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“You’ve Blown Up Our Facebook” – How Facebook Messenger Ads Delivered 151 Candidates in 6 Hours

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A running joke for marketing professionals is when a client reaches out and says something to the effect of “What Did You Do?”

That can be a good email or phone call… or a bad email or phone call.

This time, it was a good email.

“Matt – you’ve blown up our FB!”

For this client, we are using Facebook to target their job seekers because the audience spends a lot of time on the social media giant. With Facebook becoming more synonymous with recruitment, utilizing different tactics on Facebook can be extremely effective.

This time, we used Facebook Messenger ads and the client received 151 messages from job candidates in 6 hours.

It worked so fast that I had to turn a campaign off originally scheduled for a week.

Let’s walk through the process.

Developing a Facebook Messenger Audience

This might be the most important part of utilizing a Facebook Messenger tactic for any business. To show an advertisement natively in Facebook Messenger, a business needs to develop a Facebook Messenger audience. Facebook doesn’t allow a Facebook Messenger campaign where you target anyone in the area.

They don’t want Facebook Messenger inboxes to be spammed with ads from random companies. The audience needs to have a connection with the company BEFORE you can show an advertisement directly in their Facebook Messenger inbox.

What do I mean?

We need to get people to send you a Facebook message.

How do we do that? There are two simple tactics:

  1. Utilize Facebook Jobs

When posting a position on Facebook Jobs, all applications come through the Facebook Messenger inbox for your business page. Engaging a dialogue with that candidate is important to provide a great experience.

It’s also an easy way to get Facebook users to message your page.


  1. Utilize a Call to Action of “Send Message”

Facebook provides different options for the call-to-action of its advertisements. A really effective CTA for staffing and recruiting is to use “Send Message.”

The “Send Message” CTA is a direct ask to the Facebook user. If our content or our advertisement speaks to you, contact our team right now. We are ready to talk to you. (Or you have a chatbot set up, but that’s a different blog for a different day.)

Create a Facebook advertisement so when a Facebook user clicks on the ad, it instantly opens up their Facebook Messenger. Have a welcome message that prompts an engagement from the Facebook user to send your page a message.


Once a Facebook user sends your page a message, then we can move on to the step of showing ads right in Facebook Messenger to your user.

Officially Creating the Messenger Audience

Driving people to Facebook Messenger is great, but we have to tell Facebook to create that audience. It doesn’t just magically appear!

When you are in Facebook Ads Manager, create a new custom audience.

Click on the “Engagement” option and then Facebook Page



On the next screen click “Facebook Page.”


Finally, change the drop-down to “people who sent a message to your page”


Name the audience and then let Facebook create that audience. (It could take 30 minutes. It could take a few hours.)

Utilizing Embedded Facebook Messenger to Show Ads to Your Audience

Now that we have built our Facebook Messenger audience (we want it to be at least 1,000 people and the more the better), we need to make sure to do one very important thing:

Have someone on your staff ready to handle any messages coming from interested job seekers.

Why is this important?

It’s important for a couple of reasons:

  1. We don’t want to provide a negative experience for job seekers. Think about your own customer experience at other businesses. When you ask a question or make an inquiry, you want an answer right away. Provide that same level of service to job seekers!
  2. We don’t want your team to get overwhelmed. Starting a campaign without the internal support could lead to one of your team members logging into Facebook and seeing dozens (or hundreds) of Facebook messages awaiting replies. Yes, it takes time out of their day to man the Facebook messenger inbox, but if they are recruiting, that is going to be time well spent.

OK, now we have the audience built and an internal action place in plan to handle the influx of messages.

Let’s show the ads!


In your campaign type, select Messages as the Marketing objective.

In the ad type, select “Sponsored Message” – this is what allows you to showcase your ads right in the Facebook Messenger app.

Select your budget. Create a bid strategy. Create your ads.

Watch the leads come to your Facebook Messenger inbox!

(And make sure to follow up quickly, no one likes a slow response!)




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Get our best marketing tips—one idea a week. You’ll also get invites to our webinars, and exclusive offers on our products and services.

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