Why use Facebook Messenger ads? These days, more people are using private messaging on social media than ever before. And since Facebook combined its messaging backend with Instagram, Messenger ads have never been more relevant.

Facebook Messenger has 1 billion active users the same as TikTok.

Messenger is an ultra-personal way to connect directly and privately. Essentially letting businesses treat customers like friends.

It’s an automated way to answer FAQs and develop customer loyalty. This intimate interaction can lead to an above-average conversion rate.

So whether you want to hedge your bets on the future of social, or you’re interested in the dozens of different ways you can use messaging apps to reach your audience right now, we’re here to show you how to use Facebook Messenger ads to converse.

And convert.

Bonus: Download a free guide that shows you how to save time and money on your Facebook ads. Find out how to reach the right customers, lower your cost-per-click, and more.  

What are Facebook Messenger Ads?

Facebook Messenger ads either start instant-message conversations with individuals or appear within the Messenger app.

Your options for Facebook Messenger ads include:

  • Click to Messenger ads: Your standard Facebook ad includes a call-to-action button, and you can set it to “Send Message” to start a conversation between the brand and the consumer.
  • Sponsored messages: Are you already chatty with customers on Messenger? Sponsored messages let you retarget current customers and send them promotions on Messenger.
  • Messenger Stories ads: These ads appear within the Messenger app between organic stories. If you select this type of ad, you’ll also need to select Facebook Feeds or Instagram Stories to enable Messenger Stories ads.
  • Messenger inbox ads: Inbox ads appear in the chat tab within the Messenger app.

Due to data privacy laws, some Messenger ads aren’t available for certain countries. These include:

  • Messenger Inbox ads aren’t available to people in the U.S., Canada, Australia, and France
  • Sponsored Messages aren’t available to and from Europe and Japan

Regardless of which ad you choose, you’ll want to set up a responsive chat team to respond to messages. Ghosting a potential customer? Not a great look.

Check out our complete guide to Facebook Messenger Bots, if you need a little extra help in the auto-customer service department.

Of course, before you dive into Facebook Messenger ads, you should review your brand’s Facebook ad strategy holistically.

There are a lot of ways to spend your money over there – make sure you’re getting the most bang for your buck.

How to set up Facebook Messenger ads

Step 1. Select your campaign objective and click continue

Campaign objectives are broken down into three categories with various objectives; awareness, consideration, and conversion.

However, Meta is slowly introducing 6 new simplified campaign objectives for Ads Manager.

You may see the older or newer version, but we’ll go over the category names for both.

choose Meta campaign objective

If you wish to create a Messenger Inbox campaign (meaning the ad will appear in between conversations in the inbox), then you have the following options:

Previous Meta Ads Objective NameCurrent Meta Ads Objective NameAd Format Types Available
TrafficTrafficImage and carousel
App installsApp promotionImage and carousel
MessagesEngagementImage and carousel
ConversionsSalesImage and carousel
Catalog salesSalesImage and carousel

You could also put ads on Messenger Stories, and they will appear between organic stories.

If you choose this option, you have a few more objective choices:

Previous Meta Ads Objective Name Current Meta Ads Objective NameAd Format Types Available
Brand awarenessAwarenessImage and video
ReachAwarenessImage and video
TrafficTrafficImage and video
App installsApp promotionImage and video
Video viewsEngagementVideo
ConversionsSalesImage and video

Many social media managers may want to re-engage with customers who have reached out on Facebook Messenger.

Sponsored messages are what you need to send offers, promotions, and updates directly to customers. You’ll want to choose Engagement as your objective.

Finally, if you’re looking to create an ad with a “Click to Messenger” call-to-action, then you can select traffic, engagement, or sales as your objective.

Step 2: Name your campaign and select optional ad features

campaign name special ad categories and campaign details

Before proceeding any further, you can add a campaign name.

You’ll also need to make decisions about how to run your ad. You may decide to conduct an A/B test to see which ad impacts your audience more.

Or maybe you’ll select to distribute your budget across ad sets. The choice is yours.

If you are running ads related to special categories (like credit, employment, housing, or social issues), then you need to declare it here since requirements vary by country.

Step 3. Choose the conversion location

select conversion location to drive traffic

You’ll be prompted to pick where customers are directed to if they click on your ad. You have 5 options:

  1. Website
  2. App
  3. Messenger
  4. WhatsApp
  5. Calls

Depending on your campaign objective, you may want to choose for people to message you to learn more.

Other managers may want to direct potential customers to a landing page for the company’s website or app. Highly-targeted audiences may want to call.

Step 4. Edit your budget, schedule, and audience

budget and schedule including start date and end date

How much will you spend? How long should the campaign run? And who should see it? The answers to these questions can be found in your social media strategy.

Step 5. Choose Advantage+ or manual placements

Choose a placement that meets your goals. Advantage+ placements will choose multiple placements based on where it thinks it will perform best.

If you only want to focus on one placement, then you’ll need to choose manual placements.

For example, maybe you’re looking to set up an ad you only want to appear in the Messenger Inbox.

You’ll need to select “Manual placements” and then choose the relevant ad placement – in this case, Messenger Inbox.

Step 6. Select optimization and delivery

optimization and delivery

You’ll need to choose an optimization for ad delivery. This means Facebook will target people based on your chosen campaign goal. You have 3 options:

  1. Link clicks
  2. Impressions
  3. Daily unique reach

You can also set a cost-per-result goal that you’re willing to spend. Otherwise, Facebook will focus on spending your entire budget to reach the most results.

Step 7. Add your creative

ad outline with media and primary text

Depending on your specific ad type, this step will vary. You’ll be uploading or selecting images and videos to include in your ad.

Don’t forget a compelling description to pique interest!

Facebook ad sizes can vary, so we gathered all ad specs in one place here.

If you need help crafting the perfect ad, check out our guide to social media advertising here.

Step 8. Hit publish

Your campaign is good to go! You can check back on the Ad Creation manager at any time to pause, tweak, cancel, or extend your campaign. You can also view analytics to see your ad’s effectiveness.

For a more specific step-by-step guide to any of these ad formats, check out the official Facebook FAQs for Sponsored Messages, Click to Messenger ads, Messenger Stories ads, or Messenger Inbox ads.

7 effective Facebook Messenger ads to inspire you

You’re probably amped up and ready to start talking with your customers! Before you dive into that Ad Manager, soak up some inspiration from brands who are using this format in savvy, innovative ways.



D+AF, a Taiwanese shoe retailer, created a sleek automated Messenger experience.

It built a chatbot capable of answering questions, sending promotional offers, and making sales.

But users received more than text-based messages – photos and videos were part of the messaging experience.

But D+AF wanted customers to view Messenger as more than just a place for customer service and view it as a commerce channel.

It created an ad campaign with compelling visuals and attractive discounts. With a “Send Message” call-to-action, customers were directed to Messenger to complete the transaction.

They never had to leave Facebook to buy a product.

DMCI Homes


DMCI Homes, a real estate developer, was looking to reach people who were interested in buying a condo or investing in real estate.

Since its target audience frequently used Messenger, it decided to use ads that linked to Messenger.

Once someone clicked on the ad, they were directed to Messenger where they could ask questions about buying a condo.

An automated chatbot helped them and made it easier to determine who were qualified leads.

The developer’s A/B testing showed that Messenger paired with a chatbot led to 25% more qualified leads at a 91% lower cost per click. Now that’s progress!



Tiki, a Vietnamese eCommerce platform, sponsored a Facebook-first online reality show, “The Next Face Vietnam”.

Tiki promoted the show on its Facebook page and even shared ads for it. But how was Messenger incorporated?

Well, while the show was airing, Tiki gave free vouchers to people who were commenting with branded hashtags on the Livestream.

The branded hashtags would trigger Messenger to open and share the voucher in a private message.

Tiki also used retargeting with click to Messenger ads to ask viewers to vote for their favorite contestants in upcoming episodes.

Viewers would use Messenger to vote and also receive another voucher from Tiki.

Sky-Dome Hotpot


Sky-Dome Hotpot needed a new way to reach customers after pandemic-related restrictions prevented people from going to its restaurant. It decided to use Messenger to encourage people to order takeaway or delivery.

The restaurant created an ad campaign with a “Send Message” call to action.

Once on Messenger, people could browse a visual menu and make an order. They could even pay directly on the app.

With a refined Messenger strategy, Sky-Dome Hotspot saw a 10x return on ad spend.



PalFish was looking to simplify the way parents signed up their kids for language lessons.

It was originally asking parents to fill out a form on its website, but the education company decided to experiment with Messenger for lead generation.

It set up two Messenger ad campaigns.

The first ad campaign directed customers to Messenger with an automated chatbot for parents to ask questions and get answers quickly. Then the chatbot could help customers sign up for a trial lesson.

The second ad campaign led customers to a pre-filled form with their profile information. With a few simple clicks, they could sign up to learn more about PalFish and its classes.

By creating a smoother customer experience, PalFish saw a 5x higher lead conversion rate from Messenger compared to the business-as-usual ad campaign.



Nikuya created an ad campaign of video and dynamic ads optimized for the messages objective.

When people clicked on the ads, they were redirected to Messenger where they were met with an automated digital assistant. Customers could ask questions and place orders all in the same place.

The knife company also used automation technology to respond to people commenting on its ads leaving no potential lead untouched.



ACUVUE Taiwan used a combination of influencer marketing, livestreaming, and

Messenger to promote a new product.

During the livestream, influencers tried the product and shared its benefits. When people commented on the Live event, ACUVUE responded by sending a message on Messenger.

Commenters received coupons redeemable at participating stores to encourage them to purchase the product and visit stores in person.

Facebook Messenger isn’t the only direct-messaging tool out there that brands can incorporate into the customer journey. Check out some inspiring examples from brands using messaging platforms in creative ways. And then let the chatting begin!

Use the Hootsuite Inbox to engage with your customers and respond to messages from all your social channels in one place. You’ll get full context around each message, so you can respond efficiently and focus on strengthening your relationships with customers.

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