious about a brand and its offering, can come to a brand’s page messenger and makes inquiries that need an immediate response. Because they are accessing Messenger in their phone app, they are usually looking for simple information on the go. Chatbots on Messenger can usually guide customers to additional information that answers their questions, but even then, customers are looking to stay within the Facebook Messenger experience.

By analyzing these chatbot interactions, marketers can understand what conversation topics arise frequently and if concerns are ongoing. An ongoing concern or customer response to a product is an opportunity for a brand to make customers aware they are indeed listening. The end result is applying an analytics approach towards sentiment and content as a conversion activity rather than examining how customers navigate several web pages to reach a conversion activity.  

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2. Messenger Activity Provides a Way to Measure Progress with Personalization Campaigns

Because Chatbots or Messenger messages provide customers purchase reminders or answers without removing customers from the Messenger experience, brands can use analytics to see how well personalized content is being received.  Most analytic metrics, be it in a solution or importing data through an API, focus on whether or not customers activate a button, enter or exit a discussion, or, in the case of the Messenger API, if a bot is blocked.  

Measuring this kind of activity gives clues to how well personalization efforts through Messenger and associated chatbots are going. Those clues can then be compared to other data to see how they correlate to sales.

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3. Ad Response Can Be Interpreted With More Meaningful Customer Behavior

Like the main Facebook platform, Facebook Messenger offers the opportunity to create ads. But these ads are designed to initiate conversations with potential customers. Sponsored Messages provide reminders of offers, while Click-to-Messenger ad offer an ability to send follow-up Facebook messages to those who clicked on the ad. Click-to-Messenger ads can drive sales and build an audience. With either ad type, the call to action can be developed to offer enticing details on a product, service, or event that leads customers to take action.    

Considering dedicated analytics for Messenger hold a huge potential for strengthening customer engagement. According to Facebook at its last F8 conference, people and businesses send each other 20 billion messages each month, while 300,000 chatbots are active on Messenger.   

The most obvious headwind to Messenger strategy is public perception of Facebook due to user privacy concerns and persistent missteps with third party access to user data. Facebook lost 15 million US users over the last two years, as well as a share of teens on social media, according to an Edison Research study.  But some reports indicate the platform retains a healthy audience engagement. The mixed results mean Messenger strategies may have an opportunity to flourish without feeling too much impact from the events directed at Facebook overall.

Messenger offers marketers an opportunity to experiment with different media to remind customers of their brand’s availability on the platform. This means applying UTM tags for landing pages or having dedicated ads meant for encouraging channel usage. As previously mentioned, chatbots developed for Messenger can incorporate an analytics solution to reveal metrics that aid the exploration.

Marketers applying Facebook Messenger metrics as a dedicated channel within analytics will likely be in good shape. They will discover richer opportunities to engage with customers, while their brands will better manage Facebook influences — both good and bad — that can arise along the way.